5 Things We Don't Like About the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

IMG_6894A II

We had a good time driving the new 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 in the Colorado high country. We slid through greasy clay washes, climbed rocky crags, navigated up and down sandstone ledges, and even caught a little air on a race-truck training course. In the end we were impressed, but before you start breaking out the party hats to celebrate GM's return to quality truck making, this is not a perfect off-roading pickup truck.

Here are five things GM needs to take care of on this truck right now, rather than wait for the next generation or next special edition.

 

Extended-Cab Rear DoorsDSC_1672 II

We understand retooling costs are astronomical when making a mid-life-cycle change and we're sure this change would be complicated. Nevertheless, doors on extended-cab pickups should open wider than 90 degrees. Doors that open 90 degrees are not practical or functional. Changing this on the ZR2 requires hinges and some cab reinforcements, and it should happen now.

 

Rock Sliders AttachmentsDSC_1680 II

We get it: Rock sliders on the lower body panels between the wheel wells protects some of the most vulnerable parts of the truck when doing serious four-wheeling. However, shouldn't those sliders be attached to something strong and rigid, like the frame, so they have the most solid foundation possible? It seems weird that GM went to the trouble of bragging about these sliders, which are sturdy. But they shouldn't be bolted to the body panels they're supposed to protect.

 

Slight Stink Bug ProfileDSC_1623[1] II

This is a problem with a lot of pickups, including the standard Colorado. Giving the back end a bit of a spring lift allows a fully loaded pickup to ride level. However, when it is empty - which is likely most of the time -- it looks like a big stink bug with its butt in the air. We wish manufacturers could find a way to address this issue, even if it's simply adding adjustable headlights to keep the beams out of other drivers' eyes at night. Ironically, the full-size GM twins do the best job of keeping the beds from sticking high into the air.

 

Not Special EnoughIMG_6845A II

This truck is special, but we think it needs something unique at almost every contact point for the customer. How about a bigger, better air cleaner on the engine? Why not do something more with the display screen? How about adding more cameras to empower the driver during exploratory trail rides? In these areas, there is no difference between a Colorado ZR2 and an LT. Making the ZR2 more unique will make buyers feel special each time they use it.

 

Too Much HangingIMG_6890 II

Anytime you drive rough backcountry trails, there are certain things you want to have: a 4x4, just-in-case recovery gear, food, water and knowledge of where the most sensitive pieces are under your vehicle. Although much of what's underneath the new ZR2 is tucked up and skid-plated, the lower attachment points for the rear shocks are exposed and vulnerable. We like the long travel, but perhaps something can be done about this in the future.

Cars.com photos by Matt Avery and Mark Williams

 

Comments

My biggest beef with this is no manual transmission.
Joe in T.O.

HMMMM, sorry you gm guys will need to defend this, these are pretty bad for an off road vehicle.

I'm not sure what it is about it, but it looks like a pieced together build rather than a well thought out design. It doesn't look at all like a factory designed complete package. It reminds me of older used trucks that guys buy cheap and then start hacking and adding parts here and there ending up with a mess.

Skid plate doesn't cover gas tank.

Agree with all five of these points.

#4 is my personal biggest problem with it. The front bumper was hacked and the gap covered with a thick piece of vinyl. It's functional but not a cohesive design like the Raptor or Trd Pro.

#2-#5 are all the same basic thing. This is easily the most impressive off-road package ever offered from any factory. There's never been a Z71 or FX4 or Rebel or anything else you can think of that compares to it... That being said, it is not a purpose built vehicle like the Raptor or Powerwagon. They are in an entirely different class.

Other than the extended cab doors not opening past 90 its a pretty nit picky list. Such a modern truck not being designed with at least a compound hinge allowing for 150+ degrees of opening on a rear opening door is insane at this point the game.

The "Stink Bug Profile" is a minor one to me and as they say is common on trucks so I am not sure why they decided to pick on this particular truck. As stated since trucks would not be able to carry much of a load without either being raised when empty or equipped with a load leveler suspension. I like the load leveler suspension, either auxilary airbags like the Ram or full air rear suspension. This would help with one of my main beefs with all new trucks in that they are too stinkin' high. It is a common retrofit so it is about time that the manufacturers catch on and make it more available from the factory with the proper springs. Heck, Ford offered it on the Crown Victoria about 30 years ago and has had it on Expedition for many years and it is mostly built on pickup parts. Most class 8 trucks built today use air suspension. This is not new technology guys. The only thing "new" would be to use parts than can be easily purchased and replaced. When the level sensor went out on our 1989 Crown Vic Ford wanted more for that one part than the entire system had cost originally.

GM Junk!

Mark - - -

Excellent analysis.

Some of your issues may seem nit-picky; others are substantial.
But in either case, you are doing GM a service, and I hope they are "listening", --- or reading, as the case may be. There still is time to change some of these things before full production commences (considering the vehicle's off-road intent).

Personally, my 3 "biggies" are:
1) Restricted Door Opening
2) Poor rock-slider Attachment
3) Too much unprotected undercarriage ("things" hanging)

Issues of lesser concern for me are:
1) Stink-bug profile (but auto-headlight leveling would be good)
2) Not special enough (but rock lights & cameras would be good)

=====================

There are better rock sliders out there that are made for the twins. I am fine with how much my doors open on my extended cab, but they could be better.
The stink bug is for gas mileage, look at the air dam/snow plow on the canyon/colorado's now. People I know put a leveling kit on and remove the snow plow..

needs some kind of bling besides the front end, you can buy a N-fab pre-runner bumper kit and get the same look as the ZR2

If I put the spare tire in the bed there will not be much room for my hunting/fishing gear

Ford is LOL at GM

All nit pick Great job GM!

" but before you start breaking out the party hats to celebrate GM's return to quality truck making" says it all. It's been a very long time since GM built a truly good quality truck. Sad, but true.

The Ford fan boys comments are hilarious including Marks. Too bad they try and discredit such a great capable offroader. My guess is GM will sell a $#it load of these units.

@gms and johnny, so sorry you guys have to keep defending these guys, I really do feel for you.

I am practically the only one stating the lower rear shock mounts, thanks for listening!

This ZR2 is a mixed bag, certainly suffers from the aforementioned low hanging and unprotected components. The rear doors , not that big a deal, but I do understand the wanting bigger swing. This will make Jonny Dolt and gmnotsogreat, wishing it were's day, but the driveline lockers setup is good. Perhaps the highlight of this could have been done much better, first in long time ,not a lot of thought into it effort.

I have to take exception with #4 (not special enough). To me a bunch of stickers and emblems would be like the idiots that have the huge Cummins sticker plastered on the rear window of their jacked up Dodge.

Anyone who cares already knows.

IMO it looks like GM spent the money where it counts. You'll know it's special when you drive it.

Biggest problems are price and size.

Too expensive for what you get.

Too small for the Big Ballers with $$$. They'll stick with the full-size trucks.

Rock Slider Attachments look like damaged running boards. Epic fail.

is a problem with a lot of pickups, including the standard Colorado. Giving the back end a bit of a spring lift allows a fully loaded pickup to ride level. However, when it is empty - which is likely most of the time -- it looks like a big stink bug with its butt in the air. We wish manufacturers could find a way to address this issue, even if it's simply adding adjustable headlights to keep the beams out of other drivers' eyes at night. Ironically, the full-size GM twins do the best job of keeping the beds from sticking high into the air.
/QUOTE

Total non issue,when the truck is empty the headlights point the proper way,onto the road,
,,only time headlights may be pointing too high would be if you overloaded the truck and had back end squating lower then front..

,only time headlights may be pointing too high would be if you overloaded the truck and had back end squating lower then front..

Posted by: Chevrolet builds a better way to see the USA | May 16, 2017 5:17:09 PM

Weird, in the 2016 Texas Truck Showdown the F-150 was sagging so bad with its rated payload that the headlights were blinding the guy in the watchtower at the track.

The rock sliders and the extended cab doors are very legit complaints.

What I don't get is the "stink bug" complaint... I haven't seen a pickup that doesn't have a natural rake to it. Fuel economy also plays a role in it. You'd think a site devoted to pickups would already know this?!?!

While the new ZR2 is better than the Z71 appearance packages, that are available on 2wd vehicles, it is still typical GM failing to fully understand the market and supplanting substance with gimmicks.
Rest assured they will get it right, just before it is discontinued.
The Wrangler Rubicon pickup can't come soon enough.
Dual locked DANA 44s vs an aluminum AAM 7.25IFS and 8.0 rear, lockers or not, GM loves them some weak axles.

Definitely a five star from me! This is great! http://www.timsautobodyinc.com

I think most of the list is seriously ridiculous. The truck could look more special based on this "Look at me" lifestyle people want which is childish. The same with the butt in the air. It's a truck and it should sit higher in the back. People lift the front only later and as soon as they do any weight in the back looks stupid. Also if they didn't as soon as a test puts weight in the back GM would be pointed out as building a truck that can't handle being used as a truck. People forget that those who will actually off road these will modify them to do what they want. The front and rear locker should be an option on the base truck. I really like the truck and find it most amusing that the biggest whiners would never even consider buying this truck. The price is the biggest problem and the overpriced shocks. This thing barely has enough power to go fast enough off road to make use of shocks so expensive that outside of warranty they will end up removed if any problems arise.

The truck is not high enough. Only 2" of lift? Most people would do 3-4" Also the diesel is very underpowered it gets great mpg on my z71, but its slow. I dont even want to know how slow it would be with bigger heavy tires on it.



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