2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 Preview

Chris Teague | Sep 10, 2021
  • ZR2 off-road trim is brand-new for 2022
  • All Silverado models have a redesigned front end
  • Most versions of the truck feature an updated interior
  • Most models get a larger touchscreen and digital gauges
  • Super Cruise hands-free driving assistance is available
  • 2.7-liter turbo-four engine adds more torque
  • 3.0-liter turbo-diesel tows more weight

The 2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 is an off-road-oriented truck that takes Chevy’s full-size pickup beyond the existing Trail Boss in terms of capability. Plus, it showcases numerous changes that also apply to the rest of the 2022 Silverado lineup, such as revised styling, updated infotainment technology, and more standard safety equipment.

2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 Blue Front Quarter View

Chevy offers the updated 2022 Silverado in several cab configurations and trim levels. You can choose between regular, extended, and crew cabs in Work Truck, Custom, LT, RST, LT Trail Boss, ZR2, LTZ, and High Country specification. 

Multiple engines are also available, though not as many as before. They include a more powerful turbocharged gas 4-cylinder, a more capable turbocharged diesel V6, and a couple of good old-fashioned V8s. But the new 2022 Silverado ZR2 comes only with the 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 engine.

Exterior Features - Find the best Chevrolet deals!

2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 Multi-Flex Tailgate

The brand-new Chevy Silverado ZR2 has the looks to back up its off-road credentials. The truck gets a new black hood insert, a trim-exclusive grille with unique LED light accents, and special ZR2 badging all the way around. A new high-approach steel bumper increases the truck’s approach angle to 31.8 degrees. The bumper has removable end caps, which give owners the ability to easily replace parts damaged by rocks or off-road obstacles. Chevy also moved the ZR2’s exhaust outlets to better protect them from damage.

The new ZR2 is based on the refreshed 2022 Silverado 1500. The truck last got a major overhaul for the 2019 model year, which brought a busy and controversial front fascia to the full-size pickup. While the styling updates for 2022 likely won’t do much to quiet detractors, the new details include lower headlights, a cleaner grille structure, and animated LED lock/unlock lighting sequences for the LT trim and higher. 

Chevy says that the Silverado’s bed offers a class-leading 89.1 cubic feet of cargo volume in its standard configuration and notes that it comes standard with 12 cargo tie-downs. Chevrolet’s 6-position Multi-Flex tailgate, which turn it into a work surface, a step, or to configure it for specific kinds of cargo, remains an option in 2022. 

Three new exterior colors are also available, including Dark Ash, Sand Dune, and Glacier Blue Metallic.

Interior Features - Find the best Chevrolet deals!

2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 Interior Dashboard

Addressing criticism leveled at the truck’s interior, Chevrolet installs an improved cabin in the new ZR2 – and all 2022 Silverado models except for the Work Truck and Custom. 

Enhanced materials in a more contemporary design bring the Silverado into the 2020s. Trucks with bucket front seats get a new center console with an electronic transmission shifter. Like Ford and Ram, Chevy adds a larger infotainment touchscreen measuring a massive 13.4 inches across. The new touchscreen pairs with a 12.3-inch configurable digital gauge cluster to give the truck a high-tech look. 

The top Silverado High Country trim gets real open-pore wood trim on the console, glove box, and doors, as well as perforated and stitched leather upholstery. The LTZ and High Country trims also come with stainless steel speaker grilles. The new Sliverado ZR2 trim brings an exclusive Jet Black/Graystone leather interior with dark trim.

Under the Hood - Find the best Chevrolet deals!

The 2022 Chevy Silverado ZR2 comes standard with a 6.2-liter V8 that makes 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission and 4-wheel drive

The factory-lifted truck also features beefy 33-inch off-road-oriented mud-terrain tires on 18-inch wheels, an underbody skid plate package, and front and rear electronic differential lockers. Multimatic 40mm DSSV spool-valve dampers handle suspension duties, and a new front bumper design improves the ZR2’s approach angle. Additionally, the Silverado ZR2’s springs are tuned to work with the new dampers and increase suspension travel over the existing Trail Boss model.

Chevy offers several powertrains for non-ZR2 Silverado models in 2022, two of which see improvements for the new model year. Updates include:

  • More torque for the base turbocharged 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine, now measuring 420 pound-feet compared to 348 the year before. Chevy says this is a class-leading figure.
  • The 3.0-liter Duramax turbo-diesel V6 is now available with a maximum towing package that increases a diesel-equipped Silverado’s tow rating by 4,000 pounds to 13,300 pounds in 2-wheel-drive models. 

The two gas-powered V8 engines, which include a 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter, remain optional for 2022. Chevy says the larger engine is the most powerful naturally aspirated V8 engine in the segment.

Safety Systems - Find the best Chevrolet deals!

General Motors is typically not the most generous with standard safety gear in its vehicles, but that changes with the 2022 Silverado. Every trim level comes standard with Chevy Safety Assist, a suite of advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS).

In the Silverado, Chevy Safety Assist includes:

  • Forward-collision warning
  • Front pedestrian braking
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Lane-keeping assistance
  • Following distance indicator
  • Automatic high-beam headlights

All trucks also get a high-definition backup camera system and a new Buckle to Drive feature, which prevents the driver from shifting out of Park until their seatbelt is buckled. 

Super Cruise is available for the first time in a Silverado. The driving assistance system provides hands-free, semi-autonomous cruise control on approved limited-access highways in the U.S. and Canada. Super Cruise also works while towing and considers the trailer's weight, extra drag, and the need for longer stopping distances. 

To ensure drivers pay attention when Super Cruise is active, Chevy says infrared lights and a small camera on top of the steering column determine where the driver’s eyes are looking when the system is in operation. Super Cruise will not work unless the driver is actively monitoring the system.

Infotainment and Technology - Find the best Chevrolet deals!

Chevrolet updates the 2022 Silverado’s cabin with new infotainment tech that rivals the systems Ford and Ram use in their latest pickup trucks. In most trim levels, the upgrade pairs a 13.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. The configurable gauge cluster offers four layouts that display towing information, off-road functions, and various terrain modes.

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard with the new system, and Amazon Alexa capabilities are also on board. New for the 2022 model year, Google built-in features are standard for the LT trim and above. The tech offers “Hey Google” functionality, which controls voice calls, texts, music, reminders, and climate controls.

2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 Competitors - Find the best Chevrolet deals!

The pickup truck market is going electric in the years to come, and soon the Silverado will face new competition from Rivian, Tesla, and others. But for now, the 2022 Chevrolet Silverado still faces off against a familiar cast of characters from Ford, Nissan, Ram, and Toyota. 

When it comes to off-road-ready rivals to the new Silverado ZR2, the competition includes the:

Though Chevy has had the Trail Boss in its arsenal for a few years now, to some degree it’s had nothing to offer the performance off-road truck buyer. The new 2022 Silverado ZR2 is a good start, but it still needs more power in order to take on the Ford F-150 Raptor and Ram TRX. 

Chevrolet is the source of information in this article. It was accurate as of September 10, 2021, but it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker’s website or your local dealership.

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