2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2: Photo Gallery

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As a preview to our upcoming off-road head-to-head comparison test, we wanted to show you what the all-new 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 looks like, in full detail, in living color.

We drove the ZR2 and the 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro on rocks, steep hill climbs, sand washes, rutted dirt roads and more. Find out how they compare when we break down each player's strengths and weaknesses and declare a winner next week.

Cars.com photos by Evan Sears

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Comments

GM screwed up and didn't leave enough room for a full sized spare tire under the truck, so now you get the bed space equivalent to a Malibu's trunk...

YAWN...

2004 called and wants its truck back

That's how you do a proper off road vehicle.

So is this liberal media outlet getting us ready for the Colorado falsely winning?

After all, this test is taking longer than usual, so they must be searching for ways to knock the Tacoma down enough so the Colorado wins by a few points!

Issues:

Rear lower shock mounts are not for off-roading!

Diesel engine? Not good for deep winter, higher maintenance costs long-term and could they be cheating on emissions likewise? With GM getting a bailout, we will never know will we?

Skid plate? Tacoma's have had them since the 1990's, way to be late GM!

Spare tire in bed? Their goes cargo capacity!

Rear end sits too high, not good!

Have you ever seen an extra-cab Colorado? It's one of the ugliest out there, not style or anything, just a chopped off cab!

Where's Ford's off road midsize? Oh yeah....that's right... they've been out of this market for 6 years- and never even had a truly off road worthy trim level. So tell me again who is late to this game.....

For you newbies, the full size tire will fit under the bed of the truck, the in-bed mount is an option....most guys who have bought them either cut off the shiny tail pipe or have it rerouted to the side of the truck so it does not get pulverized while off-roading.
Hopefully PUTC tested gasser vs gasser and threw a diesel in for kicks and not diesel against a gasser, kind of like a watermelon vs cantalope

Maybe Ford will read the test and make the 2019 Ranger 500-800lbs lighter then the twins and taco, p.s. I have owned both...

Lockers front and rear. Game, set and match - Colorado.

@Dave that's fine and dandy, but even on the standard run of the mill Colorado the spare tire hands almost as low as the rear diff.... That's perfect for offroading, lets just rip the spare tire out from under the truck.

The spare tire on all GM midsized trucks looks like an afterthought, GM built the truck and said opps, we need to throw the spare somewhere.

hangs*

2004 called and wants its truck back. Posted by: Nitro | Jul 27, 2017

@Nitro

Try tuna, or swordfish or smoked salmon. All are great and tasty ways to get some brain food!

How many Ford Rangers do you see running around with a 2.8 diesel? Oh, so sorry. There are NO Ford Rangers.

I apologize.

So is this liberal media outlet getting us ready for the Colorado falsely winning?

After all, this test is taking longer than usual, so they must be searching for ways to knock the Tacoma down enough so the Colorado wins by a few points!

Posted by: oxi | Jul 27, 2017 9:24:15 AM

Oxi, your're not paranoid the least now are ya.

I think GM screwed up on this thing by not putting in the 4.3L gas engine. That is a true truck motor. The 3.6L is a fantastic motor as well but it is more oriented to cars and suvs. The 4.3L is down on 20 HP 285 to 305 but its torque is up 30 ft lbs! Plus, I think GM could easily tune it for over 300HP.

Just think they failed with the engine choice. Overall, I like the truck, but I would never pay over $40K for a truck that you take off road, and doesn't have a lot of space inside compared to a full size pickup that you can get for around same price and a lot more HP/TQ.

The Colorado looks okay. The only part I don't like is the bulbous front fenders.

The front end, only the grille looks great. Front that point until the front door its looks bad, like a design defect.

I think the front end, the grille needs to be at least 4" to 6" narrower.

@papa, why would you bring in the Ranger? Seriously, man. Lets review, Ford number 1. they have a Raptor for off-roading. They are not currently in the small truck market, nor do they really need to be. On the other hand they will be, and will not offer an offroad ranger, becasue, again they dont need to.

On your uneducated comment about eating fish for brain food. No thanks, plant based is the brain food you need.

GMS, sorry you have to keep defending GM along with Papa

@ Oxi,

GM S10 ZR-2's have had Skid Plates since 1994 when they were launched. Toyota had no ZR-2 equivalent back then!!!

...On the other hand they will be, and will not offer an offroad ranger, becasue, again they dont need to. Posted by: Nitro | Jul 27, 2017

@Nitro

They will not offer an offroad Ranger...they don't need to. Do you have a hotline to Bill Ford's office?

How do you know? Are the top Ford guys giving the you the inside info?

@papa, why would you bring in the Ranger? Seriously, man. Lets review, Ford number 1. they have a Raptor for off-roading. They are not currently in the small truck market, nor do they really need to be. On the other hand they will be, and will not offer an offroad ranger, becasue, again they dont need to.

Posted by: Nitro | Jul 27, 2017 11:42:14 AM

But they will be and already are showing spy shots of possible baby raptors.

Apparently they see the need for something smaller to off road with and not just play in the sand.

Raptors are for parking lots and sand boxes. A ranger would do better anywhere there are trees and rocks on this planet.

Sorry you have to keep defending Fords poor choice of killing off the Ranger to augment F-150 sales.

@papa, because I know, plus, the Ranger isnt even here yet, so why are we bringing it up? Maybe because you know it would be bad if they did have one.

Tyler, I agree with you on the after thought spare tire. I was just pointing out to the guys who were commenting on the tire taking up the bed, that that is an option and they do not have to buy it that way.

@Nitro

Ford is out to lunch in this category. They compete in half ton and HD pickups but they've abandoned the mid size space and they have no diesel on the horizon for their recycled midsize truck not unless you count the 2022 announcement they made recently.

@papa, why would you bring in the Ranger? Seriously, man. Lets review, Ford number 1. they have a Raptor for off-roading. They are not currently in the small truck market, nor do they really need to be. On the other hand they will be, and will not offer an offroad ranger, becasue, again they dont need to.

Posted by: Nitro | Jul 27, 2017 11:42:14 AM

Nitro, sorry you have to keep defending Ford HAHAHAHA!!!!

The ZR1 will crush the taco and the Ford Claptor off road!

That is one great looking truck.

@ Ed,

'GM S10 ZR-2's have had Skid Plates since 1994 when they were launched. Toyota had no ZR-2 equivalent back then!!!'


It was a fake skid plate, I saw them myself.

And Toyota did not need a ZR2 option back in the 1990's, the Tacoma itself was superior in many ways!

Coil sprung front suspension, highest ground clearance, most wheel travel, locking diff, solid 3.4 liter v6, the Tacoma was the better truck and was named Four Wheeler and truck of the year, and was rated better than the Hummer, the military version that year for off-roading and all-around performance!

The spare tire in the bed as mounted in the Colorado is STUPID

BUT

Anyone that actually spends any real time offroad working will mount the tire in the bed (usually old school upright at the front box corner).
A spare tire under the truck is prone to damage and if you are in mud, slush, snow et cetera, that tire under the back is going to be difficult or impossible to retrieve.

Diesel. Game changer for rock crawler,torque at idle .
Nice that the new gen diesels start at -20c easily, for our cold winters up here in Canada. Haven't had an issue with cold starts with our 2.8L or 6.6L Duramax trucks. Not like the older gen diesel that smoked and clanked when i would fire up in the cold winter mornings.

I really like the comfort of the Canyon Duramax we have and the great towing ability for the travel trailer, and the 30 mpg average fuel economy is an added bonus. Won't be getting a ZR2 because i rarely do any serious off roading, mostly bush trails and gravel roads to logging site. But for those really wanting to crawl around off road, the ZR2 looks like a great package , especially with the diesel option.

We have a 2011 Ford Ranger 4x4, great little truck, hope to see a diesel version soon. If it is as good as the 2.8L diesel in the twins it will be a great truck.

I would REALLY like to see Toyota enter this market with a diesel, they have had great success with their diesel pick ups in other countries, and would sell great here.

@Sean G. - the newer diesels do fair better in the cold. Nice to see you enjoying your diesel Colorado.

Also nice to see a "mature" comment on this site!

To everyone complaining about the spare, yes it hangs low but there is a specific reason for that. The DEF tank for the diesel had to be placed above it, so they had to design the spare to mount lower. Obviously the spare hanging low isn't ideal for off roading but for everyday use it isn't a big deal. As for the bed mounted spare, that is completely a dealer option. Most people probably won't get that, and will come up with a different option for the spare when doing serious off roading.

@Greg - great points.

Again, nice to see some decent commentary!

Oxi has a point, Toyota trucks are the most preferred truck by ISIS. A missile launcher or a machine gun fits nicely in the back of a Hilux. Toyota is the number 1 off road truck for ISIS and has the ISIS seal of approval.

Looks every bit as capable as the Honda pickup.

Agreed - should be a favorite around the Honda pickup crowd. A true Chalupa in the dirt.

The target market for this truck is a straight woman, per Chevy.

In that regard, the truck is probably fine for a daily drive kids to school and light gravel road usage to pick up some plants from the nursery.

Like said above this really competes with the Honda pickup.

Where's Ford's off road midsize? Oh yeah....that's right... they've been out of this market for 6 years- and never even had a truly off road worthy trim level. So tell me again who is late to this game.....
Posted by: Trucky048 | Jul 27, 2017 9:46:46 AM

When the Ranger Raptor comes out, every one who waited will be rewarded. Everyone who bought something else will be depressed.

BTW, aside from the front bumper and exhaust, I think it's a nice looking truck.



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