2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison initial expostulate review: An off-road …

When we hear a word “bison,” dual things come to mind. Naturally, there’s a big, brawny animal. But there’s also M. Bison, a final trainer in a Super Nintendo diversion Street Fighter II, who spotless 8-year-old Jon Wong’s time some-more times than we caring to remember. Either way, “bison” evokes thoughts of clever and tough specimens. Very wise for this off-road-ready 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison.

Tougher truck

The ZR2 Bison is a many imperishable chronicle of Chevy’s Colorado, wearing an array of pieces that improved prep it for critical route duty. Chevy didn’t rise a tools in-house, either, instead looking to a off-road experts during Wixom, Michigan-based American Expedition Vehicles.  

The outcome is 5 heavy-duty, hot-stamped, boron steel movement plates to defense a radiator, front and behind differentials, send box and gas tank from holding repairs when crawling over rocks. That’s all a improved for critical overlanding trips.

A bit some-more conspicuous are a steel bumpers with a front featuring ascent points for a winch. The behind gets integrated liberation points for a times we need lift a stranded compatriot’s car out of a silt swamp or get tugged out of one yourself. AEV also offers an discretionary snorkel that’s concordant with any Colorado model to yield clean, filtered atmosphere to a engine when churning by dirt and sand.

Completing a meaner demeanour is a new grille that forgoes a normal Chevy bowtie for a bolder in-your-face “CHEVROLET” grille, customary haze lights, Bison-specific 17-inch aluminum wheels wrapped with 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler tires and AEV badges. All of that joins a ZR2’s tubular rocker protecting side rails and circle flares.

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The Bison’s disdainful grille and steel fender gives it a meaner mug.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Untouched mechanicals

Outside a beefier extraneous pieces and some-more estimable underbody armor, a Bison is matching to a regular ZR2. It’s accessible in Extended Cab or Crew Cab forms, powered by a 3.6-liter V6 creation 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. This engine is corresponding to an eight-speed involuntary delivery that helps a ZR2 lapse an estimated 18 miles per gallon in a city and 22 mpg on a highway. For an additional $3,500 we can ascent to a 2.7-liter diesel I4, pumping out 186 horsepower and a tasty 369 pound-feet of twist. A six-speed involuntary handles changeable duties here, and a diesel engine’s fuel economy matches that of a gasoline equivalent.

The ZR2’s framework carries over mostly unchanged, as well, with customary front and behind electronic locking differentials and a 3.42 behind axle. The cessation has a 2-inch lift pack over normal Colorado pickups, with a 3.5-inch wider track, Multimatic bobbin valve dampers and expel iron control arms.

Off a beaten path

In sequence to give the Bison a correct workout, Chevy took me to an off-road route easterly of Phoenix, Arizona. The lorry laughs off a initial partial of a expedition, simply scurrying adult and down a course’s hills, opposite washouts and over a smaller rocks littering a path.

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The boron steel skids plates come in accessible for stone crawling.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

When it came time to go adult and over some vast boulders, a guides tell us to activate a four-wheel expostulate system’s low operation and close a behind differential. V6 energy is some-more than plenty here, permitting my exam lorry to get over all encountered obstacles with ease, and usually light stifle modulation. we try my best to palliate a Bison kindly down drops, yet a movement plates announce that they are earning their keep on a few occasions with shrill screeches.

At no time does it feel like a boundary of a ZR2 are approached. Granted, a Arizona route isn’t an impassioned Moab run, yet it’s distant from a Sunday drive, too. Overall, a Bison’s turn of off-road bravery is expected some-more than a infancy of folks will ever truly need.

On a beaten, paved path

On roads heading me behind to civilization, a Bison behaves in a truck-like manner. Steering response isn’t a quickest, there’s tranquil physique tip around turns and some sound when cruising down a highway, interjection to a meatier tires. It’s by no means messy and ideally excellent to stone around on a daily basement in relations comfort.

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The Bison’s infotainment complement is on point, yet reserve tech is lacking.


The interior is of customary sub-par Colorado quality, with vast swaths of tough cosmetic creation adult a lurch and doorway panels, and intuitively laid out switchgear. There are no frills here. It’s usually a elementary pickup truck interior that should mount adult good to unchanging abuse.

Chevrolet’s Infotainment 3 complement is housed on an 8-inch touchscreen atop a core stack, determining navigation, a seven-speaker Bose audio setup, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and Bluetooth. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functions are also supported. Hat tip to a ZR2’s countless energy points, with a span of USBs, 12-volt opening and wireless assign pad adult front. Rear passengers have easy entrance to another dual USB ports of their possess and a 12-volt opening on a behind of a core console.

Looking for a latest reserve tech? You best keep moving. Besides a high-definition backup camera, a Bison’s options list doesn’t embody things like adaptive journey control, blind-spot monitoring or brazen collision warning with involuntary puncture braking.

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You’ll be means to go roughly anywhere in a Bison. 

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Ready for adventure

The Bison is a massively able off-road midsize pickup, yet it isn’t a usually diversion in town. The Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro serves as this truck’s approach competition, yet subsequent year, a new Jeep Gladiator Rubicon will be fasten a fray.

When a 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison hits dealers in January, it’ll be labelled during $48,045 for a Extended Cab, including a $995 end charge. Crew Cab models, meanwhile, will start during $49,645. That’s a $5,750 up-charge over a customary ZR2, that competence or competence not be value it. If we aren’t scaling over rocks on a unchanging basis, a Bison’s combined hardware competence be overkill.

Editors’ note: Travel costs associated to this underline were lonesome by a manufacturer. This is common in a automobile industry, as it’s distant some-more careful to boat reporters to cars than to boat cars to journalists. While Roadshow accepts multiday car loans from manufacturers in sequence to yield scored editorial reviews, all scored car reviews are finished on a territory and on a terms.

The judgments and opinions of Roadshow’s editorial group are a possess and we do not accept paid editorial content.

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