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  • Blow-Off – Diesel 4x4s are just plain fun!

Blow-Off – Diesel 4x4s are just plain fun!

Nov 15, 2015
Photographers: Trevor Reed, Courtesy of Chevrolet
There’s nothing like driving in the dirt with plenty of torque on tap, and now the Nissan Titan XD and Chevrolet Colorado pickups are headed to dealership lots with diesel engines under their hoods. Luckily, when I got my first chance to drive the Chevy (see our full First Drive coverage here), it included some seat time while driving off-road at a ranch near California’s Central Coast. After climbing just one steep hill, I was again reminded of how much fun it is to drive a diesel truck with no pavement in sight.
The little pickup has reliable torque that makes executing slow maneuvers easy at low-rpm speeds. Instead of needing to constantly worry about wheelspin or running out of steam, I would choose a line knowing I could creep up the path at a speed within my conservative comfort level. This is fun for me because there’s less worry about breaking parts, popping a tire, or scratching the paint down to the bare metal. I prefer this type of crawling mixed with cruising on remote trails, but an oil-burner can also be loads of fun during high-speed shenanigans.
One of the first times I was completely wowed by fullsize diesel trucks was about 12 years ago, when I saw a pair of modified ¾-ton Rams riding on 40-inch tires tackle the same trail where we were testing brand-new gas-powered pickups. Not only did they make getting around and over every single obstacle look easy, the drivers would sometimes get sick of waiting on us. Then, they would leave in a huge cloud of dust to take high-speed runs and jump their giant rigs on the neighboring side roads before rejoining our group. They looked like trophy trucks as they blasted up rocky hills and caught air on the whoops. They also had no trouble lugging up steep inclines at what sounded like a maximum of 900 rpm. It was an eye-opening experience, and you could tell the drivers were having tons of fun.
I’d like to put together a collection of Readers’ Diesels that’s dedicated to the off-roaders in our audience. So, the next time you’re out in the wild, please take some photos of your ride getting dirty and email it to me at treed@enthusiastnetwork.com with the following information:
Year/Make/Model:
Owner:
Hometown:
Engine:
Transmission:
Odometer:
Fuel Economy:
Modifications:
Owner says:
Photo 2/3   |   001 2016 Chevrolet Colorado Duramax Diesel Off Road Rear View
Our first off-road trip with a diesel-powered ’16 Chevrolet Colorado was a lot of fun, thanks to the 369 lb-ft of torque that’s available at only 2,000 rpm.
Photo 3/3   |   003 2015 Chevrolet Colorado Duramax ZR2 Concept Off Road Side View
We hope that some day the Colorado ZR2 concept makes it to production. Along with the 2.8L Duramax engine, the truck has a 2-inch suspension lift, shocks with remote reservoirs, 32.1-inch tires, and a 4-inch-wider stance.
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