Holden_Colorado_front2Holden’s latest Colorado is a sure sign the company is moving in the right direction. Times change – and those who don’t change with them can get left badly behind. Holden stops making cars in Australia at a date yet to be announced in 2017.

Simply shutting the doors in the factory and carrying on with sales of imported cars is not enough. The mindset of all in the company, as well as the Holden dealers, has to move with the times. New Colorado does just
that; starting with a redesign of the Holden lion-and-stone emblem, then encompassing the complete vehicle.

Somewhat bizarrely, pickup trucks are no longer just for the tradies, they are becoming family wagons. The current Colorado, launched here at the start of 2012 is already a good pickup, but it’s about to be superseded by an upgraded version with extensive revisions aimed at giving it a semi-premium look and feel.

The engine and automatic transmission are more refined. Noise and vibration levels have been improved. The dashboard and instrument panel now have the appearance of a sedan rather than a working truck. The ride has been smoothed out and the handling is more sophisticated. Don’t think you will ever get the feeling you’re riding in a Holden Caprice, the Colorado isn’t that good, but it’s pretty impressive for the class in which it’s competing.

Colorado is very much a global vehicle and there are often vigorous discussions amongst engineers, technicians and designers from country to country about what their specific markets require. Interestingly, the Australian guys and gals found out that our market needs are very similar to those of Brazil and Thailand. So a group was formed between the three countries, to tailor a version to their needs.


Thus, new Holden Colorado is more suited to Australia than the old ‘one-size-suits-all’ model that will be pulled off the market at the end of August. Note that there’s no longer a connection with truck maker Isuzu which did a lot of the work on the current Colorado.

Accessories for the Colorado were very much part of the latest design and all meet the same crash test and quality standards as the base vehicle.

After an extensive on- and off-road drive program west of Brisbane by Holden as part of the media launch of the new Colorado we have come away pretty impressed by the results.

The 2.7-litre turbo-diesel engine has been heavily revised to improve torque across the range, making it smoother and quieter. We only drove Colorados with automatic transmissions, and all were dual-cabs.

Major changes to the torque converter and better electronic communication between the engine and transmission meant Colorado was almost invariably in the right gear all the time.

Electronic power steering (EPS) is rapidly evolving and dare we say is now often better than the old hydraulic assistance? Colorado is no sportscar but at the sort of speeds used in real life steers neatly, holds the road without a fuss and gives the driver a feeling of confidence.


Comfort really doesn’t challenge that of a good car but is impressive for a pickup truck.

Interior noise levels are pretty low for this class and will especially impress those doing long trips with a family on board in Aussie country conditions.

A downside of buying a truck instead of a sedan or station wagon is that it can be harder to get in and of. Colorado’s rear seats have good legroom but the high chassis under the vehicle mean you have a knees-up attitude that can be tiring for adults. Then again, the kids’ feet might be at just the right height.

The dashboard and instrument panel is very car like and the infotainment screen will cause less inattention than is average in this class. However, taking you eyes of the road can still invite disaster.

All-in-all, the latest Holden Colorado is an impressive piece of gear. Sold in Single-cab, Space-cab and Crew-cab it offers something for many types of buyer. Ranging from startup tradies looking for low priced vehicle – the range starts at $29,490 for a 4X2 single-cab chassis, and goes up to $54,490 for the upmarket Crew-cab 4X4 with the Z71 package for family buyers keen on exploring the great Australian outback.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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