6 / 10
The Holden Colorado has been updated with an uprated engine and transmission line-up as well as improved safety and infotainment systems to better take on its fierce competition.
The updates arrive just 18 months after the ute was launched in latest-generation form, but disappointed to the extent that it finished at the back of the pack in CarAdvice’s dual-cab ute Megatest.
The MY14 Holden Colorado isn’t a remedy for key issues that included poor ride and handling, below-average interior quality, and disappointing refinement in a time when its competition has well and truly moved on.
The redesigned 2.8-litre turbo diesel engine is coupled to either a remapped six-speed automatic gearbox or a six-speed manual (which replaces a five-speed). In the manual’s case, power has lifted 132kW to 147kW while torque remains the same (though the availability of the torque across the rev range has been heavily modified for better towing).
The automatic gets the additional power and sees torque rise from 470Nm to 500Nm.
The improved power and torque figures for the automatic make the Holden Colorado ute unbeatable for grunt in the four-cylinder segment, while also putting ahead of the five-cylinder versions of the Ranger and BT-50 (though the Nissan Navara STX remains the most powerful ute with its six-cylinder). The 3500kg towing capacity is unchanged as equal best in class and remains a big selling point for the Holden.
The previous model’s automatic transmission spent a lot of time hunting gears below 60km/h, but the new revamped system with the additional power and torque tends to play it better – finding the right gear more often, with power delivery massively improved as a result.
The Ford Ranger and Mazda BT-50 twins and the Volkswagen Amarok have taken a more car-like approach when it comes to providing driving comfort and general handling, but the Colorado remains a generation behind despite being newer.
Compared with its competition, ride comfort is mediocre at best. As is steering and handling. As part of our review Holden put us through a drive program that consisted primarily of highways and a large bumpy off-road component that showed the Colorado’s poor suspension calibration.
So if you’re looking for a refined city-friendly ute that still has off-roading ability, the Colorado isn’t it. While it can easily climb hills and conquer mountains, where it’s likely to spend the majority of its time – suburbia – it leans into bends and bounces around far more than it should.
MyLink is a welcome addition, though. During our extended drive program along Victorian highways, we got to accustom ourselves with the new infotainment system that is now standard across the Colorado range (except for the absolute base model Colorado DX).
Like all new cars launched by Holden, the Colorado gets MyLink as part of General Motor’s commitment to improving in-car technology.
So far as in-car systems go, MyLink is pretty damn good. The seven-inch touch screen is bright, crisp and the ability to connect to your smartphone for music and navigation is brilliant. It also allows for a reversing camera to be fitted for just $360 (standard on the top spec).
There are bugs, of course. For example the BringGo navigation system (which has to be purchased on your iPhone or Android device for about $60) cuts the music entirely (with a two second pause on each end of the spoken instruction) to give the next command. This is extremely annoying and simply unnecessary as most other systems simply drop the music volume by about three decibels while the navigation is speaking.
Then there’s the constant “Connection lost” to your iPhone error that shows up midway through Pandora, the music streaming service (which won’t work with MyLink if you don’t have the Pandora app already up and running on your iPhone).
The satellite navigation itself isn’t exactly brilliant. The spoken instructions are at times difficult to understand as words are spoken with unnatural tones and spacing. The three physical buttons below the screen are also overly sensitive and poorly positioned and on many occasions we found ourselves accidently pressing them when trying to use the touchscreen.
But despite its shortcomings, MyLink is still the best-in-class infotainment system (which reveals just how far behind the rest are). It just happens that when you begin to include apps and make your smartphone the driver of information, things are bound to get a little buggy.
The Bluetooth audio and telephone connectivity work well and cabin noise has been improved so you can actually hold a conversation using the in-built microphone.
MyLink lifts the cabin’s appearance a bit, but the Colorado’s interior remains a weak area. The cheap grey plastics and the overall fit and finish are not up to standards increasingly being seen in the ute segment.
On the safety front, there are now front seat side airbags for all models except those with a rear bench seat. Rear parking sensors have also become standard kit for all variants while a vinyl floor has been fitted to LX single and crew cabs.
Pricing for the Holden Colorado has remained unchanged except for a $200 price hike on automatic models.
The improvements to the 2014 Holden Colorado have gone a long way to fix some of the initial drivetrain issues but you’ll need more than one hand to count the number of utes we’d recommend ahead of it.
Read: Ute Comparison Review
2014 Holden Colorado Pricing:
4×2 SINGLE CAB RRP
4×2 CREW CAB
4×4 SINGLE CAB
4×4 SPACE CAB
4×4 CREW CAB