I drove a $43,500 Chevy Colorado ZR2 — and it was one of the best pickup trucks I've ever tested (GM)

Chevy Colorado ZR2

  • The 2018 Chevy Colorado ZR2 is a highly capable off-roader, with a robust 4WD system.
  • But the Chevy Colorado pickup can still do everyday duty.
  • For the price, you’re getting a lot of truck for the money.

I’ve always been a big fan of the Chevy Colorado, the compact (really, mid-sized) pickup truck that Chevy rolled out a few years ago to invigorate the small-pickup segment.

The Chevy Colorado has been a big hit, compelling Ford to revive its own Ranger pickup in the US. So in addition to a pickup-truck war among the big guys — the Ford F-150 full-size, along with the forthcoming all-new Chevy Silverado and the Ram 1500 — we have a skirmish shaping up in the smaller-pickup segment, between Chevy and Ford.

Adding to the fun is the bevy of high-performance variants we now have in the market. We just put the Chevy Silverado Z71 up against the might Ford Raptor, and recently I got to check out the 2018 Chevy Colorado ZR2, the oomphier sibling of the regular truck.

Our $43,475 tester was well-equipped and ready for off-road action, but sadly I spent most of my time driving around suburban New Jersey. That’s a shame, as fans of the ZR2 know that it’s a capable rock-buster and really made to haul dirt bikes out the desert for dusty thrills.

Anyway, here’s what I thought:

“Cajun Red Tintcoat!” What a great color! I want all my cars to look like this in the future.

Our test truck was $43,475 — the Colorado ZR2 is already a lot pricier then the $20,000 basic Colorado, but out tester came well-optioned out of the box before a few extras added about $700

Our ZR2 came with a crew cab and a “short box” bed. Some folks don’t much like short boxes, but I think for the uses that most owners would put the Colorado to, the short box is ideal.

Home Depot runs, gardening, maybe some light brush-clearing and log-hauling duty — none would over stress the short box. I figure you could get two mountain bikes in there. Our tester also came with an installed roof rack for skis.

The Colorado ZR2 kind of blends aggression with sporty sleekness. Personally, I don’t think the various fascia elements — grille, badge, headlights — are in good balance.

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