Test: Holden Colorado
Review by Feann Torr -
light commercial vehicle has been around for a quarter of century in
Australia, and in spirit it will remain so.
But the name has changed: this is now the Holden
of a change in the business relationship between Isuzu - who builds
the ute - and General Motors, the Colorado name will adorn the rear tray of the new light commercial utility
But it's not just the name that has changed.
has has tightened a few nuts and bolts, added a new lick of paint and
included a few more features to sweeten the deal, and as we discovered
it's still got a hard working attitude.
light commercial vehicle market is populated by similarly priced and
specified vehicles, Holden is confident that the new Colorado can
attract attention, and a new entry-level price of $17,990
won't hurt its chances.
Price: $17,990 - $45,990
Transmission: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic
Engine: 2.4-litre 4-cylinder
petrol, 3.6-litre 6-cylinder petrol, 3.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel
Seats: 2 or 5
Safety: 2 airbags (driver/front
passenger (x2)), ABS, EBD
Supplier: GM Holden
Holden Colorado is an evolution of the Rodeo
With more than 30 different variants, Holden
has got all its bases covered with the Colorado
4x2 Single Cab Chassis
- DX 2.4 litre, 4-cylinder $17,990
- LX 3.6 litre, V6 Alloytec $24,990
- LX 3.0 litre, VCDi Turbo Diesel $27,990
4x2 Space Cab Chassis
- LX 3.6 litre, V6 Alloytec $27,990
4x2 Space Cab Pick Up
- LX 3.6 litre, V6 Alloytec $27,990
4x2 Crew Cab Pick Up
- LX 3.6 litre, V6 Alloytec $30,490
- LX 3.0 litre, VCDi Turbo Diesel $33,990
- LT-R 3.6 litre, V6 Alloytec $34,990
4x4 Single Cab Chassis
- DX 3.0 litre, VCDi Turbo Diesel $31,990
- LX 3.0 litre, VCDi Turbo Diesel $35,990
4x4 Space Cab Chassis
- LX 3.0 litre, VCDi Turbo Diesel $39,990
4x4 Crew Cab Chassis
- LX 3.0 litre, VCDi Turbo Diesel $42,290
4x4 Crew Cab Pick Up
- LX 3.6 litre, V6 Alloytec $39,990
- LX 3.0 litre, VCDi Turbo Diesel $40,990
- LT-R 3.6 litre, V6 Alloytec $43,990
- LT-R 3.0 litre, VCDi Turbo Diesel $45,990
Holden's Colorado has two different grades of
interior, including the entry-level models (top)
and the range-topping LT-R with sports gauges
Holden's new Colorado can tow up to 3000kg
of braked trailer and is plenty confident off-road
The Rodeo name may have been scrapped in favour of
'Colorado', but the essence of Holden's tough commercial utes have
our drive time in the new model, we drove most models across a range of different
surfaces, from highways and country B-roads to rutted dirt roads,
gravel lanes and even through some boggy off-road tracks in the Wombat State Forest.
There are differences between the new Holden
Colorado and its predecessor, and these are first noticed in the
new commercial ute gets redesigned headlight units that work
quite well and give the Colorado a hardy, utilitarian look, and overall it
comes across as a fairly tough design thanks to angular
the front end.
Other changes to the design include body-coloured
wheel arches, new bonnets (and scoops for diesel models) and new look
brake lights and tailgates, plus the interiors have also come in for a
bit of refurbishment.
All models, even the poverty pack DX model,
come with driver and passenger airbags, ABS, EBD, CD stereo, new cloth
trims, and the seats are pretty comfy too. They provide solid support
and the headrests aren't useless either, which is good to see.
The driving position isn't too bad and the 4x4 models have a higher ride height which gives you a commanding view of the road.
Ergonomics in the cabin
are not brilliant, but they are improved somewhat so the basic switchgear and
controls are where you'd expect and fall easily to hand.
But these are workhorses after
all, and for what you pay you get a pretty good deal, especially the
Holden has added a new model to the range, the
which is the sports model and this gets a better interior than its
siblings with an improved stereo, updated instrument panel with a few
extra digital readouts and higher quality upholstery.
The LT-R models do command a price premium, but there's more to this model than just a snazzy interior.
Like most of the new Colorado models, the LT-R is
in both 4x2 and 4x4 guises, and adds a range of leisure features to
back up the utility.
Things like Bluetooth and rear parking sensors
make everyday chores a bit easier, and eye candy like
bar, side steps, front fog lamps and 16-inch alloy wheels enhance the sports
the road the entry-level 4x2 Colorado models go pretty well, with the
5-speed manual the more inspired of the two gearbox options. The other
is a 4-speed automatic.
The manual cog swapper is quite
smooth when shifting between gates and the clutch is very friendly too,
making the whole thing easy to use. The manual gearbox is
when paired to the 3.0-litre diesel engine.
On the topic of engines, there are three in total, two
petrol and one diesel mill:
Power: 92kW @ 4800rpm
Torque: 207Nm @ 3200rpm
Power: 157kW @ 5300rpm
Torque: 313Nm @ 2800rpm
Power: 120kW @ 3600rpm
Torque: 360Nm @ 1800rpm
Torque: 333Nm @ 1600rpm
consumption is most impressive for the diesel models, which range from
7.9 litres per 100km (manual single cab chassis) and up to 9L/100km for
larger models equipped with the 4-speed automatic.
V6 fuel consumption is claimed at 12.5 litres per 100km (manual
crew cab pickup) and rises to 13.7L/100km for automatic
variants. The 4-pot petrol engine fitted to the DX manual
uses 11.8 litres per 100km.
Though it doesn't sound like much at 92 kilowatts, the 4-cylinder
petrol engine has adequate shunt to push the Colorado SX single cab's
1332kg bulk, but it's the
3.6-litre Alloytec V6 engine that really impresses.
Based on the same engine block as the Holden
Commodore's 3.6-litre V6, only without the variable valve timing, the
Colorado's 3.6-litre engine has plenty of mid-range torque, and feels strong from as low as 2500rpm.
The V6 engine motivates the 4x2 single cabs with
ease, especially with the 5-speed manual models, while the space and
crew cabs add a bit more weight so performance isn't quite as crisp.
If you opt for the 4x4 models, the weight
increases yet again, with the 4x4 LT-R crew cab pickup the lardiest of the lot weighing up to
The diesel engine is also quite good, developing
360Nm in the manual models, and has a huge torque down low which makes it ideal for towing. As soon as
the revs reach 3000rpm it's time to change gear as the acceleration
Holden's 3.0-litre diesel is an efficient engine
too, but in terms of performance feel I think the Ford Ranger has
slightly more muscle.
the base model DX single cab chassis gets the 2.4-litre 4-cylinder
engine and this variant
is not available with the 4-speed auto.
But that's not a bad thing
because the 4-speed automatic saps engine power and torque
and feels less responsive when you bang full throttle.
quality on both the 4x2 and 4x4 models is not too bad, with
compliance to ensure rutted and pot-holed gravel roads don't unduly
affect the vehicle's direction, and general highway driving is
fairly relaxed as well.
Of course, these types of vehicles do have fairly
stiff rear suspension to ensure that load bearing is not
so there is a bit of rear end jounce over some bumps and ruts.
Generally speaking however, the idea of using the
Colorado as a
workhorse in the week and a leisure vehicle at the weekend is not
One thing we did notice when barreling down poorly
maintained gravel roads was that the rear end had a tendency to kick
out on 4x2 models on tighter corners and T-intersections. This could be a positive rather
than a negative depending what kind of driver you are, but it
highlighted the lack of
any stability control system.
The steering has a bit of weight to
it, but the power steering system means that punting the Colorado on both sealed and
unsealed roads takes
little effort. Cruise control is only factored in to high end
models, but overall Holden's new commercial pick-up
is a well sorted machine for daily duties.
We tested the 4x4 diesel and petrol models in the
Lerderderg national park and Wombat state forest, and it's safe to say
that they're capable off-road vehicles.
Navigating some exceedingly muddy and semi-technical 4WD tracks,
the Colorado did remarkably well and the extra ride-height that's
afforded to AWD models gives them plenty of scope for serious mud
The 4x4 models have three modes: 2H, 4H and 4L.
The first mode, 2H, two-wheel drive and is used for everyday driving, 4H is for moderate off-roading
and 4L comes in handy when you want to climb steep and slippery inclines or conquer more difficult terrain.
The 4x4 systems on the Colorado worked very well and the only thing that hampered progress along our
boggy off-road course were the road tyres.
When the wheels were caked with mud it was more
difficult to maintain traction, but all in all the 4x4 Colorado models are
confident mud slingers.
Diesel-powered 4x4 models also
get a sump guard as standard, which is good if you plan
on heading bush a fair bit.
The crew cab pickup models have enough room in the
back bench for a couple of adults, as we discovered on a couple of our
off-road excursions, and space cabs have a decent amount of room behind
the front seats for tools and assorted equipment.
The single cabs are
pretty tight though.
Interestingly, all Colorado models still feature
drum brakes at the rear axle, while the front brakes are discs. That said, this seems to be
prevalent on most light commercial vehicles regardless of the badge or
Yet even with drum brakes at the rear, braking
power isn't too bad in most circumstances. We drove some Colorado
models laden with about 100kg of goods in the tray and even then ride,
handling and braking wasn't adversely affected.
is also an important feature of any light commercial vehicle, and
the Holden Colorado has improved its haulage capacity, with the 4x4
diesel models able to tow a braked trailer weighing up to three tonnes
(3000kg).The unbraked trailer maximum is 750kg.
By and large the new Colorado is a good
package. It's not revolutionary in any respects but it builds on the
strong foundations set by the Rodeo, and is an improved product as
There's a lot of machinery to get your head around - more than 30
chassis, gearboxes, ride heights, cabins and so forth - but amongst the
range there's no real
clunkers either. The Colorado doesn't push any boundaries or take any
great risks, but it does deliver where it counts and has versatility in
The new Colorado proves quite convincingly
that you can mix work and
play, and while the 4x4 models are a bit heavier and little more
expensive, there's a lot to be said of the Colorado's multi-tasking nature.
can throw all sorts of junk in the tray during the week, then load it
up with motor bikes and surfboards on Saturday, and even take the
family to Nan's on Sunday in the crew cab 5-seater models.
it sits on the same platform as the previous Rodeo, and will continue
to do so for the next couple of years, there's no gaping holes in the
design and it compares well with its light commercial rivals from
Mitsubishi, Ford and Toyota.
With a competitive entry-level
price of less than $18,000, more
standard features than its predecessor, tough 4x4 setups, and a bold redesign,
there's more to Holden's Colorado than just a new name.
- V6 Alloytec Engine
- Value For Money
- Adaptability (4x4)
- No ESP
- No Curtain Airbags
- Low Tech 4-speed Auto
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