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Holden Colorado vs Isuzu D-Max


The sibling utes are competent and good value, if not class leaders. James Stanford weighs the pros and cons.

value

Holden Colorado LTZ

$50,490

The range-topping LTZ gets reversing camera, climate control aircon, seven-inch MyLink touchscreen, 17-inch alloy wheels, alloy sports bar and leather-wrapped steering wheel, with heated leather seats a $1500 option. It has three-year/ 100,000km warranty and lifetime capped price servicing. Resale value is 54 per cent.

Isuzu D-Max LS Terrain

$50,800

The LS-Terrain is at the top of the D-Max tree for now. It gets climate control aircon, seven-inch infotainment touchscreen with satnav, roof rails, 17-inch alloys, leather seats, step rails, keyless entry and start but no sports bar. Warranty is five years/130,000km, there is capped price servicing for three years and resale value is 44 per cent.

design

Holden Colorado LTZ

Basic architecture is shared with the jointly developed D-Max. Engines and exterior styling differ but interior items are common. The Colorado is not attractive but the alloy sports bar and bright paint jazz it up a little. The interior looks cheap. The MyLink screen looks bright and crisp but is far from easy to use. The seats are comfortable and the rear seats can fold flat or up against the back wall. There are four tie-down points in the tray.

Isuzu D-Max LS Terrain

One of the better looking crew cab utes, the D-Max has a more aggressive exterior than the Colorado but lacks the bright palette. Its interior, largely as in the Colorado, looks a bit cheap. The centre screen is easier to use, while the instrument cluster is easier to read and looks cleaner than the Colorado’s. Vinyl centre sections in the seats spoil the luxurious feel but they fold the same way as the Colorado. The four tie-down points are common.

technology

Holden Colorado LTZ

A 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo (147kW/440Nm) spins the six-speed manual. The six-speed auto (a $2200 option) gains 60Nm. The engine is much more aggressively tuned than the D-Max — refined at idle, it gets noisy about 2500rpm. It runs in rear-drive but 4WD can be engaged when stopped and in neutral. Fuel economy is 7.9L/100km manual, 9.1L auto. The 3500kg tow rating is equal best in class.

Isuzu D-Max LS Terrain

The older 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbo (130kW/380Nm) has more useful torque delivery, pulling happily without fuss even if a little reluctant to spin fast when pressed. A touch noisier at idle, it is less so when revving. Manual and auto transmissions are five-speeders. Isuzu cites the offroad durability of the $2200 auto option. Claimed fuel economy is 8.2L/100km for the manual (8.1L auto), which suggests one less ratio isn’t an issue at the bowser.

safety

Holden Colorado LTZ

To the five-star ANCAP crash safety rating and six airbags, it adds electronic stability control and Isofix child seat mounts. Only LT-Z models get a reversing camera.

Isuzu D-Max LS Terrain

It matches the Colorado but for Isofix mounts (which are fitted to the MU-X wagon version of the D-Max). The LS-Terrain gets a reversing camera but other models don’t.

driving

Holden Colorado LTZ

Improvements on the initial Colorado from 2010 include reducing wind noise and lifting quality across the board. Engineers have selected what Holden calls Comfort Suspension, which is on the softer side. It means the Colorado is comfortable and cruisy but it also wallows around quite a bit. The engine gets up and goes.

Isuzu D-Max LS Terrain

Much firmer suspension makes it more sure-footed and predictable on the road — but it also transmits more of the bumps. The engine works away without too much fuss and you don’t have to worry about the back stepping out, as in the Colorado in the wet. The traction control in each ute isn’t at the level of passenger cars.

Verdict

Holden Colorado LTZ

Isuzu D-Max LS Terrain

Neither is the latest or the greatest in class. Look for deals — you can save thousands until June 30. The drivetrains will suit different styles of working and motoring. The D-Max has more gear, longer warranty and better-sorted suspension.