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Holden Colorado 2018 review

EXPERT RATING
7.5
The Holden Colorado 2018 range is extensive, with multiple variants to choose from. There's no petrol model, which could be a concern for some.

The Holden Colorado 2018 model range is extensive, and in general it is very well priced and positioned against its popular rivals.

Whether you want a single cab, an extra cab or a dual cab; a pick-up or a cab-chassis; a 4x4 or 4x2; a manual or an automatic; there are a lot of bases covered by the Colorado range.

And with 2018 shaping up to be a busy year in the ute segment, we figured it was time to take a closer look, a sort-of deep dive into the Holden Colorado line-up in order to see where the sole Holden ute model sits amongst its peers.

Read on for a full, detailed overview of the Holden Colorado 2018 model range and the model we think you should be spending your money on.

Holden Colorado 2018: Z71 (4x4)
Safety rating
Engine Type2.8L turbo
Fuel TypeDiesel
Fuel Efficiency9.1L/100km
Seating5 seats
Price from$43,880

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?   8/10

Whoa there, before you think about how much you will spend on extras and accessories like a bullbar, nudge bar, snorkel, custom sports bar or ladder racks, new rims (or floor mats, for that matter), let’s take a look at how much each version of the Colorado will cost you.

See below for a price list of the models in the range, what features each variant has, and the price that the vehicles are listed at (RRP - before on-road costs). Think of it as a model comparison - your very own cars guide (pun intended).

The LS model opens the Colorado range, and it could almost be a model in its own right: there are a lot of variants to choose from at the base point of the Colorado range.

The LS is available in single-cab-chassis, extra-cab-chassis and extra-cab pick-up, and dual-cab-chassis and dual-cab pick-up body styles, and all models can be had with an optional six-speed automatic, which is $2200 across the range. So if you prefer auto, I’ve put the auto price in brackets alongside the manual prices. 

Pricing for the LS is as follows: the range is opened by the 4x2 single-cab-chassis manual, priced at $29,490 ($31,690 auto); then there’s the dual-cab-chassis 4x2 at $34,490 ($36,690 auto); and the 4x2 LS pick-up dual-cab is listed at $35,990 ($38,190 auto).  

The 4x4 LS range kicks off with the single-cab-chassis, priced at $37,490 ($39,690 auto), then there’s the space-cab-chassis 4x4 at $40,990 ($43,190 auto), and dual-cab-chassis 4x4 at $43,490 ($45,690 auto). If you prefer the pick-up body, you will only get it in dual-cab form as an LS 4x4, priced at $44,990 ($47,190 auto).

Standard equipment for the LS includes 16-inch steel wheels with a full-size spare, vinyl interior flooring (but, oddly, carpet on the LS Space Cab), Holden’s 'MyLink' multimedia system with a 7.0-inch colour touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, DAB+ digital radio, USB input, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, and a sound system with steering wheel-mounted controls. You’ll need to use your phone for GPS or sat nav.

All Colorados come with a full-size spare wheel. (LTZ model shown) All Colorados come with a full-size spare wheel. (LTZ model shown)

There is also cruise control, rear parking sensors, halogen headlights with auto on/off function, LED daytime running lights, a helical limited-slip differential, and unlike some competitor utes, the Colorado has body-coloured door handles and mirrors. The mirrors are power adjustable, the electric windows are all auto up/down (and there’s remote window operation), and it has two 12-volt power outlets in the cab.

LS dual-cab models get a stereo system with six speakers, rear seat air vents, ISOFIX child-seat points, and a standard-fit reversing camera (optional accessory on the other LS models). 

The next model up the range is the LT, which is available as a 4x2 pick-up or cab-chassis, or as a dual-cab pick-up or cab-chassis. 

The sole LT 4x2 option is the dual-cab pick-up, which lists at $38,990 ($41,190 auto). If you want the LT 4x4, you have the option of a dual-cab pick-up there as well, and it’s priced at $46,990 ($49,190 auto).

It builds upon the LS’s fairly extensive equipment list, adding 17-inch alloy wheels rather than steelies (with a full-size alloy spare under the tray), and you can also tell it apart from the outside by way of its front fog lights and side steps.

Inside, the LT gets carpet flooring rather than the vinyl of the LS, but everything else remains the same.  

The next rung in the ladder is the LTZ, which is available in dual-cab guise in 4x2 and 4x4 trim (as you see in the images), and also as a space-cab 4x4.

The LTZ, which is available in dual-cab guise in 4x2 and 4x4 trim. (LTZ model shown) The LTZ, which is available in dual-cab guise in 4x2 and 4x4 trim. (LTZ model shown)

Pricing for the Colorado LTZ is as follows: 4x2 double-cab pick-up, priced at $42,490 ($44,690 auto); there are two options in the 4x4 version - the LTZ space-cab at $48,990 ($51,190 auto) and the LTZ crew-cab at $50,490 ($52,690 auto).

It packs the kit in compared with the lower models in the range, with noticeable exterior changes like 18-inch wheels (with a full-size spare), front parking sensors, chrome headlight bezels, LED tail-lights (but not LED headlights - they’re unavailable in the Colorado), an alloy sports bar, a soft tonneau cover, heated and folding chrome-finish side mirrors, and chrome strips on the door handles helping it stand out. 

Inside the LTZ gets an upgraded 8.0-inch MyLink media interface with an embedded navigation system, a seven-speaker sound system (in the dual-cab model), single-zone climate control, keyfob remote engine start for the automatic (great for cold mornings), an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, rain-sensing wipers, a chrome gear selector for the auto, sunglass holder, map lights, and electric driver’s seat adjustment.

Inside the LTZ gets an upgraded 8.0-inch MyLink media interface with an embedded navigation system. Inside the LTZ gets an upgraded 8.0-inch MyLink media interface with an embedded navigation system.

That’s all nice, but the safety front is where the LTZ makes a strong argument. It has forward collision warning (not auto emergency braking - AEB), lane departure warning, and tyre pressure monitoring.

If you choose the LTZ, you can also option leather seat trim and heated front seats, and that’ll cost you $1500.

The final, flagship variant in the Colorado line-up is the Z71 crew-cab, which is only available in 4x4 guise and is priced at $54,990 for the manual and $57,190 for the auto.

The Z71 is the most outlandish model to look at, with grey painted 18-inch alloy wheels (including a full-size spare), a model-specific front fascia with integrated nudge bar, gloss black grille, 'sail plane' sports bar and side rails with Z71 graphics, model-specific soft tonneau cover, Z71 bonnet decals, black painted exterior door handles and exterior mirrors (not heated in this instance), black body side mouldings and roof rails. 

No need to option leather seats or heated front seats here - they’re standard - and the interior has Z71 embroidery on the front headrests, too.

No model has the option of a diff lock, which is odd, and you can forget about a subwoofer and CD player, too - not available. 

On offer there are a few different colours to choose from: 'Summit White', 'Absolute Red', 'Mineral Black', 'Nitrate Silver' and 'Satin Steel Grey', 'Power Blue' and 'Auburn Brown'. There’s no 'Tiger Mica Orange' or 'Hothouse Green' to be seen, and some of the colours will cost you $550 to choose.

And look, if you are one of those buyers who will spend a lot on accessories, you’ll be happy to learn the range on offer from Holden is broad: from 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tyres to fender flares; a cup holder to a tub and tailgate liner (unlike some competitors, no Colorado has a tub-liner as standard). Customising your Colorado can be an in-house deal at Holden, if you can spare the coin…

Unlike some competitors, no Colorado has a tub-liner as standard. (LTZ model shown) Unlike some competitors, no Colorado has a tub-liner as standard. (LTZ model shown)

If you’re considering a Holden Colorado, you may also wish to consider its competitors. Great alternatives include the Ford Ranger, Volkswagen Amarok and Mazda BT-50, while the Toyota HiLux, Mitsubishi Triton, Nissan Navara and Isuzu D-Max are all worth considering, too. And there’s also the new Mercedes-Benz X-Class, if your budget can allow it.

Is there anything interesting about its design?   6/10

I like what Holden did with the front-end design of the Colorado when it launched the updated model in 2016 - the facelifted model looked much more contemporary than its predecessor, and while the ute segment has kept things interesting in the time since, it still looks okay… but there is no denying it - there are more desirable utes out there.

The headlights look good when the daytime running lights are on, but the yellowy halogen headlamps spoil it, and unlike a few of its rivals, you can’t get xenon or LED headlights on any model, even as an option. 

Of course models like the high-spec Z71 will appeal most to those after a lifestyle-oriented ute, with that model sporting - I have, to say it, an entirely useless - sail plane at the back of the cabin, but even the LT and LTZ have side steps and all models from LT up have alloy wheels. All pick-up models have a rear step bumper bar, but you’ll need to have a look at the accessories catalogue if you want a hard top tonneau cover.

All models from LT up have alloy wheels and the LTZ has side steps. (LTZ model shown) All models from LT up have alloy wheels and the LTZ has side steps. (LTZ model shown)

If you want a body kit with lots of flared parts or standout underbody protection you might want to check out the HSV SportsCat - there’s a bit going on with that beefcake version of the Colorado.

I remember testing a pre-facelift Colorado a while ago and being appalled at the interior quality - the finishes were yuck, the fit and finish poor. Not any more.

The current Colorado model looks pretty good inside. (LTZ model shown) The current Colorado model looks pretty good inside. (LTZ model shown)

The current Colorado model is much improved in both regards. It looks pretty good inside - in fact, I think this could be Holden’s most convincing interior, particularly in LTZ spec. That might seem like a slight against vehicles like the Astra and Commodore, and it kind-of is.

How does it all translate to cabin space? Check out our interior photos and read the next section to get a better idea. 

How practical is the space inside?   7/10

The cabin of the Colorado looks like it belongs in a truck. There’s lots of bold, thick-edged bits to the plastics, and even some soft-touch finishes across the dash. The big media screen is super easy to use, with the smartphone mirroring technology making for a fuss-free road trip experience. The digital driver information screen is a winner, too, and the fact it has a digital speedometer is a bonus - a bunch of competitor utes don’t have those.

The interior does have a couple of minor annoyances, though: the cupholders aren’t deep or wide enough to hold a travel cup without it potentially tumbling over, and the glovebox could be bigger. Another minor gripe: the driver's sunvisor touches on the rear-view mirror.

The cabin of the Colorado looks like it belongs in a truck. There’s lots of bold, thick-edged bits to the plastics. (LTZ model shown) The cabin of the Colorado looks like it belongs in a truck. There’s lots of bold, thick-edged bits to the plastics. (LTZ model shown)

But the centre console bin is decent, there are bottle-holders all four doors in dual-cab models, and there are map pockets in the back seats, too. 

While I don’t have kids, I know plenty of mums and dads who appreciate the ease of use of ISOFIX child-seat anchors, and there are two of those in the Colorado dual-cab, plus three top-tethers. If you plan to take adults with you - say, the ute is used for work and the apprentices squish in the back - the room on offer is quite good: there’s enough space for a 183cm (six-foot) adult to sit behind someone of similar size on either side of the cab, but the staffer who draws the short straw to sit in the middle will get the worst spot in the house.

The back seat is nicely flexible, too: the seat base folds up in a 60/40 fashion, which is nifty if you need to keep your tools dry and don’t want to wreck your seat fabric. The backrest folds down in a single piece, too, and there’s a central armrest as well - but no rear cupholders.

The back seat is nicely flexible, too: the seat base folds up in a 60/40 fashion. (LTZ model shown) The back seat is nicely flexible, too: the seat base folds up in a 60/40 fashion. (LTZ model shown)

Overall dimensions of the Colorado depend on the model you choose, though all models ride on the same 3096mm wheelbase. 

The single cab model, which is only available as a cab chassis (you choose from the available aluminium or steel tray when you buy it) measures 5103mm long (with tray), while the body width is 1870mm (for all cab-chassis models) and the height is 1800mm.

The extra cab/space cab model is available as a pick-up (measuring 5361mm long, 1874mm wide and 1795mm tall) or cab-chassis (5083mm long, 1870mm wide and 1799mm tall). There’s some variance for the tray length of the cab model depending on what you fit, but the tray length for the pick-up version is 1790mm long and 1534mm wide with a gap of 1100mm between the wheelarches.

If, like the vast majority of Colorado buyers, you choose a dual cab, the dimensions are pretty close to the extra cab versions. The cab-chassis version is 5083mm long, 1870mm wide and 1795mm tall, while the pick-up model measures 5361mm long, between 1872-1874mm wide and between 1781-1800mm tall. As with the space cab, you’ll determine the specs of the tray for the chassis models, but the pick-up mode has a smallish 1484mm of length and 1534mm of width (1100mm between arches). The tray depth is slight, too, at 510mm.

The dual cab, has dimensions that are pretty close to the extra cab versions. (LTZ model shown) The dual cab, has dimensions that are pretty close to the extra cab versions. (LTZ model shown)

If you need to keep things in the tray secure, there is an optional lockable canopy or hard tonneau cover for pick-up models, plus you can get a rubber mat or cargo liner if you want to protect the paint in the tub. Still not enough stowage? You can get roof racks and/or roof rails and, if you need to, chuck a bicycle carrier or ski carrier on top. 

As for payload capacity, the best you can get is the single-cab LS auto 4x2, which has a huge 1487kg of claimed usability. Indeed, every single model in the range lives up to the ‘one-tonner’ claim, with the lowest payload of all models being the Z71 manual, at 1000kg even. 

The gross vehicle mass (GVM) for all Colorado models is 3150kg, and the gross combined mass (GCM) is 6000kg - so keep that in mind if you plan to tow a big load while loaded. 

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?   7/10

If we’re talking engine specs, there’s not a lot to discuss because every Colorado is diesel and whether you choose a 4x4 or 4x2 model, the engine size is the same: a 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo motor. Unlike many of its competitors, there is no petrol, and unsurprisingly, no LPG option either. 

While that may not have as much capacity as the Ford Ranger or Volkswagen Amarok V6, the power and torque outputs are strong: the Colorado with a six-speed manual gearbox has 147kW of power (at 3600rpm) and 440Nm of torque (from 1600-2800rpm), while models with the six-speed automatic transmission have the same 147kW but torque is bumped up to 500Nm (from 2000-2200rpm). It’s the best torque on offer from a four-cylinder engine.

The 2.8-litre turbo-diesel produces 147kW/440Nm, 500Nm in auto. (LTZ model shown) The 2.8-litre turbo-diesel produces 147kW/440Nm, 500Nm in auto. (LTZ model shown)

If you’re wondering if the Colorado has a timing belt or chain, you might be surprised to learn that it’s a belt - but Holden claims it is “maintenance-free”. The engine does have a diesel particulate filter, but doesn’t use AdBlue. 

You might want to do some reading about any potential diesel engine problems, clutch concerns or transmission problems, and you can do that at our problems page. Check the owners manual for the oil type and capacity, and keep an eye on the vehicle’s oil consumption. 

If you get your Colorado with a tow bar, you will see towing capacity of 750 kilograms for un-braked trailers and 3500kg for braked trailers - and that applies to every version of the Colorado, which is impressive: many competitors can’t boast that, particularly about their entry-level utes. 

While I didn’t test the towing ability by carrying a load in a trailer for this review, I have found in the past that the Colorado’s wealth of torque makes it an excellent option for those who wish to haul a lot of weight - be it a boat, caravan or work/car trailer. The suspension copes well, and so does the drivetrain.

For the serious adventurers among you, you could theoretically fit a dual battery system, but there isn’t one as an option from Holden - check your warranty before you do it. Likewise there’s no option for a long range fuel tank, but the standard fuel tank capacity of 76 litres is pretty handy. 

While the diesels are impressive, the lack of an entry-point petrol model is a shame.

How much fuel does it consume?   8/10

The claimed diesel fuel consumption for the Colorado range varies depending on the variant you choose. A base model LS single-cab-chassis 4x2, for instance, has better diesel fuel economy than the top-spec dual-cab 4x4.

But the difference between all the models in the range isn’t as vast as it is in some other utes, because all of the Colorado models have the same engine. 

Manual 4x2 models are said to use 7.9 litres per 100 kilometres, no matter the body style. Auto 4x2 models use a claimed 8.6L/100km.

If you’re doing the maths - 4x2 v 4x4 - in terms of fuel use, you may be surprised to learn just how little there is in it. The manual 4x4 models claim an impressive 7.9L/100km, while the auto 4x4 models are between 8.6L/100km and 8.7L/100km.

The good news is that during our time in the Colorado LTZ auto 4x4, which has a claim of 8.7L/100km, we saw just a bit over that - 9.3L/100km. Pretty good, especially considering our recent test of the HiLux SR+ 4x4 manual saw a return of 10.1L/100km. 

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?   8/10

The Holden Colorado was awarded the maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating in 2016.

Every Colorado dual-cab has rear parking sensors and a reversing camera, while the cab-chassis models have the possibility of an accessory-fit reverse camera ($505). The top two models get even more kit: LTZ and Z71 variants add front parking sensors, forward collision alert (but no auto emergency braking - AEB), lane departure warning, tyre pressure monitoring and rain-sensing wipers. 

All Colorado models are fitted with seven airbags: dual front, front side, curtain (extending to the second-row on dual-cab models) and driver’s knee protection.

Of course there are safety items like electronic stability control with trailer sway control, hill-start assist and hill descent control.

Another plus for the Colorado is that dual-cab models have dual ISOFIX child-seat anchor points, which many rival utes miss out on, and there are three top-tether points as well.

Where is the Holden Colorado built? Like every new ute offered for sale here, except the Volkswagen Amarok, the Holden Colorado is built in Thailand.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

3 years / 100,000 km warranty

ANCAP Safety Rating

ANCAP logo

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?   8/10

Holden offers a three-year/100,000km warranty on all of its models, and the Colorado is no exception. However, if you want to get an extended warranty you can purchase one, and the company is often trotting out extended warranties during sales periods. Watch for these around May/June and November/December.

What about service costs? Well, there’s a lifetime capped price servicing plan that applies to the Colorado (and all Holdens, for that matter). The company asks owners to have their ute serviced every nine months or 15,000km - which could be annoying if you're a tradie: imagine having your work vehicle out of action more than one day per year...

If you’ve encountered problems or faults, reliability issues or have any complaints about your Colorado - even if it’s about how hard it is to get to the spare tyre - let us know by commenting below or heading to our problems page.

What's it like to drive?   8/10

I find it funny that things like 0-100 acceleration and handling are important to ute buyers, because these vehicles are typically compromised in that regard. But the Colorado manages to outfox some of its rivals, because it drives quite well. We can thank an extensive Australian engineering program for that, because the 2016 update saw a major overhaul of the steering and suspension of the ute.

As a result it drives like an SUV - a lot like the Trailblazer SUV, to be precise - with accurate steering and pretty good compliance, even when empty. 

Holden can’t take any real credit for the engine, but it’s pretty decent, too. 

Admittedly there is turbo lag hesitation when you jump on the throttle from a standstill, but in the auto models there’s enough punch to push you back in your seat when the 500Nm of torque comes on stream at 2000-2200rpm. I can’t see it posting a sub-10-second 0-100km/h time, but it isn’t disappointing in the way it gathers pace.

Part of that comes down to the six-speed automatic, which does its job without much fuss. It shifts gears when it should and holds on to them when you’d expect it should, too. Some buyers might take a little while to get used to the grade braking system, which will drop it back a cog and make the engine rev higher to put less impact on the braking system, but it’s a plus… because the brakes - discs up front, drums in the back - aren’t terrific.

Look, you’ll pull up if you really need to, but the braking performance isn’t in the same league as, say, a Volkswagen Amarok. The pedal feel doesn’t inspire confidence.

The braking performance isn’t in the same league as, say, a Volkswagen Amarok. (LTZ model shown) The braking performance isn’t in the same league as, say, a Volkswagen Amarok. (LTZ model shown)

The suspension, however, is really good. 

My test involved mainly unladen driving in everyday situations - highway, commuting, urban and some country roads - and I came away thinking it was hardly punishing, where some other utes like the Toyota HiLux can be challenging because of the terseness of the rear suspension

The front suspension was really well sorted, too, and the large 18-inch alloy wheels didn’t make too big an impact on rubbish surfaces, including gravel tracks. Sure, smaller diameter rims with a bigger sidewall could improve things a bit, but it wasn’t annoying at all. 

Part of my testing included an off-road review element, where the performance of the Colorado was tested on a rocky track I know in the Blue Mountains. It’s a steep little ascent and descent, one that requires good ground clearance and traction to do successfully - and the Colorado didn’t disappoint.

With 215mm of ground clearance I had nothing to fear as I steered the Colorado up the slippery rocks. (LTZ model shown) With 215mm of ground clearance I had nothing to fear as I steered the Colorado up the slippery rocks. (LTZ model shown)

With 215mm of ground clearance in the LTZ model I drove, I had nothing to fear as I steered the Colorado up the slippery rocks below its tyres. Even with those daft low-hanging side steps that so many utes these days have, the underbody bash-down was non-existent.

The switch-on-the-fly four-wheel drive dial allows for quick changes between 2H, 4H and 4L (below 10km/h), and the trigger switch for the hill descent control system is conveniently located. The latter system worked pretty well, but at one point I second-guessed it and applied the brakes - risking skidding on - as the Colorado felt as though it wasn’t going slow enough for the gradient of descent. The hill-start assist system was great for the climb, and good around town, too. 

One thing that impressed me was the the steering action: when pivoting in a tight turnaround point, I was easily able to twirl the steering wheel without having to wrestle it, making easy work of the comparatively large 12.7-metre turning circle. That’s an advantage whether you’re in the bush or the ‘burbs.

Verdict

Some people write off the Holden Colorado, but it has plenty of positive attributes. You can invariably get good deals on pretty much all models in the range, but for me the LTZ offers enough of the good stuff to potentially lure my money away from a competitor ute. The LS is a bargain for affordable ute shoppers, too.

Sure, it isn’t quite as polished an overall experience as the Ford Ranger, isn’t as powerful or refined as an Amarok V6, and doesn’t have the badge appeal of a Mercedes-Benz X-Class. But if you need a truck that can cope with work and play, this could be where the smart money is spent, and in most cases there’ll be less money spent here, too. 

Would you choose the Holden Colorado over its competitor utes? Let us know in the comments section below.

Pricing Guides

$44,888
Based on 630 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$27,990
Highest Price
$69,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
LS (4x2) 2.8L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $27,990 – 36,800 2018 HOLDEN COLORADO 2018 LS (4x2) Pricing and Specs
LS (4x2) (5YR) 2.8L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $25,630 – 31,680 2018 HOLDEN COLORADO 2018 LS (4x2) (5YR) Pricing and Specs
LS (4x4) 2.8L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $29,082 – 52,685 2018 HOLDEN COLORADO 2018 LS (4x4) Pricing and Specs
LS (4x4) (5YR) 2.8L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $35,550 – 41,495 2018 HOLDEN COLORADO 2018 LS (4x4) (5YR) Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7.5
Price and features8
Design6
Practicality7
Engine & trans7
Fuel consumption8
Safety8
Ownership8
Driving8
Matt Campbell
Senior Editor

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Pricing Guide

$42,888

Lowest price, based on 79 car listings in the last 6 months

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