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- Highs The ultimate off-road Silverado 1500, smoother ride than non-ZR2 variants, easier to maneuver than the Raptor and TRX.
- Lows Electronic shift lever has irksome features, unimpressive fuel-economy ratings, Raptor and TRX offer larger off-road tires.
- Verdict The ZR2 isn't as extreme as the Raptor or TRX, but it's easier to drive daily and is the most capable half-ton Silverado.
One look at the jacked-up, aggressively styled 2022 Chevy Silverado ZR2 lets everyone know this isn’t an ordinary half-ton pickup truck. While it's not as extreme as the high-flying Ford F-150 Raptor or the 700-plus-hp Ram 1500 TRX, the ZR2 is the most formidable full-size truck in Chevy's showroom. Along with its intimidating appearance, it has a 420-hp V-8, rides on 33-inch-tall tires, and features a tricked-out suspension. The latter includes Multimatic spool-valve dampers that are derived from Formula 1 cars and Baja race trucks. Its interior is also decked out with a digitized dashboard, and its crew-cab-only body style means everyone can enjoy the ride when the blacktop ends. While it might not impress fans of Ford and Ram, the 2022 Silverado ZR2 gives the bow-tie brand a bona fide off-roader.
What's New for 2022?
This marks the first time a Silverado has worn the ZR2 badge, which has previously appeared on smaller Chevy trucks and SUVs with an off-road bent.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The 2022 Silverado ZR2 starts just under $70,000, which is almost $10k higher than the fanciest non-ZR2 Silverado, the High Country. Chevy's ultimate off-road pickup also has a similar starting price as the F-150 Raptor ($70,370), but it's a lot cheaper than the Ram TRX's base price of almost $80,000.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Under the ZR2's bulging hood is the same naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V-8 that's available in the regular Silverado 1500. The engine makes 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque and pairs with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Every ZR2 features a four-wheel-drive system with a two-speed transfer case and electronic-locking front and rear differentials. Stabilizing the truck's 18-inch wheels, which are shod with gnarly 33-inch off-road tires, is a specially tuned suspension that includes high-performance spool-valve dampers. The truck's underside is protected by a unique skid-plate package, and Chevy says the ZR2's high-mounted steel bumper provides a 31.8-degree approach angle, which is more than what's offered on the similarly lifted Silverado Trail Boss models. Now that we've driven the Zr2 around Joshua Tree State Park, we have a greater appreciation for its capabilities as well as its reduced width compared with the F-150 Raptor and Ram TRX, which make the Chevy easier to maneuver on tight trails.
Towing and Payload Capacity
With a conventional trailer hitch, the Silverado ZR2 can tow up to 8900 pounds. The half-ton pickup can also handle a payload of up to 1440 pounds.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The 2022 Silverdo ZR2, with its 420-hp V-8, is rated at 14 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway, contributing to a combined rating of 15 mpg. While those estimates are better than the Ram TRX and its 702-hp supercharged V-8, which nets 12 mpg combined, they're unimpressive, nonetheless. Meanwhile, the F-150 Raptor and its 450-hp twin-turbo V-6 has combined estimates of 15 and 16 mpg, with the lower number applying to models with the optional 37-inch tires. Once we can run the ZR2 on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, we can evaluate its real-world mpg. For more information about the Silverado ZR2's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Inside, the Silverado ZR2 has a slick-looking dashboard that features a 12.3-inch fully digital instrument panel next to a massive 13.4-inch touchscreen. The cabin includes leather-trimmed seats and sporty dark trim. Between the front buckets is a center console that features a T-shaped electronic shifter. However, we found the gear lever's shape to be cumbersome, and we even accidentally activated the Park button on top with a resting hand. The ZR2 is only available in a crew-cab body style, so there's expansive passenger space, particularly in the back seat. Those who plan on carrying more stuff in the cargo box will want to opt for the longer standard-length bed versus the short bed.
Infotainment and Connectivity
A huge horizontally oriented 13.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system comes standard on the Silverado ZR2. Along with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the system is compatible with Amazon Alexa and features built-in Google voice assistance, maps, and an app store.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Every Silverado has a suite of standard driver-assistance technology and there is an assortment of optional assists that make driving and even towing more carefree. For more information about the Silverado's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Chevy covers the half-ton Silverado with a competitive warranty that doesn’t quite match the lengthy powertrain coverage of the Nissan Titan. However, every Silverado 1500 does get one complimentary scheduled maintenance visit.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for the first visit
2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ZR2
Vehicle Type: front-engine, rear/4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door pickup
pushrod 16-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 376 in3, 6162 cm3
Power: 420 hp @ 5600 rpm
Torque: 460 lb-ft @ 4100 rpm
Wheelbase: 147.5 in
Length: 232.8 in
Width: 81.2 in
Height: 78.7 in
Passenger Volume: 136 ft3
Curb Weight (C/D est): 5800 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
60 mph: 5.6 sec
1/4-Mile: 14.1 sec
Top Speed: 100 mph
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 15/14/17 mpg