2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ZR2 Overview: The Refined Rock-Smashing Pickup


The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ZR2 is ludicrous. Maintain on, bear with me for a second. How else are you going to explain a truck that weighs greater than 5,000 kilos, can tow virtually 9,000, however can drive at 40 miles an hour down a street too rocky for me to stroll on with out spilling my espresso? Precisely. It’s one of the best type of ludicrous, although — the sort that allows you to get into all kinds of enjoyable and hassle.

If we’re being honest to the parents at Chevrolet, this isn’t even that absurd of a truck. In case you really need ridiculous, try the Ford F-150 Raptor R or the Ram TRX — big-dollar vehicles with pressured induction to assist make obscene energy and allow you to launch over dunes which can be taller than your own home. Compared, the Silverado ZR2 is downright affordable.

In brief: The 2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ZR2 is a extremely succesful off-road pickup fitted with what is perhaps one of the best dampers for all-around use within the enterprise. It’s additionally much more refined than its competitors, for higher or worse.

  • Engine
    6.2L V8
  • HP/Torque
    420/460
  • MPG
    14/17/15 metropolis/freeway/mixed
  • Towing
    8,900 lbs.
  • Payload
    1,440 lbs.

  • Multimatic shocks

  • Particular Goodyear MT tires

  • Twin locking differentials

  • Manufacturing facility rock rails

  • Multitudes of digicam views


  • Irritatingly loud exhaust

  • Wanders on the freeway

  • Some low-cost inside bits

  • No manufacturing facility aspect steps

  • Not as flashy as Raptor and TRX

Silverado 1500 6.2L V8 Energy

2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ZR2 Borla muffler
The tucked-up muffler that’s the bane of the drive-thru (and my neighbors); (photograph/Evan Williams)

We’ll begin with the engine. Chevrolet makes its 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque the old school means by way of a naturally aspirated 6.2L V8.

This can be a extra trendy engine than it sounds, although. The newest 6.2L V8 has dynamic gasoline administration, so it may well run on only a single cylinder to avoid wasting gasoline. Or it may well merely dump in fuel to make a great deal of energy and pump air via the downright infantile Borla exhaust.

On the freeway, this truck ought to be capable to get 17 miles per gallon. In my testing off-road, which was principally blasting down outdated logging roads and never rock crawling, the determine was extra like 9 miles per gallon. Which possibly isn’t so dangerous?

Chevrolet provides a 10-speed automated to the again of that V8, together with a low-range switch case. The 2-speed unit is hooked up to only a few choose grades of Silverado, and in contrast to the lesser Path Boss, solely the ZR2 will get the EV-like one-pedal Terrain drive mode. It’s nice for simplifying getting up and over rocks and logs, irrespective of your off-road driving prowess/expertise.

Twin Digital Lockers

2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ZR2 rear in snow
(Photograph/Evan Williams)

Each the entrance and rear axles on the ZR2 are selectable digital lockers. That is the one model of the Silverado that will get that characteristic. The remaining are restricted to an auto-locking rear.

Selectable lockers are nice for balancing traction wants and having the ability to steer. Attempting to make a decent flip with the entrance diff locked is a process you don’t wish to must do off-road, however the one-touch management enables you to commute between steering capability and most traction as wanted.

Chevy enables you to lock the rear differential in two-wheel drive in addition to 4Hi, which is ideal for getting out of a little bit of snow with out taking the time to shift to four-wheel drive. Or, you understand, for ensuring you’re spinning each rear tires if you showcase on the native automotive meet.

Silverado 1500 ZR2-Particular Tires

2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ZR2 front
(Photograph/Evan Williams)

Huge off-road intentions want large tires, and the Silverado has some good-sized rubber. The 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory MTs have large, imply tread lugs and even lugs on the aspect to assist defend them from path injury and assist dig you out of a gap.

They aren’t as large because the 37s Ford presents on the Raptor, however GM’s little bit of additional sanity makes up for it. See, these explicit Territory tires are particular to the ZR2. Chevrolet had Goodyear tweak the tread to maintain the traction and sturdiness however drop the freeway howl.

The tires are hardly silent on the freeway, however they’re lots quieter than your typical mud terrain tire. That is the affordable full-sized off-roader, proper?

2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ZR2 front grille close-up
(Photograph/Evan Williams)

Then once more, that large exhaust does a fairly nice job of masking up some other sounds … like your radio, your youngsters, or your native legislation enforcement sad about these two-tire burnouts earlier. At the least it’s non-obligatory.

What the Silverado ZR2 doesn’t do with these tires is as notable as what it does. They aren’t pushed out beneath large fender flares that make ZR2 unimaginable to park. Possibly the look isn’t as cool because the extra excessive competitors, however it’s additionally lots nicer in on a regular basis life. Once more, it’s extra affordable.

Chevy has packed some extra off-road package into the 2023 Silverado ZR2, like beefy skid plates for the engine and switch case. There are some large pink restoration hooks as nicely, and rock rails to guard the perimeters of the cab.

Magic Shocks for the 2023 Silverado 1500 ZR2

2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ZR2 shocks close-up
(Photograph/Evan Williams)

Now we’re on the place the place Chevrolet has been solely unreasonable and the place the large pickup has a definite edge over any off-road rivals.

Simply have a look at these gold shock absorbers poking out from behind the wheels. The large reservoirs that learn Multimatic DSSV. To me, they are saying “magic.”

I’ve gone in-depth into how these shocks work earlier than, however right here’s your abstract: As an alternative of conventional shock valving, they use spool valves. The valve system presents unimaginable ranges of tuning by engineers, and the shocks do precisely what they’re informed. They’re not adaptive or electronically adjusted; they’re simply made higher.

2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ZR2 snow trail downhill
(Photograph/Evan Williams)

These shocks let the Silverado ZR2 journey extra easily than any crossovers on the freeway however then absorb virtually something that the path has to throw at it.

The heavy weight of this truck exhibits that there are limitations to the magic. The physique merely isn’t as nicely managed as it’s on the a lot lighter Colorado ZR2. However it does blow away anything when the bumps get large, and the path will get gnarly.

Silverado ZR2: Constructed for Off-Highway

2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 snow trail, front three-quarter
(Photograph/Evan Williams)

Chevrolet’s low-range gearing and locking differentials provide you with loads of traction for climbing obstacles and massive piles of dust. The front-facing cameras and the intelligent cut-outs within the entrance bumper provide you with most management and extra clearance if you’re getting near these obstacles, ensuring you hit them with the tires (or by no means) and never the bumper. All of the whereas, spectacular wheel articulation retains these tires touching in some fairly superb conditions.

However it’s that tough street journey that I like a lot on this truck. Like I stated, driving down roads the place lesser vehicles could be wagging their tails like a corgi, the Silverado ZR2 is easy sufficient for me to sip my double-double with out spilling a drop. (That’s a espresso, not a burger, for individuals who don’t communicate Canadian.)

The tail stays planted, the tires stay related with the bottom, and also you don’t see a twerking mattress in your rearview mirror.

Not Unhealthy On-Freeway Both

2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ZR2 rear three-quarter gravel
(Photograph/Evan Williams)

Freeway efficiency isn’t excellent, after all. The tall mud terrain tires play the most important half in that, with sidewalls that flex and a tread sample that wanders backward and forward simply sufficient so that you can discover. Steering that doesn’t relax at you on the path can also be obscure on paved roads. So that you get a bit extra of that wandering on the freeway.

The ZR2 goes to take a bit extra work to steer on the street than an ordinary Silverado. However as the one actual consequence of the off-road functionality you acquire, it’s nicely price it.

On the within, this feels extra like a luxurious truck than one thing you wish to bash down a again street. It virtually must, although, since that is the most costly Silverado trim by round 5 grand. At this worth, you need cozy, and ZR2 delivers.

Silverado ZR2 Excessive-Tech Inside

2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ZR2 interior front dash
(Photograph/Evan Williams)

The seats and sprint are completed in a mixture of black and gray leather-based. The colours and patterns are particular to the ZR2, together with the neon inexperienced distinction stitching. Undecided if we love that shade, particularly towards the blue paint, however no less than it’s completely different.

ZR2 will get Chevrolet’s new 13.4-inch heart display screen and new Google built-in infotainment system. I like that it has Google Maps and different obtainable apps. However it doesn’t have the breadcrumb path Ford’s off-roaders supply. And the system was sluggish to play audio after I began the car. Particularly, it usually took as much as a few minutes earlier than SiriusXM would begin enjoying these TikTok tunes.

The sprint can also be a digital 12.3-inch display screen that’s extremely configurable. I favored the off-road pages that confirmed extra than simply the same old pitch and roll angles. The display screen has a small show displaying the standing of the differential locks but in addition lights up a wheel icon to let you understand which tire has misplaced traction.

That low traction alert characteristic labored each going and stopping and was very useful when the snow-covered dust roads acquired slick. It’ll present that off-road information within the head-up show, too.

2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ZR2 interior front seats
(Photograph/Evan Williams)

Silverado ZR2 has a lot of the similar good bits that the remainder of the Silverado lineup has. The large cabin was loaded with cubbies to cover cargo, there are about 100 cargo tie-down loops within the mattress, and it has GM’s slick multi-purpose tailgate, for instance. It additionally has a number of the similar downsides as the usual truck, like a headlight swap that I someway pushed into the sprint every time I acquired within the truck.

Like the opposite off-road pickups, Silverado ZR2 sacrifices a little bit of towing and payload capability. The Chevy can tow 8,900 kilos and has a payload of 1,440. Examine that with as much as 13,100 kilos and 1,750 on non-ZR2 crew cab Silverado fashions.

Ram TRX can deal with 8,100 kilos of towing and has a payload of 1,310. Raptor’s max tow is 8,200 kilos, and the payload peaks at 1,400 kilos. So ZR2 wins, however it’s actually extra of a draw.

2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ZR2 Overview: Abstract

2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ZR2 rear bed tailgate down
(Photograph/Evan Williams)

Ranging from $73,395, the Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 is way from low-cost, however it does signify a little bit of a cut price. A Raptor begins from about three grand extra, and TRX begins from $10,000 extra (if you will discover one). If you’d like sooner, you’ll be able to push a 6.2L Silverado to 650 horses lots cheaper and simpler than including Multimatic dampers to both one of many different vehicles.

Silverado ZR2 won’t be as flashy or showy as the acute off-road competitors, however there’s extra to life than strutting round like a peacock. The Silverado ZR2 is immensely succesful, particularly contemplating its dimension. This large truck can flip unmaintained washboard into freeway pavement, and it may well tow or haul your toys into the woods with you.

It is perhaps straightforward to miss, however it’s one you mustn’t ignore. And if you’d like a bit of extra flash, there’s at all times the Silverado AEV Bison.