2015 Chevrolet Colorado: Will the 2016 Model Offer a Factory Trailer Brake Controller?
March 19, 2015
We had to add an aftermarket electric trailer brake controller to our 2015 Chevrolet Colorado because GM doesn't offer a built-in one on their 2015 Colorado and Canyon compact truck. But I have a feeling that might change.
Why? It's because of something I ran across while searching for a suitable spot to mount the Tekonsha aftermarket unit we installed.
You've seen the curious access/toll card holder that others have written about. Interesting, but it seems an odd feature considering the size of the panel it occupies. To me it looked like the perfect spot for a trailer brake controller. But first I had to figure out if there was any real space behind it.
So I gently pried and tugged around the edges in an exploratory fashion until I convinced myself I could simply pull it off.
It was in there good and tight, but it popped off without much trouble. Once I had it in my hand I could see that three stout clips held it in place.
Behind was a rectangular square hole that punched clear through the dash, with drawer-like flat sides and bottom that would support the weight of a properly-sized item that just happened to fit.
Alas, this cavity was too skinny for my Tekonsha, but a determined automaker could easily commission a custom-sized unit from a supplier. There's plenty of space, ample internal support and the location is pretty much perfect. And the bundle of wires behind the kick panel is very close at hand. They would only have to add 16 inches to the wires and add a suitable connector.
It needs to happen. This is not an S-10. It's a midsize "compact" that has a 7,000-lb tow rating. And its otherwise-flawless pre-wired tow package has been painstakingly designed to support electric trailer brakes. It seems very odd indeed that they stopped short and didn't offer a built-in trailer brake controller, an option that's commonplace in the full-size pickup segment nowadays.
To me the weird card-slot panel and the nicely sized opening behind suggests three possibilities: 1) they have made allowances for a trailer brake controller in the future, but are holding it back until later in the product cycle so they can a) have a new feature to boast about or b) respond in kind if the as-yet unreleased 2016 Toyota Tacoma has one; 2) they planned on it, then nixed the idea or; 3) it's just a hole.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing