2021 Chevy Colorado ZR2 review: A rough-and-tumble midsize truck

Not everyone enjoys the Colorado ZR2’s current grille, but it is really surely extra intense

Not everyone enjoys the Colorado ZR2’s current grille, but it is really surely extra intense than just before.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The Chevrolet Colorado is an oldie but a goodie. Yeah, this midsize truck feels outdated, but regardless of a number of deficits here and there it remains a strong alternative in a segment rife with considerably less-than-stellar competitors. If you require increased off-road capacity or the open-bed hauling benefit only a pickup truck can present, but will not want or require a comprehensive-dimensions rig, this Chevy is a first rate choice.


  • Manageable dimensions
  • Good performance
  • Off-road hardware

Really don’t Like

  • Full-dimensions pickup gas overall economy
  • V6 could be smoother
  • Irritating rock rails

To retain points clean, the Colorado obtained a number of enhancements for 2021. Mainline designs obtain a reworked — and arguably extra handsome — entrance finish, an eight-inch infotainment display is regular on the LT trim and greater and seventeen-inch wheels are now integrated at no additional demand. The off-road-ready ZR2 model features similar enhancements, however its experience is noticeably extra intense, searching relatively like the boxy Silverado 1500’s prow, for improved or even worse. Eventually, 3 new exterior hues are obtainable across the array together with Cherry Red Tintcoat, which is what you see here.

What sets the ZR2 apart from lesser Colorados is its off-road hardware. The suspension positive aspects from a 2-inch raise and the observe, equally entrance and rear, is three.five inches broader. Preserving points below command whilst bombing via the desert, clambering about boulders or just cruising your area House Depot parking whole lot is a established of Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve dampers. These shocks aid handle the Colorado ZR2’s starchy springs, which deliver a firm on-road trip. When the truck laughs at pothole impacts and large bumps, you truly feel basically every expansion joint on the freeway. Its Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires are mounted on stylish, multicolor seventeen-inch wheels and should supply sufficient grip whilst trail-bashing, even if they broadcast a good deal of noise on pavement.

The Colorado is presented with 3 unique engines, two of which are obtainable in the ZR2. This example features the three.6-liter gasoline V6, which cranks out 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. For all you compression-ignition aficionados out there, a 2.eight-liter Duramax diesel is presented. Reduced-trim Colorados can be experienced with a 4-cylinder gasoline motor, however it is really possibly most effective to steer clear of this malnourished alternative. Matched to a rapid-witted and polished eight-velocity computerized transmission, the V6 has no trouble shifting this midsize truck with sensible authority. The turbocharged Ford Ranger may have extra low-finish grunt and a Honda Ridgeline’s V6 may possibly be smoother, but this Chevy’s motor receives the work done with small fanfare.

The Colorado may be extra maneuverable than a comprehensive-dimensions truck, but it is really no extra productive. As it sits, this example is rated at sixteen miles for each gallon in the city and eighteen mpg freeway. Blended, it should return seventeen mpg, a figure I topped by about .four mpg in authentic-entire world driving. It is really often wonderful when you can exceed a vehicle’s combined gas-overall economy ranking without the need of even striving, however this Chevy should possibly be extra productive than it is. I mean, a Silverado 1500 TrailBoss with the major-canine 6.2-liter V8 has the exact same combined gas overall economy rating and it even beats the Colorado on the freeway, returning an marketed 19 mpg. What’s the level of obtaining a midsize truck if a standard half-ton is extra affordable?

2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

It can truly feel a small buzzy at moments, but this three.6-liter V6 motor receives the work done.

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If you tow or haul considerable hundreds on the reg, you can possibly also want a burlier truck than this Chevy. The Colorado ZR2’s most payload ranking is just 1,350 kilos and it can only drag up to five,000 kilos. The Ranger and Jeep Gladiator’s¬†peak figures conveniently eclipse the Chevy’s — hell, the car or truck-primarily based Ridgeline can haul 233 kilos extra, even if its towing capability is the exact same. It is worthy of noting, having said that, that non-ZR2 Colorados are extra able. Their most payload ranking is a extra-competitive 1,550 kilos and they can tow up to 7,700 kilos when fitted with the diesel motor.

When it is really time to go trail-bashing, the ZR2 has a leg up about all of its midsize rivals apart from, maybe, the Gladiator. Locking differentials entrance and rear aid it get out of tough predicaments. It is really also graced with a good deal of underbody shielding and other features like hill-descent command. Rock rails together every sill are wonderful for preserving the body from jagged terrain, however coupled with that elevated trip peak they make obtaining into and out of this truck demanding if you will not want to soil your pant legs with grime or mud. A pair of vibrant red restoration hooks punctuates the ZR2’s entrance finish and is at the ready should you get in way too deep whilst off-roading.

The ZR2 is obtainable with a range of visual appeal-enhancing possibilities groups, but if more capacity is what you crave, take into consideration the $five,750 Bison package deal. This improve turns an currently able truck into a authentic mountain goat. It receives you a bunch of package from American Expedition Cars together with a distinctive entrance bumper with provisions to mount a winch, boron-metal skid plates for additional underbody safety, exceptional fender flares, distinctive seventeen-inch wheels and extra.

2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

The Colorado’s interior is a no-frills zone.

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The Chevy Colorado’s fundamentals are generally impressive, but its interior and tech are what bely its state-of-the-art age. For improved or even worse, this truck’s interior is in essence the exact same as it was five or six several years back, which means you get a good deal of so-so really hard plastics and leather that feels extra like vinyl than anything at all shucked off a dwelling creature. The dashboard’s general layout is also as conservative as a Southern Baptist, with no frills or exciting design and style thrives to be experienced. The benefit of this basic, straightforward layout, having said that, is that all the secondary buttons and knobs are effortless to reach and see, with the local weather controls getting mounted up substantial and the seat-heater switches in an noticeable location.

The Colorado is relaxed, with the entrance chairs altering properly to accommodate taller individuals, even if the cushions are very flat. The crew-taxi body’s rear bench seat is a bit on the upright aspect, par for the midsize-truck study course, but it can fit a few of 6-foot-tall older people without the need of much trouble. The decreased cushions also flip up, revealing a storage cubby for stashing points away from prying eyes.

2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

These Multimatic dampers aid make the ZR2 model an completed off-roader.

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Like its general interior design and style, this truck’s tech is guiding the moments. Certain, my tester’s eight-inch dashboard display is nice ample, home to a speedy and clear infotainment process which is a satisfaction to use, but built-in navigation prices an more $995, even on the substantial-finish ZR2 model. The good thing is, if you will not truly feel like shelling out an additional grand of really hard-attained scratch, Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile are ready, ready and regular across the board.

But no issue how much you shell out, you cannot get push-button start off in this truck. As an alternative, every Colorado arrives with an old-fashioned adhere-and-twist crucial. For you children that usually are not acquainted, you choose a thin piece of metallic, jab it into a receptacle on the steering column and transform it to fire the motor up. Similarly, blind-spot checking, rear cross-targeted traffic alert and lane centering are not presented, but at least keyless entry is obtainable on even the most-simple Function Truck model, and you can get the Colorado with distant start off.

2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

In spite of its several years, the Colorado is however a good midsize truck.

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Talking of income, a base, rear-wheel-drive variation of this truck with the 4-cylinder motor begins at 26 grand and improve. With quite a few extra features and a crew-taxi body, the Colorado ZR2 analyzed here checks out for a much-steeper $44,890, together with $1,195 in vacation spot charges. The sole alternative padding that figure is the paint work, which prices $495.

The Chevy Colorado’s grey hairs are surely displaying, but regardless of its age, this truck remains a good alternative — one particular I like in some techniques to the Ranger and Gladiator. For common-intent use, the Honda Ridgeline is however the most effective all-all around midsize pickup in my humble belief, but if you want a little something with extra rugged appears to be and a whole lot extra off-road capacity, the ZR2 could fit the bill.