2016 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 – Review and Specs

While GM has returned to the U.S. market with couple of mid-size pickups, their Canyonado twins lack the off-road capabilities of some of their competitors. Colorado which is dubbed as more prolific of the two will aim to fix that soon. 2016 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is still only a concept, but don’t be surprised if you see it at the dealers closer to the end of the next year. It might get revised in order to become production-ready, but even now it looks like something that could be sold with ease.

The Engine range & Performance

This isn’t the first time that bow tie brand is using the ZR2 trim name. They have done this 20 years ago on S10 pickup and they have failed miserably at that. This time, things look rather different. 2.8L Duramax turbo diesel 4-cylinder engine is here to take care of that. This installment which is about to be offered in regular lineup as well produces 181 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque.

At the same time, 2016 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 will offer standard 6-speed automatic gearbox and, of course, mandatory all-wheel drive. It should definitely fare much better than its distant predecessor which had had plenty of downsides during its short reign.

2016 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
Engine type 2.8L Duramax diesel
Displacement 2.8 L
Output 181 HP @ 3.400 RPM
Torque 369 LB-FT @ 2.000 RPM
Gearshift six-speed automatic

Design – Inside and Outside look

Design is something which shouldn’t be pondered upon yet. 2016 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 concept features higher stance and much increased approach angles which are typical off-road vehicle features. Front angle is 30.7 degrees high, while departure angle has 22.7 degrees. Bumpers too, are bolstered with extra plastic and look much more intimidating at the same time. Hood bump is there thanks to the mentioned Duramax diesel engine, and flared fenders might get downsized in production models.

Unique tires and wheels with orange inlays are here only for the show, and you shouldn’t expect them to appear in actual production model. However, production-ready ZR2 will get its own, unique wheels – that much is certain. As far as cab configuration and bed length go, we are still in the dark.

Inside look

ZR2 Colorado’s interior is still anyone’s guess at this point. Cabin arrangements will likely remain the same as in regular models, or at least similar, but materials will certainly be different. As an off-road oriented truck, 2016 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 should feature more rubber and easily maintained materials like smooth cloth. After all, you don’t want your expensive leather and carpeted floor mats to get dirty – that’s why off-road trucks exist. Feature list might be adapted towards off-road capability’s needs, but we still don’t expect a new Chevy to come without the built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.


Don’t expect too many advanced electronic safety systems inside 2016 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. Apart from a rearview camera, and maybe blind-spot monitors, Colorado’s off-road iteration will only offer mandatory goodies like anti-lock brakes, brake assist, stability control, trailer-sway control and an airbag system.

2016 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

2016 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Price and MPG

Fuel efficiency numbers with diesel engines always come out on top compared to those with gasoline engines. Furthermore, ZR2 concept’s engine is a four cylinder which is additional plus. What would be the exact figures in such a truck is still unknown, but our guess would be around 25 mpg combined. Price would be close to Colorado’s current upper limit which means around $35,000.

2016 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, while still in concept phase, certainly looks like something that would be welcome to Colorado’s conventional lineup. Thanks to its ruggedness and higher stance, off-road compact would certainly offer very good capabilities on unconventional terrain. Furthermore, its diesel engine gives it both better efficiency, and more towing power. All in all, off-road Colorado is what GM lacks, and since they already have a viable concept – why wouldn’t they actually build one?

Competition: 2015 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X and 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.

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