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Driven: Holden ups the ante with refreshed Colorado
Colorado gets safety, tech and mechanical improvements in 2014 Holden update
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22 Oct 2013
HOLDEN has launched a gutsier Colorado diesel utility and SUV range featuring a raft of equipment and technology upgrades to help it better compete in Australia’s super-competitive light commercial vehicle (LCV) market.
A heavily revised 2.8-litre Duramax 2 turbo-diesel engine boosts power from 130kW to 147kW in both manual and automatic guise, matching the most powerful ute in the class, the Australian-engineered, Thai-built Ford Ranger.
The updated diesel pushes torque up in automatic variants from 470Nm to 500Nm, beating the Ranger’s torque figure of 470Nm but it can't quite beat the 550Nm figure of the 3.0-litre V6 Nissan Navara ST-X ute.
In six-speed manual guise, the Colorado’s power lifts from 132kW to 147kW, and while torque remains at 440Nm, it is now spread from 1600rpm to 2800rpm, which Holden says is ideal for towing.
Holden has not altered the pricing for manual variants in the Colorado utility range, but automatics are up by $200 each.
Interestingly, Holden has ditched the range-opening 4x2 DX single cab that was the only variant in the range powered by a 2.5-litre turbo-diesel engine, meaning the entire Colorado line-up is now powered by the same 2.8-litre turbo-diesel unit.
Holden said the DX 4x2 sold in small numbers to primary producers, and it highlighted the availability of the DX 4x4.
Entry into the Colorado ute range now starts from $27,990 plus on-road costs for the 4x2 LX manual single cab and $30,190 for the six-speed automatic.
The Colorado remains more expensive than a number of its base diesel manual rivals, with the Ranger starting from $23,740 in plus on-roads for the XL single cab and the Mazda BT-50 from $25,570, while the aging Mitsubishi Triton GLX single cab and Nissan Navara DX start from $25,490 and $24,190 respectively.
Holden has not applied the same $200 price increase to the auto-only Colorado 7 SUV range, maintaining its launch price of $46,990 plus on-roads for the base LT, while the top-spec LTZ starts from $50,490.
The big SUV receives the same boost in power and torque as its utility twin.
As well as the updated diesel unit, Holden has made a number of other mechanical changes to the Colorado range, starting with the transmissions.
The six-speed auto in the Colorado is carried over, although Holden says it has enhanced it for the 2014 model, while the outdated five-speed manual gearbox is replaced by a new six-speed unit across the range.
Despite the boost in power and torque, a number of variants have maintained the same fuel economy figures as before, while others have improved slightly.
Previously, the most efficient variant was the manual 4x2 LX dual cab with fuel economy of 7.8 litres per 100 kilometres, and this is now down to 7.6L/100km.
The thirstiest variant was the 4x4 LTZ auto crew cab with 9.3L/100km, which has now dropped to 9.1L/100km.
The Colorado 7 benefits from the improved powertrain with a fuel figure of 9.2L/100km, down from 9.4L/100km.
A number of other mechanical upgrades are included in the 2014 Colorado, including a new chassis control system that features trailer sway control that activates the brakes and reduces torque upon detecting instability.
The utility range now features hill-start assist and a variable speed hill descent control system that were both previously only available on Colorado 7.
Holden has boosted the safety credentials of the range further with the inclusion of front side impact airbags as standard on all LX, LT and LTZ Colorado ute and Colorado 7 variants, while rear parking sensors and a reversing camera are now standard on all SUV variants and the LTZ utility.
The camera is an option on other variants, except base DX, for a $360 premium.
Colorado 7 and Crew Cab ute variants keep their five-star ANCAP crash safety rating, while single and space cab variants remain on four stars.
In keeping with other Holden models launched this year – including VF Commodore, Malibu, Trax and updated Cruze – Holden has included its MyLink infotainment system with a seven-inch touch screen as standard on all SUV and ute variants, besides the DX.
As well as Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, MyLink provides access to a number of apps including Pandora TuneIn and Stitcher radio apps as well as the BringGo 3D map app and the Siri Eyes Free Mode for iPhone users.
Holden has maintained the Colorado ute's segment-leading 3.5 tonne towing capacity and one-tonne payload, while the Colorado 7 can happily pull three tonnes.
Standard gear across the utility range includes air-conditioning (LTZ gets climate control), auxiliary plug and USB port, power windows and Bluetooth.
Holden is offering the ute in a new Orange Rock body colour.
Updates have also been made to some of the accessories available for Colorado, including an improved steel bullbar that better deflects animals on the road and a five-star ANCAP safety rated alloy SuperBar that was designed, tested and built in Australia.
The Colorado ute went on sale locally in June last year, several months after it was scheduled to launch, but was delayed due to severe flooding in Thailand where it is built. The seven-seat Colorado 7 SUV launched a few months later in November 2012.
Holden executive director of vehicle sales, service and marketing Philip Brook said the updates to the Colorado range would ensure it remained one of the most popular light commercial vehicle ranges in Australia.
“We’ve put a lot of time and effort in ensuring we delivered a real contender and seriouscompetitor in the LCV and SUV market,” he said.
“The latest Colorado range ensures this tough vehicle continues to stack up against the rest and offers consumers a serious 4WD, with the latest technology, that’s a workhorse, a family vehicle or is just as at home on Australia’s most rugged terrain.”
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