They’re happy to shout about the offroad and towing potential of the Holden Colorado 7, but they’re still coy on price. The bigger brother to the Captiva 7 is due early in 2013 -- but revealed this week as the Chevrolet Trailblazer concept at the Dubai Motor Show -- and the wagon has been confirmed as having a 3000kg towing capacity.
That’s 500kg less than the Colorado Ute, with which it will share petrol and diesel drivetrains in both rear- and all-wheel drive models. Holden wouldn’t confirm a $40k starting price, saying only it will compete with the Nissan Pathfinder, Mitsubishi Challenger and Toyota LandCruiser Prado.
Inevitably, Aussie families will cross-shop the Colorado 7 with the Ford Territory which also offers 4WD and seven seats, even though Holden doesn’t consider the ‘softer’ Ford to be a rival. The Colorado 7 was designed in Brazil and will be built in Thailand alongside the Colorado utility. Holden played no part in development for the vehicle aimed primarily at growing Middle Eastern markets, and is also not expected to modify the suspension for Australian conditions.
Holden claims the Colorado 7’s seating configuration is both flexible and intuitive. The second row split folds 60/40 and the third row of seats, which folds flat when not needed, is capable of accommodating full-size adults.
General Motors has taken the unusual step of replacing the ute’s leaf spring rear end with a multilink setup that it says improves on-road handling and ride quality. The Colorado’s offroad credentials are underscored by standard fitment of a low range transfer case and locking differentials on 4WD models.
The Colorado 7 will fill a gaping hole in Holden’s SUV portfolio created when the Jackaroo was withdrawn from sale almost a decade ago. Though never hugely successful, the rugged, Isuzu-built Jackaroo was popular with 4WD fans as an alternative to Toyota’s LandCruiser and LandCruiser Prado heavyweights.
Holden used the Trailblazer’s world debut in Dubai to confirm an Australian launch in early 2013 badged as the Colorado 7. Although officially a concept car, the Trailblazer concept is said to be “faithful to the production car”. That said, expect the concept’s chrome content to be toned down, and its chunky 20-inch offroad tyres replaced with smaller bitumen-friendly tyres.
Australians will get their first look at the Australian Colorado 7, most likely in concept form, at October’s Sydney motor show. Holden believes the Colorado 7 will appeal to Australians for very different reasons than the Captiva 7.
“It will have the fuel-efficiency and interior comfort of a modern family SUV with seating for up to seven,” said Holden’s John Elsworth, “along with the towing ability of a working vehicle and the off-road capability of a true 4X4. We’re confident it will have all the bases well and truly covered.”