Chevy recently threw me the keys to the best truck they make – the 2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 Bison. For the longest time, Chevy fans have been begging them to throw the Colorado ZR2 shocks on the Silverado and Chevy listened back in 2022, but this truck is so much more than just the suspension.
After spending the week with Chevy’s off road purpose built truck, I am going to take the time showcase just what the PROs and CONs of this rugged machine.
PRO: Best Stock Shocks on Any Vehicle
The ZR2 Bison comes with the same suspension package of the ZR2 featuring Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSV) dampers. Found on a Aston Martin you will only ever see in a video game, a few Ferrari’s, a Mercedes-AMG GT, the Multimatic DSSV dampers are sprinkled in the Chevy Camaro ZL1 1LE and all Colorado ZR2 and Silverado ZR2 vehicles.
They are quite exclusive and happen to be the best stock OEM suspension package you can get.
PRO: 6.2-liter V8 Power
The 2023 Silverado ZR2 Bison’s engine is a monster tried and true 6.2-liter V8 just like the standard ZR2 (as if a ZR2 is standard). That 6.2-liter powerplant is capable of 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque.
That powerplant is controlled by a 10-speed automatic transmission and is able to be played with to the ground via a 4×4 drivetrain system.
PRO: AEV Bison Bits
While the added name on the trim is Bison, the ZR2 Bison is really a showcase of the American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) parts catalog.
The vehicle features: AEV front and rear bumpers with recovery points and step pads, (by the way, you can add an available winch to the front bumper), five boron steel skid plates sprinkled across the front, rear diff, transfer case, and fuel tank, steel rocker panel protection, and exclusive black 18-inch AEV wheels wrapped in 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT tires.
Add all that up and on the other side of the equation you get the most aggressive Silverado you can buy.
PRO: Lock All the Differentials, All of Them
Locking the front and rear differentials is standard on the ZR2, but certainly isn’t standard in the industry. Any old OEM will let you lock the rear for your troubles, but Chevy’s top ZR2 trim lets you lock the front too for good measure.
The ZR2 Bison gets to enjoy the spoils of the regular ‘ol ZR2.
PRO: Loaded with Tech
The interior of the Silverado ZR2 Bison isn’t what you would expect for being such an off road ready vehicle. You happen to be cocooned in luxury bits and bobs. On the fore front of that luxury bits is a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster which gets supplemented (or one upped) by a 13.4-inch infotainment display.
All the AEV Bison bits I raved about are limited to the exterior of the rig with the exception of the headrests which feature AEV branding.
CON: Needs More Power to Compete with TRX and Raptor
The Silverado ZR2 Bison features one heck of a front hood bulge giving the look of a huge engine is living underneath. Sadly, the V8 is actually tucked near a foot under the highest point of that bulging hood.
While the 6.2-liter V8 is no slouch, but compared to the competitions top trim off road models the Silverado ZR2 is down 280 horsepower versus the Ford Raptor R and 282 horsepower versus the RAM TRX. There is the normal Ford Raptor it comes close to, but even that gets 30 more horsepower than the Silverado ZR2 with 450 horsepower.
CON: Needs to Look More Pissed Off for What It Is Capable Of
All of those AEV bits certainly make the ZR2 Bison the most aggressive looking Silverado you can buy, but I think even more can be done.
Needs a rear sport bar, lights attached to it as well. It is an option Chevy Performance piece, but I’d like to see it standard on the ZR2. I’d argue the smaller Colorado ZR2 looks more angry. Some special ZR2 light bar in the grill? A snorkel? I want more.
The good certainly outweighs the bad with the Silverado ZR2 Bison. You get the best stock shocks in the business and a big V8 to go with it.