Holden Colorado 4X4 LX Crew Cab Road Test
Review by Anthony Ziella - 19 December 2012
Here we go, the all new 2012 Holden Colorado has landed and the team at Holden have borrowed the tag line, from either Tommy Hafey or Ron Barassi I'm not sure, of "Don't think. Don't hope. Do" and this 4X4 certainly does...do, just about anything, except maybe a one motion ninety degree angle park.
The biggest, baddest, meanest 4X4 on the road looks like it just rolled off the banks of the Mississippi River but out on the streets it's a serious head turner.
The Colorado comes in a huge range from the 2x4 tray all the way through to the fully loaded 4x4 LXZ, but to save on confusion and for the sake of this review, I'm going to focus on the 4x4 LX, the vehicle I was lucky enough to get around in for a week.
On road she handles like a cloud, a really big cloud. Like I said before the power, torque and grunt mean that any fool that wants to step up, better step correct. Its sheer size means that most won't.
On its size however, parking this big boy can be precarious. It might just be my lack of experience with a 4X4 this size but parallel parking was tougher than playing a full game of water polo. 90 degree angle parks are almost impossible to pull off in one swift manoeuvre.
Outside of parking and constantly checking your mirrors (bikes can get lost along the side so always pay a bit more attention when changing lanes in traffic) it beastliness is awesome. My week was pretty well carefree as I mounted curbs, cruised over speed traps and ran over roundabouts and elderly people without as much as a gentile bump in the cabin.
The comfort and smoothness of the ride owe a lot to the suspension. The suspension is made up of independent double wishbone and coil springs at the front end and the rear leaf springs are placed over the axle for extra clearance.
Topping off the whole package is the ability to carry a 1.4 tonne payload with a class leading 3.5 tonne towing capacity, just in case you need any extra incentive.
Powering this beast of a machine is a big Duramax 2.8L In-line turbo diesel engine that puts out 470Nm of torque and 140kW of power. But for all its bravado the fuel efficiency still comes in at an impressive 9.1/100km (claimed).
From the inside the rattle and chugging of the engine is barely noticeable unless you are stopped with the windows down. Leave it running and step outside and you will find that it is kind of noisy. Not a huge issue unless you're a member of some sort of breaking and entering crew that values steathiness.
Although it should be considered as a family car at its core the only thing the Holden Colorado thinks about is getting down and dirty lugging huge payloads over the muddiest of terrain. This 4X4 loves the slop, eats it up, its mother was a mudder.
Probably the Colorado's best feature. I checked out the competitors and this 4X4 easily has them covered for style and looks. It was either the 4X4 or the fact that I, someone who has no business driving a car that size while blasting Macklamore's "Thrift Shop", turned more than a few heads. The metallic paint is a real head-turning winner also but will set you back an extra thousand clams.
Holden are calling the Colorado "The Right Kind of Big". I'm not sure exactly what that means but it is big, beefy and powerful and is a real standout on the road. Although it was designed in Sao Paolo and manufactured in Thailand it certainly seems like an Aussie twist on the American pick-up 4X4. With a Confederate Flag and a shotgun on the parcel shelf you could roll around Austin looking like a local I reckon.
The twin element front end grille provides for extra beef and the side steps are necessary as the 17 inch alloys that give extra gangster points require you to literally climb in to the cabin.
The 4X4 LX I drove came with a lockable lid for the tray, not standard throughout the range, which will save you time in the morning and at night as you won't have to pack and unpack your tools every day.
The Colorado receives the highest possible 5 star ANCAP safety rating.
Its safety features include 4 airbags, anti-locking brakes, EBD, stability and traction control, front seat belt pretensioners and 3 child seat anchorage points, handy for Andrew Carrazzo (for non AFL people, it's because he has triplets).
What Holden have aimed for with the Colorado is to try and blend a "real" workman's 4X4 with a family car. In my opinion they have succeeded. The Colorado is as roomy as it looks like it would be from the outside, yet maintains the look and feel of a family sedan.
The seats are wrapped in a soft cloth and filled with a firm but comfortable cushioning. Passenger as well as driver comfort have been taken into consideration with plenty of room in the back as well as rear seats that are in a recline position as opposed to the usual bolt upright you find in most workman vehicles.
In the equipment department the LX more than holds its own against the competition. It comes standard with cruise control, power mirrors and windows, a trip computer, leather wrapped steering wheel with multi functioning controls, Bluetooth and audio streaming and a USB jack. The trip computer has all manner of functions including one that gives you the oil temperature of the transmission. I questioned the usefulness of that indicator for days until my dad (a mechanic) with a really disappointed look on his face, pointed out that such an indicator was really important when towing (I guess we've all learnt something here).
Cup holders are everywhere and in an array of sizes. Pop up compartments litter the dash so you are every chance of losing your sunglasses inside the actual car.
Holden has found a perfect harmony between family car and rough & rugged work 4X4. Almost as if to highlight that point Holden offer a pair of rubber floor mats to protect your carpeted floor from soggy Blunstones Monday through Friday.
I totally loved this 4X4 but at the same time couldn't see myself driving it every day, purely because I don't need a car this size.
Some experience with larger cars is required before you buy this one, this is not a car for the second year sparky. This 4X4 is for the site manager, the foreman. It's for the boss.
* Prices are manufacturer list prices only, for the drive away price please contact your local authorised Holden dealer.
Comments on the review? The Car? Your Car? Email us.