Holden Colorado

The new and improved ute puts up a fight against its competitors.

REVIEW: JOHN EWING

Last year was a big ‘un for the Ute segment with a flurry of new, or substantially updated, models from the major players hitting the market. Now it’s the General’s turn, with Holden unveiling its RG Series II Colorado. Holden had the 4WD dual cab models available for us to drive on and off-road at the local launch.

It’s fair to say the RG series Colorado launched in 2012 has been quite popular in spite of shortcomings that saw it fall short of what the class leaders delivered. Holden has made a raft of changes in the new-comer and the improvements were immediately apparent on our launch drive. The new Colorado feels like it might now have what it takes to take the fight to the class heavyweights.

A redesigned grille, front fascia, bonnet and revised headlights that include LED DRLs give the new model a fresh and tougher look than before. There are also new wheel and tyre packages.

The interior has undergone a major refresh with an all-new dash and redesigned centre console, with either 7” or 8” colour touch-screen housing the latest MyLink infotainment, including Apple Car Play and Android Auto. The seat and door trims have been improved, and the new interior is more user-friendly with a higher quality appearance than before. Comfort receives a boost too, with revised design seating.

Holden has added extra technology and safety features. A rear-view camera is standard on all pick-up models, while all versions get DAB+ digital radio. Forward collision alert, lane departure warning, tyre pressure monitoring and front and rear park assist have been introduced to selected models. Remote vehicle start, remote window down with key fob, embedded navigation system and rain sensing wipers have been added in LTZ and Z71 specifications. The top end Z71 also gets heated front seats.

The addition of a driver’s knee airbag takes the total airbag count to seven on all versions. All Colorado Utes include structural improvements and now score five stars in ANCAP crash testing, an improvement for the single and space cab versions from their previous four stars.

Holden engineers have revised suspension dampers, springs and sway bars to improve ride quality and handling. New electronic power steering enhances drivability at low speeds for easier manoeuvring, and also at higher speeds with better directional stability and improved road ‘feel’. Ride comfort and NVH have been enhanced with the adoption of shear body mounts between cabin and frame. A number of noise reduction measures mean the new model is quieter and more refined than before. The 2.8-litre Duramax diesel is now Euro 5 emissions compliant thanks to revised engine calibrations and fitment of a diesel particulate filter.

Maximum towing mass is rated at 3500kg while trailer sway control is standard on all versions. The new Colorado will feature the largest range of genuine accessories (37 in total) ever offered for a model line by Holden. It includes bullbars, safari bars, steel rear step, snorkel, fender flares, nudge bar, side steps, bash plates, LED light bar pack, HID driving lamps pack, and sports bars.

There are 26 variants in the Colorado range. List prices start at $29,490 (LS single cab chassis 4×2 manual) rising to $54,990 (Z71 Crew Cab Pick-up 4×4 manual). The optional six-speed auto adds $2200 to these prices, while prestige paint will add $550.

It should be interesting to see if the newly-improved Colorado now has what it takes to lay claim to a top three spot in the final round of Australia’s Best Cars testing later this year. If so, could it unseat last year’s winner in the dual cab Ute category? We will all have to wait and see!