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Holden Colorado 2009 Review

Maybe there should be more attention to fuel efficiency than fuel economy. Too many self-righteous bystanders do not understand there is more than one simple answer to consumption and environmental concerns and there may be more than one saviour.

Among all this there is the whole of life — from manufacture to scrapping — question of a vehicle to consider; in this case some would suggest an old, refurbished diesel car or truck may be less harmful to the environment than the pollutant cost of building a flash new machine (which would include the mining of fresh materials).

And while on sidetracks, how about authorities playing a part?

Stop-start traffic harms fuel consumption and new roads cannot always be the answer. Why are new shopping and residential centres automatically granted sets of lights for access, disrupting arterial traffic? Why must be there full, red light stops on pedestrian crossings?

Most motor vehicles run cheapest with optimum engine revolutions per minute. Allowing a car to lug costs fuel, as does acceleration and deceleration; smooth driving and traffic flows save fuel.

And, okay, hybrid vehicles with a combination of electric and petrol engines save fuel. Yet not necessarily any more than a decent (and most of them are these days) diesel engine.

But what happens when there is a family, and holiday luggage, to cart a decent distance?

Now it becomes a matter of fuel efficiency versus fuel economy.

A hybrid may make sense around town for two (although something like a small European diesel or Hyundai's i30 would make more sense) but when it comes to carrying say four adults and gear in comfort and safety on a long highway drive a larger sedan, even petrol-powered, can be as efficient in overall running costs.

(As Audi decided recently there was no point in petrol-electric cars in their range until hybrid technology becomes more efficient; instead the German company will concentrate on lighter cars and even better diesels.) It is, as said in the west, horses for courses and hybrids are, by and large, still the ponies of the business.

And all that is a long way into the business of dual-cab utilities, four-wheel drive and two-wheel drive.

But with the business in recent seasons of dressing up these dual cabs, extending their appeal with sports bars and alloy wheels and fancy cabins, comes sniping from the footpath.

One bloke around here is disgusted by what he terms muscle trucks and cannot see that these machines are more useful than a Commodore or Falcon and, most often with diesel engines, more economical. In other words these dual cab utes, with space for four adults and capacity for a half tonne of sand in the back are among the more efficient — fuel used divided by jobs done — on today's market.

Holden's latest effort is the Colorado, a rebadged and revised Rodeo. Top of the pile in this line-up is the four-wheel drive, dual cab LT-R with all manner of goodies from blue-tooth phone connectivity to reversing sensors plus some extra chrome.

It’s offered more as a flash family truck but underneath it retains all the tough bits for slogging through mud heaps or crawling up rocky mountains.


It is comfortable enough and very competent, if not quite having the ride and handling credentials of some rivals.

Now with the petrol V6 and manual transmission the LT-R is supposed to run at 12.6 litres per 100 kilometres but with a deal of Christmas run-arounds and some paddock work this ran out closer to 14 litres per 100 kilometres.

Some of the problem could be the V6s lack of meaningful torque at the bottom end. There is supposed to be 313Nm at 2800rpm but it takes a fair boot to get the show on the road; this engine was a little raucous too when pushed through the five-speed transmission yet quiet enough at cruising speeds.

Those fuel figures may perturb some but its not far off real road figures for many large V6 sedans (without the same capabilities). And with the Colorado's turbocharged diesel option that should be closer to 10 litres per 100km (the factory claims 8.4 litres per 100km) for mixed duties.

So call them muscle trucks if you must but the dual cab utility — petrol or diesel — remain a sensible option when talk turns to fuel efficiency and saving the planet.


Holden Colorado LT-R


PRICE: $43,990

BODY: dual cab utility

ENGINE: 3.6 litre petrol V6

POWER: 157kW @ 5300rpm

TORQUE: 313Nm @ 2800rpm

TRANSMISSION: 5-speed manual

DIMENSIONS: (mm) 4995 (l), 1553 (w), 175 (h)


TOWING: 2500kg


Pricing guides

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Range and Specs

DX (4X2) 2.4L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $4,000 – 6,490 2009 Holden Colorado 2009 DX (4X2) Pricing and Specs
DX (4X4) 3.0L, Diesel, 5 SP MAN $6,700 – 10,450 2009 Holden Colorado 2009 DX (4X4) Pricing and Specs
LT-R (4X2) 3.6L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $7,200 – 11,110 2009 Holden Colorado 2009 LT-R (4X2) Pricing and Specs
LT-R (4X4) 3.0L, Diesel, 5 SP MAN $9,900 – 14,960 2009 Holden Colorado 2009 LT-R (4X4) Pricing and Specs
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