2019 Holden Colorado load and tow test: Tow Test 2019

Holden by name but more global General Motors by design, the Colorado boasts plenty of Australian engineering.

2019 Holden Colorado load and tow test review

THE 2019 HOLDEN COLORADO hasn’t been mechanically changed since we last tow- and load-tested it against its class rivals.

In fact, since its major top-to-bottom revision for the 2016 model year, the Colorado has participated in a 3500kg tow test comparison and two load test comparisons, one with 800kg in the tub and two people onboard, and the other with 650kg in the tub and three people aboard.

In all tests it performed well; not a winner in any of those outings but still up with the front runners on all three occasions. Its 147kW/500Nm 2.8-litre diesel engine and six-speed automatic providing competitive load-hauling performance, and its chassis proving up to the task.

The Colorado is a popular seller in a highly competitive ute market; one of the ‘big’ four behind Hilux, Ranger and Triton. Given it’s a mid-spec LT it’s also the least expensive of our six utes, whereas the D-Max, the other more affordable ute here, is a top-spec LS-T.

Holden Colorado General Load & Tow

WITH THE 450kg of sandbags in the tub and the trailer hooked up, the Colorado’s rear suspension dropped 55mm, measured at the line of the rear axle. That’s a little less than all of the other utes here, which helps maintain a neutral stance; although, it’s also a reflection that the Colorado doesn’t have as much rear axle travel overall as either the Ranger or Amarok, which are both notably good in that regard.

Like the Ranger, the Colorado has electric power steering (part of the MY16 upgrade) which offers plenty of feel, even under the full test load. The overall chassis stability of the Colorado is very good when hauling the test load; although, perhaps, not as good as the Rangers or the Amarok when the roads become bumpier.

The 2.8-litre four-cylinder and six-speed auto perform solidly, even if it needs to rev more than the two V6s and the Ranger 3.2 to do the same job. And while it’s not the quietest or smoothest engine here when working hard, it doesn’t give much away to the Ranger 3.2 or D-Max in that regard.

The six-speed GM automatic works well with engine and offers notably proactive shift protocols, and it’s especially good with the timing of its automatic downshifts on off-throttle descents. Most of the others need a brake prompt to auto downshift, but the Colorado will do it more readily on gradient recognition alone.

Holden Colorado Steep Gradient Load & Tow

WE WERE expecting good things from the Colorado on our extreme climb and descent and, while it generally delivered up the hill, it wasn’t as strong as we expected. The engine needs relatively high revs for it to work best, and it just didn’t pull up to those high revs all that quickly. Surprisingly, it was a little slower than the less powerful (on paper) D-Max up the hill, but it was still better than the more powerful (on paper) Ranger 2.0-litre.

Aside from being a little slow out of the hairpin bends, the diesel engine was willing once up and spinning and thrived on revs. On descent the engine offers reasonable braking, aided by a responsive ‘manual’ mode.

Holden Colorado Tow Test Results

Towing Capacity: 3500kg
Towball Download (max): 350kg
Payload: 1048kg

 2.8-litre 4-cyl turbo diesel
Max power: 147kW @ 3600rpm
Max torque: 500Nm @ 2000rpm
Transmission: 6-speed auto
4x4 system: Dual-range part-time
Kerb weight: 2102kg
Fuel tank capacity: 76 litres
ADR fuel consumption: 8.7L/100km

LS 4x4 DC/PU (auto) $47,190 
LT 4x4 DC/PU (auto) $49,190 
LTZ 4x4 DC/PU (auto) $52,690 
LSX 4x4 DC/PU (auto) $54,145 
Z71 (auto) $57,190 
*Not including on-road costs


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