18 October 2017

Holden Colorado Z71 2017 Towing Review

With a front-end makeover and subtle mechanical updates, how does the Z71 stack up?


The Colorado is one of the stars in terms of registration numbers but has not shined so brightly as a tow vehicle. Holden though has given its one-ton ute a big pull-through for the 2017 model year, with a cosmetic front-end make-over, more up-to-date features and significant if subtle mechanical changes.

At a glance 
Model 2017 Holden Colorado Z71
Engine 2.8 Turbo Charged Duramax Diesel
Power 147kW at 3600rpm
Transmission 6-Speed Automatic
Fuel Economy 8.7/100km
Body style Ute
Towing Capacity Braked 3500kg
Towing Capacity Unbraked 750kg

The Z71 represents the best of the Colorado range. It boasts extras like heated leather seats, special matte black decals and other trim embellishments over and above the more basic models in the range. The price for the Colorado Z71 start from $60,990 + ORC.

One of the more advanced safety features is Forward Collision Alert with Head Up Warning. This uses a digital camera mounted on the windscreen with state-of-the-art image processing to observe and warn you of vehicles slowing down ahead. There’s also Lane Departure Warning and Electronic Stability Control for safer everyday driving, and Trailer Sway Control for when you’re towing.

The Z71 was reasonably comfortable and the ride only seemed to improve with a load attached. Inside the cabin we’re drawn to a large 8-inch colour touch-screen with reverse camera and an impressive warning system. The Holden also had well positioned and sized rear view mirrors, and despite being the top model, the dash (thankfully) wasn’t littered with highly reflective chrome accents

We start putting the Colorado through its paces with a simple slope. With the weight of the boat the Duramax 2.8L Turbo diesel slightly struggled with acceleration from 50 kph to 80kph, however it was consistent and controllable as it kicked down into 3rd gear and maintained 2800rpm.

As we continued on to our descent section, we noticed there was no need for any manual intervention, as the transmission downshifted automatically to hold back the weight.

On uneven surfaces and during light cornering the boat did seem to develop a slight wobble on some areas of the course.

On the motorway section the Colorado ran smoothly in 5th at 1800 rpm, however the transmission wouldn’t select 6th gear automatically due to the load.

The Colorado range offers a lot of trailer assistive features at an attractive price point, the ride was comfortable and the infotainment system was pleasant with a real built in Sat Nav. If you are towing a considerable weight don’t expect to get thrown back in your seat, but the acceleration provides enough power for cruising along. 

Thanks to SeaCraft Miller Moyes for the test boat & trailer.

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Rating and scoring

Item towed
Haines Hunter 660SS 2000kg STD
Hard braking control
Acceleration control
General comfort
Smoothness of ride
Stability on uneven surfaces
Stability when cornering
Gearbox performance
Overall result
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