Car Review: 2013Holden Colorado LX Crew Cab trayback.

“You’re big, bold and tough….” Was part of the theme song to Aunty Jack, a quintessentially Aussie TV show in the 1970s. These words are appropriate to the new Thailand built Holden Colorado LX 2.8L diesel manual 4×4 crewcab. Yes it’s a mouthful, but it’s apt given the kind of vehicle it is.
Common DNA is shared with the Isuzu D-Max, which used to be the Rodeo before….well, it got messy. Under the skin, the vehicles are identical and even some panels (check out the rear doors on the crew cab) are familiar. It’s an imposing unit, with a broadshouldered look and stance. Behind the Chevrolet nose beats its diesel heart, all 2.8L of it.

It’s been programmed to push out 440 or 470 Newton metres at 2000rpm, the seeming discrepancy depending if you go the manual five cogger or six speed self shifter while peak power is 132 kW. This all adds up to a 3.5 tonne towing allowance. Being a diesel, it runs out of puff after 3500rpm, meaning acceleration is less than stellar; but it’s not meant to be a rocketship.

Our test vehicle was fitted with a number of accessories, including an alloy tray and ladder racks, with the chassis design allowing a flexible range of rears to be fitted for whichever use the driver needs.
It’s a comfortable workspace inside, with cloth seats, easy to read instrumentation (with a sportscar flick of the needles on ignition) with the indicator stalk housing a menu button for the multifunction display.

The dash itself shows the engineering thought behind the design flexibility, easily swapping from right to left hand drive; however a centrally mounted storage cover, in a dark metallic grey contrasting with the rippled dash surround, feels flimsy and out of sync with the rest. Rear leg room is adequate but not great, while the rear seat is fitted with the forthcoming Isofix child seat mounting system. The radio display is an old style dot matrix look, which some have commented looks out of place, whereas my preference is for good sound, which there certainly was.
On the road, it’s a typical 4wd feel with high sidewall tyres, tight suspension and leaf springs at the rear combining to give a compliant yet sometimes jittery ride. On marble gravel, grip isn’t great with the standard road/trail tyres while dropping into low range 4wd does give the Colorado driver a smile on the tough stuff. It’s a big turning circle, especially if trying to do while 4wd is engaged, with that done via a centre console mounted dial.

As is common nowadays, 2wd to 4wd high range can be done on the fly whilst low range requires the vehicle to be stopped as the transfer case engages.
The powerplant is chattery and noticeable from start to finish, more so than some of its competitors, but not to the point where it’s completely intrusive. For suburban driving, it was easier to leave it in fourth as the gearing had it at around 2000rpm, adding a bit more flexibility rather than trying to deal with off-boost in fifth.
This particular vehicle is a fine crossover between family and work; there’s plenty of safety with six airbags (including side curtains), traction control, five seats (including Isofix) and the tray flexibility, it stacks up well against the competition, such as Toyota’s Hi-Lux and the Ford Ranger/Mazda BT-50 twins and priced from $42990 plus on-roads, it won’t break the bank.

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