2024 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Review

Updated on Dec 14, 2023

The 2024 Colorado ZR2 is the most exciting mid-sized truck on the market today combining off-road capability with superb driving dynamics to create the ultimate fun-to-drive truck. Thanks to its smaller size and unique suspension system from Multimatic, the Colorado ZR2 is your daily driven rally car complete with the practicality of a truck bed. 

When it comes to playful driving dynamics it’s hard to beat the new Colorado ZR2. Although this super truck was built for the world of off-road performance its on-road fun factor eclipses that of almost every other truck on the market today.  The Colorado ZR2 is one of those unique cases where adding more off-road capability has improved on-road driving dynamics as well. If you can stomach our test truck's asking price of $52,235 you’re in a truly great driving experience.

An All New Powerful Turbo Engine

For the 2023 model year, the Colorado ZR2 ditches its tried and true 3.6-liter V6 in favor of Chevy’s new 2.7-liter turbocharged inline-4.  In the Colorado ZR2 Chevy’s 2.7-liter produces an impressive 310 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque. This elevates the level of performance for the Colorado ZR2 which can now sprint from 0 to 60mph in only 6.5-seconds. An impressive feat considering this truck uses heavy 33-inch tires.

Although this engine is down two cylinders compared to the previous V6, it managed to bring a little character and excitement to the ubiquitous turbocharged inline-4 engine that’s found in virtually every vehicle on sale today. During cold starts you can hear the turbo spooling and under acceleration, you can hear the boost building. It’s a smooth engine with a lot to like, and according to Chevy, it’s built to handle the rigors of truck duty reliably.

The 2.7-liter turbo was a complete clean sheet design to build a robust and powerful engine to use across Chevy’s range of trucks. This strong platform features things like a Dual-volute turbocharger housing that reduces turbo lag and improves low-end torque, and Continuously variable valve timing for improved efficiency. The aluminum block and head are reinforced to handle the insane 22 PSI of boost engine needs to deliver its impressive power output.

To deliver its remarkable torque output, the 2.7-liter uses a long 102mm stroke. Usually, engines with a longer stroke suffer from increased friction against the cylinder walls, but Chevy used a unique offset crankshaft, which helps keep the pistons centered in the bore and reduces friction losses. The 2.7-liter uses an aluminum head and cylinder block to keep weight down along with a forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods for added durability. 

All of this attention to detail has created an exciting engine for the Colorado ZR2 that delivers notable performance, keeps down weight, and improves fuel economy when compared to the previous generation truck. The 2.7-liter turbo is a great pairing for the Colorado ZR2 and can easily move this mid-size truck with authority. 

Multimatic Shocks Upgraded and Refined

The 2024 Colorado ZR2 uses the incredible spool valve shocks from the motorsport legends at Multimatic. The original Colorado ZR2 was Multimatic’s first truck application and since then both Chevy and Multimatic have stepped up their game to develop even better suspension for the 2024 Colorado ZR2

During on-road driving, the Multimatic shocks deliver a controlled yet supple driving experience. You can take corners at speeds faster than you imagined, yet the chassis isn’t upset by mid-corner bumps or potholes. This clever suspension system means you can enjoy your favorite backroads without worrying about subpar tarmac quality. It’s like owning a rally car with the practicality of a truck bed. 

The magic lies in Multimatic’s use of different spool valves to precisely control the flow of oil based on suspension response and acceleration. This system is all mechanical and is finely tuned by the team at Multimatic who has decades of experience in the world of motorsport and their work really shines on the ZR2. 

Although the Multimatic shocks are designed to handle the punishing world of high-speed off-roading, they remain comfortable and even fun during normal driving. They lead to the 2024 Colorado ZR2’s party pieces, which is its ridiculously fun driving experience.

An Interior That Blends Tech With Substance

The 2024 Colorado ZR2 offers a well-appointed interior that combines a healthy amount of screens with unique materials and touchpoints to create an exciting interior space. The use of a configurable digital dash with a large central touch screen is augmented by buttons needed for frequent activities that offer drivers a great blend of new and old. 

The digital dash is configurable between several different modes that offer unique views of critical truck information. You can choose to have a minimalist display that only shows the digital dash up to a full off-road focused readout that gives detailed information about your ZR2. This offering of unique displays makes the transition to a digital dashboard worthwhile for customers.

The center touch screen is flanked by two HVAC knobs with digital readouts for the dual climate control. This setup makes it easy for passengers to quickly adjust their temperature to the optimal setup. Under the central touch screen is a row of toggle switches that control the ZR2’s locking differentials, auto stop-start, and traction control among other things. This inclusion of physical controls leads to a very user-friendly interior experience. These buttons come in piano black plastic which means they are easily prone to fingerprints and scratches which is not our favorite material choice in the cabin. 

There are exciting touches to the interior space like the camo texture on the dashboard that’s home to the ZR2 badging. The seats are comfortable and their heating and cooling functions are welcomed additions. The air vents look like they’re lifted right from the Chevy Camaro and further add to the special feeling of the ZR2’s interior. 

An Easy To Park Super Truck

When it comes to modern super trucks, the 2024 Colorado ZR2 is by far the smallest and that’s what makes it great. You don’t need a truck that’s the size of a city block with an engine from a cargo ship to have a great time. Sure, we love trucks like the Ford Raptor and Ram TRX, but if you’re not looking to daily drive a main battle tank every day, the Colorado ZR2 is the truck for you.

This mid-sized truck still has a sense of occasion when you’re on the road, and that comes with being easy to park and allowing you to fit in your lane on the highway with space to spare. The 2024 Colorado ZR2 is the perfect truck for the space-conscious enthusiast. 

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