Chevrolet Unleashes the 2023 Colorado ZR2: A Burro-Inspired Off-Roader with Mojave Desert Spirit

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A Review of the Stubborn and Sure-Footed Colorado ZR2, Built for Rugged Trails and Adventurous Journeys

In a tale echoing the spirit of William “Burro” Schmidt’s determined tunneling through the Mojave Desert, Chevrolet presents the 2023 Colorado ZR2—a mid-size off-roader designed to conquer the wild with a blend of tenacity and agility. We recently took this burro-inspired beast for a spin, uncovering its prowess in traversing challenging terrains while offering insights into its on-road demeanor.

Burro-Inspired Tenacity:
Drawing parallels to the burros that once traversed the rugged terrains, the Colorado ZR2 exhibits a stubborn and sure-footed nature. The off-road journey to Schmidt’s hand-dug tunnel in the Mojave Desert becomes a slidey and sandy adventure easily tackled by the ZR2. The vehicle’s off-road capabilities are likened to a mule, emphasizing its prowess in conquering challenging trails and terrains.

Mid-Size Growth and Simplified Powertrain:
For 2023, the Colorado ZR2 expands in width, wheelbase, and ground clearance. The powertrain lineup is streamlined, with all versions featuring a turbocharged 2.7-liter inline-four engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The ZR2 variant receives the high-output version, generating 310 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque. This burro powerhouse allows for a towing capacity of 6000 pounds, showcasing its versatility for both work and play.

Off-Road Prowess:
The ZR2’s off-road capabilities are enhanced with a 3.0-inch lift, increased suspension travel, Multimatic DSSV spool-valve dampers, and larger 33-inch tires on 17-inch wheels. These features contribute to a confident and capable performance on challenging surfaces. The Baja drive mode, exclusive to the ZR2, optimizes gear shifts for off-road adventures, encouraging controlled slides in both two- and four-wheel drive.

Fuel Efficiency and Pricing:
While the ZR2 impresses off-road, its fuel efficiency takes a slight dip compared to its predecessor, with an EPA combined rating of 16 mpg. The allure of its burro-inspired performance comes at a price, with the ZR2 now priced at $48,295.

Interior and Features:
Inside, the ZR2 offers a functional yet basic interior. The dark and rubbery cabin houses off-road features such as drive modes and locking differentials, ensuring ease of use in adventurous settings. However, certain controls, like the headlights, are tucked into the 11.3-inch touchscreen. The front seats, heated and optionally ventilated, provide comfort, but the rear seats may leave passengers yearning for more space.

As the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 asserts itself as a burro-inspired off-roader, it combines rugged capabilities with a spirit of adventure. From conquering challenging trails to offering a comfortable on-road experience, the ZR2 embraces its burro heritage, making it an enticing choice for those seeking a versatile and capable mid-size truck.