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Holden Colorado and Colorado 7 2013 Review

There's a rash of new one tonne utes and SUV derivatives on the way due to unprecedented demand so Holden has got in early with a mild update to its Colorado one tonner and derivative Colorado7 SUV.

There's a rash of new one tonne utes and SUV derivatives on the way due to unprecedented demand so Holden has got in early with a mild update to its Colorado one tonner and derivative Colorado7 SUV. They put a focus on four main elements to both vehicles: an upgraded engine and equipment list, and new six-speed manual and Manlike infotainment system.


The 2.8-litre, four-cylinder turbo diesel engine has been upgraded to 147kW/500Nm on the six-speed auto with slightly less torque (440Nm) available on the manual version. This has been done by a pressure increase to the injection system, altered engine control module and a water cooled turbo.

Basically, they turned up the wick and made some mods' to make it smoother and quieter. The auto has been recalibrated to make it 'hunt' (flick between ratios) less when towing or driving up hills and give more downhill engine braking.


Holden's excellent Manlike infotainment system is now fitted complete with a 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth phone and audio, Siri voice control Tune-in, Pandora and Stitcher music systems and BringGo satnav - operated from apps in Manlike. They have opted for vinyl flooring in the lower spec' models after buyer requests and there is a small amount of interior revision though it retains a cheap, hard, plastic look.


All variants of the ute and wagon get a five star crash rating with all that entails, now including trailer sway control and other handy items like rear park assist and a reverse camera on higher spec' LTZ models. Front and side airbags are fitted to all utes while the wagon gets a couple more.


All ute and wagon variants are capable of towing 3.5 tonnes and all utes have a one tonne payload. The 4WD system is a traditional three mode transfer case system offering 2WD high and 4WD low and high range - selected by a dial on the centre console.

Both vehicles ride on an old school ladder chassis and run live rear axles with leaf springs on the ute and coils on the wagon. A number of electronic driver aids are used like stability control, hill descent control and hill start assist.


Knowing that "uties" love to accessorise their vehicles, Holden offers a range of pretty cool bolt-ons for Colorado and the 7 including alloy wheels, front bars of various configuration in alloy and steel, sport bars for the ute tray, side rails and steps and tow bars. In addition to shiny alloy bars, powder coated black bars are also offered along with a striking new Orange metallic colour. You can even get DRLs (daytime running lights) as a $550 option.


Holden says it has a loyal customer base for Colorado and went to them for advice about this upgrade which is obvious when you drive it. This is a medium to heavy-duty mid-size offroader that doesn't flinch when the going gets tough. It is like a tank in rough terrain plugging on regardless. Low range 4WD is handy in this sort of driving. Back it off a tad onto dirt roads and the high range 4WD system comes into its own.

Out on the highway flick it into 2WD and away you go but to change drive mode in 4WD the vehicle has to be below 5kmh. The wagon has shift on the fly 4WD. The revised engine is much better than before in every way - much smoother and with more pull from low in the rev range. It is ticking over 1500rpm at 110kmh in top on the highway. The auto is much better and the extra cog in the manual is appreciated. It still handles like a double decker bus through corners but you get that with a vehicle with this degree of off roadability unless you have something like a high-tech air suspension and active sway bars.


There are 15 models in the ute lineup and two Colorado7s. It's not the prettiest thing around (ute or wagon) but is extremely capable off road and feels as tough as a tank, now with the full suite of connectivity.

Holden Colorado 7
Price: from $46,990 plus on-road costs
Engine: 2.8-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder
Power: 147kW and 500Nm
Consumption: 9.2L/100km
Transmission: Six-speed auto
Driveline: 2WD (sealed roads), 4WD high and 4WD low (unsealed roads)
Weight: 2170kg (LT) 2205kg (LTZ)
Towing capacity: 3000kg
Safety: Six airbags, five star ANCAP rating, rear view camera
Spare tyre: Full size (mounted under the rear)
Service intervals: 9 months, 15,000km
Warranty: Three years/100,000km
Made in: Thailand


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LT (4x4) 2.8L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $17,990 – 27,488 2013 Holden Colorado 7 2013 LT (4x4) Pricing and Specs
LTZ (4x4) 2.8L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $21,990 – 29,995 2013 Holden Colorado 7 2013 LTZ (4x4) Pricing and Specs
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