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Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Priced at $40,995, May be Off-Road Bargain of the Century

Adventurous midsizer undercuts Ford Raptor by $8500

When the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 concept was revealed at the 2014 Los Angeles auto show, most never thought that the Bowtie would bring the diesel-powered, off-road spec, mid-size truck to market, at least not an affordable price. The Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSV) dampers sourced from Toronto, Canada-based Multimatic alone cost almost as much as some small hatchbacks.

Well, the doubters were wrong. The production Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 was unveiled at the 2016 Los Angeles auto show and now we know how much one will cost when the model goes on sale in the spring: a mere $40,995, at least to start.

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 04 front

“Mere” you ask? Well, there are only two other factory desert runners on the market, the Ford Raptor and Ram Rebel. Getting into a Raptor, as supremely capable as it is, requires parting with at least $49,520, while getting the keys to the milder Rebel will set you back at least $46,315.

Here’s a list of everything you get standard: front and rear electronic locking differentials, the aforementioned DSSV dampers, new front and rear bumpers for better off-road obstacle clearance, ZR2 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels with 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires, new cast iron control arms, an aluminum skidplate, Autotrac transfer case with shield, a new grille and hood, 3.42 rear axle ratio, front and rear tracks widened 3.5 inches, 2-in suspension lift, selectable off-road modes, four wheel disc brakes, spray-in bedliner, spare all-terrain tire, recovery hooks, and a host of other features.

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 02 hill descent

Chevrolet will offer Colorado ZR2 in crew and extended cab configurations and a laundry list of available options that includes the 2.8-liter Duramax turbo diesel, seven-speaker Bose audio system, a bed mounted spare tire carrier, and a full-length black vinyl floor for easy cleaning.

The engine in the ZR2 is GM’s 3.6-liter DOHC V-6 tuned to produce 308 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque and mated to an eight-speed automatic. The diesel, which is mated to a six-speed automatic, offers 186 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, which makes for a slower dune runner but a more capable rock crawler.

“[The] ZR2 is truly a segment of one and does everything well — from traversing heavy two-track trails to high-speed desert running and full-on rock crawling,” said Sandor Piszar, Chevrolet Trucks marketing director. “Some vehicles that customers might cross-shop with ZR2 can spec out as much as $26,000 more than our truck. When you buy a ZR2 at the starting price of $40,995, you are getting all of the significant off-road technologies standard with the vehicle, as well as an eight-speed automatic transmission and a wealth of other features at no additional cost.”

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Buying Guide
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2017 Chevrolet Colorado

MSRP $30,385 LT 2WD Long Bed Crew Cab

EPA MPG:

19 City / 26 Hwy

Towing (Max):

7,000 lbs.

Payload (Max):

1,590 lbs.