2018 AutoGuide.com Truck of a Year: Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 or Ford F-150?

Like a keg of black powder stored subsequent to an open hearth, America’s lorry shred is about to explode.

The attention is held in a throes of a critical arms race, with many any heavy-hitting actor investing bankrupting amounts of money to debonair adult their pickup offerings.

In new years, a groundbreaking aluminum-bodied Ford F-150 launched and Nissan introduced a totally revamped Titan range, one hellbent on severe Detroit’s lorry hegemony.

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Dousing this already flighty tinderbox with accelerants, an all-new Ram 1500 is set to launch unequivocally soon, while GM is tough during work on equally uninformed Silverado and Sierra twins. Not to be forgotten, Ford is reintroducing a Ranger nameplate to American motorists early subsequent year.

There’s copiousness going on in this segment, yet during this impulse in time, it’s flattering still on a truckstern front since in annoy of all a headline-making news usually dual rigs competent to attend in a 2018 AutoGuide.com Truck of a Year showdown: a newly invigorated Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and Ford’s revamped F-150.

To date, this is a smallest iteration of a annual pickup competition, yet that didn’t stop us from exhaustively contrast any vehicle. On highway and off, we put them by a wringer, yet it’s critical to note, this is not a comparison test. Our idea was to establish that pickup is best during doing what it was designed to do.

2018 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

Want an off-road savage that’s both some-more maneuverable and affordable than a Raptor? Chevrolet thinks it has what you’re looking for.

The newly minted Colorado ZR2 is as means in sand as it is accessible on parsimonious trails. With a 2-inch (5 centimeters) cessation lift and a line that’s been increasing by around 3 inches (7.62 centimeters), this lorry is prepared for usually about anything. Dealer-installed rocker-panel guards and underbody skid-plates serve intensify a capability.

Ensuring it’s never wanting for traction, this midsize Chevy’s 17-inch aluminum wheels were wrapped in assertive Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires that yield some-more hold than tank treads, generally in a snowy conditions.

Further enhancing a capability are locking differentials front and rear, a underline that can be a lifesaver if you’re exceedingly mired.

The Colorado’s midsize physique is another asset. Being narrower and shorter than a full-size pickup, it’s means to some-more simply navigate parsimonious backwoods trails. Doing a same in a F-150 was an practice in stress management; we had to constantly guard a truck’s flanks to equivocate scraping a costly paint on tree branches and other obstacles.

SEE ALSO: 2018 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Review – VIDEO

Two engines are offering in a Colorado ZR2, possibly a 3.6-liter gasoline-burning V6 or a compression-ignition inline-four. Our exam indication was versed with a former, that is rated during 308 horsepower and 275 foot-pounds of torque.

If axle-shearing turn is what we crave, that accessible 2.8-liter diesel delivers 369 foot-pounds, yet it’s accompanied by a rather scanty discerning of 186 horses.

The V6 engine is interconnected with an eight-speed involuntary transmission, that is both an item and a detriment. This gearbox unequivocally helps a engine sing, maximizing opening while minimizing fuel consumption, it’s usually not all that refined. During testing, we gifted some-more than a few shuddering gearchanges, both adult and down.

This gasoline engine gives this Colorado copiousness of go, both on highway and off, a clever gearbox creation certain it delivers a torque we need, even if many of it manifests high adult a rev range.

Acceleration is brisk, a acquire item in any pickup’s toolbox. But what’s not so meritorious is a engine’s coarseness. In this application, GM’s 3.6-liter section vibrates like a coffee grinder, promulgation coarse tingles via a Colorado’s body.

This lorry is so cold and means it deserves a special engine. Hey, Chevy, what’s wrong with that 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 offering in a Cadillac CT6? Give it here!

Despite a crazy capability, this special-edition Colorado is ideally courteous on road. It doesn’t wander, staying right in a line of travel. The soft, long-travel cessation chews, digests and expels even a nastiest potholes, and it stays still and stoical all a time.

The ZR2’s interior is ideally fine, assembled of good-quality materials with glorious fit and finish. But like what’s underneath a hood, they could have finished a bit some-more to make a cabin feel special. About all that separates this special-edition indication from mainstream versions is a bit of elaboration on a front headrests.

So equipped, a ZR2 can draw adult to 5,000 pounds and lift a extent cargo of 1,100. As for fuel economy, don’t design it to outgun a Prius. This supply is rated during 16 miles per gallon city, 18 highway and 17 combined.

The rough-and-tumble Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 starts during around $42,000, yet a exam indication cost a not-unreasonable $43,475, a figure that includes $695 in options and $995 for delivery.

2018 Ford F-150 Limited

The 2018 Ford F-150 flattering most does it all. You can get a municipal-grade, regular-cab work lorry with vinyl floors, opt for a desert-dominating Raptor or go all-in and on a luxury-car-rivaling Limited model.

For this AutoGuide.com Truck of a Year test, we were coddled by a top-trim variant, one packaged with wealthy leather, some-more record than Google and an pretty abounding plaque cost of some $67k. Yikes!

Along with that dizzying indication range, Ford also offers several engines in this ever-popular pickup. There’s a bottom 3.3-liter naturally aspirated V6, a 2.7-liter EcoBoost unit, a appreciative 5.0-liter V8 and a potent, top-shelf 3.5-liter twin-turbo six-shooter. Beyond all this, a hybrid indication is on a way, ditto for an careful diesel.

Newly invigorated for 2018, that 3.5-liter section gains pier and approach fuel injection and copiousness of other tweaks. These enhancements boost outlay to 375 horsepower and 470 foot-pounds of twist, it’s usually a contrition a noises it creates are phony, pumped in by a BO Play reward sound system’s speakers.

That engine is matched to an modernized 10-speed involuntary transmission. We raved about this gearbox in a Raptor final year, and it’s usually as polished as before, always selecting a right gear, uniformly and promptly. Drop a produce and it was extraordinary to watch a indicator go from 9 to 3 yet feeling a thing. This smoothness is severely polished and scarcely telepathic.

On road, a F-150 is a zephyr to drive. Acceleration is equivocal fast, with that EcoBoost V6 providing tons of torque right off idle. It also feels pretty light on a feet and some-more maneuverable than a gargantuan distance would suggest, yet we did have one vital issue.

SEE ALSO: 2018 Ford F-150 Review – VIDEO

Our contrast was finished in snow, scarcely 10 inches of uninformed powder, and this rig’s summer-friendly Pirelli Scorpion tires usually couldn’t hoop winter weather. The F-150 was slipping and shifting all over a place and even had critical issues usually removing underway. Naturally, it was not unequivocally certainty moving off-road. Winter tires are a clear prerequisite with this truck.

Other winter casualties were a discretionary pop-out side steps. They got soon got packaged with sleet and refused to open on their own.

Ford, for now during least, is claiming best-in-class towing, cargo and mileage ratings, yet we’ll see how this changes once a new Ram and Silverado launch because they’re not going to let a F-150 off easy. As equipped, a tester was rated to drag adult to 10,500 pounds. Fuel economy is estimated during 16 miles per gallon city, 21 highway and 18 mpg combined.

This truck’s interior is severely luxurious, yet it’s maybe not utterly as reward as what we get in higher-end versions of a current-model Ram 1500. There’s abounding leather everywhere, courteous sum and scads of technology.

The F-150’s front bucket seats are a manuscript of comfort, cushy in all a right spots and understanding accurately where we need it, plus, they’ll even give we a massage while driving.

But this isn’t a extent of Ford’s cleverness; a F-150 is installed with circuity. The multi-page arrangement in a instrument cluster borders on information overload, display many any fathomable charge of a truck, from smoothness temperature, to steering angle to fuel mileage and much, much, more. This lorry can even assistance make certain you’ve scrupulously bending your trailer adult by walking we by a array of accessible reminders.

Already a clever contender in a segment, Ford has serve softened a F-150 for model-year 2018. When it comes to versatility, capability and even luxury, this lorry does it all.

The Verdict: AutoGuide.com’s 2018 Truck of a Year Is…

The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is a accessible all-around package that delivers brutal off-road opening all yet sacrificing bland livability. It’s quick, means and sized right. It’s usually a contrition a engine vibrates so most and that it doesn’t feel as special as it should.

In comparison, a 2018 Ford F-150 offers all a latest and biggest technology, along with a gentle interior and segment-leading capability. Plus, that EcoBoost engine and 10-speed smoothness are a dynamite combination. But because are a tires so terrible and how come it costs so much?

At a finish of a day, usually one of these pickups can win a 2018 AutoGuide.com Truck of a Year award. And a supply that simply does some-more things for a larger farrago of business is a heavily updated F-150. While not a ideal pickup, it’s still an considerable square of engineering that once again elevates a lorry standard.

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