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Holden Colorado 2019 review: LSX

The 2019 Colorado LSX is a limited-edition version of Holden's ute, based on the LS 4x4 grade.

Despite their tough and rugged looks, home turf for many 4x4 utes is actually just as likely to be the sleepy suburbs as it is the top of some soaring mountain.

And let me tell you, hauling kids, shopping and pets around on weekends can be as wearing on both car and driver as any off-roading. And definitely less fun.

For my weekend test I’m driving the 2019 Colorado LSX; a limited-edition version of Holden's ute, and one based on the LS 4x4 grade.

Priced from $54,145 for one with an automatic transmission (a $2200 option), it’s about $9000 than the LS it’s based on. But with that comes a whole lot more equipment, too. It’s worth noting my test car also had a rather long list of accessories which pushed the final price north of $70,000.  

So, will this 4x4 ute prove tough enough to handle the grind of suburban family life? My three kids and I had the weekend to find out.

Saturday

The schedule for the Colorado today involved mostly inner-city driving with a couple of trips to the local shops, all with three kids in tow.

I like the front-end design of the Colorado; it looks clean and well proportioned. Our test ute was fitted with the safari bar ($2710) and an LED light bar ($1075), which may not be pretty but did give the Colorado a more muscular appearance.

The headlights look good when the daytime running lights are on, but interestingly you can’t get Xenon or LED headlights on any model, even as an option. 

The side and rear profiles are easy on the eye, and they look even better with the 18-inch black alloy wheels fitted with all-terrain tyres, the side-step package ($1085 option), the rear steel step ($1570 option), the hard three-piece tonneau cover ($2670 option), and a ridiculously large decal on the tailgate ($310).

  • The front-end of the Colorado looks clean and well proportioned. The front-end of the Colorado looks clean and well proportioned.
  • The side profile looks good with the 18-inch black alloy wheels fitted with all-terrain tyres. The side profile looks good with the 18-inch black alloy wheels fitted with all-terrain tyres.
  • The rear profile is easy on the eye. The rear profile is easy on the eye.
  • The durable cabin is a no-frills design featuring plenty of hard plastics and cloth seats. The durable cabin is a no-frills design featuring plenty of hard plastics and cloth seats.
  • Standard features include a 7.0-inch touchscreen with a rear-view camera. Standard features include a 7.0-inch touchscreen with a rear-view camera.
  • Storage is OK but not great, with bottle holders in all four doors. Storage is OK but not great, with bottle holders in all four doors.

Holden have seen fit to remove the black fender flares and side door trim from the 2018 version - not a bad thing in my opinion. I’m not a fan of the Absolute Red my LSX came dressed in, but it works well to complement the black design elements.

After climbing inside, my kids were super excited by one of the key benefits of high-riding 4x4 utes; that they provide an unimpeded view out of the windows. Which, if you are four-feet tall, is a major plus. The durable cabin is a no-frills design featuring plenty of hard plastics and cloth seats. Simple, functional and sturdy. Both tradie- and kid-proof, then.

Other standard features include a 7.0-inch touchscreen with a rear-view camera, a six-speaker stereo, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, digital radio, a USB port, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, hill descent control and hill start assist, rear parking sensors and LED DRLs.

Storage is OK but not great, with bottle holders in all four doors, a decent-sized centre console bin and two cupholders between the front seats that really need to be bigger. For an extra $30 you can buy cupholders that attach to the air vents, which came in handy as I used the centre cupholders to store my phone and house keys.

It doesn’t get much better in the rear, with no cupholders or map pockets available.

Sunday

Our plans for the day included a trip to the beach in the morning followed by various trips around the local suburbs in the afternoon.

The LSX 4x4 has the same engine as the LS – a 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel (good for 147kW and 440Nm) which is mated with a six-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels.

Around the city and the suburbs the LSX was incredibly easy to drive, with reasonably direct steering and a surprisingly comfortable ride. You could be forgiven for thinking you were driving an SUV

  • The LSX 4x4 has the same engine as the LS – a 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel. The LSX 4x4 has the same engine as the LS – a 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel.
  • The LSX was incredibly easy to drive, with reasonably direct steering and a surprisingly comfortable ride. The LSX was incredibly easy to drive, with reasonably direct steering and a surprisingly comfortable ride.

Acceleration is punchy from the lights, but there's not enough there to set a blistering 0-100km/h time. It’s incredibly comfortable for cruising, though, and has plenty of punch in reserve for overtaking at mid- to high-range speeds - particularly up hills, where that 500Nm of torque really comes into its own. Its braking ability inspired less confidence, though, thanks to its spongey feel and there being too much travel in the pedal.

Our five-star ANCAP safety rated LSX was rather low on advanced safety equipment, but it does score seven airbags (dual front, front side, curtains that extend to the second-row on dual-cab models, and driver’s knee protection). Other standard items include electronic stability control with trailer sway control, hill start assist and hill descent control. Missing items include forward collision alert, AEB and lane departure warning,

For parents with young children, the LSX comes with dual ISOFIX child-seat anchor points and three top-tether points.

Over the course of the weekend our LSX covered around 220km of city and urban driving, with the trip computer displaying fuel consumption of 11.8 litres/100km. Quite a bit higher higher than Holden's claimed 8.7 litres/100km (combined).


The Wrap

The Colorado LSX passed the family test with its comfortable, SUV-like ride and practicality perks. That said, it's hard justify the extra price for the LSX over the LS.

Given all the accessories Holden offers to customise your Colorado, you might find you are better off going for the LS and ticking some boxes, as these items not only enhance the overall look but can also be functional.

I'm afraid the same can't be said for some of the LSX's design treatments.  

Is the Holden Colorado LSX on your family car shopping list? Tell us in the comments 

Likes

SUV-like drive
Tough, practical cabin
Good looks

Dislikes

Brake feel
Lack of advanced safety kit
Expensive accessories

Scores

Dan:

3.5

The Kids:

$46,990

Based on new car retail price

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