Why worry about the towing rating of an off-road focused pickup truck, such as the 2017 Chevy Colorado ZR2? It is still a truck, which should be able to do a variety of jobs and tasks, including towing a trailer. It is very important to know the payload capacity of your truck. If you consistently overload the suspension, it may wear out faster or even fail in some extreme cases.
The ZR2 can be had in two cab configurations (extended or crew cab) and with two engine options (3.6L gas V6 or a 2.8L turbo-diesel I4). ZR2 front grill and bumper have been redesigned to allow a much greater approach angle for rock crawling. This also altered the air flow into the radiator and decreased the amount of cooling potential. In turn, this lowered the maximum towing rating down to 5,000 lbs. A regular turbo-diesel Chevy Colorado is rated at a maximum of 7,700 lbs. This is a drastic decrease in towing capability, but it is still enough to bring a small RV trailer, a small boat, or several dirt bikes along with you.
2017 Chevy Colorado ZR2
Maximum payload: 1,100 lbs
Maximum towing: 5,000 lbs
ZR2’s maximum payload is approximately 448 lbs lower than that of a regular Colorado 4×4 truck. Chevy Colorado crew cab short box 4×4 is rated at 1,548 lbs of maximum payload. The ZR2 is wider and taller than a regular Colorado. The ZR2 has a modified suspension system with sophisticated spool-valve shock absorbers by Multimatic. The ZR2 also has front and rear lockers. All of this adds weight to the truck, and it is a big factor in decreased payload capacity for the off-road truck.
What does 1,100 lbs of payload capacity means in the real world? If you are towing a 3,500 lbs trailer, it is pushing on the truck with about 350 lbs of tongue weight (recommended 10% tongue weight). That means you can put 750 lbs of people and cargo into the truck. This could be an equivalent of four people, or three people and some gear.
The payload and towing ratings story is the same for off-road trucks in other segments. Off-road beasts are not the best choices for towing heavy weights or hauling a lot of load. Check out the comprehensive guides for the 2017 Ford Raptor and 2017 Ram Power Wagon.
Check out the “first drive” off-road review of the 2017 Chevy Colorado ZR2.