'22 ZR2 vs '21 TB

ikaika

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I was personally on the fence when the ZR2 was announced an wasn't certain if the cost warranted the upgrade. My '21 6.2L TB was about as close to perfect as possible, needing only a suspension upgrade to achieve what I wanted.

Here's the issue with the TB based on my experiences: once you start getting into the world of quality off-road suspension kits you start getting into warranty territory (basing this on horror stories but they're too common to ignore). The cost to upgrade that suspension starts to poke into the $5k+ area very quickly. Furthermore, gaining much in the way of wheel travel appeared to be pretty limited unless you start getting into cutting the body.

All that to say that from a performance standpoint the '21 TB actually does perform quite a bit better BUT that's entirely due to the installation of the Pulsar LT and the fact that the ZR2 doesn't have one (yet).

Here's the reason you really can't go back once you check out the ZR2: EVERYTHING is refined, cleaned up, and just generally nicer. The HUD and tech packages on the ZR2 - coupled with the suspension - easily justify the cost upgrade. In all reality the cost of installing the suspension and then body modifications to the TB bring it right up to the same price tag and that's without any of the sweet tech upgrades.

Lastly, a couple of other things that make the ZR2 the right truck for my situation.

1. The TRX is amazing but the $20k+ difference isn't justified. Yes, you're getting supercharged but for $10-12k you can have a dealership drop the stage 1 Whipple in and you're set, warranty intact. From a price perspective you're cheaper.
2. The Raptor is a great truck but limited for off-road due to the width. But if you want to go fast and do Baja stuff just stop now and get the Raptor. That said, the prerunner builds I've toyed with on the Silverado 1500 platform look interesting and seem like a ton of fun but again, the Raptor is ready for Baja.
3. The ZR2 was the best truck for overall off-road needs. The width is a selling point. I do a ton of trail and off-road stuff in CO which is a Jeep state and because of that I have to factor in that almost half of the trails in the state are very narrow and holy shit the minor difference is huge. I took a buddy out in his Raptor and he was not comfortable. This is also where the technology packages shine because the wheel cameras made life a joke in the tighter spots.
4. From a cost standpoint it's the ZR2 (especially given the supercharger math) UNLESS you're on-post or near-post. Once you get near the bases you'll see a lot more Raptors which drives the cost down by about 15%. For the same $78k I was pricing against a '20 Raptor with 4500 miles.
5. Personally...I just trust GM/Chevy. Not because they're superior to Ford or Ram but because I've become very used to their issues and I can accept them. Things like the Chevy shiver (caused by AFM/DFM so a Pulsar fixes it) to the transmission fluid issues to the lifter issues. To me these are issues that I can live with and are under warranty. I've also spent a ton of time getting to know the brand and line so at this point I just have a solid overall comfort.

Hope this helps folks!

P.S. - I actually still have the '21 TB, too. I was in an accident and it was questioned whether they'd total or not so I pounced on a ZR2 that a guy bailed on because of supple issues. LITERALLY THE DAY BEFORE THE 6.2L NEWS BROKE. The dealership is handling the repairs on the TB and because of the supply chain issues I'll sell it back to them for a profit (they already agreed). The lame thing is that I was going to use that profit to buy my wife a new Z71 Tahoe but I might be able to convince her to either 1) drive the TB or 2) grab a nice, custom TRD 4Runner which I wouldn't mind borrowing from time-to-time, minus the cruddy Toyota engine.
 
Your thinking is essentially what appeals to me about the ZR2. Once you check boxes on the TB, might as well buy the ZR2 (unless you want the diesel which I completely understand is a tough decision point for many given the mpg gains). I do a lot of hunting, camping, and general offroad driving on the farm and the width of the Raptor rules it out for me and while I can certainly appreciate the performance of the TRX, I've got a ZL1 Camaro for the speed needs! For me personally, the ZR2 checks quite a few boxes and will likely be the last small black V8 we will get our hands on based on the current political climate.
 
Your thinking is essentially what appeals to me about the ZR2. Once you check boxes on the TB, might as well buy the ZR2 (unless you want the diesel which I completely understand is a tough decision point for many given the mpg gains). I do a lot of hunting, camping, and general offroad driving on the farm and the width of the Raptor rules it out for me and while I can certainly appreciate the performance of the TRX, I've got a ZL1 Camaro for the speed needs! For me personally, the ZR2 checks quite a few boxes and will likely be the last small black V8 we will get our hands on based on the current political climate.
It's almost a no-brainer from a financial standpoint. "Peak trade value + the cost of credit still being cheap + the possible last small block" are almost impossible circumstances that probably won't come back around for a while.
 

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