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Holden Colorado and Colorado 7 2015 review

The long-term future of the Australian automotive industry is starting to take shape. Though Holden is going to close its factory in 2017 and move to full importation, it's certainly not pulling out of local design and engineering.

The just released MY15 Holden Colorado ute is a classic example of this with many changes to improve its ride and handling, as well as to give it a quieter, more sophisticated feel.

The good news is that this hasn't resulted in a price increase. The even better news is that a lot of the engineering to improve the Colorado was done right here in Australia.

Local guys and gals are well aware that many Australian light truck buyers aren't just looking for a truck – they want a family vehicle that can work during the week and play at weekends. Dual cabs are the most common choice, though others go for the Colorado 7 SUV and use it as a big station wagon.

In Asia, where utes are huge sellers, they are regarded as working vehicles and comfort doesn't sit high on the list when buying. That may change because many of the changes designed for Australian drivers will also be incorporated into the rest of the Colorado range globally. Who knows, having sampled 'Aussie' trucks the Asians also may start to demand more from their vehicles.

There's no change to the appearance of the Colorado as the decision was made to put the complete budget into genuine improvements

Not all Colorados are trucks of course, the Colorado 7 is a seven-seater SUV built on truck underpinnings, though softened down somewhat, particularly in the rear suspension to make it more wagon than ute / pickup.

Upgrades for 2015 range include the introduction of Comfort Suspension in the Colorado LTZ truck, an interior upgrade and a special acoustic package to reduce NVH ( noise, vibration and harshness) into the cabin. The 'Comfort Suspension' package sees revised spring rate and damper tune in, as well as a stiffer front stabiliser.

Some of the work on the NVH package was done in the wind tunnel at Monash University. Many hours of detailed work resulted in tighter body tolerances and thicker noise absorbing foam insert.

Luxury features in the latest Colorado 7 LTZ include heated leather appointed seats, these are optional on Colorado LTZ Crew Cab. A less plastic feel on the dash and console has been achieved by the use of soft touch surfaces. Still not exactly car-like, but certainly a step in the right direction.

Interestingly, there's no change to the appearance of the Colorado as the decision was made to put the complete budget into genuine improvements. However, if you are looking for something out of the ordinary in a sports (well sport-ish) ute Holden can sell you a stealth-like paint colour tagged Satin Steel Grey.

Holden Colorado and Colorado 7 are powered by GM's Duramax 2 2.8-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-diesel engine that produces up to 147kW, and an impressive 500Nm. (Note that if you buy a six-speed manual the engine is detuned to produce 'just' 440Nm).

It comes in two or four-wheel drive, with the latter operating thorough a two-speed transfer. A six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission can be selected.

Not all powertrains are offered in all models, may we suggest you contact your local dealer, or click on the Holden website for the big range of permutations, not only in transmission, but also in body type and luxury levels.

Speaking of his new truck, Holden's director of marketing, Bill Mott, says, "The Colorado range has a great reputation for off-road driving and we wanted to translate this to urban and highway driving too. Whilst customers enjoy the reassurance they get from driving a very capable 4x4, they should also enjoy driving it on everyday errands."

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Range and Specs

DX (4X4) 2.8L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $14,700 – 20,680 2015 Holden Colorado 2015 DX (4X4) Pricing and Specs
LS (4X2) 2.8L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $14,990 – 28,950 2015 Holden Colorado 2015 LS (4X2) Pricing and Specs
LS (4X4) 2.8L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $14,980 – 35,990 2015 Holden Colorado 2015 LS (4X4) Pricing and Specs
LS-X (4X4) 2.8L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $25,888 – 32,771 2015 Holden Colorado 2015 LS-X (4X4) Pricing and Specs
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