Holden Colorado: 14 things you didn’t know

It looks a lot like the old Colorado, but this new 2017 model has big differences under the skin – and all for the better.

Holden Colorado

1. The Colorado ute forms the basis of an SUV, the Colorado 7, with the 7 referring to the number of seats in its unique SUV body. However, the new model will adopt the Trailblazer name, helping distance it from the ute it’s based on.

2. The current shape Colorado (codenamed RG) first arrived in Australia in 2012. It was late to market because of the financial woes and bankruptcy parent company General Motors faced after the GFC. Insiders suggest corners were cut during development of that early car to contain costs for the struggling GM.

3. Holden continues to offer only a diesel engine with the Colorado. The last time Holden offered a petrol engine was with a 3.6-litre V6 engine sold up until early 2012.

4. A glance at the specifications would suggest Holden hasn’t updated the engine of the Colorado; it still makes the same 147kW and 500Nm (in automatic guise) it’s made since late 2014. However the engine now meets stricter Euro 5 emissions standards and has had major work done to improve refinement.

5. All Colorados now come with digital radio tuning and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The LT-Z and L71 get an 8.0-inch touchscreen, while other models make do with a smaller 7.0-inch screen.

6. The Colorado gets a new look from the front. But the windows, front guards, doors, roof and tray are unchanged from the model that arrived in 2012.

7. The Colorado is the only ute in its class that can be started remotely via the keyfob. Automatic versions of the Holden Colorado LT-Z and Z71 can be started automatically, allowing the car to be heated and cooled before the driver gets inside.

8. Like most work utes sold in Australia the Colorado is produced in Thailand. Much of the engineering work was done in Brazil, with Australian engineers playing a big role in development of this updated model.

9. When you open the front doors of the Colorado the windows lower by a few centimetres. It is designed to reduce pressure in the cabin when shutting the doors, making them slightly easier to close.

10. Manual versions of the Colorado make slightly less torque than the auto models (440Nm versus 500Nm). The engines have been detuned slightly because the six-speed manual isn’t rated for the higher torque output. 

11. Some of the switchgear from the Colorado is shared with the Holden Commodore. The stalks for the indicators and windscreen wipers, for example.

12. Holden’s work ute was previously called the Rodeo. However, that name was owned by Isuzu (with which Holden jointly developed the previous model) and following a split in business dealings between the two car makers it was no longer available to Holden. The Colorado first appeared in Australian in 2008.

13. The updated Colorado has more factory-approved accessories (bullbars, driving lights, snorkels, etc) than any Holden over the company’s 68-year history.

14. The Colorado gets electric power steering, which is more fuel efficient than the old hydraulic setup. It was tuned using learnings from the VF Series II Commodore that was released in 2015.

15. Holden no longer refers to the Colorado as a ute, instead adopting the more American “truck” descriptor. However, it was only a few years ago when a last minute marketing plan to call the Colorado a truck was dropped. At the time a senior Holden executive claimed Holden would never call the Colorado a truck.


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Toby Hagon

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