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2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 Review: The Wood Runner

This model is meant to go off-road, but rest assured it’s less extreme than the Ford Raptor or Ram 1500 TRX Automotive columnist: , Updated:

2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 - Profile
Photo: Auto123
2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 - Profile
  • Auto123 reviews the 2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2.

The current 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra have seen mild updates this year. 

We were able to drive the ZR2 version of the 2022 Silverado, the latest addition to the lineup.

As much as regular Silverados can blend into traffic, this ZR2 version is pretty unlikely to go unnoticed. With an aggressive gloss black grille, solid steel bumper, heavy-duty skid plates, bright red tow hooks, 33-inch tires and optional black tubular rocker panels, plus a slightly raised chassis, it's ready to climb over anything in its path. 

You can see yourself going into the woods with this truck, aided by its raised seat and long-travel Multimac shocks that can handle any kind of surface, including absorbing any road imperfections. Dressed in a Dune Sable colour, the truck drew as many positive comments for its exterior finish as for its design during our week with it.

Another special feature of this version is the bumper, designed with removable end caps. This means that if you damage part of the bumper while driving off-road, you can change only part of it instead of the whole thing. The same goes for the dual exhaust system, which is housed just behind the rear bumper to reduce the risk of being crushed. 

The other aspect that can be noticed or heard in this new version is the exhaust system. It might be hidden behind the rear bumper, but it’s hard to ignore. When the vehicle starts up, people know it. The sound is phenomenal, and tuned to allow the big 6.2L V8 to scream with a powerful roar that tells you – and everyone else within a two-block radius – that this is no ordinary Silverado. 

In fact, having had to start it a few times late at night, I had some sympathy for my neighbours. 

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2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 - Interior
Photo: Auto123
2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 - Interior

The interior
Other highlights of the new 2022 Chevrolet Silverado include the interior. The interior has been completely redesigned for the LT, RST, LT Trail Boss, LTZ and High Country versions. In particular, the horizontal dashboard allows for a larger cabin. 

As for the gear selector, it’s not exactly typical of what we normally find in this type of truck. It looks borrowed from a Corvette or other sports car; the same goes for the center console. 

The upper part of the dashboard is fine with its 13.4 inch touchscreen that’s very responsive and pleasant to use. Google is now fully integrated and offers assistance, navigation and Google Play. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now connect wirelessly. 

However, the centre section is sorely lacking in storage space. Poke around all you want, you’ll find too few of the storage spaces that are so useful in this type of vehicle. 

In the back, fortunately, the storage spaces are more plentiful. There are spaces in the back of the rear seats, but also under the bench that can be raised. 

2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 versus Chevrolet Colorado
Photo: Auto123
2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 versus Chevrolet Colorado

Powertrains
The 2022 Silverado's lineup includes, not surprisingly, a variety of engines. The base engine is the 2.7L turbo that develops 310 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque and comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission. It's followed by a 5.3L Ecotech V8 with 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque with a 10-speed transmission and a 3.0L 6-cylinder diesel engine with 277 hp and 460 lb-ft. Our ZR2 version is equipped with a 6.2L V8 engine with 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. 

Again, the sound of this engine is absolutely unique. Fortunately, this truck is also a lot of fun to drive; that engine is responsive and offers great power. And if you keep things mellow, you'll also get reasonable fuel economy. We recorded a “mere” 15.0L/100 km during our test drive, and that was in mixed driving.

2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 - Wheel
Photo: Auto123
2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 - Wheel

The final word
The ZR2 is meant to be an off-roader, but this variant of the Silverado is not as extreme as the Ford Raptor or the Ram 1500 TRX. That said, it's definitely more off-road oriented than the other Silverado versions, not to mention the F-150 Tremor and Ram 1500 Rebel. 

Its major asset is the set of Multimatic DSSV shocks, considered among the best and most innovative on the market. These sophisticated shocks, combined with 33-inch tires, electrically locking front and rear differentials, 11.2 inches of ground clearance and a fairing designed for a steep approach angle, make this a very capable off-road machine. 

Of course, this toy isn't cheap. While a base Silverado starts at $51,448, our test version starts at $77,748. Equipped with extras like the technology package that adds head-up display, adaptive cruise control with lane keeping and power telescopic steering wheel ($2,355), a panoramic sunroof ($1,325), a useful Multi-flex tailgate opener ($525) and a three-piece folding soft top ($1,360), our model came priced at $84,843.

2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 - Steering wheel, dashboard
Photo: Auto123
2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 - Steering wheel, dashboard

We like

Off-road capabilities
Engine
Comfort
Engine noise

We like less

Size of the beast
Engine noise
Lack of storage space in the front seats

The competition

Ford F-150 Tremor
Ram Rebel
Toyota Tundra TRD Pro
Nissan Titan Pro-4X

 

2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 - tailgate
Photo: Auto123
2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 - tailgate