Saturday, August 19, 2017
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Tough and tidy - Holden Colorado

New Colorado hauls into town

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Introduced in 2008 to replace the Holden Rodeo, Holden has worked hard to position the Colorado at the top of the shopping list for farmers, business owners and private buyers who like their utes.

Ebbett Holden Tauranga’s dealer principal Julian Clements told Bay Driver the new MY17 Series ll Holden Colorado has had more than a minor makeover.

“Holden has adopted significant engineering upgrades designed to improve refinement, noise suppression, driveability, steering, road-holding, safety, comfort, value and connectivity,” says Julian.

Heading to pick up the 4x2 Crew Cab LTZ from Ebbett Holden on Cameron Rd, Tauranga, from my home in Mount Maunganui I passed the external log storage yard on Hewletts Rd owned by the Port of Tauranga. A location I’ve often thought would make the perfect backdrop for a Bay Driver photo shoot when the much-anticipated Colorado arrived in town.

Having only just been invited to review the vehicle a few hours before, I chanced it and called in to ask permission and was greeted by one of their hardworking staff, Nick Smith. Nick welcomed the opportunity to help me out at short notice and to my delight is the proud owner of a 2013 Colorado – talk about a perfect set-up.

Quiet and comfortable

Nick was over the moon at having the new Colorado delivered to his workplace for him to personally review. Inside the cabin Nick was impressed with the large central touchscreen, which is up-to-date with range-wide reversing camera and apps connectivity including Apple CarPlay and Apple Android.

The instruments are way easier on the eyes – simple and effective climate controls have been introduced – and new-to-series active safety inclusions like lane-change alert and forward collision warning are available on higher-end models.

“What else is different to my ute?” asked Nick. Probably the biggest change, I explained, is the improved seat bolstering, thicker glass, improved sealing and more sound insulation are now included, meaning the Colorado is much more comfortable and quieter to sit inside, which Nick noticed the moment we headed off on our
test drive.

I chose the back seat on our drive and spending 30 minutes in the rear of the Colorado as it cruised along revealed some pretty decent leg room – even sitting behind our six-foot-tall photographer my knees barely registered, which is rare for a dual cab.

With the addition of two ISOFIX and three top-tether child seat anchorages, it is a bona-fide family hauler especially as it has a five-star ANCAP safety rating too.
Thanks to a whole lot of steering, suspension and tyre tuning, a more settled and stable drive makes long trips a dream. Modifications to the 147kW/440Nm six-speed manual and 500Nm six-speed automatic 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine – and the way it and the transmission are mounted – have been designed to quell noise and vibration too.

On and off-road

The Series II Colorado has a towing capacity of 3500kg, and a one-tonne payload on all versions, and remains a formidable off-road machine just as before. It offers off-road ready ground clearances, considerable wheel articulation and high-low range transmission choices to handle the rough stuff straight out of the showroom, yet it’s equally at home back on the bitumen.

And the shift to an electric power steering system is immediately obvious from the first turn of the wheel, making maneuverability round town a cinch.

We had a chance to test the towing capability while we had the ute and – thanks to Nick and the boys – we hooked up a tandem axle trailer carrying a bobcat digger with a total weight of about 2800kg. The task was to cruise around a short course and reverse park the trailer in a makeshift carpark made of logs. The engine had no trouble with the mass but it was the quicker steering that impressed the most, which made the task easy.

The verdict

The latest Colorado is a far better vehicle to look at, sit inside and drive at any speed, without the lumbering dynamics of some of its competitors. Holden has made no secret of the fact the team who designed the Holden VII Commodore update – including the stunning SS V-Series Redline – worked their magic on the Colorado also. And it has payed dividends.  Will it be the top of your shopping list? Only a test drive will settle that one for sure, but we reckon it should be.


Highlighted features as standard
Electronic power steering
New suspension
500Nm of torque (automatic models only)
1 tonne payload
3.5 tonne towing capacity
Remote start
Remote window activation
DAB+ Digital Radio
Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
Rain sensing wipers
Price: RRP from $49,990 (Manual) and $51,990 (Auto).
Dealer:  Ebbett Holden, 123 Cameron Rd, Tauranga. Phone: 07 578 2843.

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