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Holden Colorado LTZ Space Cab 4x4 2017 review

EXPERT RATING
7.4
Who would have thought an Aussie farmer's plea to Ford over 80 years ago, for a vehicle to take his wife to church on Sunday and pigs to market on Monday, would result in the ute phenomenon.

Who would have thought an Australian farmer's plea to Ford more than 80 years ago, for a vehicle to take his wife to church on Sunday and the pigs to market on Monday, would result in a phenomenon that continues to transcend the ages.

The iconic utility, whose ownership is almost a rite of passage in this country, is immortalised in songs and festivals and the unforgettable adventures they often seem to bring.

In fact, such is its continued draw, that the top-selling vehicle in the country in 2016 was a ute, with one-tonners also accounting for three of the top five best-selling models in March this year.

It is no wonder then that Holden had talked up the importance of the updated Colorado long before it arrived here late last year. As the volume seller for the brand, much hinges on its ability to impress.

We put the 4X4 LTZ Space Cab 4x4 to the test.

Holden Colorado 2017: LTZ (4x4)
Safety rating
Engine Type2.8L turbo
Fuel TypeDiesel
Fuel Efficiency8.9L/100km
Seating2 seats
Price from$34,000

Is there anything interesting about its design?   7/10

I like a ute that looks like a ute – chunky, blunt nosed and capable. Sculpted, sweeping lines may be all the rage, but in my mind at least, are best suited for those cute little cars unlikely to ever rev an engine chord in anger.

Sure, these days most four-wheel drives (4WD) never leave the tarmac but we still want them to look the part, and with its new straighter dual grille, aggressive stance and refreshed headlight arrangement, the Colorado ticks that box. It has considerable presence in the metal, sheer bulk enhancing its formidable stance.

  • The Colorado has considerable presence in the metal, sheer bulk enhancing its formidable stance. (Image credit: Vani Naidoo) The Colorado has considerable presence in the metal, sheer bulk enhancing its formidable stance. (Image credit: Vani Naidoo)
  • These days most four-wheel drives (4WD) never leave the tarmac but we still want them to look the part. (Image credit: Vani Naidoo) These days most four-wheel drives (4WD) never leave the tarmac but we still want them to look the part. (Image credit: Vani Naidoo)
  • with its new straighter dual grille, aggressive stance and refreshed headlight arrangement, the Colorado looks the part. (Image credit: Vani Naidoo) with its new straighter dual grille, aggressive stance and refreshed headlight arrangement, the Colorado looks the part. (Image credit: Vani Naidoo)
  • One of the reasons for the ute's rapidly growing popularity is its versatility. (Image credit: Vani Naidoo) One of the reasons for the ute's rapidly growing popularity is its versatility. (Image credit: Vani Naidoo)

A softer approach has been reserved for the interior space where it's evident care has been taken to ensure the Colorado no longer lags behind in terms of the creature comforts offered by competitors. The dash itself offers clean lines with hardy dials and buttons, and surprisingly, soft touch materials where you would expect them. Instruments are simple and unfussy – this is an intended work ute after all – with the digital speedometer a nice bonus.

This new Colorado sees the windows lower (2.5cm) automatically when the door is opened to lessen the sound in the cabin after you climb in and slam the door shut. It can be eerie at first and takes a bit of getting used to, and because it can't be disabled we were none the wiser as to whether it makes a difference at all. As a talking point though, it's pretty nifty.

It's evident care has been taken to ensure the Colorado no longer lags behind in terms of the creature comforts offered by competitors. It's evident care has been taken to ensure the Colorado no longer lags behind in terms of the creature comforts offered by competitors.

How practical is the space inside?   7/10

So, one of the reasons for the ute's rapidly growing popularity is its versatility. Dual-cabs are leading the charge here – their ability to act as a work and play vehicle and carry the family in some comfort, undeniable strings in the bow.

While the Space Cab may satisfy the first two criteria, it's far from a family wagon. Not that it has ever made any claims to that mantle, mind you. The second row, and I am using that term loosely, is actually a hard storage bench of sorts with two flip-top padded rectangular jump seats on which to settle the tush.

  • Access is courtesy of rear-hinged doors that can only be opened if the front doors are ajar. (Image credit: Vani Naidoo) Access is courtesy of rear-hinged doors that can only be opened if the front doors are ajar. (Image credit: Vani Naidoo)
  • The second row is actually a hard storage bench of sorts with two flip-top padded rectangular jump seats. (Image credit: Vani Naidoo) The second row is actually a hard storage bench of sorts with two flip-top padded rectangular jump seats. (Image credit: Vani Naidoo)

My girls love a ute but the look on their faces when they realised how the back seat worked is one I will dine out on for months, the whining that followed a 200km round trip, though, not so much.

Access is courtesy of rear-hinged doors that can only be opened if the front doors are ajar, which further complicates the back seat proposition. It is a different story for those in the front, with suitably shaped and supportive seats, headrests that don't push your neck forward and room to stretch out the legs. You will have to niggle around a bit to find the perfect driving position as the steering wheel adjusts for height but not reach.

The tray is nicely proportioned and does as well with surfboards and palm fronds as it does with serious work toolboxes.

Still, the cabin feels quite comfortable to be in, with grab handles and side steps assisting entry and exits, and the higher driving position and large side mirrors offering great visibility. Storage is a bit on the stingy side with space for a coffee cup or two, a usable centre console bin and shallow door pockets. It is a bit underwhelming for someone whose vehicle doubles as a mobile office, however, and one can't help but think a place to dump a diary or phone wouldn't go astray.

There is one USB input – two would be better – and a couple of 12 volt sockets in the cabin for electronic devices. The tray is nicely proportioned and does as well with surfboards and palm fronds as it does with serious work toolboxes, but it does miss out on a 12 volt and a tub liner as well which feels poor form at this price point. The Colorado's towing capability remains at 3500kg braked and 750kg unbraked with payload at 1086kg, and the towbar an optional extra.

The tray is nicely proportioned and does as well with surfboards and palm fronds as it does with serious work toolboxes. The tray is nicely proportioned and does as well with surfboards and palm fronds as it does with serious work toolboxes.

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?   7/10

According to Holden, this Colorado is one of the most feature laden they have offered with standard inclusions in our $51,190 LTZ test vehicle  including things like an integrated 8.0-inch colour touchscreen that fronts the satellite navigation and reverse camera systems and supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, digital radio, auto headlights and wipers, front and rear parking sensors, electrically adjustable driver's seat and 18-inch alloys with tyre monitoring system.

The multimedia system is easy to navigate, even on the go, and the Bluetooth pairing simple to connect.

Our LTZ test vehicle included 18-inch alloys with tyre monitoring system. Our LTZ test vehicle included 18-inch alloys with tyre monitoring system.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?   8/10

All Holden Colorados are powered by a lusty 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine paired with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, which is a $2200 option. In our test vehicle this translated to 147kW of power and a hefty 500Nm of torque, with the manual having to do with 60Nm less.

In the auto, that torque is available from around 2000rpm, so only the slightest of urging is needed to get it going.

A dual-range 4WD means you use two-wheel drive in most everyday driving situations but you have the option of selecting 4WD when you need the extra grip.

How much fuel does it consume?   7/10

Fuel economy hovered around 9.8L/100km during our week in the Colorado with a fair few longer trips and some towing thrown in for good measure. A bit more than Holden's claimed 8.6L/100km but that is to be expected.

What's it like to drive?   8/10

Thankfully, the changes made to the new Colorado do not end with a shiny chrome grille and Smartphone technology. The best work lies under the skin, with serious adjustments to the suspension and the introduction of new insulators and mounts to help with noise and vibrations.

Tuned to Australian conditions, the Colorado delivers a composed, comfortable drive.

Progress is steady from start-up, warming up quickly and then really showing verve once the torque kicks in. This is a more than willing beast, the reconfigured steering ratio allowing for easier handling and delivering a more car-like feel.

The Colorado is settled along bumpy stretches, absorbing irregularities with surprising ease.

Electronic steering assistance (rather than hydraulic) makes for lighter steering when parking for example, but also offers more feedback than the previous Colorado on secondary roads or at higher speeds.

The Colorado is settled along bumpy stretches, absorbing irregularities with surprising ease. It keeps its head even without a load in the back, a telling sign of the work that has gone into smoothing out the suspension set-up.

Of course, it is at its best while laden – balanced and efficient – and seems to relish the addition of a trailer too.

The Colorado is able to handle most regular off-road challenges, helped of course by the abundance of electronic aids. Without a lockable rear diff, however, off-roading is best kept to the path most travelled.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

3 years / 100,000 km warranty

ANCAP Safety Rating

ANCAP logo

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

Lane departure warning and forward collision alert headline a five-star ANCAP safety suite that also includes seven airbags, hill-start assist and trailer sway control.

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?   7/10

Like most Holden offerings, the warranty for the Colorado is three years/100,000km with lifetime capped-price servicing. Cost for the first three scheduled services is $349.

Verdict

With a tighter on-road performance, sharper design and fairly generous inclusions, the Colorado makes a strong statement. The Space Cab certainly has that rugged toughness and the power on tap needed from a hard-working vehicle but at just $3000 shy of the top-of-the-range 4X4 dual-cab Z71, you have to question the value equation. At the very least, handing over that extra money will get you a much nicer, more practical backseat without sacrificing performance.

Would you pick a Colorado over a HiLux or Ranger? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Pricing Guides

$41,990
Based on 308 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$24,888
Highest Price
$52,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
LTZ (4x4) 2.8L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $34,000 – 52,990 2017 HOLDEN COLORADO 2017 LTZ (4x4) Pricing and Specs
DX (4x4) 2.8L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN No recent listings 2017 HOLDEN COLORADO 2017 DX (4x4) Pricing and Specs
LS (4x2) 2.8L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $24,888 – 44,680 2017 HOLDEN COLORADO 2017 LS (4x2) Pricing and Specs
LS (4x4) 2.8L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $31,913 – 38,000 2017 HOLDEN COLORADO 2017 LS (4x4) Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7.4
Design7
Practicality7
Price and features7
Engine & trans8
Fuel consumption7
Driving8
Safety8
Ownership7
Pricing Guide

$36,888

Lowest price, based on 26 car listings in the last 6 months

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