What is the new 2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison all about? Is it the most off-road worthy midsize truck out there? We take it on a difficult rock crawling section in Arizona to find out what’s what. We do a bit of trail damage, but the ZR2 Bison keeps on moving.
Since the Bison starts out as a ZR2, you still get the ZR2 suspension setup. It means the truck suspension is 3.5 inches wider than a regular Colorado Z71 4×4. Chevrolet says the ZR2 also has 2 inches more ground clearance than a standard Colorado 4 wheel drive. It still has the DSSV spool-valve shock absorbers that offer more controlled and firm ride on pavement, but also improved ride on washboard dirt roads and many other conditions.
The Colorado ZR2 has a 30 deg approach angle and 23.5 degrees of departure. The guys at AEV say that the unique front bumper decreases the approach angle by a little bit, but it’s because it has space to accept a winch. On the flip side, the Bison front bumper offers end caps and Chevrolet says the aerodynamics are little better than on the standard ZR2.
The extra Bison components (the bumpers and the skid plates) add about 200 pounds of total curb weight. Chevrolet did not update the MPG estimates specifically for Bison. So the rating will be the same as with the standard ZR2 (17 MPG combined for the gas V6 and 19 MPG combined for the diesel).
How much does the Bison cost? The starting price for the Bison is $48,045. That is $5,750 more than the ZR2 it’s based on. The AEV snorkel, deadlock capable wheels, winch, and other accessories are all extra.
What does the Bison compete against? It has to be the new 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro. The most off-road worthy Tacoma is another popular overland adventure vehicle. The TRD Pro offers FOX off-road shocks, an optional snorkel-type air intake, and a crawl control system. The Tacoma TRD Pro starts at $42,660 and can be optioned to about $47,000. While the Tacoma offers a handy crawl control system, it does not offer the same amount of underbody protection, a front locker, or a turbo-diesel engine option. If you want the extra equipment on the ZR2 Bison, you will pay more – but you will also get more.
Check out the video to see us use the steel bumpers, rock sliders, and skid plates over big boulders.