Saturday, May 18, 2024



For a 10-year period that ended late last year, Chevrolet urged us to “Find New Roads” in its advertising.

Maybe they changed it because with vehicles like the 2024 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison pickup you don’t need to bother finding any roads, let alone new ones, to get where you want to go.

Introduced as a compact pickup a couple of decades ago, the Colorado has since grown a bit to move into the midsize truck segment and a collaboration with American Expedition Vehicles, a manufacturing company specializing in aftermarket parts and accessories to increase a vehicle’s off-roading capability, has made the Colorado’s ZR2 trim a got-to-have vehicle for trail-driving enthusiasts.

Chevy flatly calls it “America’s ultimate off-road beast.”

With the additions from AEV that include upgraded front and rear bumpers and skid plates, increased fender flares to accommodate 17-inch beadlock capable wheels shod with exclusive 35-inch mud/terrain tires, multimatic jounce control dampers, and a heavy duty winch-capable front bumper, the 2024 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison is prepared for even more rugged terrain than little brother Trail Boss model.

The 2024 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison is not, however, a vehicle for everyone. With ground clearance increased to 12.2 inch (from 10.7 on the standard ZR2) and without convenient running boards, it is a bear to get in and out of. The placement of the spare tire in the bed smack dab against the rear of the Crew Cab cabin, cuts the view out the back dangerously by more than half. Digital rearview mirror, anyone?

But if you need a truck more for work than play, the 2024 Chevy Colorado also comes in more functional WT (for Work Truck), LT, and Z71 trims. They are available in either 2-wheel or 4-wheel drive with a turbocharged,  2.7-liter 4-cylinder tuned to either 310 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque or 231 hp and 569 lb.ft.

All trims get an 8-speed automatic transmission, and all are Crew Cabs with a 5-foot bed.

The 2024 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison, which this review is based on, gets the high-output power train that includes the 2-speed transfer case and 4-wheel drive.

Despite its rugged appeal, the 2024 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison comes with standard convenience features like an 11.3-inch touchscreen display that includes navigation, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and dual-zone climate control.

LED headlights and fog lights are standard, and there are rocker panel protectors on each side. Remote and push-button start are included.

Safety features include forward collision alert, front pedestrian and cyclist warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane-keep assist and departure warning, but blind zone and rear cross-traffic braking and rear parking assist come in an option Safety Package.

The base 2024 Chevy Colorado ZR2 carries a starting MSRP of $46,700 and the ZR2 Biston runs that up to $58,500 before extras and the $1,595 destination and delivery charge are added on. 

My test vehicle included an optional ZR2 Convenience Package (driver-seat memory settings, heated steering wheel, leather-appointed and ventilated front seats, and wireless charging) and other extras that included an underbody camera, adaptive cruise control, and premium sound that ran the final bottom line to $65,175.

The base Colorado starts at under $30,000 and the starting MSRP for LT and Trail Boss trims are under $40,000.

What I liked about the 2024 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison Edition: The ride is composed and quiet, especially for a truck this size. o 2.7-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine provides good punch and excellent towing power, though the rating for Bison models are rated slightly less than the standard ZR2 (5,500 to 6,000 pounds). Tech features are plentiful and intuitive to operate.

What I didn’t like about the 2024 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison Edition:
Getting in and out of the Crew Cabin is a nightmare, especially for those going to the back seat. Chevy has sacrificed a running board to increase ground clearance, but unless you are the size of an NBA power forward, you are going to tire quickly of climbing to get in and jumping down to get out. Putting the spare tire in the bed smack up against the rear of the cabin seriously intrudes on the rear view. The rear seat is ot very roomy with less than 35 inches of legroom. Getting into tight parking spaces is difficult. No diesel is offered.

Would I buy the 2024 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison Edition? If you  are going to do a lot of off-roading, especially through challenging terrain, this is the truck for you. Less serious off-roaders can make do with the Trail Boss trim. If you do more hauling than trail-riding, you’ll want one of the other trims as payload for the Bison is slightly less. I don’t do either so I’m personally not looking in the segment.

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