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Chevy Colorado ZR2 Customer Conquest Should Make Toyota Nervous

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John Goreham
Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com
3-26-2017

One reason manufacturers create "halo" cars and trucks is to pull in the fans. Those who really live the life that particular vehicle is associated with. The customers who enjoy that lifestyle, but have other needs that put daily drivability first will still shop the model but will go for the less extreme trims. We have been following Joey Karr's 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 purchase since we discovered that he will be among the first owners. Joey definitely lives the life. His Red Hot ZR2 V6 is already on order and he expects to take delivery in about four more weeks. Joey has promised to share his thoughts and images with GM-Trucks.com once the truck arrives. In speaking with Joey, we were surprised to find out that he is the owner of a unique business. One that one might think would point him in the direction of a 4Runner TRD Pro or Tacoma TRD Pro. Rather than tell you what we learned, we will let Joey take it from here with some question prompts to tell the tale. We think you may be interested and possibly a little jealous when you hear what Joey drives, owns and does for work:

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GM-Trucks: Joey, let's jump right in. Tell us what you do for work:

JK: I own a store called "The 4Runner House", A Toyota Pickup and 4Runner parts and repair specialty shop. I have been open for over 7 years and have grown partial to the Toyota quality. Over the years I've personally owned at least 100 classic Toyota 4x4's and have a lot of experience using them on the trails. With that said, I really cannot be biased towards one brand or the other, I just tell it like it is.

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GM-Trucks: Tell us about the Toyotas you own now.

Joey: I have a 1980 Toyota Pickup V8 monster truck which is strictly an indoor show truck. Also a 1988 Toyota Pickup 4x4 4cyl with 385k miles that is lifted 2" on 31" tires with front and rear locking differentials. The '88 is a great truck to put miles on and is very capable on the trails. Like the 1980, it has a roll bar in the bed but also a spare tire carrier which makes the bed space very limited. I also I own a 2014 4Runner trail edition with KDSS suspension. I modified it with an icon 3" suspension lift, total chaos upper control arms and 33" tires. It's an awesome truck that is very capable so I will only sell it for something worth giving it up for. Right now compared to the ZR2 I have more ground clearance, better approach and departure angles along with more cabin space.

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GM-Trucks: You also have a pretty special GMC truck.

Joey: Yes, I have a 45k mile GMC Syclone that makes around 900hp. It has a GM bow tie block with full forged internals, Vortec big valve head conversion, 75mm turbo, stand alone ECU, a big fuel system and pretty much everything under the sun.

 

GM-Trucks: With all those amazing options, why are you even considering another vehicle?

Joey: Recently I decided that I need buy a pickup as my main daily driver. I have always been a GM guy at heart. I've owned many Corvettes, Camaros, Syclone's, Typhoons and Blazers. When I first heard that the ZR2 name was being brought back I was immediately interested. I always wanted one of the original S10 ZR2 trucks back in the 90's. Although I didn't want to buy a Colorado just for the ZR2 name unless it was really worth it. I was never a fan of the cab shape or front end of the 2015+ Colorado but I wanted to give it a chance anyway. The first thing that got my attention with the ZR2 was the wider rear axle, longer front control arms with spool valve shocks and a 2" lift. I also really liked that it had rock sliders stock. After GM finally confirmed that it would get electronic locking front and rear differentials I was pretty much sold.

 

GM-Trucks: So why not a Tacoma TRD Pro?

Joey: There's quite a few good reasons. First off, after driving a new Tacoma it's V6 felt underpowered and more like a 4cyl. The V6 Tacoma is faster than a diesel Colorado but doesn't feel like it pulls near as hard as the V6 Colorado. The Tacoma does drive nice but definitely not as well or as enjoyable as the Colorado. I really liked the electric steering in the 3 different 2017 Colorados I've driven. It really handles more like a sports car than a pickup. Another plus for the Colorado is that it gets slightly better mpg's V6 to V6. The biggest problem with the Tacoma as an off-roader is that it has no option for a front locking differential. That alone has kept me from buying one. At least in my 4Runner I have the A-trac which uses the brakes to technically lock the front diff. It also seems that while the build quality of the Colorado has only improved over the years it's seemed to get worse with the Tacoma. There is a wide range of aftermarket support for the Tacoma which is great but I still can't get over that hideous front end. Another advantage the 8 speed ZR2 has over the Tacoma is its 43:1 crawl ratio. While the Tacoma isn't too far behind at 36.2:1 it doesn't do well crawling with anything over stock size tires. Overall the new Tacoma just doesn't interest me enough to buy one.

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GM-Trucks: You are going to be one of the first ZR2 owners. How did you find it?

Joey: In the search for a ZR2 I decided to use the same dealer that my parents just bought their 2017 Tahoe from. My salesman Chuck Winnett from Huffines Chevrolet in Plano, TX is one of coolest car dealers I've ever had the chance to work with. He never tries to pressure you into a sale like most car dealers and is just real down to earth. I have been talking with Chuck about buying a ZR2 for the last 4 months. When they received their first 3 allocations for ordering a ZR2 he was nice enough to give me one of the openings to order the way I wanted. As of now, we are just waiting on the manufacturer to post a build date and then we'll see what happens when it gets here.

 

GM-Trucks.com would like to extend our thanks to Joey Karr for being so generous with his time and personal story. We have just one question for the membership; If you could borrow just one of Joey's rides which would you choose?

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I highly doubt Crapota gets nervous over anything GM does anymore. More like laughs in their face.

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Love my bulletproof and ultra reliable as hell 07' Crapota 4Runner with 90K on the odometer that drives as smooth as glass. No paint defects, no electrical issues, no vibration issues, no mechanical issues and have yet to see a check engine light come on in the dash. I put gas in it, change oil every 5k, and every 50k put on a new set of tires and change out the brake pads...

 

Waiting for Toyota to introduce a diesel power-train one day to give the Big 3 a run for their money in the 3/4 and 1-ton markets.

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I had a 16 Tacoma with the 3.5 engine and 6 spd tranny. It is a horrible combination. Constant upshifting / downshifting (harshly). Never got close to the stated mpg even in stock form. I averaged 16-17mpg. The hood support bracket 'glue' came undone, had a wavy, shaking hood at speed. The 4-lo engagement was wonky and the one time I needed it it would not engage. This isn't an isolated case either- A lot of folks have had the same issues, and some far worse- a lot of rear diffs getting replaced..

 

Dealer support was horrible. Every problem I had was a 'Normal Characteristic of the truck'. Even the separating hood! They said 'Normal'.. I had a sales guy pop the hood of a four runner and said "Uh- looks like it's attached on this one pal'.. They refused to fix it.

 

I ditched it after 14K and 6 months of ownership.

 

There is a world of difference between a Japanese made 4 runner and an American produced Tacoma. The QC issues on the Tacomas are not worth the premium price paid for a mid sized truck.

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Glad to see they are finally shipping ZR2's!

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Face it, the Colorado platform has nothing on the Tacoma. 3rd Gen sucks for the Tacoma, and it still out sells all others .

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      The all-new 2.7L Turbo will be built at the General Motors Spring Hill facility in Tennessee.
       
      The 2019 Silverado goes on sale this fall. EPA fuel economy estimates and towing/payload capacities are not yet available and will be announced closer to launch.
    • By Zane

      (Yes, this is really us ordering our truck!)
      Zane Merva
      Executive Editor, GM-Trucks.com
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      Meet GM-Trucks.com's 2019 Chevrolet Silverado
      In the interest of research and keeping the community informed, we marched on down to the dealer late this morning to talk shop and place an order. We have a lot of plans for our new 2019 that you'll hear about in a few months, so picking out the right trim was a little tougher than we thought.
       
      Although the LT Trail Boss was extremely tempting, we knew we needed the 6.2L, which you can't get on the Trail Boss. So strike that out.  And, while the High Country was right up our alley, we didn't want to get what will likely be the most expensive Silverado ever sold either. That pretty much made us land squarely in the middle of the two and in the end we decided the LTZ trim level was right for our needs. It allows us to get the 6.2L V8 (of which we strangely don't know the output of yet) and GM's all new 10-speed automatic transmission. 
       
      We also wanted to get a truck that was at least as nice as our 2011 GMC Sierra SLT All-Terrain. We love our heated leather seats and Bose audio on our 2011 and our new truck needed to have these options too.  So, with that all in mind... here's how we optioned things out once we sat down to the table. 
      --------------------------------------
      2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4WD Crew Cab LTZ
      Northsky Blue Metallic Jet BLack Leather Interior Trim 6.2L V8 - L87 / 10-speed transmission - MQB Z71 Off-Road Package  LTZ Preferred Equipment Group - 1LZ LTZ Convenenience Package - PCZ LTZ Convenenience Package II - PCN LTZ Plus Package - PDF Safety Package - PQB Power Up/Down Tailgate - QT6 20-inch Polished Wheels - RD2 Bose Sound System - UQA Premium Nav/Infotainment System - IOT --------------------------------------
      Some of the cool stuff included in these packages
      Heated and ventilated front seats Heated Rear Outboard Seats Two 120-volt outlets (one inside, one in bed) HD Rear Vision Camera Rear Sliding Window Front/Rear Park Assist Rear Cross Traffic Alert / Side Blind Zone Alert  
      We did not get
      Bedliner or rubber floor matts Heads up display or 360-degree camera Any accessories, step bars, or covers. (We have plans for all that stuff!) A sunroof (a weak attempt to save money)  
      Our problem right now is that we don't know how much this truck will cost. We do have a general idea though.  Based on 2018 pricing, we expect the MSRP on our 2019 to land between $54-56k dollars.
       
      All that's left is for the order to be submitted to GM (which the dealer's ordering guy will handle soon) and for GM to accept the order (who knows when?!). Production for our vehicle is expected to take place in late July or early August. Of course, we'll keep everyone in the loop on any updates we get as the process moves along. 
       
      If you want to buy one of the first new Silverado or Sierra, this is the week you'll want to visit your dealer. 
       
      Here's our actual order sheet listing the options we picked out





       
      Shout Out To Our Dealer

      I have to mention we wouldn't have been able to do ANY of this without some serious support from a dealer. Our dealer for this order is Banks Chevrolet in Concord, New Hampshire.
       
      The Sales Manager, Jeremy Chapman, and our Sales Consultant, Jeffrey Lavalley have gone out of their way to answer our detailed questions and work with us to get GM-Trucks.com a sick new project truck. Thank you Banks!
    • By Brett804
      So i have a 2017 5.3 serria with a 6inch bds lift installed new from the dealership. Anyways last 10k then i rotated the tires and next morning over big bumps i have service stabilitrak which goes on and off fast, only over bumps. I dont see any tight wires on the abs lines. About 6inch of slack on top bottom was a but tight but i gave it more slack and still does it. Question is if i dont recalibrate my tpms sensors will that cause this? My 2015 never did this but it wasnt lifted as high. Right now truck thinks front are backs and so on. Dealship are bunch of you know whats right now so i dont wanna go there yet. Any help would be awesome!

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