Since 2006, a group of Canadian automotive journalists have been testing and evaluating the newest crop of pickup trucks available to Canadian consumers in the current year. Each year they determine the best option available and name it the Canadian Truck King Challenge winner.

For the first time, an all-electric pickup truck (the Ford F-150 Lightning) was in the running for the top spot this year. However, after exhaustive testing throughout 2022, Truck King Media decided to give its competitor, the 2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2, the title of Canadian Truck King Challenge winner.

Though the Ford F-150 Lightning has won several awards, including North American Truck of the Year, we felt that basing our decision on Ford’s technical achievement alone was not enough. While we also were very impressed with the Lightning, the current state of charging infrastructure in North America is disappointing. On the other hand, the Silverado ZR2 has arrived at perhaps the top of its technical evolution. Our judges felt that it was the best truck, all around, for today. We were impressed with the Silverado ZR2’s overall performance – off-road and on. We felt this truck would work five days a week, play on the weekend, and do well without range anxiety.

Meet Our Winner: 2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2

For 2023 Chevy added its ZR2 off-road treatment to its Silverado. This truck has front and rear e-lockers, a special facia and the Multimatic DSSV damped shocks. This is what sets a ZR2 apart from a standard Silverado. These suspension upgrades, enhanced off-road technology, and bodywork developed for off-road performance make it very capable, whether desert running or rock crawling. In addition to its functional features, the Silverado ZR2 is distinguished by several aesthetic cues, including:

  • New black hood insert.
  • Unique grille with integrated lighting.
  • “Flow-tie” emblem.
  • ZR2 badges.
  • Unique 18-inch wheels.
  • Unique Jet Black/Graystone leather-trimmed interior, with complementing dark trim.

The unique bumper has removable end caps for easier replacement, and the dual exhaust has been lifted and ends before the rear bumper to eliminate potential damage. However, the ZR2’s off-road traits are counter-balanced with good everyday driving comfort. It’s also important to note that this balanced combination of on and off-road performance does not impact payload and trailering. ZR2 max payload is 1,440 lb., and it will tow 8,900 lb. Inside, the new look and feel of the Silverado interiors are elevated with new colours, seat designs, and more premium materials. That’s especially true for the top-level High-Country trim.

2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 highlights include the following:

  • Standard 6.2L V-8 delivering 420 hp and 460 lb.-ft. of torque.
  • 10-speed automatic transmission.
  • Multimatic 40mm DSSV spool-valve dampers, which feature:
    • Three separate spool valves to control damping.
    • Three connected chambers for fluid flow.
  • Uniquely-tuned springs that, with the Multimatic dampers, increase maximum front and rear suspension travel compared to the Silverado Trail Boss.
  • Front and rear e-lockers.
  • Specific off-road chassis and suspension calibrations, including Terrain Mode, allow one-pedal rock crawling.
  • 33-inch off-road MT tires.
  • Unique skid plate package
  • New high-approach steel front bumper designed for off-road strength and clearance.
  • 31.8-degree approach angle.

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