2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison : Review

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The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is already a very capable off-road truck, but Chevy didn’t stop there. They collaborated with American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) to make it even more badass, and the results are compelling for anyone looking to purchase the ultimate off-road truck directly from a dealership, complete with a factory warranty. Last month we were invited out to Arizona to put the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison to the test on a challenging off-road trail and we had an absolute blast. Sections of the trail were straight-up rock crawling, and Chevrolet wasn’t worried one bit, because the Bison was made to handle everything with ease. Please enjoy our video captured during an epic morning on Mineral Mountain.

As you can see, we were able to climb over those rocks with ease, by utilizing the ZR2’s Autotrac transfer case, and locking electronic differentials. With the Bison, all of that important technology is even further protected by plenty of custom AEV designed steel goodness. The 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison offers maximum protection in the form of five skid plates constructed of durable hot-stamped boron steel. Even with all of those rocks, we were able to keep the skid plates scratch and dent free thanks to plenty of ground clearance and expert spotting. However we were glad to have them smartly protecting the front end, engine oil pan, transfer case, gas tank, and rear differential. Seriously, we got a good look underneath this truck, and it’s essentially armored.

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The Colorado ZR2 already comes with some awesome off-road rock sliders and our spotters had us utilize them in one tricky spot, where they performed just as expected. Bison takes protection to the next level though, with AEV-designed stamped steel front and rear bumpers. The front bumper contains winch provisions and standard fog lights, with recovery points integrated into the rear bumper. We didn’t need either a winch or recovery straps on this particular trail ride, but know things don’t always go as planned.

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“The Colorado Z71 offers a full suite of off-road equipment, the maneuverability of a midsize truck and the driving range of a class-exclusive diesel engine. The Colorado ZR2 offers even greater off-road capability with class-exclusive front and rear locking differentials and Multimatic DSSVTM dampers. And now, Bison offers customers an even more extreme turnkey off-road truck ready to tackle your next adventure.” said Sandor Piszar, director of Marketing, Chevrolet Truck.

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While this Chevy Bison is definitely not an appearance package, it does come with plenty of special AEV Bison badging to let everyone know that you’re the badass on the trail. There is also a new CHEVROLET Grille, Bison-specific 17×8-inch aluminum wheels and an optional snorkel. We only wish they offered a more adventurous color to really catch the attention of the Jeep Wrangler crowd. We’d love to see the Bison offered in Orange, Yellow, or Lime Green as we think off-road buyers are more likely to embrace those colors than the typical Colorado shopper.

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The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 already lacked a true competitor in terms of off-road capability in a midsize truck, but the new Bison model elevates it to an even higher level just in time to compete with Jeep’s newly unveiled Gladiator. The 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison wasn’t made to just look cool on the road (although it does), it was purpose built to tackle tough off-road trails straight from the dealership. It will deliver on that promise when it arrives on showroom floors in January. We can’t wait to take one out on the trail again.

Philip Van der Vossen

Editor at Gunaxin
Philip Van der Vossen is the Editor of Gunaxin, a Men's Lifestyle Magazine that was established in 2008. Philip also created and hosts the Trail Trek Tour, a traveling series of off-road events for automotive media.

Additionally, Philip has served as Rally Director for the Washington Automotive Press Association, Speaker at IMPAcon and Blogs with Balls, Chairman of the Relay For Life of North Anne Arundel County, Examiner Team Leader for the Maryland Performance Excellence Awards, and Credentialed Founder of Capitals Outsider.
phil