2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

The 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 offers off-road prowess in a mid-size package.

The 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is poised to reset expectations for off-road trucks. Chevy’s new performance trim for the Colorado lineup features more off-road technology than any other midsize pickup.

Compared to a standard Colorado, the ZR2 features a much wider track and a lifted suspension. Functional rockers have been added for better performance over rocks and obstacles, and the front and rear bumpers have been modified for better off-road clearance.

Class-exclusive features include front and rear electronic locking differentials, available diesel engine, and the first off-road application of Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve damper technology. As a result, the Colorado ZR2 delivers exceptional performance from technical rock crawling, to tight two-track trails, to high-speed desert running to daily driving.

The Colorado ZR2’s exterior design was shaped by the desire to improve capability driving over mud, sand and rock. The wider, more aggressive stance, modified front and rear bumpers, and the bed-mounted, spare-tire carrier all improve performance driving over rough terrain.

Compared to a Colorado Z71, the ZR2 has a more aggressive side profile, with the suspension lifted 2 inches for greater ground clearance. The steel-tube, functional rocker protectors are standard equipment on the ZR2, and are strong enough to protect the body side while dragging the truck against a rock face.

The 3.6L V-6, mated to a class-exclusive Hydra-Matic 8L45 8-speed automatic transmission, yields 308 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque, while the class-exclusive Duramax diesel engine produces 181 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque.

Even with all of the off-roading upgrades the ZR2 can still tow up to 5,000 pounds — enough to pull a camper, trailer dirt bikes, jet skis, snow mobiles and other toys — or carry 1,100 pounds of payload.