by Mike Schmidt, Senior Manager, Vehicle Testing Operations
Where Did We Drive It?
June was a month of variety for our 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. We drove to Disneyland, one hour in each direction on the freeway. The truck spent an afternoon as a sawhorse. On one particular night, though, it wasn't even good enough for the dog to ride in. It sat parked for four days in a dealership service center.
Thankfully, it spent the end of the month in its element as a support vehicle for an off-road comparison test in the Inyo National Forest. It was an eventful month.
by Calvin Kim, Road Test Engineer
Where Did We Drive It?
Our long-term 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is a good multipurpose vehicle: It's been used for off-roading, city commuting and, in April, long-distance touring. Diesel engines like this sort of thing, so it was a good chance to hunker into the driver's seat and really stretch the ZR2's legs as editor Dan Frio drove up to Reno, Nevada, and back. How are the trick shocks on long highway stints? Any issues with the infotainment system? How is the road noise with those knobby tires?
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.