Car reviews - Holden - Rodeo - diesel utility range
Power, torque, relative quietness, towing capacity, no-nonsense cabin
Room for improvement
Styling changes make for a less pretty face, shape now dated alongside newer rivals
9 Mar 2007
EAR, ear – it’s time to toast the best thing about the latest Holden Rodeo diesel.
Gone is the almost deafening cacophony of the previous 3.0-litre turbo-diesel – a Rodeo mainstay for the best part of a decade – for a completely revamped version that is thankfully much quieter – as well as smoother, more powerful and less thirsty in manual guise – than before.
So while you won’t mistake the busy (but not annoying) diesel drone of the new VCDi engine for the similarly-sized unit you’ll find in premium luxury vehicles like the BMW X5 3.0d, you will appreciate the new Rodeo diesel’s hugely capable power and torque characteristics, that – at 3000kg – now help it achieve equal class-leading towing capacity in 4x4 versions.
In fact, the latter’s off-road prowess was effectively demonstrated to us at Holden’s Lang Lang Proving Ground, where the 4WD Rodeo that we sampled breezed through breathtakingly steep terrain, deep pools or water and a difficult sand track.
On the road the Rodeo diesel didn’t feel too bad either, although we cannot accurately comment on whether it approaches – let alone beats – the well-executed Nissan D40 Navara on this front.
The new nose treatment makes the truck look a little startled facially, when the outgoing model had a handsome generic General Motors look about it, but the interior changes all seem to add up to a pleasant and comfortable workplace environment.
In this regard, the Rodeo perhaps cannot match the latest big-cabin look of the Navara, Toyota Hi-Lux and Mitsubishi Triton, but it seems ahead of the Mazda BT-50/Ford Ranger interiors for space, if not presentation.
All in all, as a workhorse, the Rodeo facelift has ably addressed its RA turbo-diesel predecessor’s weakest link.
If you’re upgrading from old to new, its relative quietness, effortlessly punchy demeanour and handy braked towing capacity upgrade will be music to your ears.
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