2018 Holden Colorado LTZ Road Test

Holden Colorado LTZ 4WD Ute Review

2018 Colorado LTZ It may come as a surprise to some readers that the Colorado LTZ sits in one of the most competitive and exciting (yes exciting) market segments is the Ute market in Australia. Since 2011 when there was a major shakeup with four new entrants with total redesigns the segment has been growing and trending towards more up market offerings while not losing sight of its work base.

The Dual cab Ute has been described as the ‘Swiss Army Knife ’of the car market. No other vehicle has as many diverse and contradicting demands on them. They are often asked to tow heavy trailers, carry huge payloads, all while transporting its occupants in relative comfort and increasing sophistication.

Into a very competitive market segment that has undergone radical change over the last 6 years, started by Holden itself, Holden released its revamped 2017 MY Colorado. One of the big four Utes the Colorado revitalised the market some 6 years ago with its launch. It redefined levels of power, torque, ride comfort and towing capacity.

The MY 17 Colorado has taken these features and taken them to a new level again. Some of the revamped features are subtle, such as the new grill, LED headlamps etc. some are more obvious like the new Apple and Android play systems. Some revisions you can’t see like the numerous engineering improvements, but you can certainly feel them. In addition to these improvements Holden has an almost complete range of Original Equipment accessories that has advantages over after market fittings.

Launched early August the MY17 Colorado is a substantial improvement over an already impressive product. The design and engineering development is like a jigsaw puzzle. There are a myriad of little things that have been improved that all add up to the smoother quieter ride and improved handling.

2018 Colorado LTZ

Colorado LTZ Exterior

Let’s start at the outside and ignore the obvious marketing over sell like “The redesigned Colorado adopts a global design language that communicates power, strength and prestige. Sculptural artistry and precision are emphasised by a distinctive, sporty front fascia, combined with an extended slim line grille and more muscular bonnet that give the vehicle a tough, strong stance…”

I really wish I could write like that!!!! However one thing is for sure the redesign is a more stylish and robust design. It has a more truck like appearance that strangely is at odds with improved sophistication. I especially liked the new grill and Halogen headlights and daytime running lights. A clever and practical touch that simply combines form and function. Other features include heated external mirrors, side steps, LED tail lamps, front fog lights, 18 inch alloys running 265/60 R18 110T HT tyres,

The other thing that impresses are the additions to the already long list of existing original accessories that includes: Bull bars, Safari Bar, Bash Plates, Extended Rail Sports Bars, Steel Rear Step, Tubular steel Side Steps, LED driving lights, Fender Flares, Nudge Bar, Snorkel, 18in Wheels and all terrain tyres.

These look the goods and on the surface mean that buyers can option up their Ute with Holden accessories and benefit from the full manufacturer warranty and not feel they have an inferior product. Big tick there. I hope they extend to suspension upgrades in the future as well.

Colorado LTZ Interior

Inside the story just gets better. There is a definite feeling of higher level of passenger comfort. The soft touch dash, door trims, seats etc. all have improved materials and the interior feels more integrated.

The seats are relatively comfortable. Our test vehicle had fabric seats, but I would DEFINITELY opt for the leather heated seat package more for the benefits and ease of cleaning of the leather than anything else. The driver’s seat is electronically adjustable for slide and squab tilt but no lumbar support.  They are also a little flat in the seat squab, meaning that on long trips they can lead to a numb bum syndrome.

2018 Colorado LTZ

The leather steering wheel is comfortable in the hands, with thick spokes housing the usual controls for audio and cruise control. The indicator and wiper stalks are visible above the steering wheel spokes which is a good thing. Unfortunately the steering wheel is height adjustable only which means that taller drivers with long legs will be reaching for the wheel

The dash is clear and easy to read, providing pretty much all the information the driver needs with the MFD. The electro chromatic rear view mirror provides excellent rear vision along with large external rear view mirrors. They can be adjusted to the perfect angle, which is important as there is no blind spot indicator. Some good features however include the automatic headlights and wipers.

The centre stack houses the new Holden MyLink infotainment system equipped with Apple CarPlay® and Android® Auto connectivity… delivered through a colour touchscreen housed in the vehicle’s centre stack. When coupled with Digital (DAB+) radio, embedded satellite navigation and voice recognition. It is actually pretty good to use and simple and the touch screen is quite responsive. Above the centre screen is a little ridge under the dash, which has a sharp edge on it that can be intrusive. Take note Mitsubishi, Holden provides satellite navigation additionally to the smart phone system, so drivers that venture far from reception can still determine where they are!

Below the Sat Nav system is the usual array of buttons for AC and stereo etc. The safety feature buttons are further down as well as the controls for the heated front seats.

Storage is a little limited with a small centre console, smallish glove box and room for small bottles only in the door pockets. One thing I don’t like is that Holden has removed the slide out cup/bottle holders below the side A/C vents. They along with Isuzu created that design and it was simple but brilliant, yet they have done away with them. Other features include rain sensing wipers, remote vehicle start as a party trick, electronic climate air conditioning,

The rear bench is likewise comfortable but also a little flat in the squab and isn’t as comfortable over long distances as some other Utes. Rear seat room is limited but there is plenty of head room. There isn’t really much more to say about the rear section.

2018 Colorado LTZ

Colorado LTZ Engine and Drivetrain

The Colorado is powered by the 2.8L Duramax Turbo Diesel Engine type 4-cylinder Capacity. This drives through either a six speed Auto or Manual transmission. Maximum power (kW) is 147 @ 3600rpm and maximum torque (Nm) 440 @ 1600-2800rpm for the manual and 500Nm @ 2,000-2,200rpm for the automatic.

One big criticism in the past of the Colorado was that while it had the headline 500Nm of torque it didn’t translate well to everyday driving. In late 2014 I think Holden changed the transmission calibration to extract more of the available power. It helped but still wasn’t enough? This time the engineers have, through the compiling of the jigsaw pieces, finally allowed Colorado to extract what seems like the full torque. It drives like it should now and tows much better.

2018 Colorado LTZ

The Colorado has shift on the fly 4WD system and with the rear LSD unfortunately misses out on a rear diff lock. Taking the Colorado on 4WD tracks is a breeze. It has plenty of control on your right foot, easily adapts to specific conditions and plenty of grunt when needed. It will tow 3500Kg with a 350Kg tow ball rating and with the trailer sway control, tows easily and safely. Holden has a great payload calculator on its website. You really should check it out. They have been excellent in educating the drivers about the variances in what can be towed and carried etc.

Holden engineers have also introduced something quite clever called the Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber (CPA) torque converter. This basically in simple English counteracts and smooths torsional vibrations in the driveline normally felt in the cabin. Combine this with: Balance shaft relocation, Engine acoustic pack including – Injector Insulator – Metal timing cover – Oil pan insulator and the Wind noise package, all new engine mounts, all new chassis tune and you feel the quietness inside while idling and driving.

In comparison to competitors it now rivals the VW Amarok on road for ride and handling and probably surpasses it for quietness. Off road it rides as good as any of its competitors. Another big tick here!

Colorado LTZ Safety

As you would expect the new Colorado has a 5 star ANCAP safety rating with additional active and passive safety features ensuring Colorado is not only one of the most high-tech vehicles in Australia, but also one of the safest.

For slow speed reversing manoeuvres, a rear-view camera is available as standard across the range. Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning accompany Front and Rear Park Assist and Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, Traction Control System (TCS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Descent Control System (DCS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Hill Start Assist, Trailer Sway Control (TSC) and Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) combine to provide a comprehensive active safety package. However inexplicably it doesn’t have blind spot monitors?

An upgrade in passive safety features includes key structural improvements in addition to a new driver’s knee airbag, which takes Colorado’s total airbag count to seven.

Summary

I have always been a fan of the Colorado, it is a robust and solid 4WD Ute with excellent safety credentials. Despite some glaring deficiencies like no lumbar support, no blind spot monitors, no rear diff lock and no air conditioned seats it currently is the best overall offering on the market. However this is an extremely fast moving and competitive market segment, with competitors already surpassing the Colorado with some features that the buying public are looking for.

2018 Colorado LTZ

What’s Good?

  • Stylish looks
  • Powerful engine
  • Towing and 4WD capability

 What’s Not So Good?

  • No lumbar support for driver
  • No rear diff lock
  • No steering wheel reach adjustment

Model: 2017 Holden Colorado Z71

Model Price:      $62,077 RDAP

Engine:               2.8L 4 Cyl TDi

Drivetrain: 4WD 6 Sp AT

Power:  147 kW @ 3,600 rpm

Torque: 500 Nm @ 2,000 rpm

Safety:  5 Star ANCAP

CO2 Emissions: 228 g/km

Economy: 8.6 L/100km (ADR comb)

Tow Capacity: Max 35000 kg

Tow Ball Rating: 350 kg

Servicing: Lifetime Capped Price service

Warranty: 3yr/ 100,000 km with 1yr roadside assist

Overall OzRoamer Rating     88/100

Behind the Wheel 8

Comfort 8

Equipment 8

Performance 9

Ride & Handling 8

Practicality 9

Fit for Purpose 10

Towing Ability   10

Off Road Ability 10

Value for Money 8

  • 2018 Holden Colorado LTZ 4WD Dual Cab Ute Review
4.5

Summary

I have always been a fan of the Colorado, it is a robust and solid 4WD Ute with excellent safety credentials. Despite some glaring deficiencies like no lumbar support, no blind spot monitors, no rear diff lock and no air conditioned seats it currently is the best overall offering on the market.

About Rob Fraser 757 Articles
Rob Fraser – General dogsbody & Director Rob is the founder of the business. He constantly mutters something about way too many red wines one evening being to blame. He first learned to drive on the farm in a left hand drive WW11 Jeep when he was 11, many years ago. He has maintained a strong interest in the industry ever since and was hooked on 4WDriving way back then. Having previously lived at the top of corporate life he retired in 2000 and hasn’t put a suit and tie on since. Cars are his passion so why not have a business doing what you love he figures. He has towed either a caravan or camper trailer to most parts of Australia, has run guided tours for camper trailers’ and instructed drivers in off road towing Often known for taking the 4WD in the driveway over the sports car, he has travelled pretty much everywhere in Australia and when he is bored goes for a drive.

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