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2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 First Drive: A More “Reasonable” Off-Road Option

2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2
Photo: V.Aubé
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Vincent Aubé
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2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2, profile
2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2, profile
Photo: V.Aubé

Auto123 gets in a first drive of the 2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2.

Toronto, ON - Over the past few years, the pickup truck segment has been evolving, especially to appeal to those who want to be seen behind the wheel of a vehicle that looks capable of overcoming any obstacle. The trend towards adventure-focused vehicles has only picked up steam lately, with the market receiving both vehicles disguised to look like rugged off-roaders and real monsters capable of withstanding high-speed jumps in the California desert, for example.

We’ve lost track of how many ads we’ve seen showing some model or another making mincemeat of, say, a steep desert climb. And yes, in the official ad for it, the new 2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 is also seen on a sandy trail somewhere in the southern U.S.

But in Canada, deserts are scarcer. And the manufacturer must also find a way to appeal to fans north of the 49th parallel. That's certainly one of the reasons GM Canada put on a separate Canadian first-drive event for the 2022 edition of its full-size pickup truck.

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2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2, front grille
2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2, front grille
Photo: V.Aubé

New for 2022
Given the importance of full-size pickups to their bottom line, the decision-makers at Chevy didn't want to lose too much ground to the competition, and so we get a redesign of the Silverado in 2022. Since the last major overhaul in 2019, a common complaint had been that the dashboard was kind of tech-challenged in comparison with that competition, and Chevrolet heard that complaint, since the upper trims of the model range have now been modernized and given a nice facelift.

In other words, starting with the LT, you now get a new, more-connected setup. The 12.3-inch screen behind the steering wheel is standard from LT to High Country trims, while the other 13.4-inch diagonal touchscreen is also included. Underneath it, there's a set of physical buttons, while the climate controls are just a bit lower.

2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2, interior
2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2, interior
Photo: V.Aubé

The changes to what’s in front of the front row occupants are quite welcome; the center screen is improved and enhanced in comparison with the one in the outgoing model. Note that the more-basic trims of the Silverado continue on with the old dashboard.

The centre console is also revised with the shifter repositioned there, although here too the older trims - and those with a front bench seat - retain the shifter mounted to the steering column. There are also new colours for the cabin, a usual procedure in a mid-cycle redesign.

2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2, three-quarters front
2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2, three-quarters front
Photo: V.Aubé

Our review would be incomplete without touching on the exterior design, which changes somewhat for the new year, including the grille, which changes grids depending on the badge affixed to the truck, Chevrolet offering no less than nine different editions: WT (Work Truck), Custom, Custom Trail Boss, LT, RST, LT Trail Boss, LTZ, High Country and the group's new toy, the Silverado ZR2, surely the biggest bit of news in Silveraod-land in 2022.

Finally, there are even a few changes under the hood, with the 2.7L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine retaining its 310 horses, but gaining a lot of torque with 430 lb-ft instead of the 348 lb-ft of the 2021 model. Finally, towing capacity of the versions equipped with the Duramax turbodiesel inline 6-cylinder engine reaches 13,200 lb, 3,800 more than last year. The other engines - the two naturally aspirated V8s - remain unchanged.

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Vincent Aubé
Vincent Aubé
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 60 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 200 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists