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2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Crew Cab Diesel Review: Expected Price, Release Date, and MPG

Bhavik Sreenath's image
Bhavik Sreenath

Automotive Journalist

August 26, 2020 at 09:01 AM

The 2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is the most hardcore, off-road centric version of the popular Chevy Colorado pickup truck that comes with a punchy diesel engine and tonnes of kit to tread anywhere. With all its “goodness” intact, the ZR2 is the most powerful and most aggressive Colorado one can get. Sitting at the top of its family tree, the 2021 model should carry a starting price of around $41,600.

From small hatchbacks to sedans and from sedans to pickup trucks and bulky SUVs. The automotive trend doesn’t take time to change. With the mid-sized pickup trucks in a big ask, companies now introduce luxurious yet practical go-anywhere pickup trucks. Chevrolet has lately unveiled its new Colorado ZR2 for 2021. Sure! It doesn’t get a significant upgrade, but it offers a lot more than before.

2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is the most hardcore version of this entry-level truck

The Chevrolet, since its first launch in 2003, hasn’t seen many changes, nor has it gone through significant changes. So much so, this truck is still in its second-generation, which debuted in 2012. For 2021 yet again, the company has not given its significant updates. A couple of cosmetic tricks here and there have uplifted the go-anywhere nature of this 4X4 tuck. The Chevrolet Colorado is one of the most popular trucks amongst the buyers because of its fantastic offroading capabilities along with the right amount of latest tech inside. All this is enhanced by the sheer number of options and combinations one can opt when buying this beautiful truck. The starting asking price for the truck is about $25,000, but that is for the single-cab version. The real fun lies in the more aggressive Colorado ZR2, which starts from nearly $43,000, and yes, it is well worth the money.

What's New?

  • All new top-of-the-line off-road trim 

2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Crew Cab Diesel Expected Price and Release Date

With the introduction of the new 2021 Colorado and all the latest that it brings along will surely have a massive impact on the ongoing truck market. What is more, the buyers are surely going to like the new and classy upgrades that the truck has undergone, especially in its ZR2 off-roading trim. This version on the car has seen some fair bit of revisions, especially on the exterior, which also includes some new body colors, especially the dune metallic, which makes the truck stand out in the crowd.

Despite these cosmetic changes, the MSRP of Colorado is highly likely going to lie in the same price bracket, which starts from $41,600 that is without options. Talking about the dates, GM will be unveiling the price somewhere in the second half of 2020.

What to expect under the hood of the 2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Crew Cab Diesel?

In the powertrain department, the 2021 Colorado ZR2 is identical to the 2020 model and gets the same 3.6-liter V6 gasoline engine, which produces a healthy 308hp@6,800rpm and delivers 275lb-ft of torque at 4,000rpm. Unlike the ZR2, the other variants and models have this department untouched. The other engine is the 2.8-liter inline-four turbo diesel, which makes 181hp of power and a healthy 369lb-ft of peak torque. Well, Colorado is the only truck that is offered with a diesel engine amongst its rivals.

Both the engines are mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox, which delivers the right amount of power to all the four wheels. This engine is refined and serves the power in a very linear manner, which is crucial when it comes to off-roading. This engine and transmission combo allows the truck to pull or tow heavy loads seamlessly.

Model

2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Crew Cab Diesel

2020 Ford Ranger Lariat

Toyota 2020 Tacoma TRD Pro

2020 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E

MSRP

$41,600

$32,500

$45,080

$43,115

Engine

2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel

2.3-Liter Eco-boost V6

3.5-Liter V6

3.5-Liter V6

Drivetrain

4WD

4WD

4WD

4WD

Transmission

8-Speed Automatic

10-Speed Automatic

6-Speed Automatic

9-Speed Automatic

Power (hp @ rpm)

181 @ 6800

270 @ 5500

278 @ 6000

280 @ 6000

Torque (ft-lbs @ rpm)

369 @ 2000

310 @ 3000

265 @ 4600

262 @ 4700

0-60 mph (sec)

9.1

6.1

7.7

7.2 

Quarter-Mile (sec)

16.3

14.7

15.2

15.6

The diesel engines are known for the bucket load of torque that they offer, which always is a plus when off-roading. This engine is more than capable of propelling this humongous beast from standstill to 60mph in just 9.1 seconds. The 0-60 times are sure less than that of the V6, but the low-end torque is what that matters. Being a diesel, this truck does not match the 0-60 timings and is the slowest. But when it comes to the hauling capacity, it is the Colorado ZR2, which has a higher capacity.

Does the 2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 seem like a promising handler?

Although it gains heavy off-road surgery, the 2021 Colorado ZR2 would behave similarly to its petrol-powered sibling. A firm and compliant ride along straight stretches and fair control over twisties. However, since the ZR2 gets a raised ground-clearance, off-road wheels, retuned suspension, and several other off-road tweaks, the ride quality might not be as sumptuous as regular Colorado for sure. The Colorado ZR2 though is not for handling and where it nails it is with extensive wild and off-roading accessories. 

2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 gets a bespoke suspension setup

As part of its muscular treatment, the ZR2 gets segment-exclusive Multimatic DSSV position-sensitive dampers and standard front and rear electronic locking differentials. Its tire-track is also 3.5-inch wider followed by off-road rocker protection, cast-iron control arms, multiple skid plates, and Automatic transfer case. All of these are part of the ZR2’s standard armament. While these tough accessories might consume some of the ride comforts of the Colorado ZR2 they do enhance its wild prowess by several times. 

What are the fuel efficiency figures for the 2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Crew Cab Diesel?

After the amount of torque on offer, the diesel engines are known for the efficiency or high MPG figures. With that said, this engine will deliver about 18mpg in the city and nearly 22mpg on the highway and 20mpg combined. These figures are, of course, one of the best that one could get in the class, especially at the price point and the immense capability which the ZR2 has to offer. 

Model

2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Crew Cab Diesel

2020 Ford Ranger Lariat

Toyota 2020 Tacoma TRD Pro

2020 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E

MPG (City)

18

20

18

19

MPG (Highway)

22

24

22

24

MPG (Combined)

20

22

20

21

Fuel-Tank Capacity

21

18

21.1

19.5

Range (City/Highway) (in Miles)

336/378

360/ 432

379.8/464.2

370.5/468

When it comes to the rivals, well, there are any straight rivals, and when talking about this car in the woods, inevitably, the car will not going to disappoint you. Though the new 2021 Colorado might get the same engine and may also see some improvements in the overall mpg.

What is it like inside the 2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Crew Cab Diesel?

For starters, there are not many changes on the inside of the vehicle. With that said, the track feels a bit old and desperately requires an upgrade here and there. Even the materials used on the dash and the panels have started looking cheap and also need an update. But keeping that aside, there is nothing to complain about as the car is meant to be rugged and not a luxury feel. But still, the car offers a decent equipment list which will keep you comfy, especially the front seats during the off-road trails. When it comes to the rear, the seats are a bit cramped.

2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 gets an updated infotainement

But keeping that aside, this truck sure takes good care of the occupants as it comes with heated front seats, heated steering wheel to drive in the cold weather. The driver of the cab has to spend long hours on its seats, keeping that in mind the truck comes with powered driver and front passenger seats. Well, it doesn’t end there Automatic climate control, keyless entry and go with telematics is also a part of the standard kit in the ZR2.

Model

2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Crew Cab Diesel

2020 Ford Ranger Lariat

Toyota 2020 Tacoma TRD Pro

2020 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

41.4/57.5/45

39.5/ 56.7/ 43.1

39.7/ 58.3/ 42.9

39.5/ 62/ 40.9

Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

36.7/57.3/28.6

38.3/ 56.3/ 34.5

38.3/ 58.9/ 32.6

38.8/ 61.5/ 36.7

Payload Capacity (lbs)

1578

1560

1175

1499

Sure! The truck on the inside is decent and will give the right amount of comfort but not in a very luxurious manner. This is what the new 2021 might get with some updated interiors and better material quality. Being a diesel, it has the maximum capacity of 1578lbs in the flatbed and it can even tow around 7,700lbs of cargo.

Does it come loaded with tech inside?

This is where this truck will not disappoint you as it comes with some latest tech to keep you entertained on the go. Talking further, it comes with many standard features and some optional tech on the inside. The talking factor is the 8-inch touch screen which comes standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Music lovers would find the 6-speaker stereo setup comfortable enough for their audio needs.

While we had no great complaints regarding the infotainment on existing Colorado, the 2021 colorado should be under the same lines as well. Not very sharp and crisp, but the infotainment screen is expected to offer good visibility along with a clutter-free interface and active responses. You can also grab the infotainment system with connected navigation and OnStar services as well. 

Will there be any changes to the exterior of the 2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Crew Cab Diesel?

This truck from GM never requires any introduction. Indeed the design of the car says it all that it is capable of. More to it are the optional packages which add another factor of off-road capabilities. The new 2021 model will get a bigger and wider grille than before which lends the car more attitude. Thanks to the new lettered, flow-through front fascia (what Chevrolet calls the new design) which is now more rugged and aggressive with plentiful black treatment. 

2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is the most aggressive looking Colorado in Chevy's lineup

With that, Colorado also comes with optional packages like the Bison package, which gives the car extra safety to the engine bay and the fuel tank and alongside also adds the right amount of muscle. You also get larger and wider wheel arches which are now also highlighted by black cladding and you of-course get the massive off-road wheels with the ZR2. Rest everything remains mostly the same as regular Colorado.

Model

2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Crew Cab Diesel

2020 Ford Ranger Lariat

Toyota 2020 Tacoma TRD Pro

2020 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E

Curb Weight (lb) 

3,984

4,232

4,305

4255

Length (inches) 

212.4

210.8

212.3

210

Width (inches)

76.7

85.8

75.2

78.6

Height (inches)

72.4

71.5

71.6

70.8

Ground Clearance (inches)

10

8.9

9.4

7.87

Wheelbase (inches) 

128.5

126.8

127.4

125.2

If it was all about the numbers game, this vehicle is amongst the biggest crew cab trucks in its segment. The larger dimensions on the outside inevitably result in better space on the inside, and indeed, Chevrolet has laid the cabin well. The fun part is the ZR2 Crew cab sits the highest on the ground, which sure has an advantage over the uneven patch of roads.

 Will the 2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Crew Cab Diesel be worth my time and money?

2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 offers the right package for the keep off-road enthusiasts. The rugged exterior and the robust yet utilitarian interiors add the flavor to those off-road drives. The most important, this time, the truck might get the same diesel engine as before to be the best companion in those uneven trails.

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