What does z71 package stand for On Chevy Trucks?

It seems like such a simple question should have a simple answer. But here’s the thing: there are literally hundreds of RPO Codes that denote features and options on the various GM vehicles. Even more confusing is that most codes share multiple common features. Plus, there are constant upgrades to the various packages.

During my job as an auto technician, I came across many theories as to what “Z71” stands for. it’s a product code for an optional upgrade that enhances your truck’s off-road capabilities.

But as an old-timer in the auto industry, I’m going to give you all the facts.  I’ll cover in detail what z71 stands for, what features it has to offer, and how to tell if your truck has one.

What Does Z71 Stand For On Chevy Trucks
Image source: eagleridgegm.com

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What Does Z71 Stand For On Chevy Trucks?

The Z71 is just one of many 3-figure codes on any GM vehicle. Think of it as an RPO code for an optional package.

But what does Z71 actually mean?

Well, Z71 is a special offroad suspension package. It improves handling off-road and over rugged terrain. In addition, it has thicker leaf springs that provide better ride quality on the pavement.

The Z71 is one of three possible suspension packages offered on the Chevy truck. The others are Z85 for HD models; and Z60 for sports trucks.

However, the Z71 is more popular with off-road enthusiasts due to its build quality, ride height, and sturdy nature.

Which Model Of Chevy Has Z71 Suspension Package?

Z71 has a deep history within the Chevy family, but it isn’t for everyone. Chevy and GMC don’t offer the Z71 option on every vehicle in their lineup. Not unless you custom orders a car.

The Z71 suspension package comes standard on the Silverado, Tahoe, Suburban, and Colorado.

What Features Are Included In The Z71 Package?

This package has multiple facets that make it so great for those who like to go off-roading. While there is a different selection of features depending on the vehicle it’s offered on; most include similar items.

I’ll give a rundown of what features to expect in the Z71 package.

1. Monotube Rancho Shocks

These suspension shocks minimize fade for consistent performance and lift ride height for more ground clearance. This gives your truck better off-road capabilities.

Other perks of monotube Rancho shocks are scuff and corrosion-resistant piston rod and an integrated dirt wiper. Simply put, these suspension shocks give you the freedom to tackle all terrain.

2. High-Quality Air Cleaner

It provides your engine with the cleanest and most efficient air possible. This results in better fuel economy and reduced emissions.

3. Underbody transfer case shield/Skid plate/Skid pan

This is a metal plate attached to the vehicle’s undercarriage to provide additional protection against damage caused by road debris and impact. For instance, it keeps rocks and branches from key mechanical components, such as the transfer case and engine.

4. Automatic Locking Rear Differential

Auto-lock rear differential automatically locks the rear axle when you are in low-traction situations. This can be helpful when driving on slippery surfaces or when you are trying to navigate through mud or snow. In addition, it helps provide more stability while you’re driving in off-road conditions.

5. Hill descent control (HDC)

HDC works with the anti-lock brake system (ABS) to help maintain a controlled descent when traveling down a steep grade. It provides braking to all four wheels as needed for as long as you hold the button.

As you release the button, the hill descent control will disengage automatically, and normal braking will resume. In addition, it has Hill Start Assist to prevent your vehicle from rolling backward when you are driving uphill.

6. Recovery hooks

Recovery hooks are a new feature in the Z71 package. These hooks are designed to allow for easy vehicle recovery if it becomes stuck or disabled.

7. Off-Road Appearance Package

Z71 Appearance Package is available on custom and RST trims. It’s a popular option for truck owners looking for an extra dash of style.

The package includes a unique front fascia, grille, and hood with the Z-71 badge. It also includes black bowtie emblems (front and rear), black mirror caps, and chrome accents on the vehicle’s exterior.

Moreover, the appearance package offers upgraded wheels and tires (all-terrain) in select trims.

Note: Z71 packages vary depending on exactly what model you are looking at. However, the Silverado 1500 Z71 got a few specific upgrades and features that are not found on other trucks.

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How To VERIFY The Truck Is Actually A Z71?

Find out if it is a Z71 by looking at the decal on the rear bumper or grille. There should be a sticker that says “z71”.

However, the surest way to find out is to look for the RPO code Z71 on a sticker in the glove box of your truck. RPO stands for Regular Production Option. It identifies how the vehicle was built and includes every individual part number that was used in the build process.

For instance, RPO codes will identify factory-installed options such as high-performance engines or special color options for a particular model year.

people also ask (FAQs)

1. What is the difference between 4×4 and Z71?

Z71 Chevy trucks have super heavy-duty shocks, beefier (fatter) tires, bumper hooks, and a skid plate. So, they’re better equipped for off-roading.

Well, I’m not saying a 4×4 chevy isn’t good off-road. However, you may incur repairs you could have avoided if you had a Z71.

Also, a regular 4×4 is generally $500 or $1000 cheaper than a Z71.

2. How much does a Z71 package cost?

Z71 Off-Road and Protection packages start from $2095, depending on the bed size of your mid-size truck. The price will more likely vary depending on your region or state.

3. Does the z71 come in 2WD?

Let me be clear. A Z71 is merely a package that provides that extra off-road capability, both in performance and protection.

So, yes. It’s also available in two-wheel drive (2wd). But as you might expect, four-wheel drive (4wd) is by far the more popular choice for those who want to hit the trails in their truck or SUV.

2020 Silverado “Z71 Package” – What is it >> Check out the video below:

Final Words

Well, that’s all, folks—everything you ever wanted to know about Z71 and then some.

The Z71 is a specific trim package that adds off-road capabilities to the truck. It makes your Chevy truck even tougher than it already is.

But is it worth it? In a word, yes! But to get a better answer, let me break it down.

If you want the best possible driving experience, the Z71 package is a worthwhile investment. It gives the car a more rugged appearance and provides a better ride for when you are off-roading. In addition, it provides some stylistic changes that some people like

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

2 thoughts on “What does z71 package stand for On Chevy Trucks?”

  1. In the 1960s when John Z DeLorean initiated one of the first muscle cars ever manufactured by General Motors, he used his middle initial as part of the codename for the secret program, more commonly known as Z 28. From that time on, the Z has been used to denote a vehicle, which is being built with a high output, V8 engine, which is what made the Z 28 special, and a muscle car.

    71 stands for 7100 pounds of torsional force, which is what the rear differential is designed to withstand. In four-wheel-drive applications, especially under heavy duty conditions, the rear differential must be able to withstand considerable force, to survive.

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