by Ed Hellwig, Senior Editor
What Did We Buy?
It wasn't that long ago that the midsize pickup segment barely had a pulse. In the past few years, however, it has gone from dormant to downright hot. And with so much interest in the newly invigorated segment, there's room for experimentation.
That willingness to try new things led to the development of the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. It's a dedicated off-road version of the standard Colorado that takes its capabilities to a whole new level.
Chevrolet actually had a ZR2 version of the S10 truck back in the 1990s, but even that wasn't as extreme as this new pickup. The Colorado ZR2 has a raised suspension with special dampers, bigger all-terrain tires, fender flares, special bodywork for improved approach and departure angles, and an electronically locking rear differential.
The new ZR2 isn't without competition, however. Toyota upped its game with the TRD Pro version of its Tacoma. And then there's the upcoming Ford Ranger, which will likely come in a similar "Raptor-lite" version. With that in mind, we figured it was worth seeing what the ZR2 brings to the segment by adding one to our long-term test fleet.