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The Holden Colorado ute and its Colorado 7 seven-seat off-roader sibling are in line for some very substantial mid-life updates for the 2017 model year, to arrive in Australia later this year.

We’re already beginning to see spy images and renderings of both Thai versions, but one thing you can expect from the Holden iterations are less garish, market-specific frontal designs.

But it’s what’s under the skin that will count. According to a very senior Holden source who we talked with this week, the company will “fix” everything that’s acknowledged internally as being not up-to-scratch with the current Colorado ute, and Colorado 7 SUV.

Pictured: a doctored image of the Thai-market MY17 Colorado 7, using the below spy photo of the ute for inspiration. Source MZ Crazy Cars

This current Colorado finished dead last in our 4×4 ute megatest, though strong factory-backed pricing campaigns are seeing Colorado sales tick along well enough — generally fourth behind the Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger and Mitsubishi Triton.

Meantime, the Colorado 7 is well-priced, but lags behind the sales figures of the related Isuzu MU-X, as well as new-to-segment offerings such as the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, Ford Everest and Toyota Fortuner.

The MY17 changes to the Colorado and Colorado 7 are understood to have been honed at Holden’s Lang Lang Proving Ground in Victoria, where it tunes the suspension and steering on many domestic (Commodore) and global vehicles alike.

2017_holden_colorado_2017-chevrolet-s10_spy-photoPictured: Overseas-market MY17 Colorado spied, source BFMS

We understand the new Colorados’ suspension and steering systems have been thoroughly overhauled to offer greater comfort. Significant strides have also been made in the areas of noise, vibration and harshness, we’re told.

Meanwhile, the 2.8-litre VM Motori turbo-diesel engine will continue, with few changes to its 147kW/500Nm (the latter being class-leading) outputs and 3.5-tonne towing capacity, or its six-speed manual and auto gearbox options.

That said, we do expect some calibration changes to occur, particularly to the throttle response. You might also see some changes to the torque delivery, for more urgency lower in the rev band. We aren’t 100 per cent on that one.

2016_holden_spark_05_carplayPictured: Apple CarPlay system on Barina Spark. 

Inside the cabin, you can expect to see some big changes, notably the fitment of a new touchscreen interface (probably 7.0-inches) with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration — something not presently available in the ute market, and in the SUV market only offered on the Pajero Sport.

Holden might also be planning to improve the interior design in terms of the quality of materials used, but this isn’t totally clear yet.

All told, it appears that GM is highly aware that the Colorado and its 7 offshoot have some shortcomings against the class leaders, and it appears Holden has been given free reign to make a lot of tweaks. Expect to see big improvements to both. Stay tuned.

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