When it comes to pickup trucks, few trucks compare to the Ford Raptor. However, its high price might lockout a considerable portion of truck enthusiasts. Not to worry though, the midsize Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is available for much less, and with the upgrades Chevy installed, the Colorado ZR2 is the coolest midsize truck you can get your hands on. Below, our friend Doug DeMuro explains why.
A rugged exterior
The ZR2 is not a full-size truck, but it still has most of the style, capability, and towing capacity you would find in a Raptor. The diesel fitted Colorado ZR2 can tow up to 7,700 lb which is not far behind the 8,000 lb towing capacity of the Raptor. What’s more, the Colorado ZR2 goes for an average asking price of $43,000 which is a huge bargain.
One of the major elements that make the Colorado ZR2 the coolest midsize truck around is the off-road upgrades it comes with. These upgrades include 31-inch off-road tires which make it 3.5 inches wider than the standard version. This prompted Chevrolet to install fender flares on the truck’s wheel arch that give the truck an even more rugged off-road stance.
The truck’s lift gives the Colorado ZR2 almost nine inches of ground clearance. Chevrolet also went for a minimalist front bumper that is angled upward to increase the ZR2’s approach angle. Despite the added tires and side flares, the truck is almost a foot narrower than the Raptor, which means the ZR2’s size is a lot more manageable.
The car company further shaved the sides of the front bumper, reducing the amount of bodywork the truck would have to clear when it’s out on rough terrain. What’s more, Chevrolet also included a skid plate to further protect the truck’s undercarriage from the rocks and boulders you might hit.
Some Colorado ZR2s come fitted with a light bar at the back with two LED spotlights mounted on top of it. While the spotlights are not legal for road use, they are extremely powerful and could prove useful.
What’s under the hood?
While a gasoline engine is available, the diesel is highly recommended. The 2.8-liter turbo four-cylinder engine might only produce 181 hp, but it gives you 369 lb of torque which is what enables the truck to have a towing capacity more than any midsize truck.
The other benefit of the diesel engine is its fuel economy. The engine’s EPA rating is 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. The truck also has four-wheel drive as well front and rear differential lock which you can control at the touch of a button.
Interior and driving
While the rear space isn’t that big, you can fold the rear seats down to create more room for cargo. The truck’s front interior features a simple design. However, it does come with some interesting technology features such as the three-stage heated seats. Other features include the exhaust brake button which forces exhaust back into the engine which slows the engine’s operation to slow the truck down.
While the Colorado ZR2 offers a noisier ride than vehicles within the same price range, the driving experience is quite impressive. The tires fitted onto the ZR2 might produce more noise than those found on a traditional truck, but it does not affect the level of comfort the truck provides.
The Colorado ZR2 provides everything you would expect a midsize truck to provide. The truck has a nice driving position, good handling and ride comfort, as well as good visibility.
All these features give the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 a cool off-roading persona while still making the truck a vehicle you could use on your day to day activities. If you are looking for a formidable midsize truck, then the Colorado ZR2 is the coolest option you could go for right now.