Silverado z71 package – is the z71 package worth it?

Looking to get better off-roading performance from your Chevy truck? Maybe it’s just too low and lacks durable underbody protection. Or perhaps, the suspension is too soft, and the wheels are small with shallow treads. Well, the Chevy Z71 package provides you with everything you might need to upgrade your truck to a complete off-roader.

But is the Z71 package worth it? Yes, considering its excellent resale value and the premium features the package offers. For instance, you will get heavy-duty shocks, all-terrain wheels, recovery hooks, an air cleaner, a dual-exhaust system, and a 2-speed transfer case.

Stay here, and I will tell you more about this Z71 package from my experience as a retired auto-technician. This includes what the package includes and why it is worth it. 

What does the Z71 package add to the Silverado?

what is the Silverado z71 package?

This is simply an off-road suspension package from the renowned U.S. automaker General Motors. The package is designed primarily to enhance the off-road capabilities and performance of various GM Chevrolet trucks or pickups.

In other words, the theZ71 package provides you with everything you might need to navigate through different rugged trails easily. But unlike some packages that contain door knob replacement, this one does not.

What Do You Get With Z71 Package?

You get nearly everything you might require to upgrade the overall performance of your Chevy truck when it comes to off-roading. I’m talking about things like:

1. All-terrain tires and 18” or 20” wheels

This Z71 off-road package contains tires for all-terrain built for enhanced traction on all road conditions. Basically, the tires feature a blockier tread than a standard road tire. Also, you will realize that they are made of softer rubber for ease of gripping onto rocks and other off-road gravel.

Even better, you get to choose between 18-inch or 20-inch wheels. Of course, I suggest going with the 18-inch wheels because they are not as heavy as their 20-inch counterparts.

2. Metal skid plates

Additionally, you will get skid metal plates that run from the front to the back. Like other skid plates on a GM truck, this feature is designed to provide your vehicle with maximum protection. The plates help protect your truck’s transmission, rear differential, fuel tank, transfer case, suspension, and other essential components.

3. Rancho brand shocks

You will also be pleased to know that the 2022 z71 off-road and protection package comes with Rancho name-brand shocks. If you are not aware of this, Rancho is one of the known leaders in both suspension and truck technologies. The brand has been manufacturing premium off-road performance suspension kits for decades.

The Z71 shocks and suspension package also provide you with better stability and control when maneuvering uneven road surfaces.

4. Badging with paint-matched front and rear bumper

In terms of appearance, your Chevy Silverado z71 features a badge on both the grille and tailgate. You will also notice that the front bumper grille and rear bumper come painted. This is basically to show that your truck is a fully-capable off-road vehicle.

5. Recovery or tow hooks

Your z71 off-road package will also come with some tow hooks for ease of vehicle recovery. The hooks simply provide easy-to-access attachment points for hooking tow chains and straps. So, if your Chevy is stuck, it should be easy to move it to a safer towing position without causing any damage.

6. Hill descent control

Inside your Chevy z71, you will find a hill descent control button. It is designed to help keep your truck at safe speeds when cruising on rugged terrain or downhill.

With this feature, you can choose to hold your vehicle at any speed between 3 and 22 kilometers per hour. So, you don’t need to rely on your brakes, allowing you to focus more on steering your truck. 

7. High-intensity air filter

Under the hood of the Chevy Silverado off-road truck, you will find a high-capacity air cleaner. This feature simply helps filter out debris, dust, leaves, and other airborne particles you might encounter on the trails. As a result, your engine gets to stay clean. In addition, the filter provides your vehicle with better breathability for improved engine performance and fuel efficiency.

8. G80 Automatic locking rear differential

Unlike custom trucks, the z71 package includes an automatic locking differential on the rear featuring Eaton technology. Thanks to this unique technology, the differential provides maximum power to the wheels of your truck that need it the most.

And since the locking differential is automatic, the feature does not need any direct input from you to activate it.  Your vehicle will automatically respond to any wheel slip. Consequently, this helps ensure smooth performance when driving on snowy, icy, wet, or uneven roads.

9. Dual exhaust system

At the back, you will get a cool dual exhaust system. This means the exhaust gasses of your truck will exit the engine through two pipes instead of one. As a result, this ensures increased horsepower while also reducing back pressure, which is common with single exhaust systems. You also get to enjoy improved gas mileage.

10. Two-speed transfer case

For non-z71 packages, you only get too high for high auto gears. But with the Chevy z71, you get an additional set of gears. Simply put, the package includes a two-speed transfer case comprising four low-range gear ratios. Typically, this is marked as “4” with an arrow pointing down.

This additional lower gear ratio is built to transmit extra torque coupled with a slow output speed to your truck’s wheels. As a result, you will find it easier to go off-roading with your truck since it can handle all road conditions.

11. Underbody shield cover and sill plates

The Chevy Z71 also comes outfitted with an underbody case shield for enhanced protection. Simply, it is designed to protect the underbody of your pickup from roadside hits.

Even better, the z71 package on 2500hd features brushed sill plates designed to give your truck a rugged and superior look.

is the z71 package worth it?

Yes, and for many good reasons. One of the reasons is that it appears to have excellent resale value. Sure, you might find the z71 package cost relatively high. But you know what? If you decide to sell the truck or trade it in after several years, I assure you it will be worth it.

Something else that makes this package worth it is its heavy-duty features. Look at the all-terrain tires, improved shocks, high-capacity filter, auto-locking differential, dual-exhaust system, etc. All these features turn the Chevy into one of the best off-road machines, making it worth the money.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Still not sure if the Chevy Silverado z71 is worth it? In this section, I will be responding to some of the common questions frequently asked about the z71 package.

1. Is Z71 Suspension Stiffer?

Yes. The z71 package features a heavy-duty suspension that provides a relatively stiffer ride when driving on-road. This explains why it is best suited for off-roading. Fortunately, changing the shocks or tires once they wear out could help smoothen your ride.

2. Is At4 the same as Z71?

No. The AT4 comes with a special grille different from that of the Z71. Also, the AT4 includes unique features like Terrain mode, front heated and ventilated seats, plus rear floor liners.

3. What Trim Is a Z71?

It’s an all-terrain trim, which means it comes with all the features necessary for navigating on rugged terrains. But besides the Chevy Silverado, the Z71 trim option is also available on vehicles like the Colorado, Tahoe, and Suburban.

Final Words

Overall, the Z71 seems like a worthwhile package to invest in if you’re a driver that loves the off-road experience. You will love its decent hill control feature designed to provide superior stability when cruising downhill. Another thing you will love about this package is its heavy-duty skid plates, all-terrain wheels, and rear locking differentials.

All of these features, combined with the Rancho shocks, ensure your truck can handle any challenging road condition with ease. Apart from the high-end features the Z71 package offers, its resale value is another thing that makes it worth the money.

So, even with its relatively high price tag, you will find it a worthy investment. 

Who Worked on This post?



Anderson is an experienced auto mechanic with over 10 years in the industry. He is skilled in diagnosing and repairing a wide range of vehicles, from sedans to trucks and SUV

Syed Ahmed


Syed Ahmed has been working as an auto mechanic editor for the past five years. He has a background in mechanical engineering and a love for all things automotive

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