It has been almost three years since Holden's Colorado received a major facelift and for MY20 Holden has given its old one-tonne ute another revamp. Is this minor upgrade enough to keep the Colorado relevant?

The changes are relatively minor; the LT is now special-order, and the LSX is now a mainstream model. The MY20 Colorado LTZ reviewed here has relatively few changes, for instance, it now has leather seats (heated at the front) and a spray-on tub-liner.

This is on top of a fairly comprehensive spec list, which includes 18-inch alloy wheels with full-size spare, MyLink infotainment system (that includes an eight-inch colour touchscreen and native sat nav) seven-speaker audio, remote vehicle start (via the keyfob) front park assist, forward collision alert with head-up warning, lane-departure warning, tyre-pressure monitoring, manual-levelling headlamps, heated and power-folding exterior mirrors, alloy sports bar and adjustable electric drivers seat.

What’s missing on the LTZ that some competitors offer at this price/spec level is autonomous emergency braking and keyless entry/start.

Does the 2020 Holden Colorado make for a viable towing proposition?

TORQUED UP

WORDS AND IMAGES PHILIP LORD

Tourer

REVIEW 2020 Holden Colorado LTZ

This episode is a ‘how to’ for all those Cruisemaster air suspension owners.

We look at setting the ride height on both ATX and XT Suspensions.

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SCROLL TO CONTINUE

What's it like on the inside?
The Colorado’s interior has plenty of room to move, with supportive front seats and a relatively flat and upright rear bench albeit one with plenty of head and legroom to spread out. The rear bench is tight on shoulder room if three adults are seated on it.

There are no unpleasant surprises from the controls and instruments, with everything you need easily found. The Colorado’s infotainment screen in the centre stack is also a simple unit to use.

While utes lag behind similarly-priced passenger cars for interior fit and finish, the Colorado LTZ’s cabin manages to feel upmarket enough with its lashings of leather and chrome highlights and seems well put together.

ABOVE Roomy and supportive seats upfront, but the back seat is a familiar ute story // BELOW Well-appointed and assembled according to our tester

“When towing on flat terrain, the Colorado has ample performance, but at 100km/h it feels unsettled, regularly shuffles between fifth and sixth gear”

Defect – Where the installation has not been carried out in accordance with the product manual,  using dedicated wiring from a single battery supply, there is potential at any time for no trailer brake output indicated by a flashing yellow/red warning lamp. 

Hazard – When towing, the braking distance of the tow vehicle and trailer may be increased and that could lead to a risk of a car accident.

What to do – Affected customers should contact REDARC Electronics by calling 1800 733 272 or 08 8322 4848, 8am‑5:30pm Mon-Fri (ACDST), or by email at service@redarc.com.au or visit the REDARC website -
www.redarc.com.au/recall‑notice.

If a consumer is affected, they should either go back to their installer to seek free repair or call REDARC Electronics Technical Support line to receive details on a dealer network to arrange a free repair.

If the Tow-Pro V2 electric trailer brake controller is not installed in a vehicle, the consumer should contact REDARC to arrange a free replacement.

Customers can also contact REDARC Electronics at
www.redarc.com.au/recall-notice and check, using the serial number checking tool, if their product is in the affected batch.

ABOVE Not the biggest or best tray on the market, but the liner is a boon for keeping the tray looking the goods

How practical is it?
The Colorado LTZ’s tray is one of the shortest and shallowest in the class at 1484mm long and 466mm high, but it’s 1534mm tray width is about average for a dual-cab ute. The new spray-on tub liner is something all utes should have as standard as no-one who actually uses a ute tub is going to avoid scratching a body-colour painted tub. The vinyl tonneau cover can be challenging to refit with its nylon C-clip tensioning system.

You can forgive its foibles once in the meat of the mid-range. The Colorado's 2.8-litre engine is very responsive around 2000-2500rpm, and once in this rev band you can get along quickly without working the engine hard — when unladen at least.

Modern automatic transmissions usually barely rate a mention these days for most of them have subtle gear shifts and a good spread of ratios. The Colorado’s six-speed auto is not one of them, for smoothness at least. Changes are obvious most of the time, and there’s even the occasional thump as ratios are swapped.

When unladen and with mostly easy 100km/h cruising, the Colorado achieved 8.1L/100km. When towing a 1300kg camper, fuel consumption was 12.5L/100km. These are pretty good figures for a two tonne-plus ute.

What's under the bonnet?
The Duramax 2.8-litre turbo-diesel is not the smoothest engine in the shed, and neither is it particularly quiet. Where many modern turbo-diesels have reduced turbo lag to a short hesitation, the Colorado’s engine is old-school in that not much happens below 1500rpm. While you can learn to drive around the lag, it feels like an eternity if you’re hoping to lunge for a gap in the traffic. You soon learn not to. Revving the 2.8-litre much past 3000rpm is a waste of time as it just ends up sounding noisy and harsh. This feels more than most competitors like an old-school diesel; there’s not a lot of refinement happening here.

What's the ride and handling like?
Even though you don’t buy a ute for its handling, the Colorado is at the pointy end of the class for its dynamics. Steering is precise, it turns in well and holds its composure through the corners better than most utes. Ride quality isn’t bad either.

ABOVE Mixed performance when towing; not too much power but it's stable and that's important

The Colorado’s engine braking was great; it held speed on all but the steepest of descents without needing to touch the brakes.

The Colorado didn’t move around at all with the camper hooked up behind it, and we’ve found the Colorado stable in past tests with large, heavy caravans behind it. There’s no reason to think this latest 2020 version would be any different. Adding to towing peace of mind is Colorado’s standard trailer-sway control.

Like most dual-cab utes, don’t expect you can load up the Colorado to maximum GVM and tow 3500kg - with its 6000kg GCM, you can only tow 2850kg when the Colorado is at its maximum GVM of 3150kg.

What's it like to tow with?
With the 1300kg Cub camper hitched up, the Colorado performed well. However, even 500Nm of torque isn’t enough when it comes to climbing steep highway hills with a camper behind; the Colorado felt the weight and had to work hard to maintain speed with lots of clumsy gear shifts.

When towing on flat terrain, the Colorado has ample performance, but at 100km/h it feels unsettled, regularly shuffles between fifth and sixth gear. This highlights a Colorado trait that has not really changed since it first arrived in 2012; peak torque is delivered in a relatively narrow band, and it is hard to keep it in that sweet spot. Hence the gear shuffling.

So, what do we think?
The Colorado is a comfortable, well-equipped ute with good dynamics and is a stable, economical tow tug, but it is beginning to feel its age, especially in engine refinement. Its engine’s narrow torque band seems to result in it working harder than necessary when under loaded conditions too.

PROS
• Stable tow tug
• Good fuel economy
• Strong engine braking

CONS
• Narrow torque band
• Abrupt gearshifts
• Engine lacks refinement

SPECS
Model: 2020 Holden Colorado LTZ Crew Cab
Engine: 2.8-litre twin turbo-diesel
Power: 147kW @ 3600rpm
Torque: 500Nm @ 2000-2200 rpm
Gearbox: Six-speed auto
Kerb weight: 2121kg
GVM: 3100kg
Length: 5361mm
Towing capacity: 750kg/3500kg
GCM: 6000kg
Towball: 350kg
Price as tested: $52,690 (plus on-road costs)
More info: holden.com.au


WORDS AND IMAGES PHILIP LORD

REVIEW 2020 Holden Colorado LTZ

It has been almost three years since Holden's Colorado received a major facelift and for MY20 Holden has given its old one-tonne ute another revamp. Is this minor upgrade enough to keep the Colorado relevant?

The changes are relatively minor; the LT is now special-order, and the LSX is now a mainstream model. The MY20 Colorado LTZ reviewed here has relatively few changes, for instance, it now has leather seats (heated at the front) and a spray-on tub-liner.

This is on top of a fairly comprehensive spec list, which includes 18-inch alloy wheels with full-size spare, MyLink infotainment system (that includes an eight-inch colour touchscreen and native sat nav) seven-speaker audio, remote vehicle start (via the keyfob) front park assist, forward collision alert with head-up warning, lane-departure warning, tyre-pressure monitoring, manual-levelling headlamps, heated and power-folding exterior mirrors, alloy sports bar and adjustable electric drivers seat.

What’s missing on the LTZ that some competitors offer at this price/spec level is autonomous emergency braking and keyless entry/start.

TORQUED UP

Tourer

Does the 2020 Holden Colorado make for a viable towing proposition?

This episode is a ‘how to’ for all those Cruisemaster air suspension owners.

We look at setting the ride height on both ATX and XT Suspensions.

SCROLL TO CONTINUE
ADVERTISEMENT

What's it like on the inside?
The Colorado’s interior has plenty of room to move, with supportive front seats and a relatively flat and upright rear bench albeit one with plenty of head and legroom to spread out. The rear bench is tight on shoulder room if three adults are seated on it.

There are no unpleasant surprises from the controls and instruments, with everything you need easily found. The Colorado’s infotainment screen in the centre stack is also a simple unit to use.

While utes lag behind similarly-priced passenger cars for interior fit and finish, the Colorado LTZ’s cabin manages to feel upmarket enough with its lashings of leather and chrome highlights and seems well put together.

ABOVE Roomy and supportive seats upfront, but the back seat is a familiar ute story // BELOW Well-appointed and assembled according to our tester

“When towing on flat terrain, the Colorado has ample performance, but at 100km/h it feels unsettled, regularly shuffles between fifth and sixth gear”

Defect – Where the installation has not been carried out in accordance with the product manual, using dedicated wiring from a single battery supply, there is potential at any time for no trailer brake output indicated by a flashing yellow/red warning lamp.
Hazard – When towing, the braking distance of the tow vehicle and trailer may be increased and that could lead to a risk of a car accident.
What to do – Affected customers should contact REDARC Electronics by calling 1800 733 272 or 08 8322 4848, 8am‑5:30pm Mon-Fri (ACDST), or by email at service@redarc.com.au or visit the REDARC website -
www.redarc.com.au/recall‑notice.
If a consumer is affected, they should either go back to their installer to seek free repair or call REDARC Electronics Technical Support line to receive details on a dealer network to arrange a free repair.
If the Tow-Pro V2 electric trailer brake controller is not installed in a vehicle, the consumer should contact REDARC to arrange a free replacement.
Customers can also contact REDARC Electronics at www.redarc.com.au/recall-notice and check, using the serial number checking tool, if their product is in the affected batch.

ADVERTISEMENT
SCROLL TO CONTINUE

How practical is it?
The Colorado LTZ’s tray is one of the shortest and shallowest in the class at 1484mm long and 466mm high, but it’s 1534mm tray width is about average for a dual-cab ute. The new spray-on tub liner is something all utes should have as standard as no-one who actually uses a ute tub is going to avoid scratching a body-colour painted tub. The vinyl tonneau cover can be challenging to refit with its nylon C-clip tensioning system.

ABOVE Not the biggest or best tray on the market, but the liner is a boon for keeping the tray looking the goods

What's under the bonnet?
The Duramax 2.8-litre turbo-diesel is not the smoothest engine in the shed, and neither is it particularly quiet. Where many modern turbo-diesels have reduced turbo lag to a short hesitation, the Colorado’s engine is old-school in that not much happens below 1500rpm. While you can learn to drive around the lag, it feels like an eternity if you’re hoping to lunge for a gap in the traffic. You soon learn not to. Revving the 2.8-litre much past 3000rpm is a waste of time as it just ends up sounding noisy and harsh. This feels more than most competitors like an old-school diesel; there’s not a lot of refinement happening here.

You can forgive its foibles once in the meat of the mid-range. The Colorado's 2.8-litre engine is very responsive around 2000-2500rpm, and once in this rev band you can get along quickly without working the engine hard — when unladen at least.

Modern automatic transmissions usually barely rate a mention these days for most of them have subtle gear shifts and a good spread of ratios. The Colorado’s six-speed auto is not one of them, for smoothness at least. Changes are obvious most of the time, and there’s even the occasional thump as ratios are swapped.

When unladen and with mostly easy 100km/h cruising, the Colorado achieved 8.1L/100km. When towing a 1300kg camper, fuel consumption was 12.5L/100km. These are pretty good figures for a two tonne-plus ute.

What's the ride and handling like?
Even though you don’t buy a ute for its handling, the Colorado is at the pointy end of the class for its dynamics. Steering is precise, it turns in well and holds its composure through the corners better than most utes. Ride quality isn’t bad either.

What's it like to tow with?
With the 1300kg Cub camper hitched up, the Colorado performed well. However, even 500Nm of torque isn’t enough when it comes to climbing steep highway hills with a camper behind; the Colorado felt the weight and had to work hard to maintain speed with lots of clumsy gear shifts.

When towing on flat terrain, the Colorado has ample performance, but at 100km/h it feels unsettled, regularly shuffles between fifth and sixth gear. This highlights a Colorado trait that has not really changed since it first arrived in 2012; peak torque is delivered in a relatively narrow band, and it is hard to keep it in that sweet spot. Hence the gear shuffling.

The Colorado’s engine braking was great; it held speed on all but the steepest of descents without needing to touch the brakes.

The Colorado didn’t move around at all with the camper hooked up behind it, and we’ve found the Colorado stable in past tests with large, heavy caravans behind it. There’s no reason to think this latest 2020 version would be any different. Adding to towing peace of mind is Colorado’s standard trailer-sway control.

Like most dual-cab utes, don’t expect you can load up the Colorado to maximum GVM and tow 3500kg - with its 6000kg GCM, you can only tow 2850kg when the Colorado is at its maximum GVM of 3150kg.

ABOVE Mixed performance when towing; not too much power but it's stable and that's important

So, what do we think?
The Colorado is a comfortable, well-equipped ute with good dynamics and is a stable, economical tow tug, but it is beginning to feel its age, especially in engine refinement. Its engine’s narrow torque band seems to result in it working harder than necessary when under loaded conditions too.

PROS
• Stable tow tug
• Good fuel economy
• Strong engine braking

CONS
• Narrow torque band
• Abrupt gearshifts
• Engine lacks refinement

SPECS
Model: 2020 Holden Colorado LTZ Crew Cab
Engine: 2.8-litre twin turbo-diesel
Power: 147kW@ 3600rpm
Torque: 500Nm@ 2000-2200 rpm
Gearbox: Six-speed auto
Kerb weight: 2121kg
GVM: 3100kg
Length: 5361mm
Towing capacity: 750kg/3500kg
GCM: 6000kg
Towball: 350kg
Price as tested: $52,690 (plus on-road costs)
More info: holden.com.au


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