Hi, I have narrowed my selection down to three dual cab 4WD utes – Mazda BT-50, Ford Ranger and Holden Colorado. I tow a 16-foot caravan and want the power for hills and all-round best vehicle. I believe that Mazda gives the best customer service. Are any of these three vehicles better than the other?. And with two having a 3.2L 470Nm motor and the Colorado 2.8L 500Nm motor does the size of the two bigger motors have an influence on the overall performance and power?
You’ve narrowed the field down to some worthy contenders. However, the mechanically related Mazda and Ford options are my pick for towing for a couple of reasons.
Both the Mazda BT-50 and the Ford Ranger share the 3.2 litre 5-cylinder powerplant. And while it puts out a little less torque than the 2.8 litre Duramax in the Holden Colorado on paper I still feel that the bigger engine hauls a load easier and will serve you better over its lifetime.
The shared platform of the Mazda and Ford has quite a long wheelbase which makes for a stable tow vehicle. That feeling of fighting with a twitchy tow rig can be exhausting over a long trip.
And speaking of stability, the Ford and Mazda have stiffer leaf springs underneath the rear. While this gives them a more jiggly ride when empty it also means that they feel more stable when heavy towing than the Colorado.
The Ford has better power delivery as the Ranger now features a new fuel injection system and a low-inertia turbo. The BT-50 didn’t get that update. However the Mazda still hauls well, it’s just a little noisier under load than the Ranger and power takes slightly longer to come on tap. That said I’m not a huge fan of the Ford’s electric power steering and much prefer the Mazda’s traditional non-electric feel through the wheel.
The Colorado is arguably better value at the moment with Holden going in pretty hard on pricing. And it’s a much better ute than it used to be. But in the long term I think the Ford/Mazda twins are the way to go.
The Ranger has a little more finesse (and is better looking) than the Mazda but you’ll get a better deal on the BT-50.