Lately, off-roading has become so popular, that many automakers have decided to cash in, building some truly impressive trucks that are designed specifically for off-road adventures. To test these off-road trucks out, MotorTrend has had a great time dreaming up new challenges for each of these vehicles. The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison is the off-road truck that MotorTrend is most in love with.
Overview of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison
When Chevy decided that they were going to make an off-road truck, they didn’t mess about. They knew that they wanted the final result to be a vehicle that was tough enough to handle the toughest trails, would look cool while parked in the owner’s driveway, and that would handle the open road with ease. It’s safe to say that the Colorado ZR2 Bison accomplishes all of that.
The Colorado ZR2 Bison truck is so tough that it has the distinction of being one of the few vehicles that Car and Driver was able to successfully drive over the trail that they call “The Hill.” They’ve attempted the climb before, but the other vehicles weren’t able to handle the steady 40-degree climb, the deep ruts that throw both the truck and driver from one side of the trail to the other, or the kickup proved to be too much. The ZR2 is one of just four vehicles that has been able to conquer “The Hill.”
The is equipped with several features that allow it to tackle challenges like “The Hill” including:
- Goodyear Wrangler DuraTracs tires
- Locking rear and front differentials
- Raptor grille
- Autotrac transfer case
- Multimatic DSSV dampers
- Off-road rocker protection
- Bison-specific 17-inch aluminum wheels
- An optional snorkel
Chevy did an excellent job creating an off-road vehicle but they thought it could be even better so they paired up with AEV. The founder of AEV, Dave Harrington, enjoys talking about the partnership and the expectations Chevy had for the truck.
“Essentially they asked me what I would do to the truck. I said, ‘Well, if I was an average Joe and I was going to take a ZR2 to Russia and do the Road of Bones or go to South America with it, what would I do to it before I left?’ And that’s essentially what we got.”
Satisfied that the ZR2 had the mechanical ability to tackle the toughest trails, AEV’s designers focused on ensuring that the truck was going to come through the experience in one piece. They created skid plates and other types of armor that allow the truck to bounce through deep ruts, crawl over wicked rocks, plow through deep lakes, and finish the adventure in one piece. This toughness is what makes the Colorado ZR2 Bison an outstanding choice for anyone who loves spending hours driving over the wildest parts of the United States.
How MotorTrend tested the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison
Car and Driver wasn’t the only one who was excited about how the Colorado ZR2 Bison performed. MotorTrend’s driver also had a great time testing out the vehicle’s limitations when they drove it through the Sonora Desert. When it came to testing out how tough the Bison was, they were anything but careful. They looked for terrain that would give the vehicle’s skid plates a beating and were astounded when the truck came out of the desert with just a few dings and bruises.
What really impressed MotorTrend was how effortlessly the ZR2 made the transition from driving off-road to rolling down the highway. This was also when they noticed the biggest difference between the gas engine and the diesel engine. The gas engine reached highway speeds far easier than the diesel. On the other hand, they noted that the diesel’s fuel economy was better and that it was slightly better in the desert, especially when they needed more low-end power.
At the end of the day, MotorTrend feels that fans of off-roading would be happy with both the diesel and gasoline engine. But do know, the diesel version does cost an additional $3,703.