The upgraded Colorado is the shape of things to come for Holden. The ‘Wizards of Oz’ joined their Brazilian counterparts and Thai manufacturing technicians to come up with a vehicle that the maker says is ideal for Australia’s driving conditions.
“The variety of roads in Australia and the ways Australians use trucks means the 2017 Colorado has to be versatile enough to handle everything thrown at it,” says Holden’s Lead Development Engineer, Amelinda Watt.
“We know customers like to drive their Colorado off-road or on unsealed roads, but we also know they spend a lot of time on the bitumen. We’ve focused on improving refinement and driveability with a range of chassis changes, including electric power steering as well as engine and transmission noise and vibration refinements.”
Holden engineers took part in drives in Brazil in addition to completing critical local testing at Holden’s Lang Lang Proving Ground and on public roads around Victoria, clocking up more than 100,000 kilometres on inner-city and suburban streets, country roads and forest tracks.
Based on the Chevrolet Colorado, the Australian model comes in five variants, including cab chassis and pick-up, in three levels of specification – LS, LT and LTZ.
Prices start at $29,490, plus on road costs for the LS Single Cab cab chassis and top off with the LTZ Crew Cab pick-up at $42,490. All are powered by the 2.8-litre Duramax turbo-diesel engine.
At almost five-and-a-half metres long and nearly two metres in width the Colorado needs no extras to give it street presence. However, in line with modern truck styling the pick-up wears a sleek new front fascia and upper grille accompanied by new headlamps with LED daytime running lights.
As a point of difference to lesser models the top LTZ has been hooked up with an alloy sports bar, 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome exterior door handles and exterior scalps.
The new Colorado comes with the largest range of Genuine Holden Accessories, including a safari bar and LED light bar that add to the Colorado’s dynamic stance with style and functionality.
A redesigned dashboard with contrast stitch detail is only part of the plan to give the cabin a modern more premium feeling for occupants.
Matching the upgrade in automotive technology are a clean instrument cluster and centre console, while further luxury can be added with optional heated leather appointed seats on the LTZ.
GM continues to be up with the best in connectivity of vehicles to personal information and entertainment and Colorado is no exception with the next generation of Holden’s award-winning MyLink infotainment system.
An 8.0-inch colour touch screen, among the largest in class, on the LTZ offers mobile phone connection through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Features are accessed through simple screen-based icons or Siri Eyes Free and Smartphone voice recognition. Drivers have access to a wide range of in-car apps.
ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
The new Colorado benefits from the Duramax 2 turbo-diesel 2.8-litre engine mated, in our test vehicle, to a six-speed automatic transmission with optional manual mode with sequential shifting via the gear lever.
Maximum power output is a 147 kW there’s maximum torque of 500 Nm between 2000 and 2200 rpm. Much emphasis has been put on keeping the unit quiet and smooth running. It has a Euro 5 emission rating thanks, in part, to a diesel particulate filter.
With seven airbags standard across the range and a suite of active safety measures depending on model, the new Colorado gained a five-star ANCAP safety rating.
As well as rear park assist and reversing camera and auto on / off headlamps other safety measures include electronic stability control incorporating anti-lock braking, electronic brake force distribution, roll-over mitigation, traction control, hill start assist, trailer sway control, hill descent control, front park assist, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, tyre pressure monitoring and rain sensing wipers.
The work done by engineers on the Colorado Duramax 2 engine include the fitting of an Engine Acoustic Pack. This has a metal one-piece timing cover (previously a two-piece plastic one), new injectors, oil pan insulators and relocation of the twin balance shafts. Structural changes to the engine, as well as fuel injection upgrades also play their part.
The result is cabin ambience on a par with many sedans and a degree of stress-less driving on and off the bitumen. The latter at the behest of an transfer case electronically activated by a knob on the centre console.
Two-wheel high, four-wheel high, or four-wheel low modes can be engaged, while ‘neutral’ ensures no drive goes to the wheels.
Many tradies these days value their work vehicle as a weekend family recreation vehicle, using a trailer for work gear during the week. Towing ability, therefore, climbs the shopping list when buying a pick-up.
The Colorado’s towing capacity of a braked trailer is 3500 kg, the unbraked capacity is the legal maximum of 750 kg. With a trailer hooked up, the gross combined mass for vehicle, payload and braked trailer combined is 6000 kg.
With the tailgate down, the loading lip is relatively high and requires quite a lift into the tray. Sadly, some people also had a struggle to snap on the soft tonneau cover. There may be a knack but it’s not obvious.
With the toughness of a small truck and the ride and good handling thanks to the Aussie engineering connection, the new Holden Colorado carries a genuine homeland appeal.
AT A GLANCE
Holden Colorado 2.8 LS Single Cab cab chassis $29,490
Holden Colorado 2.8 LS Crew Cab cab chassis $34,490
Holden Colorado 2.8 LS Crew Cab pick-up $35,990
Holden Colorado 2.8 LT Crew Cab pick-up $38,990
Holden Colorado 2.8 LTZ Crew Cab pick-up $42,490
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Holden dealer for drive-away prices.
18in alloy wheels with full size spare (machined face)
New MyLink infotainment system: 8in colour touchscreen
7 speaker premium audio
Remote vehicle start via key fob
Front park assist
Electronic Climate Control
Forward Collision Alert with head-up warning, Lane Departure Warning
Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
Manual levelling headlamps with chrome bezel
LED tail lights
Heated power folding exterior mirrors
Alloy sports bar
Soft tonneau cover
Electro-chromatic (light sensitive) rear view mirror
Rain sensing windscreen wipers
6-way adjustable electric driver’s seat
Body exterior door handles with chrome strip, chrome exterior mirror scalps, chrome gear selector
Front passenger sunglass holder and dual reading lamps
Factory Option: Leather appointed seat trim with heated front seats
SPECIFICATIONS (Holden Colorado 2.8-litre Duramax turbo-diesel pick-up)
Capacity: 2.776 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 147 kW @ 3600 rpm
Maximum Torque: 500 Nm @ 2000-2200 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: 5361 mm
Wheelbase: 3096 mm
Width: 1874 mm
Height: 1800 mm
Turning Circle: 12.7 metres
Gross Vehicle Mass: 3150 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 76 litres
Five years / 100,000 km