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Ken Walker with the Holden Colorado LX 4x4 (copyright image)

ROAD TEST:   Holden Colorado LX  (diesel/manual/4x4)

by Ken Walker

19th May, 2009

Home > Road Tests > Holden

Melbourne is a big city, but within an hours drive of the central business district you can be in rural Victoria. Just recently I took such a drive. The vehicle, which is the subject of this road test report, was a Holden Colorado Crew Cab 4x4 dropside utility. Our package, fitted with a 3.0 litre turbo diesel, with common rail injection and intercooler, power plant developed 120 kW of power at 3,600 rpm. Fitted with a 5 speed manual transmission, our drive vehicle produced 360 Nm of torque at a very low 1,800 rpm. Quite reasonable in a machine weighing in at a little over 2,200 kg. The crew cab is available in two trim levels, the LX (base model) or the LT-R (the you beaut model). Our drive package, on this occasion, was the LX version.

Whilst this is the base level, with equipment levels that is, this vehicle is not basic. How many manufacturers have turn signal repeaters on the external power rear view mirrors of base models? Power windows all round with an auto up/down feature on the driver's door (and that is a good thing). Over the past few years the Next Car Team have reported on the Holden Colorado's predecessor, the Rodeo and in diesel form Team members liked it. It is much the same now with the Colorado.

The drivability is good, along with comfort levels. It is capable off-road, but with ground clearance of 195 mm it could, in some situations, be ‘hung up’. Whilst the 76 litre fuel tank capacity is suitable for on-road work, it is (like its competitors) a little restrictive for long distance off-road touring. The LT-R version gains an extra 30 mm of ground clearance over the LX model (for no apparent reason). The ride quality has always been a strong feature of the old Holden Rodeo and this aspect remains unchanged in the Colorado. The front suspension is independent wishbone arms and coil springs (diesels only), whilst the rear is heavy duty leaf springs. Stopping is aided by 280 mm ventilated front disc brakes and drum brakes at the rear. Of course power assistance is provided, as is anti lock brakes (ABS) and electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) enabling the driver to maintain a straight line whilst braking suddenly. A limited slip differential is standard on all variants of the Holden Colorado. Push button 4 x 4 ‘shift on the fly’ as Holden call their transfer to 4 wheel drive with either low or high range is a good operating system and it functions well. This also incorporates automatic front locking hubs. If you have ever been stuck in mud 30 cm deep you would really appreciate this feature. But, just in case that still happens, front and rear tow hooks are fitted.

Holden Colorado LX 4x4 (copyright image)

All the seats are supportive and comfortable with entry/egress to the rear positions very good. Lap/sash seat belts are provided for all passengers and, naturally, the driver. There are 3 rear seat child restraint anchor points. Childproof rear door locks are standard. Head restraints are height adjustable in all 5 seating positions. The sound system, boasting 4 speakers and MP3 compatible, also offers AM/FM radio with a single disc CD player with an auxiliary input jack, pumps out sound that any noise buff (not necessarily the Doof-Doof types though) would be happy to have. The driver will find that his/her hands enjoy the soft feel 4 spoke steering wheel that is also height adjustable. A tachometer sits neatly alongside the speedometer and other instruments in the dash. There is a warning buzzer for low fuel level and, additionally, as a reminder if the headlights are left 'on' whilst the engine is 'off'. The hand brake is floor mounted between the front bucket seats near the centre console. A power outlet to recharge mobile phones is in the console along with the mandatory cup holders. A lockable and illuminated glove box is now a standard feature on all versions of the Holden Colorado.

There is a lot to enjoy about Holden’s Colorado and we at Next Car do prefer the diesel engine versions of this solid work horse.

Prices for the Holden Colorado vary over a wide range. The recommended retail price for the test unit, an LX 4x4 diesel manual crew cab/chassis without options, was $44,790. Metallic paint is optional at $400.

The Holden Colorado is, indeed, a vehicle well worthy of serious consideration.


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