It is New Zealand’s third most popular ute but is the Holden Colorado worthy of better results?
The current RG series MY2017 Holden Colorado which arrived in New Zealand in September 2016 has come a long way from the pre-facelift series ute which was first introduced to Australia and New Zealand in June 2012.
While the MY2012 Colorado arrived with the stonking four-cylinder 2.8-litre Duramax turbodiesel engine that offered class leading power and torque figures of 147kW and 500 Newton metres, respectively, it was let down by it’s interior and overall refinement.
The reason for this was relatively simple, GM Brazil was the “home room” for the Colorado and in that market the vehicle is very much seen as a workhorse, so durability and load carrying capability were more important factors than a refined interior, comfortable suspension, and low levels of noise, vibration, and harshness.
Although the MY2012 Colorado wasn’t the most refined beast on the planet, and some motoring writers who will remain unnamed certainly put the boot into that fact, it was still a capable beast off-road, it offered good towing ability, and it certainly was no slouch and the current model still isn’t thanks to that grunty four-pot turbo diesel which continues on, albeit with drivetrain revisions.
Thankfully when the facelifted MY2017 Colorado range hit local roads in September 2016, it was the recipient of the biggest mid-cycle production enhancement in General Motors history, and there was significant input from Holden Australia engineers in addressing both customer and media criticism of the previous model.
The exterior styling was sharpened with new headlamps, daytime running lamps and a redesigned front bumper as well as new look alloy wheels.
The model year update brought a significantly better interior with a redesigned centre console and multimedia touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android, better quality of plastics, and better soundproofing.
In addition Holden also rejigged the suspension package, added an electric power steering system, and overall the vehicles levels of noise, vibration, and harshness was much reduced.
The Colorado is a very refined package, albeit with the caveat that it is still a light commercial vehicle, and despite the improved suspension, it still has an occasionally bouncy ride, and wanders a little around corners as vehicles with a leaf-spring rear axle are likely to do.
However the steering feel is much improved and more car-like thanks to the new electric system and a revised steering rack.
You can throw the Colorado Z71 into a corner and it will hold its line but there will be some protest from the tyres and you’ll need to hold on too as the front seats are quite flat with little bolstering support.
Nearly two years on from launch here, the top-of-the-line Colorado Z71 still offers the features and benefits that puts it on a par with its direct competitors the Ford Ranger Wildtrak and the newly released Toyota Hilux SR5 Cruiser. Although we know the top-selling Ranger is due for further product action later this year
The Z71 offers safety technology such as collision warning and lane departure warning. It’s got 7 airbags and a reversing camera, as well as trailer sway, hill descent control, hill hold, and electronic stability control.
In addition, the six-speed automatic transmission with grade logic control will blip the throttle when changing down for engine braking on a steep hill, and it happily does this without much prompting from the driver.
Our black beauty on test also benefited from heated leather seats, dual control climate air conditioning, MyLink infotainment system with standard navigation, and there are removable cup holders.
To differentiate the Z71 from the mid-grade Colorado LTZ, it also comes standard with an integrated sports bar, deck liner, roll top cargo cover, integrated step in the rear bumper, and roof rails.
The Z71 is also available in three other colours being absolute red, summit white, and mineral grey, which do a much better job of contrasting the black bonnet graphics, black mirror caps, black roof rails and other black details of the top-of-the-line Colorado, which didn’t stand out quite so much on the mineral black test vehicle.
The MY2017 Colorado is certainly as competent and as comfortable to drive as both the Ford Ranger Wildtrak and the Toyota Hilux SR5 Cruiser, and additionally it also comes with the Holden complete care three-years free servicing package, something the other two don’t offer.
Is the Colorado worthy of better results on the new vehicle sales charts? Yes, we think it is.
|Model||Holden Colorado Z71||Price||$41,990|
|Engine||2776cc, 4-Cylinder, 147kW/500Nm||Drivetrain||6-speed auto|
|Fuel Use||8.7L/100km||C02 Output||0g/km|
|0-100km/h||0.00 sec||Weight||2163kg kerb weight|
|Service||15,000km intervals, 3 year / 100,000km warranty||Load|
|Vitals||3150kg GVM, 889kg payload,||Vitals||3500kg towing capacity|