January 12

What is the difference between the Z71 and ZR2?


Two of the best versions of the Chevrolet Colorado are the Z71 and the ZR2. At first glance, these two trim levels may seem so similar that it’s hard to know which is right for you. We’ll highlight the key differences between these two trims below so that you can select the best Chevrolet Colorado for your situation.

The Chevrolet Colorado Z71 vs. ZR2: Similarities

z71 vs zr2
Photo by Cole Freeman on Unsplash

Before we look at the differences between the Z71 and the ZR2, let’s consider what these two trims have in common. You can choose extended cab and long-bed configurations for either truck, but both vehicles come standard as two-door, short-bed trucks with many of the same internal components. For example, the standard engine in both trims is a 3.6-liter V-6 that delivers 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque. The ZR2 is a more premium version of the Z71, so it has many of the same elements but upgrades in a few areas.

On top of this, the Z71 and the ZR2 can haul up to 1,550 lbs and tow up to 7,700 lbs. They also have similar amenities inside, such as heated seats, a rearview camera, and an infotainment system in the dashboard. With all their similarities, you’ll likely enjoy either truck. But a few noticeable differences may sway you more toward one.


One immediately noticeable difference between the Z71 and the ZR2 is the truck’s size. Here are the standard dimensions of the Z71:

  • Overall length: 212.7 inches.
  • Overall height: 70.6 inches.
  • Wheelbase: 128.3 inches.
  • Width (without mirrors): 74.3 inches.
  • Ground clearance: 8.2 inches.

Some of these numbers change if you get a long box with the crew cab, as it extends the overall length to 224.9 inches and the wheelbase to 140.5 inches. Regardless of your option, you’ll get different measurements with the ZR2. The standard measurements for this model are as follows:

  • Overall length: 212.7 inches.
  • Overall height: 72.5 inches.
  • Wheelbase: 128.5 inches.
  • Width (without mirrors): 76.7 inches.
  • Ground clearance: 10 inches.

Similar to the Z71, the dimensions for the ZR2 change if you opt for the extended cab/long box configuration. The overall length is 225 inches because of the extra interior and exterior space. As you can see, while some dimensions are the same between the two trims, there are some significant differences. For example, the ZR2 has more ground clearance, so it may be the better trim package if you plan to go off-roading.

Off-Roading Capabilities:

The off-roading capabilities are perhaps the most significant difference between the Z71 and the ZR2. The Z71 is off-road capable, but the ZR2 has some extra features that are perfect if you plan to go off-roading frequently or on more challenging trails. For example, there’s additional ground clearance to help protect the bottom of your truck. The ZR2 has a better suspension system and driver-selectable front and rear differentials.

Exterior Colors:

Another minor difference between the Z71 and the ZR2 is the color options. The Dusk and Midnight Special Editions with blacked-out aesthetics are available for the ZR2, while the Z71 only has the Midnight Special Edition. These editions add unique colors to the exterior and have other features, such as off-road lights and a sports bar, that you won’t find on other trims. If you’re a fan of either of these color options and want to improve the appearance of your Chevrolet Colorado, you may want to upgrade for this reason alone.


Finally, there’s the price difference between the two trims. As the ZR2 adds more features, the two are more expensive. The Colorado Z71 has an MSRP of $35,000, while the ZR2 starts at $42,600, making the ZR2 almost $7,600 more than the Z71. However, adding similar upgrades to the Z71 through optional packages will likely cost you more than the ZR2. And with the number of improvements the ZR2 has, you might find it worth the additional cost.

Which Version of the Chevrolet Colorado Should You Get?

What you want from an off-road vehicle can determine whether the Z71 or the ZR2 is the best truck for you. If you want a truck that can handle practically anything you throw at it, including more demanding road conditions, you’ll want to consider the ZR2. With its improved suspension, wider stance, and increased lift, it’s the superior truck for going off-road.

But if you don’t plan on going off-road that often or don’t anticipate the trails being that tough, you might want to save money by going with the Z71 instead. It’s the most affordable of the two options and is still a capable off-road vehicle. Both trims have many similarities if you’re more concerned about the interior and exterior features than the off-roading capabilities.

Learn More About the Chevy Colorado at Huffines Chevrolet in Lewisville

If you’re interested in the Chevy Colorado Z71 or the Chevy Colorado ZR2 and live in the Lewisville area, stop by Huffines Chevrolet.¬†Directions to our dealership¬†are linked here.

You can also browse our current inventory of Colorado trucks online to see what’s available. Be sure to check out our latest new vehicle specials for more money-saving options. If you have any further questions about the Z71 or the ZR2, please contact our team, and we’ll provide the answers you need to select the best version for you. Thank you for choosing Huffines Chevrolet, and we look forward to hearing from you!


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