Can a Chevy Colorado Tow a Horse Trailer?

The Chevrolet Colorado is one of America’s favorite midsize pickup trucks. It ranks high in terms of reliability, comfort, and performance. The Colorado fell behind the Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger, and Jeep Gladiator in terms of 2021 sales but remained the preferred choice for thousands of Americans. 

A Chevy Colorado can tow a horse trailer as long as the trailer’s weight doesn’t exceed the vehicle’s tow capacity. The Standard 2.5L 4-Cylinder can tow up to 3,500 pounds (1,587.6 kg), the 3.6L DOHC V6 up to 7,000 pounds (3175.1 kg), and the Duramax 2.8L Turbo-Diesel up to 7,700 pounds (3492.7 kg).

Let’s take a closer look at the Chevy Colorado’s ability to tow a horse trailer, the experience you can expect, and the precautions to take before hauling horses using a Chevy Colorado. 

Horse trailers can be towed by Colorados as long as they don't exceed a certain weight
Horse trailer transportation van standing on the background of trees.

How Chevy Colorado Models Perform When Towing a Horse Trailer

As seen above, the different Chevy Colorado models have varying towing capacities. It’s crucial that you know how each Chevy Colorado performs before purchasing one or hitching a horse trailer to the one you own. 

The Standard 2.5L 4-Cylinder

As the name suggests, the base model Colorado had a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine that churns out a decent 200 horsepower. The six-speed automatic transmission can handle up to 191 pound-feet (259 newton-meter) of torque. 

Chevy sets the tow limit for the 2.5L 4-Cylinder at 3,500 pounds (1,587.6 kg), way below what the other Colorados can tow. The Gross Combination Weight Rating (total weight, including trailer) of the 2.5L 4-Cylinder shouldn’t exceed 8,500 pounds (3,856 kg).  

With the smallest horse trailers weighing around 2,300 pounds (1043.3 kg) and a horse weighing between 900 to 2,000 pounds (408.2 to 907.2 kg), the base Colorado can likely only tow a one-horse trailer. 

The 3.6L DOHC V6

The 3.6L V6 offers a significant bump in power compared to the 2.5L and double the towing capacity. This model produces 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet (373 newton-meter) of torque that can comfortably tow 7,000 pounds (3175.1 kg) worth of horse carriage. 

To get this towing performance, you must purchase the Trailering Package. A 3.6L DOHC without the Trailering Package has the same towing capacity as the 2.5L 4-Cylinder. 

Both versions of the 3.6L DOHC V6 have a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of 12,000 pounds (5,443.1 kg). 

The Duramax 2.8L Turbo-Diesel

The future of the Duramax 2.8L Turbo-Diesel remains uncertain as reports state that GM plans to drop the engine for a 2.7-liter turbo. Nevertheless, the car remains in circulation, so we’ll discuss its towing capabilities for drivers who own it. 

The vehicle’s engine produces 181 horsepower and an impressive 369 pound-feet (500 newton-meters) of torque. 

Its 2WD with a crew cab and short box and 4WD with an extended cab and long box versions have the highest towing capacity of 7,700 pounds (3,492.7 kg). The 4WD with a crew cab and short box can tow up to 7,600 pounds (3,447.3 kg), while the long box version can tow up to 7,550 pounds (3,424.6 kg). 

The Duramax 2.8L Turbo-Diesel’s GCWR is capped at 12,700 pounds (5,760.6 kg).

The Chevy Colorado ZR2

Chevy made the Colorado ZR2 for off-road enthusiasts. Its special off-road trim makes it the most expensive Colorado available – and you can make it more costly by installing optional add-ons. 

You can go for the V6 or Turbo-Diesel version of the ZR2, with both having a tow capacity of 5,000 pounds (2,268 kg). However, the Turbo-Diesel model has a higher GCWR of 10,700 pounds (4,853.4 kg) than the 3.6L V6’s 10,300 pounds (4,672 kg). 

The Chevy Colorado Z71

The Chevy Colorado Z71 is a slightly toned-down version of the off-road beast that is the ZR2. It may not be as capable as the ZR2 off-road but can tow a heavier horse trailer than the ZR2. 

Like the ZR2, you can choose a Z71 with either the Turbo-Diesel or 3.6L V6 engine. The Z71 has a towing capacity of 7,000 pounds (3,175.1 kg).  

How Does a Chevy Colorado Handle a Horse Trailer?

Before you tow a horse trailer using your Chevy Colorado, ensure that the weight doesn’t exceed the figures indicated above. Towing above the limit destroys your pickup faster, presents health and safety concerns, and can void your warranty. 

The Chevy Colorado in Tow/Haul mode handles the extra weight of the trailer with minimum fuss. It accelerates well, maintains normal speed on flat roads, and doesn’t struggle on inclines. 

The power and transmission of the Chevy Colorado make it a great tool for hauling horses. Furthermore, it performs well under braking, even when pulling along a heavy trailer. 

Some reviewers have reported that the braking distances are a bit extended, and the Colorado suffers from a bit of understeer on tight roads, but that is to be expected when towing a horse trailer. 

Inspect the car and the trailer before driving off to ensure maximum safety. Check tire pressures and tread, the trailer’s interior, and confirm that the total weight of the Colorado and the trailer don’t exceed the GCWR. 

Despite the Colorado’s excellent braking capabilities, keep a distance between you and the car ahead. Allow a car length ahead for every ten mph (16 km/h) – for instance, maintain a distance of six car lengths between you and the motor ahead when traveling at 60 mph (96.6 km/h). 

The standard Colorado can two up to 3,500 pounds


A Chevy Colorado can tow a horse trailer with minimum fuss. The current Chevy Colorado models can tow horse trailers up to a certain tow limit. 

The Standard 2.5L 4-Cylinder Chevy Colorado has the lowest tow limit at 3,500 pounds (1,587.6 kg). The Duramax 2.8L Turbo-Diesel Colorado, which Chevy might discontinue, has the highest tow limit at 7,700 pounds (3,492.7 kg). 

Therefore, if you fancy a durable, comfortable, and reliable midsize pickup truck capable of towing a horse trailer, the Chevy Colorado is an excellent choice.