2015 Chevrolet Colorado: Towing Impressions
February 10, 2015
I recently used our 2015 Chevrolet Colorado to tow a Mercedes-Benz B-Class and spent over 200 miles with the EV trailered. The Chevy was certainly capable of towing the Benz but it was not without some excitement...
To start, let's cover some specs. We bought a Colorado Crew Cab 4WD with a 5'2" bed and Z82 trailering package. As equipped, it was rated to tow 7,000 pounds. Behind it was a 2,210-pound car trailer with a 3,957-pound Mercedes on top. At 6,167 pounds the Colorado was loaded to 88 percent of its maximum capacity.
The Chevy felt only half-heartedly up to the task at hand, initially.
In tow-haul mode the transmission likes to downshift, but not always at opportune times. I learned this tendency on my first freeway onramp. It was an uphill, decreasing radius turn and I was gradually increasing throttle input. At some point I must have asked for too much because the tranny kicked down and pegged the needle north of 6,000 rpm. An incredible cry for help erupted from the V6 and surprised me so much I lifted my foot. Then it upshifted.
The engine immediately stopped wailing, but now I was merging into 70 mph traffic at 2,000 rpm and about 25 mph. I wasn't particularly fond of being me in that moment. I buried my foot, got another downshift and this time, did a better job of holding the gear. It wasn't until the Colorado was safely in lanes that I looked down to see the manual shift button. Dummy learned a lesson. Use manual shift mode.
Manual mode made it easy. It really was a must-do. On the freeway I kept the truck in sixth gear most of the time with the occasional shift to fourth for passing and grades. It was nice that the truck allowed shifts without disrupting cruise control.
Ride quality was negatively affected with the trailer attached. Each small bump and road imperfection relayed to the cabin was a reminder that it was back there. The trailer tugged constantly. Honestly, not much more than other vehicles of this size under similar conditions. I was confident pulling with this truck during my adventure, once I figured out the right technique.
Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 5,250 miles