Reviews

Holden Colorado LT Review

Farm Traders checks out the new Holden Colorado LT that has recently received an impressive external makeover

The Ford Ranger has had the light commercial ute-orientated playing field to itself for so long now – or so the monthly Motor Industry Association (MIA) registration data tells us – that it is always interesting when some competition shows up.

Competition? You would think from looking at those stats that there isn’t much competition for the Ranger out there at all.

The Toyota Hilux has proved a worthy rival through sheer volume if not an apples-with-apples comparative feature set. But there remains a reasonable gulf between it and the top-selling Ranger in terms of sales, which hasn’t been clawed back by Toyota for a long while now.

But now we have the new Holden Colorado. And it is very good indeed. Good enough to take the fight to Ford? On paper yes, although sales performance will be the proof in the pudding.

At first glance

The last generation Colorado – General Motors’ first go at a ‘world’ ute in the same vein as Ford’s Ranger – seemed to age rather quickly after it arrived.

While on the outside the new one looks pretty much the same as the old one, drill down a bit and there is a fair bit of updated sheet metal here, including new bonnet, fascia, grille, headlights and daytime running lights as well as new wheel designs.

Dimensionally, the truck remains pretty much on par with the previous model, as are its headline figures (500Nm of peak torque in the automatic models, 3500kg braked towing capacity). The big news, though, is inside. The updated Colorado boasts a nicely redesigned interior and plenty of comfort and convenience specification now included as standard.

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Reflective of the ute segment having doubled in size in the last 10 years as more people choose the double-cab ute as family transport rather than just a farm or work tool, Holden has added a heap of convenience tech to the new Colorado.
It features the MyLink audio and entertainment system (which incorporates both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone mirroring capabilities), a new grade-dependent seven-inch or eight-inch touchscreen system and voice recognition software. The LT spec ute I checked out doesn’t come with embedded satellite navigation (you can use that mirror tech on your smartphone to tap into Google Maps or Apple Maps), but higher grades feature GPS out of the box.

The new truck features the full gamut of safety gear too, including a rear-view camera in every model and Front Park Assist sensors, as well as Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning software on top trim editions.

Accessories

What’s more, Holden has released a heap of genuine accessories for the truck. You might have seen the Xtreme show truck that Holden showed off back in the middle of winter. It was bright orange and black and festooned with all manner of (as it said on the tin) extreme off-road-flavoured bits – LED light bars, super tough off-road tyres, uprated bullbars, a suspension lift kit, an entirely different tray assembly, which saw the spare tyre mounted in the middle… the list went on.

The Xtreme truck was actually a new Colorado underneath. About 70 percent of the accessories featured on it are available as accessories for the ‘civilian’ Colorado. This is reflective of a segment that sees a lot of accessorising these days, whether it be for added performance or just the look of the thing.

Colorado buyers have the ability to take an LT grade model like this and affix almost anything you care to name – bullbars, bash plates, extended sports bars for the tray, a steel rear step, a safari bar, LED driving lights, a snorkel option, fender flares to give your truck some girth and more, and it is all backed by the distributor.

The Colorado LT double cab (or ‘Crew Cab’ as Holden insists on calling the four-door version) comes with its fair share of brightwork to start with, including nice 17″ alloys, side steps, and fog lamps.

The mid-range LT is actually only available with this body shell. The base-level LS is the sole cab-chassis option, while ‘Space Cab’ utes (which give you a bit of extra storage behind the driver and front passenger chairs, but only two doors) can be had in LS or LTZ trim.

Well-sided workhorse

Away from the glossy tech stuff, the Colorado works well off-road and boasts a decent 3500kg braked tow rating. Indeed, media towed mini excavators on tandem trailers across the foothills of the Southern Alps during the press launch event and the Colorado exhibited impeccable manners; no shunting or pulling and plenty of grunt from low down in the rev range.

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Some further driving up various farm tracks deep in the Canterbury foothills showed the Colorado to be a nicely settled performer with plenty of power evident from the 2.8-litre Duramax turbodiesel, regardless of whether there was anything hooked on behind or not.

As far as pricing goes, despite the increased feature set, Holden has kept
pricing for its 4×2 models untouched. Four-wheel drive models increase across the board by around $1000. You can pay up to $66,990 for a top-trim Z71 Colorado, so our LT at $58,990 is right in the middle of the pack, but with what still amounts to a good amount of spec as standard.

Verdict

Better than before in almost every way, the updated Holden Colorado LT is a solid drive both on- and off-road. Excellent towing capacity and with load-lugging abilities on par with the competition, the Colorado sticks its head above the pack with the help of a great feature set of comfort and convenience technology in the cab.

The Ranger has had the playing field pretty much to itself lately, but Ford would do well to be looking over its shoulder at what Holden is up to.

Photography: Cameron Officer

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