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The Colorado ZR2 Bison Is the King of Off-Road Trucks

There aren’t any rules stating that you have to stick to paved roads. The country is full of off-road trails that provide you with an opportunity to see some beautiful landscapes while also testing your driving skills.

If you love the idea of grabbing your camping gear and exploring parts of the country you simply can’t see from the highway, you’ll want to invest in a truck that is tough enough to take you over the roughest roads and dependable enough to get you home after a long weekend of adventuring.

While there are many nice off-road trucks on the market, the Colorado ZR2 Bison is the king of off-road trucks. 

Why off-roaders love the Colorado ZR2 Bison

Creating the current Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison required a unique collaboration between Chevrolet and American Expedition Vehicles AEV. When the two companies joined forces, they had a plan. Chevy wanted to take their popular truck, the Colorado, and make it better suited for off-road adventures. AEV liked the challenge of using their technology to create parts that would withstand the abuse the truck got while chewing up the trails.

Chevy provided the brand and the truck. AEV added all the features a true off-road vehicle required. The end result is a truly remarkable vehicle.

The ZR2 takes what comes standard on the Bison and adds some key features that make this truck the perfect off-road vehicle. If you’re familiar with the standard Chevy Colorado Bison, when you slide behind the wheel of the ZR2, you’ll already be familiar with several of the features, including the:

The features AEV added to the ZR2 include:

  • Specialized wheel well flares
  • Specialized badging
  • Recovery points on the rear bumper
  • 5 steel skid plates

The end result is a vehicle that can tackle any sort of rough terrain you throw its way. According to Car and Driver, the Colorado ZR2 Bison is also ready to tackle any vertical challenge you put before it.  

Driving the Colorado ZR2 Bison

When you start driving the ZR2 Bison, you’ll notice the multimatic DSSV dampers. They might be the single best feature that Chevy added to the Bison. The dampers take suspension to a whole new level. They eliminate the typical bumps and jostles you experience while driving down the regular roads and create a smooth enough ride that you feel confident when you run the truck down the roughest trails.

Not only do the dampers prevent you from getting jostled, but they also make it easier to maintain control of the ZR2. The armor on the bottom of the truck allows you to take it over the roughest of trails without sustaining much damage.

One of the biggest drawbacks to the Colorado ZR2 Bison is fuel economy. The weight of the skid plates and other features means this truck’s combined fuel economy is a poor 19 mpg. You can opt to purchase a diesel version of the ZR2, which does have better fuel economy, though some report that it takes longer for the diesel to reach highway speeds.

Buying a Colorado ZR2 Bison

The biggest downside to the Colorado ZR2 is that it isn’t readily available. Chevrolet has a history of manufacturing a surprisingly limited number of these vehicles, which makes them hard to come by. The fact that very few dealerships have them on the lot, and you have to pre-order them, makes it nearly impossible to find one that you can test drive.

In most cases, you’ll have to order a Colorado ZR2 Bison, which allows you to make sure it’s fitted with the extra features you really want. In 2019, GM only planned on manufacturing a grand total of 2,000 Colorado ZR2 Bison trucks.