Chevrolet has announced pricing for the eagerly anticipated 2017 Colorado ZR2, the hot, off-road-capable mid-size pickup that it unveiled at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. The new model will go on sale this spring for a base price of $40,995 including a $940 destination fee. Chevy claims that this is nearly $2,500 less than comparably equipped competitors. For that sum, Chevy will sell you a loaded Colorado crew cab with the 3.6-liter V-6, standard four-wheel drive, the new eight-speed transmission and a laundry list of serious off-road equipment.
Modifications to the ZR2 include a 3.5-inch wider track front and rear, Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac off-road tires, front and rear locking differentials, Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve dampers, full underbody skid plate protection, a 2-inch lift kit and more. Chevrolet says that the ZR2 transforms the Colorado into a true rock crawler and desert runner, with equipment featured on bigger trucks costing tens of thousands of dollars of more.
Closer to the ZR2's mission is the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, which starts at $43,700 with an automatic transmission (less if you stick with the manual), and features much of the ZR2's off-road equipment with a few exceptions. There's no front locking differential on the TRD Pro, nor the fancy whiz-bang dampers that the Colorado has, but the Tacoma does feature electronic Crawl Control, which performs amazing feats of traction when called upon. The Nissan Frontier Pro-4X is considerably less expensive, but it doesn't have nearly the level of off-road equipment that either the Tacoma or Colorado ZR2 have. Over at Ford, the F-150 Raptor is the top off-road truck you can get, costing almost $10,000 more but featuring far more space and capability than any other factory off-road pickup on the market. It was the winner of our 2017 Monster Factory Off-Road Challenge.
We welcome the new Colorado ZR2 and can't wait to get behind the wheel of one later this year to see if Chevy has brought the fight to the class-leading Tacoma TRD Pro.
Cars.com photos by Evan Sears