The Holden Colorado is in element when things get tough.
The Holden Colorado is in element when things get tough. Bandits and Co

Road test: Holden Colorado embraces tough terrain

RUGGED steep hills. Deep mud puddles and sharp rocky trails. The Holden Colorado laughed at it all during a testing journey through Tallarook Forest in Victoria this week.

The rough-and-tumble Holden Colorado comes in ute and SUV body styles has never been one of these modern-day fakes. Nope... it's hardcore.

While still a relative newcomer to the market, the seven-seat Colorado 7 was only launched in December, Holden has already updated its capable four-wheeler.

Headlining the MY14 range is a more powerful 2.8-litre diesel engine, a six-speed manual replaces the old five, while the MyLink touch-screen system with embedded apps is now standard across nearly the entire range. The 2.5-litre diesel has been ousted.

Holden has maintained prices, except truck models with automatic transmissions which are up $200.

Comfort

Similar to the system used in the sub-compact Trax soft-roader, the MyLink touch-screen now finds its way into most Colorado models.

The addition raises the appeal within plastic-fantastic confines.

When it comes to the cabin colour scheme, it's all about shades of grey.

Hard grey plastics are used everywhere, and while they are great for family cleanliness Holden concedes this is an area earmarked for future improvement.

The seats could do with additional bolstering at the base and laterally - especially the leather-clad pews.

Drivers must also make do with only height adjustment, not telescopic that seems to be standard in just about all offerings nowadays.

Front and back offers ample room for five adults, with the seven-seat SUV even able to handle small adults in the third row.

On the road

From start-up there is little hiding the Colorado's intentions.

The diesel sounds agricultural with the trademark clatter, but once underway its settles nicely.

It's a strong and burly unit that is happy to show off its hairy-chested ability against the toughest terrain.

There is an excellent torque spread for a strong response across the rev range.

During some tough off-roading the diesel pulled nicely up steep inclines from just above 1200rpm.

With short front and rear overhangs it can cope with some nasty stuff once you leave the bitumen.

Surprisingly, the manual ute performed most admirably in terms of cabin quietness and refinement on the road. We found the automatic models to be slightly noisier in operation.

Running costs

Fuel consumption varies depending

on body style, but expect the average to be between 9-10 litres for every 100km.

Holden has capped priced servicing for the first three years, and ongoing maintenance costs should be at the lower end of the scale.

What do you get?

With a range of body styles and configurations, trim levels vary depending on 4x2 and 4x4 variants.

Answering customer demand, the basement model ute now has vinyl floors - carpet just doesn't cut it for tradies.

Across the range features include air-conditioning, 17.7cm MyLink touch-screen with Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, USB and auxiliary inputs, cruise control, while rear parking sensors are on LX/LT/LTZs, and rear view camera on LTZ (it's an option on LT and LX).

The new MyLink touch-screen system really is a gem.

It's the same one found in the Trax and a cousin to the system used on Commodore. This iteration looks more modern and is easy to use.

Free apps like Pandora and Stitcher give your access to a massive array of music, podcasts and live radio by using your smartphone.

There is also BringGo, a "low-cost" sat nav system which costs about $65 to download to your phone, and then runs through the touch-screen system using the downloaded maps and doesn't require constant data downloads.

Practicality

Thoughtful storage options are a highlight of the cabin. There's a dual glovebox, small cubby for phones and MP3 players above the MyLink screen and a deep centre console.

Those with a thirst can also appreciate bottle holders in each door, dual cup holders in the centre, a pair of pop-out two cup holders from the dash, and cup holders in the third row of the SUV.

Boot space is reasonable in the SUV, but obviously limited with the two third row seats deployed. It could use some additional tie-down loops in the boot too that help keep things like fridges in place.

Funky factor

The Colorado is rough and tough. While big and brash, we'd be tempted to go with some accessories for even more bling. The $5440 Predator Pack on LTZ models includes a polished alloy SuperBar, three-piece Sportlid and cargo liner.

The new Volcanic Pack adds some mean extras, including a three-piece Sportlid, black sports bar, black nudge bar and bonnet protector for $4380.

What matters most

What we liked: Go-anywhere ability, space in SUV, cabin storage options, accessories packs.

What we'd like to see: Soft-touch cabin materials, more boot tie-down points in the SUV.

Warranty and servicing: Three years/100km warranty. Servicing is at 15,000km or nine month intervals. Capped price servicing covers the first four standard services for the first three years or 60,000km - the maximum price per scheduled service is $295 (first 3000km service is free).

Vital statistics

Model: Holden Colorado.

Details: Two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive ute, double cab and space cab. Seven-seat large SUV.

Engine: 2.8-litre double overhead cam four-cylinder common rail injection Duramax 2 diesel generating maximum power of 147kW @ 3600rpm and peak torque of 500 @ 2000rpm (440 @ 2000rpm for manual models).

Transmissions: Six-speed manual or six-speed automatic.

Towing capacity: 3.5 tonnes on ute models, 3.0 tonnes on SUV. Tow ball load 350kg. One tone payload on utes.

Consumption: Varies between 7.6-9.1 litres/100km depending on body style.

CO2: 202-245g/km.



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