The 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison: Hot Or Not?13
This week, Chevrolet and AEV (American Expedition Vehicles) unveiled the brand-new, 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison: a thoroughly-customized, mid-size pickup aimed at the hardcore off-road adventurer. While many of the truck’s modifications are worn well beneath the skin, plenty of them are visible on the surface, like its mean-looking AEV steel bumpers, its “flow-through” matte grille, and its trademark AEV intake snorkel. Less visible are the new Colorado model’s five protective skid plates, which represent the industry’s first use of hot-stamped Boron steel.
The ride height of the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison looks to be the same as on the non-AEV Colorado ZR2, although the fenders wear thicker black cladding than on that model, and they house a unique set of 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac off-road tires. Climb into the cabin, and you’ll find that the seat headrests are embroidered with a very special AEV logo featuring a depiction of a bison in a heroic pose.
It’s a strong, adventurous aesthetic that Chevrolet and AEV have managed to create with the new truck – no less than one would expect from AEV, which is well-known in some circles for its expedition-ready FCA vehicles. But is it any good? More to the point, is it any better than the regular Chevrolet Colorado ZR2?
The ZR2 is already a rugged-looking, adventurous off-road vehicle, sporting a factory black hood bulge, an elevated ride height, off-road tires, and a rather visible front skid plate. Yet comparatively speaking, the regular ZR2 isn’t anywhere near as menacing and unrestrained, meaning one could much more easily drive it to a business meeting, park it outside church on a Sunday, and just generally fit in with the rest of traffic, without having to worry what people might think about the massive black intake snorkel and over-the-top front end.
What do you think? Is the new, 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison hot or not? Take our poll, and be sure to drop us a comment below.
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Love the design cues, personally I’m not a huge fan of mid size trucks but looks like a nice package.
On a related note it’s been said a thousand time but this package needs to happen on the Silverado, I know the trail boss is a nice cosmetic package with minimum mechanical upgrades but it really needs the full package…… a Silverado ZR2
I think it looks awesome. This is what the ZR2 should’ve been in the first place. Hopefully this won’t be priced higher than the Ranger Raptor
Can’t wait for the 3rd gen Colorado to see what new engines there are, really hoping for the 2.7T or maybe something better that Chevy has up their sleeve
Make the snorkel optional or easy to remove. Lose the advertising on the headrests. Burn the ho-hum color palette. And add a winch. Then it would be pretty hot. As it is it’s standard GM pretty good but not quite there.
Agreed. A winch would be far more useful than the silly snorkel.
Also keep the bow tie in the grille. I believe Ford deletes the blue oval from the Raptor grille in part because the writing on the symbol looks so 1920s, but Chevrolet doesn’t have to worry about that.
Ok if you do not do your own work on your truck.
The snorkel has been available. The Grill is available from dealers now. I expect the skid plates to be available at some point which will be nice as the market lacks a good gas tank shield like this one includes.
Other than that the truck is just another ZR2. I guess I was just hoping for more like a 33″ tire and a light more lift. This is what most on the Colorado forum has been asking for. As for bumpers, grill and snorkel most people can bolt them on.
But if it makes money more power to em.
I agree with Scott3. Should have had more lift and larger tires over the vanilla ZR2. The biggest problem with the Colorado lineup are the headlights. They’re awful. I really wanted to like this truck. I had a lifted ZR2 Blazer for years, which I completely loved. That S10 platform originally had the same problem with ugly fat headlights that they “fixed” mid-cycle with a slimmer horizontal setup. It made all the difference. Chevrolet really ought to incorporate the headlights and grill from the ZH2 and make a unique and aggressive statement with a dedicated off-road beast. Sadly, as is, this is a boring looking truck. Not to mention, ALL trucks are severely overpriced now. There is no way I would ever consider paying what they are going to ask for this. Offer a civilian version ZH2 with the diesel engine and then I am interested.
The headlights comment.. I can not for the life of me figure out why there are any Halogens still being used in any vehicle above the price of $16K at this point. One can go on Amazon and buy LEDs that simply go in like a regular light and has a cooling unit attached for about $50. They last for minimum 2 years and usually come with a 3 year warranty if they don’t. From experience.. they are as bright as any in cars coming in at $50K+
Well lights are cycled in over updates and these trucks have not gotten the updates yet.
Second to do this right you need to rework the electrical system and body control module. The bulbs from Amazon are not the same deal the factory would use. The aftermarket bulbs take resistors in line and in some cases you have to leave off dust covers due to cooling. This lets in moisture or even early bulb failure.
To do it right the electrical system need re worked and often new light fixtures for cooling and better use of the lights.
A good example is the GMC Acadia had a short run of LED back up bulbs installed at the factory. It started a chain of issues that put the dash into a major failure. They put a TSB out to put in normal bulbs and problems went away. The body control module is not calibrated to work with the bulbs.
Look for the refresh next year to have the LED bulbs.
My Canyon lights are just fine. No issues seeing with them.
“dedicated off-road beast”, So, what then is the ZR2?
Yes it could sit higher with more lift and bigger tires but at what cost?
They do have the CAFE and NHTSA do deal with. GM has always supported the aftermarket industry and your personal preferences to customize!
The only thing the ZR2 is missing in my opinion is a more suitable engine for off road. No, I don’t want a diesel or a review happy V6.
Give me a V8 (more weight yes) but plenty of power and torque. The L3B does look promising, will have to wait and see!
headlights and some interior upgrades push button start remote keyless entry padded dash like the canyon
I agree with scott3. This was a huge missed opportunity! I’m a fan of the ZR2, but this is no more capable than that? (apart from the snorkel and skid plates). This is boring. This is what I expect from the mid-cycle refresh that the Colorado is supposed to get in a year or two.
How about bigger tires? (Like the 35s the Bison concept had) Beadlock wheels and tires? More ground clearance? A better way to place the shock mounts? A Mallet supercharger? What a bummer!
I’ll have the first one at my dealer
Well, here it is a year later and I bought a 2020 ZR2 Bison (diesel) in Summit White. It is anything but boring! Sure it would have been nice to have LEDs but I can still see the road at night and so far it isn’t an issue. Others have complained that OMG you have to use a key! What a laugh.
Brings a smile to my face every time I drive it, even if only to work and back, for now. The snorkel was an option and I’ve now added it. Useful? Maybe. But, it raised the coolness and uniqueness by at least 5 degrees. LOL. I hope to add the winch and low bar replacement to the center of the bumper in the next month or two. Loving it!