Chevrolet Unleashes the 2016 Colorado Z71 Trail Boss


When Chevrolet unveiled the Colorado pickup truck to the truck-buying public, the gamble immediately paid off. While other brands have gone away from the mid-size truck model, Chevy roared back into the market with the nimble Colorado that offered excellent styling and solid performance. Now they have taken that one step further.

The 2016 Chevy Colorado Z71 trucks are now available with the new Trail Boss performance and appearance package. The package is a collection of off-road-capable parts and accessories that help tailor the truck for the outdoor enthusiast.

“What the Trail Boss package does is it lets the outdoor enthusiast have a nimble vehicle for his or her Monday through Friday regular daily commute to work, and then have that aggressive, trail-ready truck to go and live the outdoor lifestyle on the weekends,” said Jessica Rogers, advertising and marketing manager for the Colorado. I was able to evaluate the Trail Boss for myself during a recent hands-on with the new truck.

The package

The package includes a few of the popular appearance items, such as the black Chevy bowties on the front grill and tailgate. There are three-inch, round off-road rocker steps on the sides, as well as a full, spray-in bed liner. Inside there are all-weather Z71 floor mats too for dealing with muddy boots. Black fender flares add a bit of protection and styling, too.

The most important features that the outdoor enthusiast is going to be drawn to are the sport light bar and the wheels and tires.

The Trail Boss Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires are no joke.
The Trail Boss’ Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires are no joke.

The light bar was something that was debuted at last year’s SEMA show as a prototype. Reaction from the public pushed it into production. Riding on the bar are two LED lights. LED lighting is a major add-on right now and many hunters, anglers, and off-roaders are running various light bars.

The other feature and the one that made the biggest impact on my test drive was the tire and wheel combo. The Trail Boss’ 17-inch black wheels are dressed in excellent 265/65R17 Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires. The DuraTracs are aggressive all-terrain tires that get solid traction in many conditions, including snow. They aren’t very noisy on the road, either.

Our test drive was on silty, sandy backroads and on the slopes of a ski resort. Yeah, we were driving the truck up the sides of ski runs. It handled the terrain, well, like a boss. The Trail Boss package already builds on the Z71 package which offers advanced off-road suspension, and automatic locking rear differential and hill-decent control.

Learn more about the Trail Boss in the video below:

The Trail Boss package can be added to any of the Z71 platforms. This includes the 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine in the extended cab, the 3.6-liter V6, and a new Duramax Turbo Diesel engine that joins the family this fall. You can get an extended cab with a 6.2-foot bed and a crew cab version with either a 5.2-foot bed or the 6.2-foot-long bed. Towing capability is up to 7,000 pounds when properly equipped, and the new Turbo Diesel can pull up to 7,700 pounds when properly equipped.

Impressions? Impressed!

I’ll be totally honest, when I hear the term “appearance package,” I groan a little. As an outdoorsman and an off-road enthusiast, I don’t go for things that simply contribute to “appearance.” It needs to work! I’m not about to get stuck out in the middle of nowhere with a pretty truck that can’t get me back home. Luckily, that is definitely not the case here. The collection of parts that make up the Trail Boss package work very well and are all things that would appeal to those who leave the paved road when the weekend comes.

The Trail Boss handled all the terrain the author encountered with ease.
The Trail Boss handled all the terrain the author encountered with ease.

The bed is plenty big enough for an ATV, and the spray-in bed liner offers a good amount of grip and protection. Spray-in liners have grown in popularity because they add to the life of the bed, as well as value to the truck. It’s a nice touch to see that they can now come from the dealer with a factory-designed coating.

The tires—ahhh, the tires! These are actually tires I would strongly consider buying for my own vehicle. They are aggressive enough to handle the mud, sand, and other “stuff” I encounter en route to the deer blind. They are also tough enough to handle the rocks, sticks, and other hazards of the trail. Kudos to Chevy for selecting a real off-road-capable tire.

As someone who has added extra lighting to my vehicles, specifically for hunting season, the light bar is a nice touch. It was still daylight during my time with the Trail Boss, so we didn’t get to see the output of the LED lights, but past experiences with LED light bars tells me that it will be a welcome addition to the trail when the sun sets.

One of the best parts of the package is that all the components are not only useful, but covered by the factory warranty. I like warranties.

Driving the truck was really enjoyable. It is very roomy inside. In fact, it was the first truck in which I didn’t have to put the seat all the way back to be comfortable. There is also a standard back-up camera, which I found great for reversing into tight spots. The days of hitting trees when backing down a trail are gone!

When I got back home after driving the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado Trail Boss, I spent several hours trying to talk my wife into letting me buy one. We actually need a new truck and with everything the Colorado has to offer, it may well be the next truck for the Sigler household. The only bad thing is that I have to wait a little while for the Trail Boss package to be available at dealerships. Chevy dealers are already selling as many Colorados as they can get from the Missouri plant. When the Trail Boss hits, they’re only going to get harder to find!

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