• 2017 Chevy Colorado ZR2 is a Desert Runner and a Rock Crawler (Video Review)

    2017 chevy colorado zr2 off-road review
    2017 Chevy Colorado ZR2 off-road review

    The world of off-road pickup trucks has now been put on notice. The Chevy Colorado ZR2 is here to fly through the desert or slowly bash over some rocks. The truck has the suspension, four-wheel-drive system, and the looks to go up and down any trail with the best of them.

    The Colorado ZR2 is about two inches higher and three and a half inches wider than a Z71 model. The ZR2 suspension has been completely reworked.

    Multimatic spool-valve shocks for Colorado ZR2

    ZR2 features a first for factory pickup trucks: spool valve shock absorbers by Multimatic. What is a spool valve damper? It’s a spring-loaded valve that allows engineers to precisely tune the shock’s compression and rebound fluid flow and motion (according to Multimatic and Chevrolet). These shocks do not use the washers or disks to control the fluid flow. The result is a suspension that can cushion a four-wheels-in-the-air jump, allow for slow articulation, and handle running over rough pavement with ease.

    The trick off-road suspension is not without compromise. Something had to give, and that is a lower towing rating of 5,000 lbs.

    The ZR2 is available with the same drive-train options as a regular Colorado. The choices are: 3.6L gasoline V6 with an 8-speed automatic transmission or a 2.8L turbo-diesel I4 with a 6-speed automatic.

    ZR2 is now the second factory pickup truck in the United States with locking front and rear differentials (the other is the Ram Power Wagon). If maximum off-road traction is required, push the two buttons on the center console, and lock the differential so that all four wheels are clawing at the earth.

    The Chevy Colorado ZR2 is now available on the online build & price configurator. There are not a lot of options for the ZR2, but it’s still helpful to configure the truck, check out the prices, customization options, and available colors.

    The 2017 Chevy Colorado ZR2 starts at around $41,000 and can be configured to over $46,000. While this is a hefty price to pay for a midsize off-road truck, it’s not that much above the 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro. The Tacoma Pro starts at around $41,000 and can be configured to about $43,000.

    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

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    114 thoughts on “2017 Chevy Colorado ZR2 is a Desert Runner and a Rock Crawler (Video Review)

    1. I test drove a CC ZR2 V6 this past week and I was actually impressed on its physical presence when compared to a Z71. The ride was great, I mean, I didn’t take it off-road on the 4 miles I test drove it, but road compliance was excellent for a truck with an off-road suspension. The size form factor is excellent, I’d like a truck, but the FS are just too cavernous to my liking, so I took it over to the mall for some “Mall Crawling” with the Raptors, TRD Pros, Jeeps and FS Trucks in a parking lot with narrow spaces, and I was able to maneuver the vehicle well, both entering and exiting a space, with narrow through lanes. Sitting in the ZR2, the hood scoop, albeit, non-functioning, appears larger and more substantial from the driver seat than what the photos depict. The seat was able to be adjusted to my liking, high and I believe would go close enough if one was shorter. I have the same thoughts on the overall appearance, especially from the front, in person, it is more appealing than some of the angles when photographed. The Cajun Red color I drove is really nice in the sunlight, if anyone was interested in that color, take a look. There is a video of the rock rails floating around at one of the ZR2 events showing the videographer’s ability to bend the rock rails, this is not the case when properly mounted, and I was able to stand on the rail and move the whole truck and not notice any flex like noted in that one video. The interior is nice, Z71 comparable, and the black leather with the embroidered ZR2 logo is a nice touch. The one I test drove had an MSRP of $44,265, had Navigation, Bose, Cajun Red Tintcoat Exterior Paint, and Black Bow Ties. I really enjoyed the truck, and still on my short list for a new vehicle. Some negotiations would have to occur for me to purchase one, in addition to my down payment. Maybe I could grab a GM incentive or 0% interest loan if I play me timing and cards right, considering at the time of me writing this, I don’t need another vehicle, it would be an addition anyway.

      Keep in mind, I do not drive a truck for a daily driver, nor have I ever owned one, but have been in the market for one recently and this is the only truck on my short list.

      1. Joseph
        I’m curious. Did you actually talk price on the truck you drove? I hope gm and its dealers aren’t going to try and rip-off their customers the way ford and its dealers did with the raptor by making the actual price of the vehicle way more than its stated MSRP. I have to say this trucks seems very capable. I think gm may have a winner here!

        1. Ford isn’t ripping anyone off. If a dealer can sell a raptor over msrp because it’s that good of a truck and in so much demand that people don’t want to wait why wouldn’t they? This is the free market we live in. The Colorado is a decent offroad truck, but if it bench marked the raptor they didn’t even come close. The raptor is a step or two ahead in every category except price and that includes sales.

          1. Careful with your use of the word “good”. You mean, “perceived as good”. At least with the Colorado the lockers are an improvement. Otherwise, these trucks just can’t do much but play. They really are not trucks. Just sand buggies.

          2. I wouldn’t say in every category. I would literally only say category and that is high speed desert running. The Raptor has more travel and better off road shocks which allows it to excel at high speeds. Plus you know a more powerful engine.
            Other than that though the Raptor is at a disadvantage to every other type of off road driving mostly due to its larger size. It doesn’t matter how much power or how high the truck is off the ground if you can’t even fit it down the majority of trails.

        2. Dan, I did not talk price with the dealer on the ZR2 I drove. I indicated I had one more vehicle on my short list I needed to test drive and that it wasn’t on dealer lots until the end of the month. The sales person understood and didn’t push the sale.

    2. So, inquiring minds want to know…..how does payload compare to the Raptor??

      “Who wants a truck that can’t tow more than 5000lbs?”, so sayeth the Ridgeline detractors…

      Will be interested to hear final MSRP and MPG numbers, not that off-roaders care about that..

      1. “Who wants a truck that can’t tow more than 5000lbs?”, so sayeth the Ridgeline detractors…

        The ZR2 is an offroad focused midsize. The 2nd Gen Ridgeline is aimed at the mainstream midsize market. The towing & payload criticisms of the RL are legitimate, especially considering Honda put extra emphasis on those numbers while also removing any respectable offroad ability the 1st Gen Ridgeline had.

        1. What are the criticisms on payload? Compare it’s payload numbers to ANY other truck out there AS DELIVERED (i.e.- not the ‘base’ model that few people ever buy).

          I think you’ll find most mid-sized and many half-ton trucks have less payload capacity than the Ridgeline. That’s because the payload of other mfrs trucks drop, sometimes dramatically, as you add the options you want.

          It’s simple math. Weigh the truck and subtract that weight from your GVWR. Ridgeline comes with all of the options already built into the GVWR, so you know exactly what your payload capacity will be before you even buy the truck.

          Now, as far as towing, the old Ridgeline was rated at 5k, and those who have towed with both state that the new Ridgeline tows WAY better than the old one. I don’t know why Honda rated it at 5k. It certainly has the power and body strength to tow more. Either they weren’t comfortable with the stress on the axle halfshafts, or, more likely, didn’t want to exceed GCWR numbers that might put them into a higher category that would affect their CAFE credits, which they sell to other mfrs like GM and Ford who have trouble meeting their CAFE.

    3. Looks like the ZR2 did pretty good. As Roman said chevy made sure it could do the trail first but really how much more would you take this truck through?

      Roman, what was the Power difference between the 2 engines. The gasser seemed to be reving pretty good and I couldn’t hear the diesel. I suspect it would just torque its way through anything it was given.

      1. It’s not as though Ford doesn’t do the same when they take journalists out to test drive a new Raptor “offroad”. No manufacturer would. Not one.

    4. I think Chevy has carved out a nice niche with the ZR2. The DSSV shocks look to be pretty impressive. I’m curious to see how long these shocks last and what replacement cost would be. To me the ZR2 doesn’t look to be a true Raptor competitor at high speed because it just doesn’t have the suspension travel that a Raptor does. Nor does either engine come remotely close to the Raptor’s power output. However, its smaller stance would be an advantage over the Raptor on tighter trails. The ZR2 is certainly a much better value than the Tacoma TRD Pro. All in all it looks to be a capable off road truck and I’d say Chevy did a nice job creating a unique entry in the truck market.

    5. It’s clear chevy did an awesome job with this truck. They simply botched the styling. It’s an ultimate offroad package, just not a specialty package like the power wagon or raptor. It takes the old zr2 package to an 11

      1. Yeah, what are you talking about? How is the Raptor “just a specialty package?” It has has a total different suspension system than a normal F150.

    6. I drive a 95 S10 Ext Cab ZR-2 and quite surprised to hear in the video that Chevy did not put a skid plate under the fuel tank of the Colorado ZR-2… I’ve struck my tank skid plate a few times off road and think chevy needs to fix this!!!! Personally, I’d love to retro fit that Turbo Diesel with a Six Speed manual and the locking front differential into my truck. But, looks like the Cummins R2.8 will be my avenue for now..

      1. I thought the same. That being said, I am sure someone will come up with (or is already working on) an aftermarket skid plate for the fuel tank.

    7. A lot of the benefit of a midsize or smaller vehicle in an off-road situation is its size. You add 2.5 inches in width and some height isn’t it equivalent to halfton size which many commentators say half tons are to big to be worthy off-roaders. The idea of a midsize off-roader I thought would be a smaller narrower vehicle…. maybe the bloated width of a midsize doesn’t matter like it is sppears to matter, according to a few web commentators on the raptor..

      1. Tread width on Colorado is 62.4 inches so the ZR2 would be 64.9 inches. A full size 1500 Silverado has a tread width of 68.7, so it is still 4 inches narrower. The 2.5″ comes in handy for stability when climbing.

        The Raptor overall width is 96 inches (8 feet) with the regular standard mirrors. A Colorado is 74 inches wide so a ZR2 may end up around 78 inches wide. That is still 18 inches narrower than a Raptor. That is huge.

        1. Front and rear track width of the ZR2 is 65.9″.Track width of a half ton silverado is 68.7 on the Front, and 67.6 on the rear. Body width on the colorado zr2 is 76.7 inches on body excluding mirrors. New F150 width excluding mirrors is 79.7. 2014 and prior f150’s body width was 79.2… Width of a silverado excluding mirrors is 80 inches. So there is not much difference between a modern half ton in term of width compared to a zr2…. The raptor is 86.3 inches wide on a body Or 11 inches wider then a colorado. A dollar bill is just over 6 inches long… A touch under 6 inches in body width on each side wider then a colorado zr2…. Colorado width is just a couple inches narrower then a regular half ton…
          If width matters offroad for one pickup you would think it matters on other pickup segments. You definetaly couldnt take a zr2 on tight trails like narrower tacoma or Jeep.

      2. Scott 96 inches is a sheet of plywood by the way. 96 inches. Look it up at Home Depot or your nearest lumber yard. That’s a whole sheet of plywood. Oh I already said that.

    8. I hate it when I don’t have a lot of negative things to say with a GM truck in the article. All I can say is GM like Toyota failed on the engine. Even heavier trucks pulling bigger loads get better mpg’s than these V6’s and the diesel is too expensive to buy and the Hp is too low. Same as Tacoma the V6 engine needs to be swapped for a V8 option. And the GM seats are terrible. You can see in the video the plastic is higher than the seat and rubs my thigh on exit and the lumbers are not high enough. I slide around too much in those seats and short people can’t use them because they are too high of the floor so their legs fall asleep.

      Other than that if it’s reliable it’s going to be the best Off Road truck to date with possibly a luxury suspension. Can’t wait for the Raptor mashup on that. Please Roman explain the suspension differences between the Raptor and this truck. Advantages and disadvantages. Which one feels the bumps more and or which one can take a bigger whoop. I know a Ram runner would beat the Raptor in the whoops but not overall handling

      Which suspension is more luxuriess if that’s a word. I don’t think any truck without a locker would have made it up that course. Maybe the Raptors AWD but maybe not. Gas tank is definitely a problem. The GM guy is about as ignorant as Sweers for putting the exhaust on the Tacoma in a vulnerable spot. Gas tank is worse though.

      1. Raptor would not have trouble on this route. It has a pretty decent front limited slip and the forward facing camera would help in placement, but most importantly, the extra tire size is what enables it to climb those ledges.

        You are correct however, the Trd Pro would likely struggle greatly on that same course. It would require significantly more momentum to get over those same ledges. And if the Trd Pro struggles, everything else will too. In fact, I’d wager not many stock 4x4s could make it up there.

        1. I was going to say the larger tires would definitely be a benefit and the torque. But the AWD would definitely be in for a battle in this type of situation. My AWD quad compared to 4×4 lock was a pain because the rear tires had to slip when approaching a log. The 4×4 lock was a lot smother because the front tires have no initial push against the ledge. They just automatically climb. But if I had to choose I would take AWD any day for its advantages elsewhere. For this course AWD may not fair to good. The Tacoma would make it but you would have to use the crawl control.

          1. Ok Rambro, here’s where you and the bad information started our little debate and again shows you have no clue about 4WD systems! I won’t stop when I know I’m right.

            I never said the Raptor had a front locker. I clearly was referring to it having a locked setting in its transfer case that locks the front axle to the rear axle.

            Anybody that really has been around 4WD systems or the industry knows that this is called a traditional 4WD system!

            The Raptor also has an additional AWD setting or feature that has clutches to automatically transfer power front and rear in any terrain.

            AWD – The industry standard term for it is a full time system that can be driven on all surfaces and automatically detects wheel slip. It DOES NOT lock the front axle to the rear axle. It uses clutches both mechanical or electrical to transfer the power back and forth. AWD systems are those like Subaru, Rav4, Honda Ridgeline, Hyundai Santa Fe, etc have.

            AWD systems usually never have a low range and they also act just like you described your atv as doing. The rear wheels slip as the front wheels first approach the ledge not turning under power until the rears slip or spin.

            Anyone that’s been around these AWD systems know they are useless in extreme off road conditions. Traction control helps but they never lock both axles Fr & Rr together so power goes back and forth and your stuck! They usually work great in snow or slippery road conditions, some better than others. Also they are the choice for Rally racers because it’s a perfect system for loose gravel type surfaces and cornering with speed where lockers are never needed.

            A perfect 4WD system in my opinion would also have the extra AWD feature built into the transfer case as an option like the Raptor. However, to be perfect it would also need a front locker to go along with the rear!

            Lockers – now this is where you get totally confused. Lockers lock the wheels on the SAME AXLE TOGETHER, but it’s a traditional 2spd Transfer case so the Fr & Rr axles are locked together along with now wherever the locker is. So if you have just a rear locker you really only have 3-wheels always driving, technically speaking.

            It’s still properly referred to as a 4WD with rear locker.

            If you have front and rear lockers now you have true 4 wheels driving.

            This is call 4WD with lockers Front and Rear.

            This is never referred to as AWD as you keep calling it!

            Unless you want to continue sounding like you have no clue as to what your talking about?

            1. Well Drifter I was just correcting the way you stated a Raptor has has complete lock. It has 4×4 but one of the tires won’t work on this course. The PW and ZR2 will use all 4 wheels all the time. A complete lock does not exist on the Raptor. So if you want to rephrase your statement by backpeddalling and belittling my correct statements than you can continue all you want. But I don’t know who you are impressing. I think everyone can read.

            2. Shit yeah, complete lock includes front rear lockers. What the hell is the difference between gm auto setting and fords?

            3. Canoepaddler that’s where Drifter can help. I can correct his language but he appears to know his 4×4’s. Hopefully?

              I know my AWD in my Denali was terrible. You get a front tire on ice and a rear tire on ice with the other two on pavement and it would sit there and spin. With the Raptors Torsten diff I believe the front tire with traction will grab or any wheel with traction will grab. Maybe Drifter can tell me how stupid I am again.

            4. Rambro,
              Your not correcting anyone because your still saying it wrong and I’m not back pedaling on what I originally tried to fix for you!

              A Raptor does completely as do so many others vehicles – they have a completely locking transfer case.

              A PW & ZR2 will NOT use all 4 wheels all of the time! PW only locks in low range.

              Complete lock is completely different than 4WD with lockers Front and Rear!

              AWD is not the same as complete lock. Complete lock isn’t even an automotive term. It’s more of a general phrase that you made up?

              It definitely is NOT the industry standard that refers to 4WD with Lockers Front and Rear.

              If you would just learn something and use the correct industry terminology you might sound like you actually know what your talking about?

              Quit being so stubborn- saying things proper makes everything easier and much clearer!

              I also never stated a Wrangler was a truck. I was accurately referring to VEHICLES with 4WD systems and lockers front and or rear. It is completely relevant!

              Its all inter-related as i was trying to teach you something about 4WD systems and help you out.

            5. Wtf. I think drifter used the phrase complete lock first. Rambro doesn’t need help and he loves the raptor but he wants a 5.0 ecoboost in it.

              Rambro I think the torsen diff. both wheels need to be on ground otherwise the one in the air just spins, thinking of humvee on that one. Maybe the ABS system applies brakes on the raptor also, in that case.

              Anybody got anything on the GM auto 4wd, sounds the same as Ford’s to me.

      2. “The GM guy is about as ignorant as Sweers for putting the exhaust on the Tacoma in a vulnerable spot. Gas tank is worse though.”

        I would rather have to get a shield for my gas tank than try to protect the Tacoma’s low hanging transfer case and exhaust pipe. The exhaust is wrapped so close to the Tcase that you’re going to have to relocate it in order to properly protect the Tcase.

    9. Appears to be a great mid size truck I would only add a 5.3 V8 as an option, with the exhaust with flat tips relocated maybe under the rear bumper..

      1. I would add the 6.2 if I was GM and guarantee your top dog position over the Raptors power to weight ratio. The 5.3 would be too close a match up.

    10. This is a really nice truck, but Roman failed to mention that removing that front air dam that he hates so much, along with the wider track, has cut highway fuel economy on both the gas and diesel versions by 1/3 (6 mpg loss for the gas truck, 7 mpg for the diesel). I realize that a bunch of people don’t care, but this truck only has a 21 gallon fuel tank. Won’t work very well as a base for an expedition vehicle.

        1. No free lunch Rambro- weight goes up, width goes up, wind profile goes way, mileage goes way down!

          Oh yeah Rambro, Raptor has more than AWD thats just one of it’s settings. It has complete lock in 4hi and 4low as well.

          You need to get out more, away from your computer and drive some of these machines. Crawl underneath, poke around in real time.

          1. Raptor does not have complete lock Drifter. 😂 Lmao. And I need to get out? Funny to that the Tacoma with its superior approach angle has a lower drag coeficient than a Z71 with the air. I’ll take my free lunch now. At least Toyota got it right.

            1. It’s one of the few things Toyota got right with the 3rd gen. The 3.5 was a major downgrade in power and reliability, the 6sp auto is poorly prohrammed and glitchy, and the rear differential is still prone to ring gear failures.

            2. And Toyota hasn’t addressed the low hanging exhaust crossover pipe and transfer case. The transfer case in particular scare me as it’s very close to the breakover point. You’re going to have a bad day if you bust that out in the middle of nowhere. Off-road recovery is an expensive thing.

              Also, the Tacoma’s notoriously weak rear differential continues to be an issue for the 3rd gen. I seen a Youtube video where a new 3rd gen blew up the rear diff just whipping a couple donuts out in the desert. Their ring gears crumble like sharp cheddar.

            3. Brick I don’t agree with any of the V6’s. The transmission is suppose to adapt with time but I don’t like any of the V6’s. They have poor real world Hwy mpg and rev too high pulling anything, even a sea doo on a trailer will suck the gas out the tank like a fat girl with a slushy. They need a V8 in the upper models for many of us who don’t want a full sized truck. The rear diff will get fixed. Definitely an issue.

            4. Brick- The 6sp auto is all the more reason to go for the manual. The 4.0 was 10 times better than the 3.5 that replaced it though. Unfortunate that Toyota axed it.

            5. Drifter I think you read into a bad article there. Every journalist has contested and continue to tell you there are only two trucks right now with 4 wheel lock. The Raptor is a true 4×4 but that article got it wrong that power is at all the wheels. The first of its kind is the fact that it can go from AWD to 4×4 and yes power will get to all the tires the same way any 4×4 works except you can lock the rear axle on a Raptor. You cannot lock the front axle like the article implies.

            6. The Manual Tacoma has a different gear set in the diff as well plus you get use the whole 278hp if you want to drop and ride the clutch. I wonder if the manual is having diff problems?

      1. Buckwheat
        I don’t doubt that the zr2 gets poor highway mileage compared to the standard colorado. But that’s the nature of the beast! But realize that people that buy a zr2 just like those who purchase a raptor, power wagon, or wrangler know that their fuel mileage will not be stellar; and still like their chosen vehicle for what it does do.

        1. Then why does Tacoma with its superior Off Road prowess over a Z71 with an air dam on have a better drag coefficient than the Colorado Z71. Remember the Tacoma has a 32 degree approach angle and the Z71 with the air dam has a 17 degree approach angle, that is just barely higher than a snakes ass

          Maybe because Toyota had aeronautical engineers design it properly. Free Lunch in my opinion.

          1. Rambro,
            I know for certain the front on a Raptor does not lock.

            What I’m trying to straighten out is your wording and never ending Raptor bashing. If you refer to a Raptor or others as AWD then that makes it sound as though its only a street based system that does not lock the center transfer case or have a high/low range.

            You need to word it proper so guys like me and others that truly understand 4WD/AWD systems don’t think your misinformed or full of s–t.

            The true way to describe the Raptor system is 2spd transfer case with multi mode 2WD/AWD/4HI/4LO with terrain modes, electric rear diff lock, and front Torsen diff or just say 4WD with rear locker

            There are now (3) vehicles with true Fr & Rr lockers, 2spd transfer case – so real 4WD:
            1) Jeep Wrangler
            2) Ram Power Wagon
            3) ZR2

            Only (4) vehicles let you use the rear locker in any mode:
            1) Ford Raptor
            2) ZR2
            3) Ford F150
            4) Ford F250/350

            Only (1) vehicle lets you use both front and rear lockers in all modes:
            1) ZR2

            Yes Toyota has lockers, but they don’t let their owners use them in 2WD or 4WD high which is very, very annoying.

            FCA is the same, but at least they have Fr & Rr lockers and sway bar disconnect.

            I know exactly what I’m talking about here as I’ve actually driven and tested all of these vehicles except the ZR2, in person.

            I also really know true 4WD systems as a professional racer in a race called King Of The Hammers. It’s the largest Off Road Race in North America were competitors race through hard core rock crawling and high speed deserts.

            YouTube it.

            In the meantime, how do you always end up talking Raptor in every new thread posted??? Stay on topic so you don’t waste my time please.

            You must really want one or be really jealous you don’t have one?

            1. Drifter the Rubicon/Wrangler is not a truck. There are only two trucks with 4 wheel lock as I stated. You were misinformed to say the Raptor had complete lock.

              But that’s a good and correct list of facts in the last post except your implied intent that the Wrangler/Rubicon was a miss on my part when I clearly stated two trucks.

              I bring up the Raptor a lot? OK, and likely still will. Not jealous at all just bewildered it has a leaf blower under the heart of the vehicle and one of the best AWD systems to compare to and the best suspension travel but maybe not the best suspension for comfort on road compared to the ZR2. There is lots to compare a Raptor to. It is at the top of the food chain and everything is coming to get it, when trucks like this show up. TFL guaranteed will do a mashup.

            2. Rambro the Jeep is a full frame truck. Thats why it is in drifter64 list. Yes it is much smaller than most SUVs that doesn’t have a frame. As for rest of that I’ll let you two battle it.

            3. Ok then its not a pick up truck. Jeeses. Its cab is not separated from the box OK whether you perceive it as a truck is pure individual speculation but it is not a Pick Up truck with a separate cab that is enclosed from the open box. Even that is not defined as true but common sense from a competent person understands there are two pick up trucks with 4 wheel lock A rubicon is no where near in the same category as what a Power Wagon can Haul or what a ZR2 can haul. Try putting a 1000 LB VK 540 snowmobile in the back seat of the Rubicon with the skis sitting on the folded down windshield. Or better yet through some manure in the back seats of the Rubicon and hose it out.

            4. Yes rambro it is not a pick up truck, but drifter64 was stating what kinda of 4wd system it has not weather if it is a pick up truck or not. And I was just pointing out it was full frame truck that is why it was in his list. Now you can speculate with yourself all you want if the Jeep is a truck or not, but I’m not going to join your internal debate on this subject.

            5. Ok Marc but Drifter is belligerent by nature towards my posts so his implied intent is easily taken that I missed a vehicle with 4 wheel lock, when I was just clearly stating there are only two pick up truck with 4 wheel lock, when he tried to prove the Raptor had complete lock up. Again the Raptor does not have 4 wheel lock or complete lock as he put it. Somehow he is trying on this thread to standardize 4 wheel drive systems which has yet to be accomplished but somehow he is going to accomplish this on a thread. He is COMPLETELY off topic because my whole point is the Raptor does not have COMPLETE lock up as he put it. He is just stretching this out as far as he can to avoid a wrong and turn it around somehow by backpedalling. His last post stated I was the one who said complete lock. This is what you call a Troll

            6. Mmm well not sure about if he is a troll or not. Just curious does the raptor have a transfer case?
              I know my uncle had to order a straight wheel drive f-150 with a locker. I think he can only get on one certain rearend gear. I think 3:55. I think it is 15. aluminum truck I know that. 5.0
              I had same issue ordering my v-10. 4:10 limited slip or 4:30 locking rear end. I wanted 4:10 locking rear end. I didn’t want 4:30 , so ended up with 4:10.

            7. Maybe not a Troll but belligerent You can build a F150 with electronic locking diff in 3:31 3:55 and 3:73 right now online.

      2. HAHAHA by 1/3rd??? BULL

        The immpact of removing the air dam is less than 1 MPG. More like 0.1 MPG! And that would only be in sitautions where you’re cruising on the interstate at 75 MPH.

          1. Lol yeah I couldn’t help myself. I mean it’s the internet, I shouldn’t be surprised, but… 1/3rd? WOW. Every car out there today would have a hyuuuge air dam if it netted a 30% improvement in fuel economy.

            1. The only fuel economy hit would be from the extra power loss due to the new locking diffs, possibly different gear ratios, and any transfer case changes. I still doubt the mixed city/highway MPG is much different, most definitely not 6 or 7 mpg lower.

            2. But it’s not do to the airdam alone. It has more to do with its height, weight, and axle gearing.

            3. Dan I checked that website and it does not make sense. The combined difference is a 2 mpg difference. They say the regular Colorado is 19 combined but .45×24 +.55 x 17 is 20.15 not 19. To get 19 the Hwy mileage would be 21 not 24 which is a 3 mpg difference. Likely a typo. We also don’t know which configuration they are quoting. Does not say clam door or 4 door or the options. The ZR2 comes completely loaded where base 4×4 Colorado will be much lighter.

            1. I did. The Z71 had horrible seats that I don’t think I can deal with. The ZR 2 kept them. I don’t want to be uncomfortable despite that the rest of the truck is great except the V6 is terrible but better than the competition now that the throttle lag is fixed.

            2. Rambro, if you say that the Z71 has bad seats then either you’re lying and didn’t drive it or you have some sort of body disorder. TheZ71 seats are extremely good for normal people. Stop repeating nonsense you read on the internet.

            3. WillyJ: Comfort is definitely based on the individual sitting in the vehicle. And it is important. At 6′ 180lbs I never suspected an issue in a new Tacoma but I couldn’t get comfortable for long periods. If my legs had room, my arms were stretched, and if close enough for arms to be relaxed, my legs were bent with no place to rest my right knee. Very frustrating. I can understand Rambro’s complaint and think it’s smart that he is being that critical.

            4. WillyJ, take a look at the seats in the video. I had thin nylon track pants on and the plastic you can see, that is clearly higher than the seat scratches your thigh on exit. Women in spandex or shorts are going to feel that scratch when exiting. I felt it and it was bothersome. Even the seat flattens on exit and you feel the plastic below your leg as well between the fabric so it wont take long for that to wear out badly. You can clearly see it in the video. I only caught it because I tried it. Also, if you don’t believe my short friend could not touch the floor then watch the “Short Girl You Tube videos” as she compares the Tacoma to the Colorado and will show you what I am talking about. She is easy on the eyes and has a good attitude so check it out.

              My friend tried to tilt the front of the seat down so she could reach the floor with her heels and its too high, it just stops dead short of what is normal. And on the lowest setting she can’t see over the hood. Again you slide around too much because the lumbar is too low. If you are in a pair of jeans you may not slide but try wearing slippery nylon track pants that I had on at the time and you slide all over the place but not in the Tacoma because the lumbar offers better side support on your ass and the back rest.

        1. My money on the way lower MPG’s is the cut out in the front that has the air hitting the front tires directly and also the tires themselves. Duratracs are really aggressive all terrain tires. So yeah I can easily see why it took so much of a hit on EPA numbers considering their testing methods. However I don’t imagine real world being as bad. Guys with diesel colorados and 6 inch lifts are averaging 22 Hwy still.

    11. Imagine if you will a new Blazer based on the ZR2 with two doors and a removable hardtop…….

      1. While I was pleasantly surprised GM actually made this ZR2, odds are a million to 1 that a 2-door BOF Blazer/Tahoe will ever be made again. Though it would be great if they did it. Same goes for a new 2-door BOF Bronco and Toyota FJ Cruiser. It’d be fun to watch the TFLT guys take them up the mountain trails but sadly those days are likely gone forever.

    12. Great comments from all. Kudos for Chevy putting Duratracs on a factory truck. This is something Toyota should have done with their Off-Road and Pros but didn’t do it.

      As for the front air dam being removed – it is about time. Motor Trend tested a Z71 for thousands of miles only to find it made virtually no mpg difference having it own but yet these trucks have been neutered forever with this thing. I’m glad it’s gone and look for more GM twin owners to yank them off.

      Yes, Toyota, oddly enough, has unexplainable rear diff issues in the third gen but a fix is only a couple of weeks away. I still love my 17 OR and the mileage (low 20s) and power are fine for me (only after the tranny adapted).

      There is a downside to the ZR2 and that is that it is fundamentally flawed from the factory with regards to upgrades. I can upgrade my tires on my OR by a full size to get more ground clearance and a bigger tire. You cannot, per videos from Chevy and articles from Jalopnik and so forth, upgrade the tires on the ZR2. You also cannot lift the vehicle for more serious off roading. If you lift it you lose the most important part of the truck and that is those fancy shocks. If this truck out of the box does not meet your needs, it never will, and it’s hard to believe that GM would send this truck out in a modding crazed market and make it where it essentially cannot be modded via lifts and tires.

      Overall, I still say good job but Toyota is still the one for me and obviously over half of the rest of midsize owners. They are number one in part because you personalize your truck so much without it losing its identity. Either way, competition makes everyone better but only the strong will survive in the end.

      Have a great night to all. Peace.

      1. Chevy owners are big on modifications. That’s an eye opener. I would never mod though. I learned not to bother being a test rat. Sometimes the lipstick hurts and the lab animal dies.

        1. I don’t do any serious modding but think you shouldn’t be so factory limited if you wanted to mod. I have yet to encounter an off-road place that my Tacomas won’t go with some decent tires so there is no need for me to mod much. I saw a kid the other day rock climbing out West in a bone stock Tacoma with a bunch of modded Jeeps and his entire rocker panel (he didn’t have sliders) was crushed and he was talking about how much fun he had – posting pictures of his adventures. All the experienced guys were like, uh, dude, you crushed your rocker panels and almost destroyed a $40,000 truck. Don’t you think some sliders would be nice after you repair your truck?

      2. The front air dam is not for mpg, it is primarily for the cooling of the engine etc. during prolonged towing.

      3. Don’t know what you’re reading but a couple of the engineers said that 33″ tires could work but it’d be tight. Heck look at YouTube for the ZR2 work truck. The engineers that were following the ZR2 trucks around during testing had their own ZR2 but with a 1″ body lift, 33″ duratracs, and a utility bed. Also the regular Colorado only needs a 1″ leveling kit to add 32″ tires so the ZR2 would for sure be able to fit those stock.
        As for the suspension, it could be replaced but I don’t imagine many people would want to do that seeing as that’s probably a good chunk of the cost over a Z71.

    13. I can’t wait to see this truck go up the cliff hanger 2.0. That’s when I’ll give my opinion on this truck. We must remember it’s a course Chevrolet picked knowing the truck would perform well. Not like the Moab TFL just brought the best trucks too. Dpach, thanks for doing the research on the dimensions.

    14. Can’t understand why chevy is so afraid of a turbo v6 in a truck. Forget the diesel that horse power is just pathetic! Would love to see the numbers on a baby duramax at highway passing speed. This truck with 3.6 and a turbo would sell so much better. This gas motor in the video was working way to hard!
      Throw a ford ecoboost motor in this truck and it would sell like crazy!!! GM needs to wait up!

    15. I don’t understand you guys in the states. We pay a fortune for a Raptor here and you get it for cheap. But then you pay a fortune for a Power Wagon and we get it cheap. Now you say the ZR2 is more expensive than a Tacoma Pro which is opposite here in Canada eh! The ZR2 on the Chevy dot ca site is 47 grand minus 1500 incentive. An actual incentive on this truck??? So it’s about 45,000 here in Canada and the Tacoma Pro is 53,000. So 8000 dollars more plus 13% tax on that 8000. So it’s a bit more than 9000 Canadian extra to buy a Tacoma over the ZR2 unless Chevy made a typo on the Canadian site. You guys always forget about us up here in the snow⛄️⛄️⛄️

        1. Ya we got rid of the white but a lot of the US still think we live in igloos so I play the part a little.

      1. Rambro, yea it’s another one of those typos. That’s your answer to any facts that contradict your opinions. Give us a break!

        1. Your beer is crap too. You can tell by the bottle that its from down South because the bottom of the beer bottle says “open other end”

    16. Nah, we know our Canadian friends have all the latest amenities and the taxes to show for it. 🙂

      1. You got the Tax part right. The only latest amenities are wet wipes and douches in the bathroom stalls for our sore asses. And they took that money from our Canadian pension plans and moved our inheritance age of those funds from 65-67 years old. Die a 66 and you don’t get sht. The way it’s going we will all be dead before 65 anyway.

        1. Yeah, I’ve been reading about some of the crazy things going on up there but then again we have our share of crazy stuff too. Very. Crazy. We always have room for you down here in the states if you decide to leave all that snow and ice. Heck, we have snow and ice too!

    17. Chevy really made a nice truck here. After watching this video, I doubt anyone will rip on the Raptor’s exhaust tone. Man, this thing sounded overworked and terrible when rock crawling.

      Other than that, it is awesome.

    18. Yea nihilus I noticed the sound of the dsl. It sounded like some vacuum cleaner going bad. I’d think I take v-6.

      Good video Roman. Not into 4 Wheeling, but still enjoyed the video. Maybe more panoramic shots.

    19. This is the best mid sized truck with the baby duramax. However, it won’t even accommodate 33 inch tires? I’m pretty sure you can mount up 285/70r17’s on a Taco. That’s a deal breaker. You can slap 37’s on a stock suspension ram power wagon. Maybe the aftermarket can accommodate.

      1. There are a lot of articles out there over the tire issue. 31″ tires is it. You can’t even go up a size. If you upgrade the tires you cannot use those fancy shocks. To upgrade the tires means shock removal and suspension issues. This puts them clearly behind a better thought out Tacoma that can be modded all you want. But, this truck would still likely go where I would need it to go and kudos for those Duratracs. My biggest issue is the unfinished front end look. Even the side and rear looks like it’s missing something. It’s hard to point to it but the truck looks unfinished. I won’t say anything about the engine but those Duratracs sure seemed to bog it down a bit but ALL midsize trucks are lacking power. I’m sure it’s a very capable truck from the factory but the unfinished look and lack of being able to be modded is a deal breaker to me. Now let’s see what Ford and maybe even Ram have up their midsize sleeves. I love the competition!

        1. I finally did a run in my 2015 Tacoma with Premium fuel. I filled it with 70 litres of premium so there was still 10 litres of regular but close enough for me. I got 610km and filled it at the pump with 65.5 litres. Works out to 10.7l/100km or in your language 22mpg. Mostly one lane highways and my average speed was 56 mph. Going to run this tank dry and see what the mpg is with the regular fuel on the same route.

    20. I’m getting low 20s but the biggest difference in the new powertrain is that I’m only tacking 2000 rpm at 82 mph. My second gen Tacoma felt more strained at higher speeds and definitely much louder. Either way, I really like the new Tacoma. I also liked my second gen Tacoma too. As for the ZR2, if it meets your needs out of the box I think it could be a nice truck. Looks are always in the eye of the beholder so if the looks appeal to someone then I think they will like it. I know folks knock on the Tacoma seats but I hated the seats in the Colorado and Canyons I drove. Maybe they are better in the new ZR2 but I’m not so sure any significant changes were made.

      1. I would be under 20mpg doing 82mph. Im stuck on one lane roads with 60km/hr zones. Most I get to is 110km/hr mostly 100km- or 60mph. 56mph was my average with only about 20% in town driving plus it was premium I think the regular will do worse but I wont know until next week.

        There is definitely not a 6mpg difference between the ZR2 and Colorado. That article could have quoted a base Colorado and the ZR2 is loaded and heavier. Maybe geared differently to. The air dam is not the culprit. Be nice to see TFL do an mpg loop between the two trucks

    21. Ok Canoepaddler and Rambro,

      I swear I waste too much time just to provide accurate information – why? It all starts with the transfer case!

      Ok so I really want to make a YouTube channel and demonstrate how all these systems work, with a roller ramp system, but for now here we go:

      First visit this link about the new ZR2 as it explains its new 4WD systems and how they work. It also list the different modes and describes a complete locked transfer case mode vs AWD transfer case mode:

      Very similar system to the Raptor, but ZR2 system is better in my opinion because of the front locket vs Torsen.


      Gm’s Autotrac and Fords AWD mode on the Raptor are basically the same dam thing except for the name, programming of the electronics and traction control.

      When the auto mode is selected they allow the transfer case to not be locked and sense for traction from the front or rear axles. It uses a system if clutches to transfer power and works well with traction control.

      This is a great feature for all loose or slippery surfaces and also asphalt because it is not completely locking the front axle speed to the rear axle speed. It allows the transfer case to slip and you can drive around corners allowing for the speed difference in the two axles around that corner.

      It is a crap system for rock crawling or anything that demands ultimate traction.

      In a traditional transfer case or also referred to as a 4WD part time system you have a system that only has 2Hi/4Hi-locked/4Lo-locked. In the locked mode it is only a part-time system meant for slippery surfaces only.

      If you try and drive it on asphalt in the locked modes you feel the bind as you go around corners. What’s happening is that since it’s now completely locking the two axles together fr&rr it can’t account for the needed speed differential front and rear!

      Hence the confusion when Rambro and I argue over completely locked. These systems are completely locking the front and rear axle speeds together through the transfer case!

      However, they are not locking the front and rear DIFFERENTIALS together- confusing words, I know and agree.

      When the two differentials both front and rear can now also be locked with a locked transfer case you have the ultimate traction!

      Now let’s look at real world scenario like Rambro’s or anyone else that has watched one wheel spin and the other on that same axle do nothing?

      Let’s say you are stopped on the right side of a hill and the two right tires are on ice and the two left are on pavement. You try to move and your back right spins, so you think I’ll put it in 4wd and that macho truck will go – nope wrong! Now both right wheels spin front and rear.

      Now add just a rear locker and it will drive right out even in two wheel drive because the left rear has traction and is locked to the right rear side wheel.

      Add a front locker and it will drive out even if the other three are on ice!

      AWD only systems never lock the transfer case. ln fact most don’t even have a transfer case or have a low range. They use clutches located usually at the axle that isn’t normally powered, like in a front wheel drive based suv. When the computer detects slip at the first axle, the clutches react and transfer power to the second axle. They never completely lock though!

      AWD systems will react almost the same as the part – time systems above in the ice scenario, but they need help from traction control. Think Honda Ridgeline/pilot, Toyota Rav4, etc.

      Subaru is the only AWD car based system that is different. They call theirs symmetrical AWD and instead of primarily being front wheel drive based and waiting for the clutches, it is alway AWD. It still does not lock tthe front wheels to the rear though. It just works better than the other AWD systems.

      Subaru’s system can easily be fooled though just like the others. Jack up either both front wheels or both rear wheels and try to drive? The axle and wheels in the air will spin and the other axle will not move you. You can actually feel the clutches slipping! Newer Subaru’s with traction control are really good and will start to move because the brakes are trying to stop the spinning wheels on the axle in the air.

      The new Ridgeline and Pilot are also really good as we saw on Gold mine hill.

      Now add rock ledges, deep mud, lots of resistance, big tires, and their performance goes downhill quickly.

      Old school 4wd systems easily pass the axle in the air test even without traction control or a locker because their transfer case is locked forcing the fr & rr axles to turn at the same speed! If you’ve jacked up the rear axle in the air you still have both front wheels on the ground it will Move instantly because the transfer case is locking the front axle to the rear axle.

      This is confusing sh-t! It’s confusing just trying to word it properly and is why I truly believe it’s so important to use the correct terminology when talking about it so everyone is on the same page!

      Ive spent most of my life off roading in some form or another and ive driven all of these systems, seeing the weeknesses and their strengths.

      There’s really only (2) types of systems. AWD & 4WD part – time.

      Everything else is really just a variation or add-on to these two systems. The deal maker is always the locked transfer case and a 2spd transfer case!

      AWD – Subaru, Honda Ridgeline, Rav4

      4WD – Tacoma, F250, Jeep Wrangler, old Broncos, old Highboy Fords, Power Wagon

      4WD – w/added AWD clutches
      Raptor, ZR2, F150, Toyota Landcruiser, Range Rover etc.

      Completely electric systems will change and add to this some day in the future when there is a true off road model available!

    22. I just bought a ZR2 this week. Since I have been following this site for news of this truck for a while, I thought I would return the favor and give my impressions. I am generally happy with the truck, looks great, and rides smooth. Only donea little bit of off roading, over some gravel roads and a big off road hump which it handled great. My one complaint is that, as the article hinted, it lacks oomph in the gears that the auto transmission selects at speeds over 40mph. My solution at this point is to take it into manual mode and restrict it to 5th gear for most in town driving, maybe letting it go into 6th or 7th (but not 8th) at higher speeds for a smoother ride.

      1. Thx for the feedback on your new zr2.

        How does the suspension feel – nice and cushy or sporty and firm?

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