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2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison First Drive Review

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2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison First Drive Review

PHOENIX, Ariz. — I used to be standing on prime of a boulder, simply to the best-hand aspect of a path someplace deep contained in the Tonto Nationwide Forest. Big saguaro cacti and gray-inexperienced shrubs cowl the rocky hillside for miles and miles. There is no grass anyplace, simply rocks and dust and smaller ankle-gouging cacti filling within the area between the saguaros. It is a spot the place you need to watch your step, whether or not you are on foot or behind the wheel of a 2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison. I ought to have worn boots.

Once we first drove the Colorado ZR2 again in 2017, we have been impressed with the subtle Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSV) dampers (a finalist for our 2018 Know-how of the Yr award), rugged exterior styling and the non-compulsory powertrains. Chevy’s supply of a number of cab configurations — extended cab/lengthy field and crew cab/brief field — was one other large plus. It might not have the bottom clearance or strategy angle of one thing just like the Toyota Tacoma TRD Professional (and even the standard Tacoma for that matter), however the diesel engine and trick dampers cannot be replicated with aftermarket elements.

The ZR2 Bison is actually a manufacturing model of a 2017 SEMA idea vehicle and will get its identify from the charging animal on Michigan-based mostly American Expedition Automobiles’ emblem. AEV is an aftermarket provider principally recognized for supporting the Jeep and Ram communities, so it was a little bit of a shock to see the corporate working with GM when the Colorado ZR2 AEV idea debuted. The manufacturing model expands on the ZR2’s strong basis with a slew of upgrades, although there are not any modifications to the basic driveline elements or the truck’s general capabilities.

The standard powertrain is a three.6-liter V6 paired with an eight-velocity automated. It makes 308 horsepower and 275 pound-ft of torque. A $three,500 2.eight-liter turbodiesel inline-4 makes 181 horsepower and a wholesome 369 pound-ft of torque. The Tacoma may supply a six-velocity guide, however its three.5-liter V6 is a sleep in comparison with Chevy’s engines. Different standard features on the ZR2 embrace two locking differentials, an elevated monitor width, distinctive bumpers that considerably assist off-street, and a cool hood scoop.

2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison

For $5,750, the Bison provides 5 boron-metal skid plates to guard the engine oil pan, fuel tank, switch case and entrance and rear locking differentials. Gray 17-inch aluminum wheels exchange those on the regular ZR2, although it is disappointing they’re strapped with the identical 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires (the idea had 35-inch BFGoodrich KM2 Mud Terrains). Bigger fender flares assist shield the edges of the truck. New entrance and rear bumpers add built-in restoration factors, fog lights and area for a winch. All of it provides as much as a strong package deal that is backed by a manufacturing unit warranty.

Apart from the AEV emblem within the truck’s headrests, the Colorado’s lackluster interior carries over unchanged. It is a bummer that afflicts all Colorados — the truck’s gray and black plastic is not precisely welcoming. Since there have been no modifications to the engines or suspension both, the Bison does not drive or really feel any totally different than a standard ZR2 on the road. The flared fenders poking out within the aspect-view mirrors are your solely indication you are in one thing totally different.

These trucks acquired a beating on this path. From my spot on the boulder, I noticed a minimum of 5 ZR2s bust their rear onto a rock ledge, driving away with some dents and scratches on the bumper. Watch the video above and you may see these are not any small love faucets. Nothing broke, however I would not need to make a behavior of it. It is value noting that the diesel ZR2’s low-hanging exhaust pipe is weak — we noticed one get crimped. Because of the lengthy overhang from the mattress, any truck goes to be compromised in comparison with one thing stubby just like the Jeep Wrangler.

This slamfest highlighted one of many ZR2’s largest failings: mediocre strategy and departure angles. The ZR2 Bison’s new bumpers improve the strategy and departure angles barely, although Chevy says it isn’t a big enchancment over the standard ZR2’s 30 levels of strategy and 23.5 levels of departure. It is also nonetheless in need of what the Tacoma presents. The lengthy wheelbase hurts breakover, too. What the Bison actually wants is one other inch or two of floor clearance. It’s kind of confounding that Chevy and AEV went by means of all the trouble so as to add the additional armor however could not see match so as to add taller rubber.

Furthermore, the Colorado ZR2 Bison ain’t low cost — it provides $5,750 to the already sizeable (however comparatively affordable) value of a ZR2, which begins at $forty two,690 for an extended cab or $forty four,290 for a crew cab. And the diesel provides $three,500 on prime of that. That places a diesel-powered crew-cab ZR2 Bison nicely over $50,000. That is much more than a Tacoma TRD Professional and greater than a equally-outfitted 4-door Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. I might even be remiss if I did not point out the $fifty four,350 Ford F-one hundred fifty Raptor, although that is a considerably bigger truck with a barely totally different talent set.

The standard Chevy Colorado ZR2 is one hell of a truck. It is inexpensive than the Taco or Wrangler and much and away the best of the bunch with regards to on-street efficiency, and that is an enormous promoting level for many who need a good all-rounder. The engine and cab configurations are large, too. Aftermarket help could be missing in comparison with the Toyota or Jeep, however with Colorado gross sales eclipsing four hundred,000 models, we’re positive it can proceed to enhance.

However it positive does not appear to be the Bison is value the additional dough. The brand new restoration factors and additional skid plates assist, and the good thing about a manufacturing unit warranty cannot be understated, nevertheless it does not repair a few of the ZR2’s largest core points — a scarcity of floor clearance and a disappointing interior. Regardless of these complaints, the Colorado ZR2 is the best midsized truck round. The Bison is nice should you do not need to cope with aftermarket elements, nevertheless it does not do something to change the ZR2’s core capabilities. That stated, you even have to think about the truck’s specialness. AEV is a critical model, giving this Chevy some main cred. It is simply too dangerous the pair did not do extra to enhance the dynamics and performance.

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Chevrolet Colorado

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