TIME flies when you’re racking up kays, and we sure racked ’em up over the three months we had the Colorado with us. That time is now done and, while I’m still not a huge fan of double-cab utes, the Holden did give me an appreciation of their versatility.
The Colorado showed its broad depth of uses: we took it up the Oodnadatta Track to Alice Springs as soon as we got it; it ferried people, bikes and gear around in Melbourne between trips; and then we took it up to Queensland for a bit of island-hopping between North Stradbroke and Fraser Island. More than 11,000km over all kinds of terrain in three months isn’t bad-going for any car.
The two most impressive things about the Colorado were its performance and fuel economy. The VM Motori-sourced 2.8-litre diesel engine which GM labels ‘Duramax’ remains a bit rattly and harsh despite extensive updates made to it in 2017, but it makes up for any NVH issues when you put your foot down and pull-up at the high-flow pump.
With 500Nm on tap the engine is the class-leader for four-cylinder diesels in utes, only recently matched by Ford’s new bi-turbo 2.0-litre mill. Yet we’ve sampled the new Ford engine in both the Ranger Raptor and Everest, and the GM product sure feels punchier than either Ford when you give it the berries.
Be it shooting out of side streets around town, overtaking road trains on the highway, or charging through heavy sand with a load of firewood in the back, the Colorado never felt lacking.
The performance doesn’t come with a cost at the fuel pump, either. On the 100km/h highways the Colorado averaged in the high 8.0L/100km bracket, and that would edge up to the mid-9s on the 110 and 130km/h highways. Around town it was recording 11s, with an overall average of 10.3L/100km for its full stint with us.
The LTZ-spec is reasonably comfortable and well-equipped for road trips. Apple CarPlay links your tunes and phone to the car; although, having just the single USB port was annoying at times – at least one more would be appreciated.
The cabin is still a bit small for my large frame (or a family with teenage kids), but with no full-size truck available here with factory RHD, these mid-size units will have to do. They are also half the price of imported and converted full-size trucks.
The Colorado is one of the few utes in its class that doesn’t have a factory-fitted rear diff lock as standard, and in the past this has severely limited its off-road ability on steep, rutted tracks. But the calibration changes made to the electronic traction control for the 2017 updates went a long way to negating the need for a locker and the ETC does a great job under most conditions.
As seen in the recently released Colorado Z71 Extreme model, Holden has got its act together with factory accessories, which include five-star safety-approved protection bars, LED and HID lighting, underbody protection, a Warn winch offering, tow bars, styling kit, canvas seat covers, storage solutions and load coverings.
The only non-factory item we fitted to our LTZ was a set of Nitto Trail Grappler tyres for the Queensland trip, for some added dependability. For a standard vehicle on factory suspension, the Colorado coped very well, particularly on the rough Oodnadatta Track.
As a double-cab 4x4 ute, Holden’s Colorado does a fine job of it. Versatility, performance and economy are its strong points, with good factory and aftermarket support to kit it up to your likings. The current version jumped up the rankings in our most recent ute comparison test, and this long-termer verified our findings.
On-road, off-road, and everything in between on 4x4 Shed
4x4 Shed Log: 2018 Holden Colorado LTZ
Current mileage: 17,265km
Date acquired: June 2018
Price: $50,490 + ORC
Mileage this month: 5793km
Average fuel consumption: 9.8L/100km