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2020 Holden Colorado first 4x4 drive review

By Matt Raudonikis, 14 Jun 2019 Road Tests

2020 Holden Colorado first 4x4 drive review feature

Small steps for 2020 Holden Colorado

THE HOLDEN COLORADO 4x4 ute range has been revised for 2020, introducing the LSX as a full-time variant and adding features across the line-up.

There are no mechanical changes to the Colorado and the full range remains powered exclusively by the 2.8-litre diesel engine and a choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.

The Colorado also remains without autonomous emergency braking (AEB), a safety technology that’s becoming more common in the highly competitive 4x4 ute segment. The Ford Ranger, Mercedes-Benz X-Class and Mitsubishi Triton are the only popular utes in the segment to include this tech to date, with Toyota expected to introduce it to its Hilux fleet before the end of the year. It seems we’ll have to wait for the next generation Colorado to see AEB in the Holden, and the next model isn’t expected until 2021-22.

The LSX was previously a limited edition model for Colorado, but it enters the range full-time on the second tier of the four model line-up. The Colorado 4x4 range now starts with the LS in single-cab, space-cab and double-cab body styles; the LSX is a lone double-cab variant; the LTZ is available in space- and double-cab models; and the top-of-the-range Z71 is again a lone double-cab variant.

The new bad boy on the block is the LSX, which toughens up the base-spec LS double-cab with grey 18-inch alloys, a gloss black grille, a new design black sports bar, black wheel arch flares, soft tonneau cover, “COLORADO” decal on the locking tailgate, and a digital radio.

The LSX is designed to appeal to the buyers who want the tough-truck look without all the bells and whistles, and it’s priced at $46,990 (manual) or $49,190 (auto). The Z71 also gets the bold wheel arch flares, while both the Z71 and LTZ get a new spray-on cargo tub liner and ‘soft-drop’ assisted tailgate to make opening it easier.

Drive Impressions 

EVEN though the changes to the Colorado are purely aesthetic, Holden still put on a comprehensive drive to reacquaint us with the vehicles. The Colorado stepped up the ranks of 4x4 utes with its major overhaul back in 2017, and those features are still there to keep it at the fore.

Back then the suspension received a reworking, with input from Holden Australia engineers. It remains unchanged and the Colorado rides and steers well on all road conditions, which we previously experienced on outback drives.

The weather on this latest test drive was treacherous, with heavy rain and pools of standing water on the road, but the Colorado felt surefooted at all times. Likewise, the off-road tracks were slippery and steep, but the Holden didn’t put a tyre wrong.

The Colorado’s drivetrain also remains a strong point. With 500Nm on tap the 2.8 ‘Duramax’ engine delivers the most grunt in the one-tonne ute class, aside from the European V6-powered rigs. You feel it, too, each time you plant the accelerator the ute pulls hard from the mark. It’s aided by a limited slip differential (LSD) to get all that grunt to the road.

An LSD is odd in this segment, as most utes rely on electronic traction control and differential locks and, while the Holden also has ETC as standard, it is not available with a rear diff lock (RDL). A RDL is good off-road, but the LSD is beneficial on all surfaces, providing grip every time you drop the 500Nm hammer.

Colorado’s ETC copped a recalibration back with that 2017 refresh and, while it mightn’t be as good off-road as a well set-up ETC and RDL arrangement, it will get you places a pre-2017 Colorado would never reach.

The Duramax engine is a little noisy and harsh, but its performance and efficiency more than makes up for that. Likewise, the six-speed auto is a sweet unit that is intuitive and precise in its shifting both on- and off-road.

Like other utes in this class the Colorado is heavily accessorised, and Holden is capitalising on this with its range of accessory packs which add savings to the price of the vehicle if ordered at purchase time. These include the Tradie, Farmer, Black, Rig and Xtreme packs, each designed to tailor the vehicle to the end users’ needs be it work or play.

4x4 gear: Holden Colorado accessory packs hit the market

“The combination of these new enhancements for MY20 Colorado, along with the carefully specified accessory packs, will add a definite edge to what is already one of the best offerings in the light commercial segment,” said Peter Keley, executive director sales for Holden.

Coming on the back of those major upgrades to the Colorado in 2017, these latest tweaks and inclusions should keep the Colorado firmly in the sights of new ute buyers and at the pointy end of the 4x4 pack.

2020 HOLDEN COLORADO RANGE AND PRICES (MANUAL /AUTO)
- LS 4x2 Single Cab Chassis $31,690
- LS 4x2 Crew Cab Chassis $36,690
- LS 4x2 Crew Cab Pick-Up $38,190
- LT 4x2 Crew Cab Pick-Up $41,190
- LTZ 4x2 Crew Cab Pick-Up $44,690
- LS 4x4 Single Cab Chassis $37,490/ $39,690
- LS 4x4 Space Cab Chassis $43,190 
- LS 4x4 Crew Cab Chassis $43,490 /$45,690
- LS 4x4 Crew Cab Pick-Up $44,990/ $47,190
- LSX 4x4 Crew Cab Pick-Up $46,990 /$49,190
- LTZ 4x4 Space Cab Pick-Up $51,190
- LTZ 4x4 Crew Cab Pick-Up $50,490/ $52,690
- LTZ+ 4x4 Crew Cab Pick-Up $51,520/ $53,720
- Z71 4x4 Crew Cab Pick-Up $54,990/ $57,190