The Holden Colorado utility / pickup has been on sale in Australia since 2008 although, until 2012, it was simply a re-badged version of the long-serving and popular Isuzu built Rodeo. The current model is based on the Chevrolet Colorado which is designed in the US but built in Thailand.
Utes have never been more popular in Australia with both the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger sitting at or near the top of all vehicle sales and Colorado in a respectable fourth and gaining ground despite the overall
industry wide decline.
In dual-cab format the modern ute is effectively a crossover combining the functionality of a working vehicle with the comfort, space and drive standard of an SUV.
Colorado comes with the choice of six variants: LS, LT, LSX, LTZ, LTZ+ and Z71. Prices range from $31,690 for an automatic LS 4×2 Single Cab cab chassis through to $57,190 for an auto Z71 4×4 Crew Cab. In between there are Single Cab and Space Cab utes, the latter with restricted rear seats.
As part of a MY 2020 upgrade the mid-range LTZ 4×4 gained leather trimmed seats with the front ones now heated; DuraGuard spray to reduce slippage on the tub-liner of the LTZ, LTZ+ and Z71; rugged fender flares and a bash plate together with a ‘soft drop’ tailgate in the Z71.
There are also now accessory packs: Tradie, Farmer, Black, Rig and the Xtreme. Visit your nearest dealer or look up the Holden website for specifics.
Colorado is big, bold and brash with the top-spec models showing a style that’s clearly aimed at premium ute buyers including an alloy sports bar, 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome exterior door handles and exterior scalps.
Colorado also comes with a range of Genuine Holden Accessories, including a safari bar and LED light bar.
At almost five-and-a-half metres long and nearly two metres wide Holden Colorado attracts plenty of street presence especially so when it comes in the bright orange hue of our LSX Crew Cab test car together with its black grille, matte black extended sports bar and full-width ‘Colorado’ branded rear decal.
Wheels start at 16-inch steel on the LS, 17-inch alloys on the LT while the LTZ upwards get different designs of 18-inch alloys. All models come with a full-size spare.
The dual-cab Colorado has the sort of interior cabin space that its external measurements suggest with plenty of head, leg and shoulder room wherever you sit. The rear seat is wide enough for three adults although it’s a little firm and not ideal for long trips.
There is a lot of plastic although with a softer touch especially at the most important touchpoints.
Heated leather-appointed front seats are standard on the LTZ, LTZ+ and Z71.
The dashboard is functional and effective with good-sized buttons and dials located within easy reach of the driver. The steering wheel has the most commonly-used controls although the feel is more practical than premium.
Tray length is 1795mm with the Space Cab and 1484mm behind the Crew Cab. Towing capacity is 3500kg braked and 750kg unbraked which is the industry standard and provides more than enough for Monday-to-Friday trade work and weekend boat / horse float towing.
With the tailgate down, the loading lip is relatively high and requires quite a lift into the tray. The soft tonneau cover on our LSX proved difficult to unsnap so tightly does it lock in.
ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
There is only one engine available across the range – a Duramax 2 four-cylinder 2.8-litre turbo-diesel paired with either six-speed manual or six-speed automatic depending upon the model.
Maximum output is 147kW of power with 440Nm of torque in the manual version and 500Nm in the auto. Importantly most of that torque is available from just 2000 rpm.
The engine gets a Euro 5 emission rating thanks, in part, to a diesel particulate filter.
All Colorado variants come with seven airbags, electronic stability control incorporating enhanced ABS brakes, rollover mitigation, trailer sway control, hill-start assist and hill descent control. In line with its family focus there are two IsoFix child restraint anchor points in the two outer rear seats and rear seatbelt warning reminders.
Also standard, and very useful in such a big vehicle, are a reversing camera and rear parking sensors.
The LTZ, LTZ+ and Z71 also have forward collision alert, tyre pressure monitoring and lane departure warning.
All Colorado variants come with Holden’s latest generation MyLink infotainment system displayed though a 7-inch colour touchscreen in the LS and LT and 8-inch in the higher specced models. All provide access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with easy-to-pair Bluetooth connectivity.
DAB+ digital radio is available in all models apart from LS. The audio quality ranges from just two speakers in the LS up to seven in the premium system in the LTZ, LTZ+ and Z71 crew cabs.
Prior to its release Colorado has had a fair amount of local chassis and suspension testing to ensure that suits Australian conditions. The result is a drive that is robust but comfortable and easily adaptable to differing road conditions.
Inside there the cabin ambience is on a par with many sedans and so provides a degree of stress-less driving on and off the bitumen.
The impressive lowdown torque ensures is one of the reasons the Colorado has the oomph needed when overtaking or hauling a load, even up a steep climb.
The electrically assisted steering varies with the speed so is lighter when parking or finding your way through tight city roads, but then gets progressively heavier at speed providing a reassuring degree of feedback.
Utes tend to offer a better ride under load and our test coincided with the need for some springtime remedial gardening and a couple of visits to Bunnings. The difference is noticeable although it did remain pretty efficient when the tray was empty.
Fuel consumption is listed at 8.7 litres per 100 kilometres for the automatic LSX Crew Cab that we tested. We averaged 9.8 L/100km during our normal combination of urban, motorway and rural driving.
Although it lags behind the market leading Toyota and Ford recent enhancements to the Holden Colorado have certainly closed the gap in terms of quality and performance. It’s a spacious, safe and versatile vehicle that combines the toughness and durability of a small truck with the comfort and convenience of an SUV.
All Holden models now come with a five-year unlimited kilometre standard warranty.
LS 4×2 Single Cab Chassis: $31,690 (automatic)
LS 4×2 Crew Cab Chassis: $36,690 (automatic)
LS 4×2 Crew Cab Utility: $38,190 (automatic)
LT 4×2 Crew Cab Utility: $41,190 (automatic)
LTZ 4×2 Crew Cab Utility: $44,690 (automatic)
LS 4×4 Single Cab Chassis: $37,490 $39,690 (automatic)
LS 4×4 Space Cab Chassis: $43,190 (automatic)
LS 4×4 Crew Cab Chassis: $43,490 (manual), $45,690 (automatic)
LS 4×4 Crew Cab Utility: $44,990 (manual), $47,190 (automatic)
LSX 4×4 Crew Cab Utility: $46,990 (manual), $49,190 (automatic)
LTZ 4×4 Space Cab Utility: $51,190 (automatic)
LTZ 4×4 Crew Cab Utility: $50,490 (manual), $52,690 (automatic)
LTZ+ 4×4 Crew Cab Utility: $51,520 (manual), $53,720 (automatic)
Z71 4×4 Crew Cab Utility: $54,990 (manual), $57,190 (automatic)
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local GM-Holden dealer for drive-away prices.
SPECIFICATIONS (Holden Colorado LS-X 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-door utility)
Capacity: 2.776 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 147 kW @ 3600 rpm
Maximum Torque: 470 Nm @ 2000 rpm
Fuel Type: Diesel
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 8.7 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 230 g/km
DRIVELINE: Six-speed automatic
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 5347 mm
Wheelbase: 3096 mm
Width: 1882 mm
Height: 1780 mm
Turning Circle: 12.7 metres
Kerb Mass: 2075 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 76 litres
Front: Ventilated disc
Five years / unlimited kilometres