As we told you earlier, midsize pickups are enjoying a healthy upswing in sales this year — a trend that’s sure to continue in 2019 after the release of the Ford Ranger. It’s generally agreed that this segment is not an afterthought, and might be something worth investing in for automakers lacking a less-than-big truck model. Ram’s got one on the way, too.
For General Motors, which enjoys major segment share via its Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, the sky seems to be the limit for its midsize clan, and that goes for price, too. With the Colorado ZR2 Bison, the automaker has a truck that more than doubles its entry price.
The General will part with a basic Bison — a collaboration between GM and American Expedition Vehicles — for the not insignificant sum of $48,045 (after destination). That gets you an even more butched-up ZR2 extended cab (a model starting at $42,295) powered by the familiar 3.6-liter V6 and mated to an eight-speed automatic. If a crew cab fits your style, expect to pay $49,645 after destination, before any options.
While all Bisons borrow the ZR2’s wider track and beefed up suspension and driveline components (front and rear locking differentials, Multimatic DSSV dampers), signing on for brawniest Colorado adds all manner of AEV gear, including Boron steel skid plates for the oil pan, fuel tank, transfer case, and front and rear lockers. Newly aggressive front and rear bumpers and larger fender flares telegraph that this is no mere ZR2. Your weekend adventures take place courtesy of 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac off-road tires wrapped around 17 x 8-inch aluminum wheels.
If you really want to flaunt it, there’s a snorkel available, matching that of the revised-for-2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro. There’s also a 2.8-liter inline-four diesel that can be had in place of the V6. This mill, like in other GM midsizers, makes 181 hp and 360 lb-ft of torque and mates to a six-speed automatic.
Compared to a bare-bones, entry-level Colorado, the crew cab Bison represents a markup of $28,150, though you can’t compare the two in terms of off-road ability. You can certainly compare its price to competitors, though.
The Tacoma TRD Pro starts at $46,390 after destination, though checking the box for all options, including automatic transmission, that snorkel, and TRD performance exhaust, pushes you past $54,000. A Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited, which boasts no bed but plenty of rock-crawling prowess, starts at $42,940, or $44,940 with an eight-speed automatic. The 50 grand mark is easily surpassable once you start playing with packages and equipment groups.
[Images: General Motors]