The Right Spec: 2022 Chevy Colorado

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
the right spec 2022 chevy colorado

GM’s mid-sizer showed up as a contestant in the Ace of Base series a couple of years ago, back when the four-banger could be paired with a manual transmission. Chevy has since quietly removed that option from its order sheet, leaving cheapskates frugal shoppers with a fistful of automatic transmission.

An advantage of these Right Spec posts? The ability to venture beyond the bargain basement. Despite its second-rung status in the Chevy Truck pecking order in terms of size, there’s no shortage of trim configurations for this bowtie pickup. Throw in a trio of body styles plus a few engine choices, and the decision tree grows quite a number of branches.

You’ll notice we’ve selected the Extended Cab arrangement instead of the more popular Crew Cab model. The reason for this is two-fold. First, we assume very few of our readers have friends. More critically, however, your author can say with some certainty that the Colorado cabin is small enough that his 6’6” frame forces the driver’s seat totally rearward even in Crew Cab form, rendering the back seat behind him useless to anyone blessed with the gift of legs below the knee. If the rear seating area isn’t going to be utilized often, we might as well trade some of that vehicle length for usable box space while retaining the Extended Cab’s shorter overall dimensions. All hands will probably agree on that point.

Where we are likely to differ in our assessment – and hope for a bit of comment section debate – is in the choice of Z71 or ZR2. It’s a $5,000 walk to the latter, checking in at $43,795 before the inevitable destination and other sundry fees. This is not an insignificant sum. For the cash, one will find themselves in command of a rig with GM’s dandy Multimatic DSSV damping system, a set of suspenders that have proven themselves off-road time and again at your author’s hand (and right foot). They’re so good, in fact, that Chevy is installing them on a new Silverado trim for 2022.

The ZR2 also packs an increased ground clearance and track width compared to other trim levels, along with the unique appearance package that can’t be mistaken for anything other than a ZR2. It’s worth mentioning that the Z71 does have unique suspension tuning (but not the DSSVs) along with a locking rear diff and an underbody skid plate to go with its A/T tires. As for engine choice in the ZR2, choosing the gasser is a no-brainer, since the Duramax power delivery style doesn’t suit the truck’s off-road personality – to say nothing of its $3,720 premium.

As for other considerations, all the really good colors like Bright Blue Metallic and Cherry Red Tintcoat are extra-cost items. Sand Dune Metallic, a $0 paint shown here, gives the thing a pre-runner vibe so we’ll go with that. Additional appearance packages and the like are a waste of money, and the Bison package seems pricey at $5,750. Be sure to spec the no-charge rubberized floor covering and for the love of god spend $75 on wireless device charging.

Total bill? $44,065. There will surely be plenty of you in the comments who’ll bleat that a clapped out 2005 Ranger is a better value or they have experienced 934,933 trouble-free miles from their Nissan Hardbody with only occasional maintenance and an upturned bucket for a driver’s seat (I haven’t toiled at TTAC for a decade without learning something about you yahoos). The rest of us will enjoy our air-conditioned ZR2 cabin. In extended cab form, of course.

Please note the prices listed here are in United States dollars and are currently accurate for base prices exclusive of any fees, taxes, or rebates. Your dealer may (and should) sell for less (obscene market conditions notwithstanding). Keep your foot down, bone up on available rebates, and bargain hard.

[Images: Chevrolet]

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6 of 28 comments
  • Oberkanone Oberkanone on Oct 29, 2021

    ZR2 equipped with 2.8L diesel is the one that appeals to me. The over $50K price ends the appeal.

  • Stuki Stuki on Oct 30, 2021

    "As for engine choice in the ZR2, choosing the gasser is a no-brainer, since the Duramax power delivery style doesn’t suit the truck’s off-road personality" Diesel and Multimatics, are a match made in (city acceptable size at least) heaven, for overlanding. While the Multimatics may be marketed as just a jump-truck accessory: In practice, what most will notice, is that they allow the truck to travel down rutted dirt ROADS at a meaningfully quicker and more consistent pace, than less evolved suspenders. The diesel complements that with added range, less concern about additional fuel in jerrycans and bladders etc. Also, while slow as molasses comparatively, the diesel doesn't wheeze out nearly as badly at altitude. So the difference is less pronounced there. Seriously, as a "travel truck," the diesel ZR2 is pretty much without equal. It has the range, the economy and the poor-road/offroad chops to reach most areas of the boons, yet can still travel to Manhattan without getting stuck. Throw on the Bison kit ad a winch, and you're almost ready to go, without dirtying more than your credit card.

    • See 3 previous
    • Stuki Stuki on Nov 02, 2021

      @Lou_BC I suspect most actual buyers of "offroad" package trucks are. And for those, especially if longer trips are planned, the diesel ZR2 is a sweet package. It's not a Rubicon in the tight stuff. But very few who aren't involved in selling or marketing offroad trucks and kits, take their brand new Jeeps to places ZR2s couldn't also make it to.

  • Tassos And all 3 were ordered by Fisker's mother. Seriously, given Fisker's terrible record of Failure in the past, only an utter loser, (for example, VGhost or Art Vandelay?), looking for a BEV terrible enough to be a proper replacement of his 11 mile range Fiat 500E, would order one of these. (apart from Fisker's mother)
  • Tassos And all 3 of them were ordered by Fisker's mother.Seriously, after Fisker's DISMAL record of UTTER FAILURE in the past, only a GOD DAMNED MORON would order this one.
  • RHD Any truth to the unconfirmed rumor that the new, larger model will be called the bZ6X? We could surmise that with a generous back seat it certainly should be!
  • Damon Thomas Adding to the POSITIVES... It's a pretty fun car to mod
  • GregLocock Two adjacent states in Australia have different attitudes to roadworthy inspections. In NSW they are annual. In Victoria they only occur at change of ownership. As you'd expect this leads to many people in Vic keeping their old car.So if the worrywarts are correct Victoria's roads would be full of beaten up cars and so have a high accident rate compared with NSW. Oh well, the stats don't agree.