Jan 4, 2022
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2022 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison

Purpose-built off-road vehicles are gaining in popularity these days and are specifically aimed at folks who don’t want to sift through parts catalogs and do it themselves. We tested the ZR2 Bison back in 2019 and came away very impressed so we were very excited to try it again only this time with the Duramax turbo-diesel engine.

It faces some challenges in the form of the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, and if you were to step up to full size there are other off-road performance trucks like the Ford F-150 Raptor and Ram Power Wagon. Of course, we’ll discount the incredible RAM TRX here since it’s way more expensive.

It’s important to note that the standard ZR2 is already super capable off-road, but Chevrolet takes it a step further here and collaborates with American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) to create an ultra-rugged truck designed to tackle the toughest terrain possible.

The ZR2 Bison is the most rugged version of Chevy’s Colorado, fully prepped for serious trail duty and it works, this vehicle shines off-road and goes places you wouldn’t expect it to. The standard ZR2 is improved over lesser models by having locking front and rear differentials, a stronger rear axle, beefier front control arms, and Multimatic™ shocks as well as underbody protection.

Chevy then sends it to American Expedition Vehicles EV where they add five heavy-duty, hot-stamped, boron steel skid plates to shield the radiator, front and rear differentials, transfer case, and gas tank from damage when crawling over rocks. The front and rear bumper are new, creating less overhang, the front has mounting points for a winch and the rear gets integrated recovery points.

A mean-looking front grille replaces the original and the traditional Chevy bowtie is replaced with the word “CHEVROLET” instead. To finish off the package, standard fog lights, Bison-specific 17-inch aluminum wheels shod with 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler tires, and AEV badges.

There are 2 power options, 3.6-liter V6 making 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and in my tester a 2.8-liter Turbo-Diesel with 186 horsepower and 369 lb.-ft. of torque

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