Does The Updated Holden Colorado Have What It Takes To Man Up To Aussie Adulation?
G’day fellow Aussies, Giles here, former Queensland resident, former pub employee in and around London, or “Landen” as they say in parts of Kent and now Melbourne bound returnee. I had return back to down-under after the British started kicking out the Polish because of all this Brexit agro’ thought the limeys would be fair-dinkum to us Aussies that’s never going to happen now.
The uncertainties faced by immigrant communities in Blighty is similar to the uncertainties faced by Holden. Ironically a strong Aussie dollar has meant that manufacturing a vehicle in Australia is getting expensive. Which is why Holden announced the cessation of local manufacturing from 2018.
That means we Aussies will have to get used to imports, cars/utes like the Izuzu based Colorado will replace the slow selling Holden Commodore when production ends next year.
However, the Colorado has much work to do to entice owners from parting with their Ford Ranger or the ubiquitous almost indestructible Toyota Hi-Lux. In many ways, Australia is mimicking the trend across Europe.
In Europe people are shifting away from saloon cars and opting for SUVs, compact SUVs are the most popular choice, small, relatively affordable and cheap to insure European buyers want more car for the same money as a saloon and the extra – perceived – protection an SUV may or may not bring.
But as usual we Aussies roll differently, we go for utes and such a vehicle somehow feels perfect for Australia-land. A small European compact SUV with a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine just isn’t manly enough for us Aussies.
We like to roll with big V8’s up in the front engine bay and have the additional flat-bed load space or the wide range of ute canopies such as cvsolutions.com.au offers. For what reason nobody knows, but if you have ever driven in the outback at night then you often see these utes being driven by the potpourri of Aussie night life living it large from a dozen cans of fizzy water.
The Holden Colorado is a different class of car for the same class of people who buy into the ute lifestyle. The ones who live it large from a dozen cans of 4-X for breakfast, lunch, dinner. Prices start at $28,640 AUD and can top $57,190 AUD and there is a choice of single or double cab body styles and 5 trim levels, plenty of options then.
Sorry V8 lovers, diesel’s are now the engine of choice, the Colorado’s 2.8-litre, four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine offers up 147KW of power and 500Nm of torque at 2000-2200rpm. Thanks to new engine mounts diesel vibration is significantly reduced.
The engine is fairly quiet on the move, those new engine mounts have dissipated the vibrations well and the six-speed automatic shifts smoothly with excellent control and shift pattern management whether driving over the rough stuff or an urgent urban cruise.
While the six-speed automatic transmission is a no brainer pursuits (cheapskates) can still opt for a six-speed manual doing so saves at least $2200 AUD. For a modern diesel, the Colorado’s 2.8-litre diesel isn’t up there with the best in terms of refinement but neither is harking back to the early day’s diesel power.
The same can be said for the interior, it’s kind-of OK, the leather trim doesn’t add much to the luxury experience, indeed I can’t tell if a real cow(s) was ever sacrificed for the Colorado’s interior.
As for the rest of the interior, it’s well built if a little bit plasticky but hard wearing with simple enough switch gear with the latest in-car tech that modern day cars come equipped with. ApplePlay and Bluetooth connectivity are as important as 4WD these days.
Japanese cars always come loaded with way more tech than European rivals and so it is the case with the Holden Colorado, let’s just say it has the rival Ford Ranger well and truly licked in all tech-toy departments and comes in cheaper.
That said the Colorado doesn’t have much in the way of serious off-road getup and go because it lacks a centre-diff, a crucial element in the 4×4 chest-beating armory. However, the Colorado has a revised suspension package which makes it more settled and stable than the model it replaces.
The electronic steering will never be as good as a hydraulic system but these systems are catching up but for now, they feel still like a force feedback steering wheel you get for the PlayStation 4.
All-in-all the Colorado offers a much better drive, it’s capable off-road but no centre-diff means this ute is a full on “townie”. While the Colorado is much improved over previous efforts it is still lacking the refinement of the Ford Ranger.
Truth be told if I am in the market for a ute, I would probably go for the Ranger, but my time in the Holden got me thinking, do I need a ute at all?
Just as long as there is a rotten bed mattress to dispose of, just as long as there a broken washing machine… or tumble dryer I will drive my ute on the beaches, and to the skip, and back home again… there will always be a need for the ute.