The Colorado car is just like its land-bound namesake. Diversity and choice are the two key components, with two and four-door styles that meet cab-chassis and utility tray body work.
There are two and four-wheel drive versions, with transmissions that are suitable for those with two or three legs. The vehicle tested here is the 4WD Colorado LTZ four-door auto, with all-wheel drive accessed via a dial in the cabin.
When it comes to diesel engines, quoting peak power is almost irrelevant. Yes, there are 147kW on board, but it’s the torque, in this case all 500Nm, that are more important. Some models have the torque restricted to 440Nm with the manual.
Fuel economy was disappointing. The LTZ weighs over 2100kg before passengers and fuel, and even with that class leading torque, it still clocked nothing better than 10.5L/100km of dino juice from the 76-litre tank — final figure was 11.1L/100km.
Sheetmetal is simple in the context of the class. The tub is a tub and there’s little that can really be done about the basic shape. Styling tweaks for the tail lights, rear step, and perhaps the wheel arches, along with a roll bar behind the cabin.
It’s up front where the Colorado has improved, with a sleeker look than the model available a couple of years ago, closing down the oversized grilles and integrating the look more efficiently.
A soft tonneau cover is standard.
What’s it cost?
Holden is currently offering the LTZ Colorado auto at $51,990. If you spec the manual it’s $49,990. That’ll also gets you a five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty.
Across the range there’s a reverse camera for starters. The LTZ also packs Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, and a complete suite of electronic aids such as Trailer Sway Control — handy for the 3500kg tow capacity.
A nice luxury touch is Remote Start from the key fob and there is Front and Rear Park Assist.
Satnav is available through the 8.0-inch touchscreen, Voice Activation is included and of course apps in the form of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available via a smartphone. Being off-road capable, Tyre Pressure Warning is a boon for the Bridgestone Dueler 235/60/18 rubber.
Seven airbags are fitted including a driver’s knee bag.
Audio comes from DAB, Bluetooth, the smartphone apps, and is a better than expected sound stage. There’s plenty of depth, clarity is high, and the actual sensitivity of the DAB tuner is very good.
Interior space is fine with front headroom measuring 1005mm from floor to roof. Shoulder room is 1447mm and 1472mm front and back. Rear legroom, a crucial measurement — is 856mm.
It’s a pity, then, that the Colorado’s interior is completely devoid of real appeal visually. A uniform dull dark grey does little to nothing in hiding the generic GM look and switch-gear. The dash design, indicator stalk with Menu access button, and flat, slabby look, are broken and barely by bright-work surrounding the gear selector and air vents.
Being a four-door ute also means it’s not quite family friendly if used for anything other than pure human movement. Although there are cup and bottle holders throughout the cabin, any shopping would have to be in well constructed bags if they don’t fit inside the cabin. The tub is fitted with a poly-urethane liner so there is strength and resilience here at least.
At least outside the Colorado can brighten the day. There’s the test car’s Absolute Red, plus six other colours such as Mineral Black and Power Blue to choose from — with a $550 impost for premium paints.
What’s it go like?
It goes alright. The six speed auto and 500Nm partner well in getting the Colorado LTZ up and boogieing. I drove the LTZ on mainly tarmac roads but did venture west to a stunningly beautiful location in the Megalong Valley, on the south-western fringe of the Blue Mountains.
Dryridge Estate, a boutique style vineyard and events venue, is at the southern end of the Megalong Valley Rd and that itself is an initially super twisty, tight, downhill road into the valley. A lot of it is shrouded from sunlight so roads can be slippery, and not offer great grip.
Dryridge faces the eastern part of the Megalong Valley, and there are spectacular views rivalling sections of the Grand Canyon. It is located off the tarmac, with a gravel road of four of five kilometres testing the LTZ’s off-road ability. It was here that 4WD mode was employed.
It’s typical ride quality for a high riding ute on big rubber, being spongy at times, but it’s fair to say that tarmac grip in 2WD mode is solid and tenacious. The road to Dryridge is the smaller, softer, limestone style of gravel, so it’s a moveable surface and the 4WD mode settled the otherwise nervous rear end down completely.
The front only occasionally pushed on in some of the tighter blind turns. Braking was employed quite a bit and there’s a good level of communication in the pedal, and off-road slowing was competent.
Acceleration was as expected, but the Duramax was probably a little more chattery than others while doing so.