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Car reviews - Holden - Colorado - utility range

Launch Story

Holden logo12 Aug 2008

By GEORGIA OCONNELL

COLORADO is in and Rodeo is out as Holden redoubles its efforts in the booming light truck segment.

On sale now, the RC Colorado is essentially the previous RA Series II Rodeo built by Isuzu in Thailand, but with a redesigned nose and tail-lights.

The Colorado also offers a lower starting price – that varies from $1000 to $1500, depending on model – and more standard features, including air-conditioning, dual front airbags and greater availability of ABS brakes.

Model proliferation falls, from around 45 to 30 versions, compared to Rodeo, but other than that, there are the same Single, Space and Crew cab choices, in combinations with petrol or diesel and 4x2 rear-wheel drive or 4x4 four-wheel drive.

Every body panel forward of the A-pillar is new – the work of General Motors’ global styling team rather than just Holden’s – while the tail-lights feature new graphics to help set it apart from the previous Rodeo. There are also minor trim changes inside.

Finally, LT-R replaces LT as the range-topper, joining the base DX and mid-spec LX in the Colorado line-up. New LT-R features include Bluetooth capability and rear parking radar.

As before, there are three engine choices – two petrol units built by Holden (a 2.4-litre four-cylinder and a 3.6-litre V6), as well as the 3.0-litre diesel powerplant that debuted in the last Rodeo makeover in early 2007.

The latter is a 3.0-litre VCDi common-rail, intercooled and Euro IV emissions-compliant four-cylinder engine delivering 120kW of power at 3600rpm.

If you choose the five-speed manual diesel version, there is 360Nm of torque on tap at 1800rpm, or 333Nm at 1600rpm if the four-speed automatic transmission is preferred.

Diesel fuel consumption varies, from 7.9 litres per 100km for the Single Cab Chassis to 9.0L/100km.

Like Rodeo, in petrol Colorados there is the 3.6-litre Alloytec V6 producing 157kW at 5300rpm and 313Nm at 2800rpm, while the manual-only 2.4-litre single-cam four-cylinder unit delivers 92kW at 4800rpm and 207Nm at 3200rpm. There is no LPG option.

Fuel consumption for the V6 petrol varies from 12.5 to 13.7L/100km, while the 2.4L achieves 11.8L/100km.

In diesel-powered Colorado 4x4s, the maximum braked towing capacity is 3000kg – it was 2500kg for the old manual model and only 2000kg for the old auto.

For the rear-driven 4x2 diesel models, as well as all V6 Colorados regardless of their drivetrain layout, the braked towing capacity is rated at 2500kg. The 2.4-litre petrol version can haul 2000kg.

Underneath lies the same box-section in chassis construction as before, which provides strong torsional rigidity.

Since the Rodeo gained an interior revamp with its 2007 facelift, much of the Colorado’s cabin has been left alone.

To jog memories, there were redesigned seats, a new-look steering wheel and instrumentation graphics, revised trim, altered HVAC heater/ventilation and air-conditioning controls, and restyled transmission levers.

According to Holden, all 4x4 models come with a strengthened heavy-duty driveline, a two-speed transfer case to improve off-road ability, and push-button ‘on-the-fly’ low/high range capability.

Brakes are ventilated discs up front (256mm in 2.4 and diesel 4x2 280mm in all 4x4 and V6 models) and drums out back - 254mm for 2.4 and diesel 4x2, and 295mm in all 4x4 and V6 trucks).

Along with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), ABS brakes are standard on the LT-R model and all LX 4x4s. Models without ABS make do with a load-sensing proportioning valve.

Other LT-R features include a sports bar, soft tonneau cover, side steps and “sports” interior trim.

This model, in 4x4 guise, is the Colorado that Holden will focus most heavily on, as it tries to muscle in on more Toyota HiLux and Nissan D40 Navara territory.

Holden says it had no choice in losing the Rodeo name, but hopes Colorado will eventually achieve the same level of brand recognition. To that end, it is launching the rebranded vehicle under the slogan: “New Name For Tough.”

“A change in General Motors’ relationship with Isuzu led to a nameplate change to Colorado,” said Holden’s Philip Brook.

One of the longest-running brands in its class, the Rodeo nameplate arrived on the Isuzu KB-series truck in 1980 and is Holden’s third-best-selling nameplate behind Commodore and Astra, with around 175,000 sold in Australia.

The RC Colorado might be a new-look truck with a new name, but as its underpinnings are those of the 2003-vintage RA Rodeo, it is older than the Mitsubishi Triton, Toyota HiLux and Nissan D40 Navara.

All Colorado trucks are manufactured at GM’s Rayong plant in Thailand.

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