By on February 8, 2017

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

Chevrolet gave many truck lovers what they wanted when it previewed the 2017 Colorado ZR2 last year. Sporting a cutaway front bumper, towering suspension travel and all the right components to turn a basic midsize pickup into a mini Ford Raptor, the ZR2 was General Motors’ way of saying, “Look, we’re listening!”

After releasing pricing for the ultimate Colorado today, GM really wants you to know that the $40,995 ZR2 is way cheaper than a model it won’t mention.

Due for a date with dealer lots this spring, the ZR2 adds just over $6,000 to the next-lowest extended cab Colorado, comparably equipped. The listed MSRP includes a destination fee.

The General is quite pleased with that price, as it helps muscle aside a ghostly competitor in the midsize off-road pickup segment. Can you guess the rival?

“We’re thrilled to be able to offer [the ZR2] for more than $2,500 less than the next closest comparable vehicles,” said Sandor Piszar, Chevrolet Trucks marketing director, in a statement. “Taken in the context of serious off-roading, $2,000 will buy you 50 years of annual passes to Arches National Park in Moab, Utah.”

It also buys God knows how much beer. And pizza. And what about your retirement? Piszar didn’t stop there, however. Again, the mysterious competitor raised its brandless head.

“Some vehicles that customers might cross-shop with ZR2 can spec out as much as $26,000 more than our truck — or the price of a well-equipped 2017 Colorado,” he continued.

Now, the ZR2 itself contains a long list of options, including a 2.8-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder, but the stock version does retail for $2,905 less than a Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro — the only other rival in its class. Unlike the ZR2, which only comes equipped with GM’s eight-speed automatic, the Tacoma can be had with a manual transmission, cutting the price gap in half.

Still, it’s clear GM set out to steal Toyota’s thunder.

[Image: General Motors]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

45 Comments on “2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 – Cheaper Than That Tacoma You Shouldn’t Buy, Says GM...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I’m surprised they didn’t just say “The ONLY midsize off-road oriented truck with an available diesel engine!”

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      “Diesel” is synonymous with “poison” in more ways than one, thanks to Volkswagen’s shenanigans.

      It’s no surprise that GM isn’t playing that angle.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        ““Diesel” is synonymous with “poison” in more ways than one, thanks to Volkswagen’s shenanigans.”

        No one that buys domestic diesel PU trucks pays attention to anything related to VW cars. I suspect that >99% of automotive consumers have no idea the VW diesel scandal even took place.

        • 0 avatar
          MrIcky

          For offroaders I think diesel is synonymous with ‘sweet sweet nectar of torque’. It is not a marketing negative in those circles.

          Diesel truck buyers are aware, and they are nervous that this is step one in taking away the diesels in general.

        • 0 avatar
          Maymar

          For that matter, how many domestic diesel truck buyers got more interested in VW post-Dieselgazi? There’s at least a few coal rolling types who seem to find anyone thumbing their nose at the EPA endearing.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Agreed. When I mention that my car is part of that scandal, most people, including diesel-truck owners, are completely unaware of the Volkswagen scandal. In fact, they’re usually the same people that rush up to me at the fuel station, warning me not to put diesel in my Volkswagen.

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    Interesting, the dirt/dust is motion blurred yet the front wheels are static. The shadow on the ground is also missing the cloud of dust. 4/10

    • 0 avatar
      SP

      The cloud of dust is casting a shadow, which is why the truck’s shadow appears to have a hump behind the cab. Good point about the wheels. If I had to guess, I would say the shot is real, including the dust, but they went back and put the front wheels in digitally so we could all see the wheel design.

    • 0 avatar
      hgrunt

      The photographer probably used a very fast lens and took a burst shot, then picked the one where the wheel was most visible. Wouldn’t be surprised if they did put a static picture of the wheel back in like SP suggested though

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I’d gladly cherry pick the f/r lockers and revised bumper, and couple that with the diesel and (non existent) 6spd manual pairing, with a hypothetical price closer to $36k(?)

    I got to see a boat load of global midsizers in Costa Rica, the majority were previous generation Hiluxes, with Mitsubishi’s L200 Triton taking second place, and Isuzu D-max bringing up third. They looked to be primarily wealthy peoples’ pleasure-use daily drivers, decked out with snorkels and such. I reckon almost all were diesel powered.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      It probably *costs* Ford around $36K to build an SVT Raptor, with the amortization of the platform. Trucks are real profit centers, which is good when they need to offset Focuses (Focii) and Fiestas that barely make any money. It’s also what killed GM when people stopped buying such large vehicles, though.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Tacoma > Whatever huge “midsize” GM truck.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    Whatever initial purchase savings you get will easily be wiped out in resale value versus buying a Tacoma.

    • 0 avatar
      tnk479

      You’re probably right but I test drove the Tacoma and hated it. The ergonomics are just awful. I knew halfway through the test drive that I would never buy that truck. I sat in the Colorado at the auto show last week and liked it much better. The ZR2 looks awesome but I worry they won’t produce them in sufficient numbers and dealers will mark them up.

    • 0 avatar
      duncanator

      Not to mention the additional 5k dealers will add on to the price.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    Except the Taco will outlast the GM truck and will have much higher re-sale value down the road.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      It will have higher resale value but it won’t last any longer than either of the GM twins. Overall, l’d argue they’re better engineered trucks than the Taco. For me, the gutless V6 engine in the Taco is reason enough to not touch that truck with a ten foot pole regardless of resale.

      • 0 avatar
        tnk479

        I am also unimpressed with the Taco’s V-6.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        As awesome as it is to finally get a smaller diesel engine in a midsize truck stateside, I would bet a LOT of money that long term the Toyota’s gas V6 will be much less troubleprone than the diesel saddled with modern emissions gear that has proven to be quite trouble-prone, as well as expensive to repair/replace.

        I do agree that going down a 3.5L from the old 4.0L V6 was a big mistake. Here’s to hoping that if there truly is a rolling back of EPA standards that Toyota sees the light and ups the displacement (or maybe even installs the smaller 4.6L v8?). Likewise it’d be awesome to see the 4.3L V6 in the Colorado, it seems like a natural fit to me.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          “Toyota’s gas V6 will be much less troubleprone than the diesel saddled with modern emissions gear that has proven to be quite trouble-prone, as well as expensive to repair/replace.”

          Agreed. Despite the improved fuel economy and higher resale value that you see in the HD trucks, they are still more expensive to own. Very few people are able to “wear out” a gas engine in a modern day truck which also used to be an advantage of diesel over gas. If you need the “pulling” power a diesel is the way to go. But it will cost you!

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Gutless is Toyota-san’s way of telling you to man up and get a real transmission. Now, if only Toyota-san could build a few spec’ed that way……….

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          The 5SP manual is what saved the 3.0 V6 in my ’93 Toyota PU. I towed some pretty heavy loads with that compact. It was no powerhouse but it got the job done. For how I use my PU’s I’ll never run anything but an automatic transmission again.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Needs .7L more displacement and 1 less camshaft.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Am I the only person who’d rather get the 3.6 and let it rev than have a heavy, expensive diesel in what will for the most part be a daily-driving type of vehicle?

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Problem is, I can get a very capable off-road Tacoma in TRD Off Road trim for $35.5K that has better ground clearance and approach angle than the similarly priced Z71 Colorado. You don’t need to get a $43K TRD Pro.

    In order to get a capable off-road Colorado, you DO need to get the $41K ZR2.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Seems like a bit much since it was only 7 short years ago where 33k could get you a 4 door 5 foot bed, full-time 4wd, H3T with F/R/C lockers, cast iron front diff, better approach/dep angles, able to fit 35s stock, Steel bumpers. And had option for both manual trans or V8 engine.
    Sure you lose some MPGs but at least you don’t have to put up with the odd packaging of the Colorado.

    Let’s also not forget that 41k today will also buy you a 6.4L powerwagon with FF axles that both have lockers, as well as sway bar disconnects.

    The appeal I see is mostly fuel economy, not wrong to the right buyer I suppose.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      How do you not own the Tradesman Power Wagon yet? It is practically custom made for you.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Actually as much as I usually love base trucks, I really want this…

        https://www.google.com/amp/www.automobilemag.com/news/2015-aev-prospector-ram-2500-power-wagon-review/amp/

        I’ve fallen in love with the Laramie trim.

        Honestly I’m waiting and hoping that production comes back to the US. All of my vehicles were made in either the US or Japan and I want to keep it that way. I’m going to wait a couple more years to see if they start talking about moving production before I decide to pull the trigger.

        • 0 avatar
          jjster6

          Because it’s scientifically proven that a robot operating on US or Japanese soil puts a vehicle together much better than a robot operating on Mexican soil?

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            At least the engineer/maintenance technician that’s performing maintanence on that robot is employed in the US.

            Of all the crap you could cherry pick from my post why is that the piece you chose? It’s our duty as Americans to support our country, when given the chance I’m going to make the right choice.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      I doubt that there will be much cross shopping between a ZR2 and a Power Wagon.You might as well add the Raptor to that conversation as well. They all target different off-road buyers.
      The Colorado ZR2 if anything, will be cross shopped against the Wrangler Unlimited.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Oh I’m sure.

        I’m just pointing out that they can’t make a ‘good’ value proposition with what they have to offer. The truck wasn’t originally designed as an off-roader from the start. And worse than that the vehicle it’s based on isn’t a very good place to start at as it is. Comparing it to the Tacoma as the basis of their prop isn’t going to help either, as the Tacoma isn’t sold on value. Additionally the Tacoma has credibility and a not so bad heritage.

        The wrangler PU – unless they find a way to really botch up, should have no problem eating its lunch.

  • avatar
    amca

    But who could resist a truck with the prestigious T(u)RD badge?

    • 0 avatar
      Funky

      I used to wonder about this as well. Until I drove one and then bought one (2016 TRD Sport w/ 6sp manual). And now I understand that it’s alright to have this printed on the side of my truck.

  • avatar
    JREwing

    This truck is screaming loudly for one of the LT1 motors and the 8-speed. The 5.3L V8 would be frisky. The 6.2L V8 would make for interesting drag races against the new EcoBoost Raptor. If they can shoehorn the diesel in there, the LT1 should be no sweat.

  • avatar
    BuzzBNY

    That is a damn good looking truck. No matter though, I dont think GM will woo any Tacoma buyers away. It’s tough to compete against a company that will put a new frame in your truck every so often.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I’m glad this article has been issued so close to the Raptor article.

    Not only does this Colorado appear to represent better value than the TRD Taco, it definitely represents better value as an off road vehicle than the Raptor.

    The Colorado can be had with a diesel, which is a must in my eyes for any 4×4. The diesel is a range extender offering oddles of great torque for high speed driving and crawling over the tricky bits.

    It is big enough, yet a small enough compromise in size to get you to many more place than any full size 4×4.

    For the hipster yuppie rednecks, it is also pretty.

    If this Colorado is put together well with some thoughtful effort given to suspension tuning this is most likely the best overall 4×4 on offer in the US.

    A 6spd manual is needed in my eyes for the diesel. This is one improvement needed.

    It has more flexibility than a Wrangler, Raptor, Power Wagon, etc.

    A fine effort from GM.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • 6250Claimer: Rush
  • Jeff S: My bad you are correct it was a Scotsman not a Champion. Might be the memory of that car was so bad I wished...
  • Lou_BC: Ditto
  • Jeff S: I won 2nd and 3rd place in a Junior Model Contest from a local Ford Dealership for a metallic green with pink...
  • Lou_BC: “I’ll personally stick with cars until my body no longer allows it.” That’s how I view dual...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber