The Colorado has been Holden’s offering in the four-wheel drive ute market since 2008, and in that time has made a name for itself as a capable, load-carrying, off-roader.
We took the latest Colorado on the road to find out why it’s kept its appeal.
Crew cab utes have been strong performers for brands, and their allure only grows stronger as car buyers look for a car with the practicality of an ute but the comfort and space of their SUV cousins.
We got out in the Colorado LTZ crew cab pick up to see how it balances the two.
Stepping up, literally, into the cabin – the interior is well put together, with a smart centre console, which is ahead of the design curve compared to other utes on the market.
The touch screen Holden MyLink multimedia screen seems a little distracting; there are very few physical buttons, so you can’t just reach over to skip a song or change stations and the volume buttons require you to look as well. Luckily, the Colorado comes equipped with steering wheel controls so the driver can control the sounds in the cabin.
Overall, the Colorado has a pleasant, durable feel – both inside and out. A workhorse that could fit right in parked in the city.
Power comes in pretty big waves, when you put your foot down from a standstill, you’ll have nothing for a second then a rush of power to push you forward. It’s never really a problem unless you’re in bumper-to-bumper traffic and somebody cuts into the space in front of you after you’ve started accelerating.
The range selector allows you to pick two-wheel drive or full-time four-wheel drive on the fly, but most people will want to leave it in two-wheel drive unless they go seriously off the beaten track for the fuel benefits it offers. Low-down, the engine delivers oomph, which is fantastic on off-road tracks and let’s the Colorado handle some pretty stick situations. The 21cm ground clearance allows the pickup to not bruise its underside on rocks or logs.
The ride is fine on tarmac, but the standard 17” alloys are saddled with a big vehicle on top and once you start to hit serious bumps the suspension can only take so much before you feel it in the cabin.
Turning on the Colorado is pretty effortless, there’s a 12.7m turning circle, and the (relatively) stout nose means you can swing it a bit further in front before you have to reverse and try your turn again.
The centre audio and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning controls don’t gel with the traditional spec of a ute – which have usually gotten the short straw when it comes to creature comforts. Not so in the Colorado LTZ, which features a 7” touchscreen audio system with Holden MyLink and a fancy digital display for the climate controls which is easily visible and very handy.
The Colorado crew cab pick ups biggest drawback to everyday driving, however, is it’s length. At a touch over 5.3m long, you can never really tell how close you are to other cars and objects, and although reverse camera and reverse parking sensors are standard on the LTZ, front parking sensors would be appreciated. Thankfully, the reverse camera stays on-screen for a little while after shifting into a driving gear, so you know can keep an eye on any sudden changes at the back of the car.
Seating for five is good, with a reasonable amount of head and shoulder room in front and back. The power-adjustable front seats are supportive for long drives, and certainly don’t rattle your bones when you hit a snag on the road or off.
5-star ANCAP is the norm nowadays, even for traditionally neglected commercial vehicles like utes. The crew cab Colorado LTZ follows this tradition with front, side and curtain airbags with full marks for side impact and good protection from whiplash for passengers in a crash.
Fuel consumption is pretty good, but waiting for the 76-litre tank to hit empty will hurt your hip pocket when you come to the bowser – so it’s a good thing that it takes such a long time to empty. The auto LTZ crew cab tested will use, officially, 9.1L per 100km – but if you use it around town to pick up the groceries and do the school run expect that number to tip more towards the low teens.
The 2015 Colorado LTZ crew cab sees a reduction in payload thanks to some tweaks in the suspension, but it still hauls a mighty 875kg and towing is still up there with the best of them at 3500kg with an electronic brake attached.
As tested, the 4x4 Colorado LTZ crew cab is priced at $57,595 drive away – including optional automatic and Black Sapphire prestige paint.
Holden’s Lifetime Capped Price Servicing covers the Colorado range, so you know what every service will cost. Service intervals are set every 15,000km or 9 months depending on how you drive and the price ranges from $349 for your first four services to $720 at your first major service at 120,000km, which should be your eighth scheduled service.
By these standards, the Colorado is largely a success with respectable level of comfort, while remaining a durable workhorse for weekend warriors with reasonable off-road credentials for getting off the blacktop.
Motorama has two conveniently located Holden dealerships, with dedicated HSV specialists in each, in Springwood and Moorooka. Test drive the Colorado range today and find out why Holden’s big ute is one of the best.