Z71 Suspension vs Regular- Which is Better to Pick

The suspension system of a truck or Chevrolet is one of the most critical components that determine its overall performance and capabilities.

The Z71 suspension is a popular option for truck buyers who need a vehicle that can handle off-road adventures and heavy loads.

But, is it really worth the extra cost? And which is perfect to choose between Z71 Suspension vs Regular? Though it’s a little bit tricky to pick a single one.

Undoubtedly, both these suspensions are very effective to use. But there are some major differences that make them slightly ahead of one another such as performance; towing capacity; and price.

Don’t make a hasty decision when choosing between the Z71 suspension and the regular suspension. Read on to learn more and make the perfect decision that will provide you with the best driving experience for years to come.

Z71 Suspension VS Regular- Comparison Table

Before moving to know about the in-depth differences between these suspension systems; you should check out this comparison table. It will surely give you some ideas on them.

FactsZ71 SuspensionRegular Suspension
Off-Road CapabilityIncludes specially tuned shocks, off-road tires, skid plates, and a locking rear differential for enhanced off-road performance.Generally lacks specialized off-road equipment, making it less capable on rugged terrain.
DifferentialIncludes a locking rear differential, which helps provide more traction in challenging off-road conditions.May or may not include a locking differential, depending on the specific model and options chosen.
AppearanceOften includes distinctive Z71 badging and unique styling cues such as blacked-out grilles and exterior accents.Generally has a more standard appearance without any unique styling cues.
PerformanceZ71 suspension can offer improved performance on rough terrain, but may have slightly reduced performance on smooth roads compared to a standard suspension setup.Regular suspension is optimized for smoother, more comfortable performance on paved roads, but may struggle on rough terrain.
Towing CapacityZ71 suspension typically has a higher towing capacity than a regular suspension setup.Regular suspension may have a lower towing capacity than Z71 suspension, depending on the specific model and options chosen.
Wheels & TireTypically includes larger, more rugged tires and specialized off-road wheels.Wheels and tires may be more focused on smooth, comfortable performance rather than rugged off-road performance.
CostZ71 suspension is a more expensive option due to the specialized equipment and enhanced capabilities.Regular suspension is generally the standard option and therefore may be less expensive overall.

Z71 Suspension vs Regular- Head to Head Comparison

When shopping for a car, CMC truck or Chevrolet, one of the features you’ll come across is the suspension system. Many vehicles offer the option of an upgraded suspension system, like the Z71.

It provides a smoother, more comfortable ride. But what are the key differences between a Z71 suspension and a regular suspension system? Let’s take a look at some of the differences between Z71 suspension VS regular suspension.

Off-Road Capability

When it comes to off-road capability, the Z71 Suspension has the clear edge over its Regular counterpart.

With the addition of Rancho® monotube shocks and skid plates, the Z71 Suspension provides greater shock absorber protection for your vehicle.

It also offers increased wheel travel and greater ground clearance that allows you to tackle tougher terrain without bottoming out or scraping your undercarriage.

The Z71 Suspension includes special off-road drive modes that allow you to adjust traction control and stability controls systems to handle various types of terrain.

This is especially useful when navigating mud, snow, and other harsh environments, as it gives you more control over how your truck handles.

The Regular suspension does not offer these extra features and cannot handle as much shock absorption when going over rough terrain.


A differential is a key component of both the Z71 and regular suspension systems.

It’s responsible for delivering power from the transmission to the vehicle’s wheels, and ultimately determines traction, acceleration, braking, and cornering.

The Z71 suspension system is equipped with a G80 Automatic Locking Rear Differential. This differential offers significantly improved off-road performance by automatically locking the rear axle when tire slippage is detected. It allows for greater traction across a wider range of off-road terrain and conditions.

By comparison, the regular suspension system comes with an Open Differential which delivers power only to one wheel at a time.

If you encounter adverse road conditions such as mud or snow, you may be left without adequate power to drive through them. As such, it provides lower off-road performance than its Z71 counterpart.


When it comes to appearance, there is definitely a difference between Z71 Suspension and Regular.

The Z71 is the flashier of the two, with beefier components and a look that turns heads.

On the other hand, Regular Suspension on vehicles typically has a more factory-standard look that cannot compare to the eye-catching design of the Z71 Package.

The dominating exterior look of a vehicle sporting Z71 Suspension also helps to differentiate it from its non-Z71 cousins.

Usually, you’ll notice larger tires as an immediate indicator that you’re looking at one equipped with this package, as most models come standard with 18″ or 20″ wheels.

Many trucks also have either chrome accents or skid plates added for further visual emphasis on the fact that it is an off-road variant of the vehicle.

On top of the increased exterior appeal that comes along with this package, some models give you the option to customize your truck’s interior style just as much as its exterior with distinctive upholstery options and graphics packages specific to this trim level.

No matter what type of vehicle you own. Whether it’s a car, truck or SUV; the Z71 Package will always give you an eye-catching option when it comes to suspension upgrades. It not only provides improved performance but also improved style.


When it comes to performance, there’s no getting around the fact that Z71 suspension is better than regular.

The Z71 suspension is a specialized off-road suspension package offered by General Motors on select trucks and SUVs. It includes upgraded shocks, springs, and other components designed to improve off-road performance and handling.

Compared to a regular suspension, the Z71 package offers increased ground clearance, improved approach and departure angles, and enhanced traction control.

The Z71 suspension is specifically designed for off-road driving and can handle rugged terrain and uneven surfaces with ease. It’s perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, adventurers, and those who require a vehicle that can handle the demands of the outdoors.

On the other hand, a regular suspension is designed for everyday driving on paved roads. While it may offer a comfortable ride, it’s not equipped to handle the rigors of off-road driving.

So, the Z71 suspension is a superior option for those looking for improved off-road performance and handling. It’s designed to provide a smoother ride, better traction control, and increased ground clearance.

However, for those who don’t plan on doing any off-roading, a regular suspension will suffice.

Towing Capacity

Towing capacity is an important factor to consider when comparing Z71 Suspension vs Regular.

When talking about towing capacity, both suspensions have different abilities to haul heavy loads safely and efficiently.

The Z71 Suspension offers a wider track width which helps distribute more weight across the axles. It means the Z71 Suspension is capable of carrying heavier loads and enables it to tow bigger boats and trailers.

The wider track also improves stability, reducing bump steer and body roll when turning at higher speeds when towing large loads.

On the other hand, regular suspensions are limited in their ability to carry heavier loads due to their narrower track width. It means they may not be able to handle as much weight as a Z71 Suspension can.

But in most cases; they are still more than capable of hauling smaller boats, ATVs, and trailers.

Overall, the Z71 Suspension has its advantages when it comes to hauling heavy loads compared to Regular suspensions.

However, for most people not planning on regularly hauling large vehicles such as boats or RVs, a regular suspension may be just fine for their needs.

Wheels & Tires

When it comes to wheels and tires, Z71 Suspension and Regular suspension both have their benefits.

With the Z71 suspension, you get a more aggressive tire size often up to 32 inches. It can give you a superior grip off-road. Also with larger rims and wider tires, you have more control over your vehicle on rugged terrain.

However, the width of the tires increases the cost as well as wear and tear on your vehicle.

So if you’re mostly driving on flat roads and highways, you might want to stick with the regular suspension package’s smaller tire size for better fuel efficiency and less wear on the tire itself.

Ultimately, the choice between the two suspensions depends on the driver’s needs and preferences.

If you plan to do a lot of off-roading, the Z71 suspension with its larger and more capable wheels and tires may be the better choice.

However, if you mainly stick to paved roads, the regular suspension may be more than adequate for your needs.


Finally, let’s discuss one of the most important topics and that is cost.

It’s important to consider how much you’ll invest in either option. As you can probably already guess, upgrading to Z71 Suspension is going to set you back a bit more.

The cost of Z71 Suspension will typically vary depending on the model and year of your vehicle.

But, you can expect to pay at least $3,000 for parts and labor. Regular suspension is generally free because it comes standard with most vehicles.

Keep in mind that a higher cost doesn’t necessarily mean a better option for your needs. You have to consider other factors such as off-road capability and performance for a more accurate comparison of what’s best for you.

So, take the time to do some research before deciding whether Z71 Suspension or Regular suspension is worth investing in.

Z71 Suspension vs Regular- The Winner

So, when it comes to Z71 Suspension vs Regular- who is the winner?

It really comes down to what you need for your vehicle. If you’re looking for the best off-road performance, improved styling, and superior handling, a Z71 Suspension Package may be the way to go.

The off-road package offers specialized shocks, springs, and other features that make your vehicle capable of tackling tougher terrain than its regular suspension counterparts.

On the other hand, if you’re just looking for improved fuel economy or hauling capacity and can do without some of the off-road features of a Z71 Suspension Package, then a regular suspension package might be ideal.

At the end of the day, the decision between Z71 Suspension vs Regular is up to you and what your needs are.

Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to weigh all factors before making a decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Z71 suspension package?

The Z71 suspension package is an optional suspension package offered by Chevrolet on certain models of their full-size pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles. It includes features such as off-road-tuned shocks, skid plates, and specially tuned springs that provide a smoother ride on rough terrain. It also includes hill-descent control, which helps the driver maintain control when driving downhill on steep terrain.

Does the Z71 have a different suspension?

Yes, the Z71 has a different suspension than other trim levels. It features a higher-capacity, off-road suspension system with a stabilizer bar, skid plates, and other features designed to provide enhanced performance and comfort when driving on rough terrain.

Is the Z71 lifted?

The Trail Boss combines the Z71 off-road package with other enhancements. The suspensions on these pickups have been given a 2-inch lift straight from the factory to allow you to leave city roads behind.

Final Thought

You already got some ideas on the differences between Z71 Suspension VS Regular. In the end, it ultimately comes down to what you need.

If you need a ride that offers a better off-road performance, more stability, and more control, opting for the Z71 Suspension package is the way to go.

However, if you want something for highway and city roads that emphasizes on performance and appearance, go with a standard suspension kit.

Whether you go with the Z71 Suspension package or the regular suspension, you’re getting a reliable and powerful pick-up that can handle whatever it is you want to throw at it.

No matter which option you choose, you can rest assured that you’re getting a solid truck that will last you for years.


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