The auto gearbox is a honey. Best too for offroad work.
Bill Buys road tests and reviews the Holden Colorado at its Australian launch
Holden has given its Colorado a Brazilian for 2013, with the vehicle emerging bigger, tougher and more sophisticated than before - and a lot better-looking too.
Carefully designed to tread the fine balance between weekday workhorse and weekend warrior, it claims class-leading towing and serious 4WD capabilities with spacious cabins and lots of safety and comfort features.
The new macho-faced Colorado was designed in Brazil, is built in Thailand and has undergone 2.5million km of development in five continents.
Colorado comes in three body styles: singe cab, space cab and crew cab, four spec levels in DX, LX, LT and LTZ, two and four-wheel drive and power is by a new Duramax 2.5-litre turbo-diesel in the base DX single cab and a 2.8-litre turbodiesel in the rest.
The 2.5-litre unit delivers 110kW and 350Nm while the 2.8-litre produces a lusty 132kW and 470nm. The motor is built at GM's new facility in Thailand and has the sophistication of common-rail injection and a variable geometry turbo. All Colorados are diesel-powered, all can handle a one-tonne payload and the 2.8-litre models have a towing capacity of 3.5tonnes. Transmission is a five-speed manual or an optional six-speed auto.
Fuel economy is pretty impressive too: the 4x2 DX 2.5 returns 7.9litres/100km and we had no trouble bettering the claimed 9.0 in a top-of-the-Wozza LTZ 4x2 auto on a 200km run in country Queensland, with the computer indicating 8.5litres/100km.
All models get ABS with EBD and stability control, twin front and full-length curtain airbags, aircon, aux power outlets, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity. LTZ has projector headlights, fog lights, an alloy sports bar, power seats, an eight-speaker audio system, 17inch alloys and leather and chrome highlights.
The dash has twin glove boxes in its vast black plastic surface, with instruments in a neat binnacle. Seating and visibility are plus factors.
These vehicles are frequently a family's one and only, and GM has opted to retain the basic leaf spring set-up at the back to handle loads. The front has an independent suspension with double wishbones and coils, and the compromise made our stint in a DX pretty firm compared to the luxurious LTZ, but the difference appears due to the extra weight of the LTZ.
The 2.8-litre motor puts out 10 per cent more power and 40per cent more torque than the earlier 3.0-litre and it gives the vehicle good, smooth performance. The auto gearbox is a honey. Best too for offroad work.
A hairy Brazilian with panache.
Price: from $26,990 for the 2WD 2.5 DX, to $51,990 for the LTZ 4x4 crew cab.
Engine: 2.5-litre turbo diesel, 110kW/350Nm (DX); 2.8-litre turbo diesel 132kW/470nm (LX, LT and LTZ)
Transmission: 5-speed man/6-speed auto