2015 Chevrolet Colorado: Towing Compromise We Can Live With
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on October 2, 2015
I lashed a hoopty on a trailer to our long-term 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and towed it from Los Angeles to remote Willows, California and on to Santa Cruz. There I dumped the rig in a field next to those crusty old tractors you see above.
During the 685 miles of towing, I found the mid-size pickup easily suited to the task. Keep in mind, however, that my loaded trailer was a light load compared to the Colorado's previous towing tasks. All up, I was towing roughly 3,000 pounds, which is less than 50 percent of our Colorado's 7,000-pound rating. It should have been an easy-breezy task, and it was.
The Colorado's tow/haul mode makes it possible. I'm not a fan of the Colorado's usual (non-towing) transmission calibration, which is only too eager to enter top gear and is subject to hunting on grades. In tow/haul mode, it gains the smarts it needs to stay in the correct gear. Yeah, the engine's loud and grating when it zings toward redline, but at least it kicks down readily on downgrades. That's a compromise I can live with.
Seat comfort seems to be highly driver-dependent around here. I'm okay with them. I did get road butt after about three hours, but it wasn't too bad, and I had no complaints about the backrest. It seems these seats favor slender physiques.
Fuel economy while towing this load (and with tow/haul mode engaged the whole time) rang in at 18.1 mpg. Not bad, considering the EPA combined number is 20 mpg (17/24 city/hwy mpg).
Despite its small box, I was able to cram nine five-gallon fuel jugs and six mounted Miata wheels in there, plus a floor jack and a few sundries. That was with the bed extender still in place (not deployed). Worked for me.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor