2017 Holden Colorado Tow Test

Peter Barnwell conducts a towing test of the big 4x4

holden colorado towing

Aussies love to tow, just look around next time you’re driving and you’ll see what I mean, and they will tow with pretty much anything – sometimes with less than perfect results.

If you want an excellent vehicle for towing, check out the Holden Colorado one tonne ute.

Recently upgraded with far more input from Aussie Holden Engineers, the Holden Colorado LTZ I took on a towing test ranks as one of the best tow vehicles I have driven, ever, and I’ve done plenty of towing over decades of driving.

Holden made fairly radical changes to Colorado late last year to make it more civilised with better chassis and body mounts, a relocated engine balance shaft, better noise suppression package, suspension upgrades and more responsive electric power steering.

The auto gains a diesel passenger car style torque converter that is smoother and quieter in operation as well as offering throttle blip on the down change.

There’s more safety equipment, better tyres and thicker front stabiliser bar to make Colorado more refined.

The dual cab LTZ 4×4 driven goes for a touch over $50 grand but has plenty of kit to justify the price including climate control, Holden’s MyLink infotainment system with embedded satnav, an 8-inch touch screen controller, cruise control, auto headlights and wipers and heated exterior mirrors.

Misses out on a ute tray liner though.

Some advanced driver assist technology is provided and it rolls on 18″ alloys.

Colorado for Towing

The Holden has a potent Duramax 2.8 litre turbo diesel engine with variable geometry turbo that’s good for 147kW/500Nm output and fuel economy of 8.7L/100km.

It’s rated at 3500kg towing capacity with trailer brakes and has an auto down change facility on downhills to slow the vehicle using engine braking.

Trailer sway control modulates the brakes to keep everything on the straight and narrow while manual adjust headlights (from inside the cabin) prevent dazzling oncoming traffic.

I hooked up a car trailer with a small car on it for a 2000km towing round trip on highways and B roads.

Total weight of the trailer and car was about 2.0 tonnes and there was about 250kg of stuff in the tray.

The Colorado is rated at 6000kg GCM which is Gross Combined Mass  (vehicle, payload, trailer and trailer load combined) so I was up near 4500kg fully fuelled.

On the move, I could barely feel the trailer’s presence, just a slight tug over big bumps and a slight drop off in acceleration though the Colorado has no problems in the performance department with 500Nm on tap, even with a load on board.

The ride is outstanding and really feels like a passenger car.

It used 12.3 litres/100km over the towing distance which rates as one of the better vehicles tested under similar conditions.

That corresponds to a range of about 600km at a time from the big Colorado.

On the run up from Melbourne, on the Hume Freeway, the Colorado only changed back to 5th three times on steep hills  and it never fluctuated from the speed set on cruise control.

That’s rare.

It’s smooth and quiet so co-drivers can easily have a kip between stints at the wheel.

The cabin is roomy and the load tray measures about 1.5 metres square.

And thankfully, they changed the front styling this time around making Colorado much easier on the eye.

I have a few favourites for this type of work and until this trip, the Colorado wasn’t one of them. It is now.

Short of spending twice the money on a V8 Toyota LandCruiser for ultimate towing ability, the Colorado is now at top of my list for an affordable tow vehicle.

NUTS and BOLTS – 2017 Holden Colorado

  • Engine: 2.8 litre four-cylinder diesel producing 147kW and 400Nm
  • Transmission: Six-speed auto or six-speed manual
  • Safety: Five stars
  • Warranty: 3yrs/100,000km (seven-years until end of 2018)
  • Origin: Thailand
  • Price: from $29,490 (two-door/cab-chassis)

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