The 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show (aka Automobility LA) is in the books, and one of the biggest draws to the event for both media and public showgoers alike was the first-ever 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 pickup truck. Debuting in one of the biggest regional markets for midsize trucks, Chevrolet pulled no punches in its debut, revaling the vehicle off site to make room for a demonstration course. We experienced ride-alongs with both the 2017 Colorado ZR2 2.8L Duramax diesel as well as the 2017 Colorado ZR2 3.6L V6 gasser models. From that, the Motrolix staff as the following to say:
Beating Jeep to the punch in the midsize off-road truck game is the Colorado ZR2, continuing what Chevrolet has been doing to the segment for the past two years: rejuvenating and capitalizing on a market space that has been stagnant and neglected for nearly a decade. A pleasant surprise is the use of Multimatic DSSV dampers – forgoing more traditional setups from more recognized names like Fox (as seen on the F-150 Raptor) and King (as seen on the ZR2 concept from 2014). Lastly, even though Chevrolet isn’t known for its off-roading prowess out of the factory, many of the engineers involved with the ZR2 hail from long-gone Hummer, and in a way, continues the ill-fated brand’s rugged legacy. Hopefully the ZR2 isn’t too expensive.
– Manoli Katakis
Chevrolet had a lot riding on the reveal of the Colorado ZR2 and I think the brand has delivered in spades. General Motors as a whole has been missing out on a true off-road performance vehicle for some time and it seems it took careful consideration as to not water down the ZR2 concept for production form. Take into account the blank check engineers had to ensure it was done right and I think the ZR2 is a serious winner. The only thing that could stop it is an unrealistic price tag, especially in diesel form.
I like to imagine that rock-crawling enthusiasts all across the country simultaneously wet their respective trousers when the new ZR2 was revealed. It’s no F-150 Raptor – either in terms of power or looks – but then, the two trucks aren’t quite direct competitors. What it is is a small(ish), easily-positioned go-anywhere-mobile loaded with impressive, useful tech like spool-valve dampers, a segment-exclusive AutoTrac transfer case, and hill-descent control. The new Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 isn’t just a shallow attempt to pander to the off-roading crowd; it’s the genuine article.
– Aaron Brzozowski
I think this truck will fly off the shelves. The guys over at Multimatic worked some magic with the suspension and it truly translates into real-world capability. I do wish Chevrolet had done more to make it feel special, however. Some red stitching in the cabin, red seat belts and some larger ZR2 exterior decals would really make it feel like a more noteworthy offering.