Cars.com, PUTC Name Colorado ZR2 Best Pickup Truck of 2018

DSC_1636 II

Chosen from a field of five eligible players, the 2018 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 was named Best Pickup Truck of 2018 by Cars.com and PickupTrucks.com. The Colorado is not just an interesting example of a new model-year pickup — it is quite possibly the most interesting vehicle that's come along in years.

The factory-built ZR2 is the kind of vehicle that off-road enthusiasts build in their garage. It was given a good suspension lift; the front and rear bumpers were modified to allow for bigger wheels and tires; it offers front and rear lockers; and maybe most importantly, Chevy planted four high-tech racing shocks at each corner.

When you think about it, there's really nothing truly special about all those pieces, except for the fact that one of the largest and most conservative companies on the planet is producing it off the same line where it builds thousands of vanilla mid-size Colorado pickups.

That's what makes this vehicle so special. During the development phase, there were hundreds, and possibly thousands of times, when GM and Chevy could have put the brakes on the designs that make this pickup what it is. But they didn't — or at least it appears that way.

The result is a wonder that melds passion and technology to produce a true off-road pickup that provides an amazing amount of fun — whether that's high-speed runs through the desert or climbing up a crazy rock-loaded trail through the mountains. We have no doubt that many will be surprised about how well it also performs as a daily driver.

Unlike some other performance-oriented pickups, the ZR2 still functions as a multipurpose pickup, ready to carry almost 1,200 pounds and tow a 5,000-pound trailer — good numbers for any modern mid-size pickup, but especially good for a strong off-roader. And we know it can handle the rough stuff because we've tested it and found that it has all the right technology in the right places to take a leadership position in a class where Chevy had nothing before.

We like that the Chevy Colorado is not only pushing a growing class to be stronger and more diverse, but it also raised the bar for competitors to offer consumers better products. Yes, the ZR2 was a big risk for GM (possibly akin to the huge investment in making a new Colorado in the first place), but this off-road-focused experiment looks like it will be the turning heads of new-truck buyers as well as impressing off-road enthusiasts who get to enjoy its performance deep in the backcountry.

If something this good can come from a huge corporation like GM, it bodes well for the other brands. And we can't wait to see how that turns out, especially if this strategy makes its way to the Silverado lineup. That's why we believe the ZR2 resets the bar for the pickup industry and for the company that produced it. Congrats to our Best Pickup Truck of 2018, the Chevy Colorado ZR2.

We also named the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas SUV the Best of 2018 and named four other best vehicles in lifestyle categories; check out those winners here.

Cars.com photos by Matt Avery

 

034A4286 II


 

Comments

Congrats!! Extremely nice and capable truck!!

payload is impressive and surprising for that truck. Don't really like how it looks though, and the drivetrain just seems kind of meh.

Now that Ford announces the return of the Ranger.. How convenient. Too funny. Politics everywhere,

Woefully over rated niche waste of currency.

Once again, nice job GM! Congrats.

Finally PUTC is not being "biased"........ lol
Next time they choose a Ford the winner it will clearly be biased... smh. The Colorado is a nice truck. Not a fan of the front bumper on the ZR2, but otherwise I'm glad it has received such accolades. We most likely will see a Ranger Raptor because of it.

tires are too small

Junk

Junk

Great job GM. Nice capable truck.

Sippy cups and trophy cups for everyone...just like other awards and sites.
Pass them around to - next in line - every time. Meaningless bag of you know what.
Ram will get theirs, Silverado will get theirs. F150 got theirs, on and on.
Big deal

Good truck.

Would like to see a little more engine.

A 5.3l v8 10 speed would be a nice combo of torque and driveability. Whether rock climbing or desert running.

Would also be a nice upgrade if Ford announces a raptor Ranger

Well deserved. Great little truck. It was a bold move on G.M's part going toe to toe with Toyota for the win.

First Chevy I have ever owned and I really like my ZR2, it has handled washboard roads and pastures a lot better then any of the other trucks I have owned olus cruises down the road just fine.. As to power, it has plenty for what it is intended for, a 5.3 V8 would add a lot of unwanted weight to the front end. I have a place where I enter a highway and there is a speed limit sign down the road, my old Powerwagon with the 440 in it would get up to 57mph by the time I reached it. This truck hit 72mph in the same distance. My only grip is the darn front wheel wells, you can only go up one size tire with out a major lift oh and it does not come with fog lights.... but it has hauled all my hunting gear plus a couple deer and an elk just fine

Because of the diesel, it is a great truck. Torque of a V8 and fuel economy of a small eco car.

Now that Ford announces the return of the Ranger.. How convenient. Too funny. Politics everywhere,

Posted by: terry | Jan 17, 2018 1:24:57 PM

Based on what we've seen so far and based on the reactions of everybody, the Ranger is a complete and utter disappointment. Somebody at Ford wants to make sure the Ranger doesn't take a sale away from the F-150. One engine? Give me a break.

Just like the liberal media... garbage!

I’m not sure if I was a manufacture if I would want my product on the same best of 2018 list with a few Volkswagens and an Audi.

Although if I wanted a midsize pickup and 0-60 times of a Geo Metro, the chevy Colorado zr2 would be what I choose with what is available in the mid size segment for 2018.

They chose the cool fun option. Not surprising.

First Chevy I have ever owned and I really like my ZR2, it has handled washboard roads and pastures a lot better then any of the other trucks I have owned olus cruises down the road just fine.. As to power, it has plenty for what it is intended for, a 5.3 V8 would add a lot of unwanted weight to the front end. I have a place where I enter a highway and there is a speed limit sign down the road, my old Powerwagon with the 440 in it would get up to 57mph by the time I reached it. This truck hit 72mph in the same distance. My only grip is the darn front wheel wells, you can only go up one size tire with out a major lift oh and it does not come with fog lights.... but it has hauled all my hunting gear plus a couple deer and an elk just fine


Posted by: Dave | Jan 17, 2018 7:48:46 PM

The weight difference between the 5.3 and the 3.6 from what I've searched is less than 100lbs.

I don't see that changing much of the dynamics of the truck other than improving performance.

From the looks of the Ranger, GM has nothing to worry about!

@ psi

It not garbage! It beat your Tacoma in a comparison test. Also beat mighty raptor. It's a great little.truck!!

It will push Toyota to make a much better Tacoma next time. Like the 2013 models and older. They are awesome!!

As for a 5.3 in it. That would be ok. But a turbo 4.3L like the old cyclone or Typhoon would be much sweeter

Meant at oxi

Dang smartphone

First Chevy I've owned. Love my zr2. Can't say enough. The diesel is awsome. Plenty of power. Great truck

Nice. I'd like to buy one but with the diesel.

yuck junk chevy

yuck junk chevy



Post a Comment

Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

  • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers.
  • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
  • Your email will not be shown.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Home | Buy or Sell a Truck | News | Special Reports

Powered by Cars.com. By using this site, you agree to our terms of service | © 2017 Cars.com | Privacy Statement | Contact Us