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Chevrolet’s Z71 Off-Road Package Is Overkill for Public Roads, and That Makes It Great

I recently spent a week with the brand new 2020 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ, a great all around full size truck. The particular one I drove had one of the best boxes you can check on your Chevrolet truck — the Z71 Off-Road Package.

Before I get on to raving about the off-road package, I want to mention a little bit about the Silverado LTZ that the package was equipped to. The particular Silverado LTZ I drove was filled with "the options you want."

It was equipped — if you couldn’t tell by the name — with the LTZ Premium Package, which equips the Silverado with a slew of luxury options — 21 if you are counting — including all of the interior upgrades, like leather ventilated seats, a Bose premium sound system and, for the exterior, the power tailgate. This truck also came with the Technology Package, which gives you some trailer cameras, a head-up display and ups the driver information center with an 8-in display.

 2020 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Z71 interior

Perhaps one of the best options that were checked on the Silverado I drove was that it came with the 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel Duramax engine. The thing puts out 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a 10-speed transmission, so you will have no complaints driving around.

Like I said, the thing was loaded, but now to that Z71 Off-Road Package.

 2020 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Z71 badge

I miss the time of overbuilt things in the automotive world. Some examples that come to mind are the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution’s 4G63 engine or the legendary Toyota Supra’s 2JZ engine. Those were overbuilt so well beyond the standard necessary on the road, that in the aftermarket they have been able to pull crazy horsepower numbers out of stock blocks.

Those are engines, but take Chevrolet’s "Raptor Hunting" Z71 Off-Road Package. The package is available as an option on not just the Silverado, but the little brother Colorado and the Tahoe and Suburban as well, and it comes with a nutty amount of additions for the price.

On the Silverado, if you check the box on your order, for a mere $1,605 you can get twin tube shocks, skid plates, hill descent control, a heavy-duty air filter, an Autotrac 2-speed transfer case, Z71 badging, a dual exhaust with polished tips, all-terrain tires, Z71 branded all-weather floor mats and a Chevytec spray-on bed liner.

Now, some of that is obviously appearance-related, but just single out all the upgrades that improve the quality of driving it on the road.

 2020 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Z71 shocks

The upgrade of twin tube shocks meant for the off road will make on-road driving that much easier on your spine and the truck. As for the skid plates — while I hope you never need to have one on the roads, I know people who have had to dodge or have had to run over some of the oddest items on the road. From dead animals up to garage floor jacks in the road, anything that you can get to protect the important parts underneath your truck is a good thing. Hill descent control can be significantly useful, both on and off road. That heavy-duty air filter, as simple of an upgrade that it is, means it can collect more road grime, more road salt or more road anything before it causes problems for you. The Autotrac 2-speed transfer case just makes everything much easier when shifting from 2-wheel drive to 4-wheel drive, and you don’t need to go off-road for that. Finally, those all-terrain tires will just make your life easier on the road when the elements come to ruin your commute.

I hope you can now see how all of the features of the Z71 Off-Road Package meant to make life survivable on the trails or off-road make it one heck of a beast on your daily commute.

When things are built to a standard beyond what is needed, like off-road packages on daily driver trucks, they are prone to not fail on the roads. Find a Chevrolet Silverado 1500 for sale

For more of his automotive exploits, you can follow Danny on Instagram (@DKorecki) and check out his YouTube channel.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. In terms of off-road packages, the Z71 package is pretty par for the course compared to the rivals (Pro-4x, Fx4). Vehicles like the Rubicon, Power Wagon, and Raptor are the ridiculous varieties. 

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