As a factory option, a typical off-road suspension usually means your spine is going to be hammered much more than if you were driving a pickup truck’s standard suspension. And when it comes to purpose-built off-road icons that may be more forgiving, they tend to be exceptional at one type of off-roading but not as good at others and/or pavement driving. So how does the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 ride better than the typical off-road suspension option, perform better off-road as well and not make as many sacrifices as other trucks of its type?
The short answer is the ZR2’s shock absorbers, which are highly sophisticated yet delightfully simple — and low tech only if your definition of tech requires electricity, because unlike any other suspensions with the versatility of the ZR2’s, these shock absorbers aren’t computer controlled or even remotely adjustable. Below I’ll explain how they work and why they’re so revolutionary, especially in an off-road vehicle.
To back up a second, understand that when I refer to typical optional off-road suspensions, I’m talking about your garden-variety, decades-old off-road options that currently have names like Ford’s FX4 and Chevrolet’s own Z71, which has been available on the Colorado since before the ZR2 made its debut as the brand’s ultimate off-roader for 2017. If the regular Z71 off-road suspension option was firm, certainly the ultimate off-road suspension would put us in traction, right? Wrong.