By Cars.com EditorsMay 15, 2017
About the video
Pickuptrucks.com's Mark Williams takes a first look at the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2.
(rock music) It's been quite a few years since Chevy had a serious off-road pickup truck, but we're out here in Colorado to test drive the 2017 Chevy Colorado ZR2. And we want to find out if Chevy has brought their A game.
Well, they certainly have with the suspension. Taller, softer coils in front. Longer, softer leaf springs in the back. 2-inch suspension lift. And also Multimatic, this is the key technology here. Multimatic spool technology at each corner with the shocks. Gives it incredible flexibility when it's out on the trail. But here up front, a very unique grill for ZR2s, big cutouts here in the front, so you can get better action on the rocks when you're out in the desert or doing your rock crawling. And a very cool hood, it's not a hood scoop, but it's a hood detail reminiscent of the Hummer H3T. Underneath the truck, the drive shaft had to be just a couple of inches longer because of the suspension lift. But other details that we like is that you can get a spare tire actually mounted in the bed. So you can take away that spare tire underneath the truck to give you better departure angles. Also, a brand new bumper without those footsteps on the corner like normal Colorados have. But there are some things that still need to be improved. Look at this shock mount, hangs very low and is very susceptible to any big rocks if you're out in the desert. A couple of other quirks on the extended cab versions. The rear door still only opens 90 degrees. Here with these rock sliders, a great idea to protect you from serious damage, but they're not attached to the frame, they're attached to the body underneath. And with a special package like this, maybe this is just our personal preference, but we'd like to see bigger announcements with bigger stickers to let people know this is a special off-road truck. From behind the wheel at high speed, this vehicle is incredibly fun to drive. We had the chance to go over a trophy truck course that had a lot of turns, even a few jumps, and these Multimatic shocks are quite literally amazing. They calm all of the shudder that you expect from very rough dirt roads when you're traveling at high speeds and throwing it around a corner. The transfer case. The transfer case allows you both to turn off the traction control and offers you an off-road mode, which turns off some of that very annoying brake interference or power pulling out of the engine that a lot of vehicles we've experienced do in those most inappropriate situations. Bottom line here at high speed, this vehicle can be a lot of fun and you can throw that backend out to your heart's content. At low speed, the 4-wheel drive ability, the flexibility of that suspension and the traction that you get from having both front and rear lockers, is almost unmatched. There wasn't anything that we couldn't conquer. And we took on some incredibly nasty rocky stairsteps and huge dry washes with big boulders. So for our money's worth, the value is in this vehicle, that ZR2 is gonna carry a lot of credibility for Chevy in the future. You should also note that all ZR2s are gonna have a 5,000-pound tow rating, about 1,200 pounds of payload and be offered in both crew cab and extended cab. Extended cabs will have a six and a half foot bed. Crew cabs will have the five and a half foot bed. Now you do get to choose between the 3.6 liter gas engine or a 2.8 liter turbo diesel. Prices are gonna start right around $41,000 for the extended cab and $44,000 for the crew cab. You choose the diesel, it could go up to 47. You want to know more about this ZR2 or any other pickups, go to pickuptrucks.com.