While GMC is synonymous with trucks, General Motors has also made it a pseudo-luxury brand in relation to Chevrolet. Customers who have cross-shopped the GMC’s Sierra against the Chevy Silverado already know this. Pricing differences may start off tight but the Sierra quickly runs away with things when High Country and Denali trims start coming into play. It’s a largely similar story with the two brands’ midsize Canyon and Colorado. Chevy’s entry is the more value-oriented truck and can be equipped to boast superior off-road capabilities.
The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 trounces the GMC Canyon AT4 when both are thrown squarely at Mother Nature. But this was by design, explaining why the latter model phased out the automaker’s “All Terrain” badging. GMC is supposed to be the brand you want to relax in and often yields slightly nicer interiors than its Chevy equivalent. Unfortunately, this has allowed pickups like the more-capable (and expensive) Colorado ZR2 Bison shame GM’s “truck brand” as delivering lesser ORVs. GMC is hoping to remedy the issue by offering the 2021 Canyon AT4 Off-Road Performance Edition — which adds some items that make it more of a contender whenever pavement is in short supply.
Yes, the ZR2 is far from a base truck. But based on a suggestion from the peanut gallery (*waves at PrincipalDan*) we thought it would be a good idea to see if a “base” off-roader is a healthier bet than upgrading to the full meal deal.
In fact, calling the ZR2 a base truck – with its DSSV dampers and other gonzo off-road kit – seems like heresy to your author. Jumping a Colorado ZR2 at 40 mph over an obstacle on a trophy truck track proves just how capable the thing is.
(How’s that Ranger Raptor coming, Ford? Oh, it isn’t? I see. Thanks for the mobility scooter, then.)
Chevy has, however, added another layer onto the ZR2 cake. Called the Bison, is its extra gear worth the cash? Or are gearheads better off with a “base” ZR2 and spending the money on mods of their own? Let’s see.
As we told you earlier, midsize pickups are enjoying a healthy upswing in sales this year — a trend that’s sure to continue in 2019 after the release of the Ford Ranger. It’s generally agreed that this segment is not an afterthought, and might be something worth investing in for automakers lacking a less-than-big truck model. Ram’s got one on the way, too.
For General Motors, which enjoys major segment share via its Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, the sky seems to be the limit for its midsize clan, and that goes for price, too. With the Colorado ZR2 Bison, the automaker has a truck that more than doubles its entry price.
Chevrolet has finally unveiled the production version of a model bearing a name it trademarked quite some time ago. The Colorado ZR2 Bison is an extra-brawny variant of Chevy’s off-road truck — a collaboration between General Motors and aftermarket manufacturer American Expedition Vehicles (AEV).
It was clear to everyone and their mother that GM was prepared to further plumb the butch end of the midsize truck market. Recall the Colorado ZR2 AEV SEMA concept from the 2017 SEMA show. Certainly, with Toyota planning upgrades (including a snorkel) for its 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro, the domestic automaker wasn’t about to see the Colorado positioned as an also-ran.
Looking at the Bison, it seems GM took Ford’s 2018 Detroit auto show put-down to heart. “Real trucks don’t have fascias,” said soon-to-be-ousted North American president Raj Nair.