The last time we checked in with our 2017 Holden Colorado Z71, it was getting kitted-out for off-road adventures. Now, we didn’t go all-out throwing the full ARB catalogue at it just yet – but as I’m sure you’ll agree, it does look the part.
So, it can talk the talk, but now it’s time to put its extra kit into practice off the beaten track.
After a reasonably pleasant 90 minutes southbound on the Princes Highway, we arrive at the dusty fire trails which lead to the disused Anglesea power station. Our playground has trails of varying difficulty, and being early on in our tenure with the car, we opt to keep to the easier trails this time around.
The tyres we had fitted to the car have a more serious off-road pattern, as you can see in the photos, however they are still very much more geared toward road use.
Traction in the Colorado is fine in the dry, however once the weather turns, mud will easily build up in the tread gaps and traction will suffer as a result. Next addition to the car then, is a set of wider, more hardcore off-road rubber.
There’s just under 200mm of ground clearance to the bash plate which is enough for most dirt mounds, but there’s a chance that you’ll bottom out on more rutted tracks – as always it’s best to check especially in the case of water crossings.
The Colorado Z71 uses a switchable drivetrain system which can be changed between rear-wheel drive, four-wheel drive high and four-wheel drive low. There’s no differential lock so you must make the most of low range gearbox when on tricky surfaces and hills. But, it does come with a limited-slip differential and we have found this works quite well, but not as well as a traditional rear differential lock.
Driving down hills is aided by hill descent control and once on the move, the car automatically descends at speeds between 4 and 30km/h. Although you’re able to override and modulate using the pedals.
The Colorado doesn’t ride as plush as some other dual-cab utes on the market. It’s a little jittery over gravel and bigger rocks. On the plus side, the stiffer ride helps body roll as you skirt around a corner and shoot out the other side.
The 2.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder of the Colorado is one of the hallmark aspects of the facelifted model and produces 147kW and 500Nm of torque from as low as 2000rpm.
Pressing your foot deep into the carpet results in a jolt, and then the Colorado just hooks up and pulls you towards the horizon. Pedalling a 2143kg vehicle is no small order, but the way the torque is delivered, you wouldn’t know there’s over two tonnes of metal surrounding you – and it’s a lot of fun for bashing around the bush.
Realistically, we’ve barely scratched the surface of the Colorado’s off-road ability, and we’re only too keen to keep exploring its mud and dirt capabilities. Rest assured we’ll provide another update soon and will let you know how we go after we’ve fitted some more off-road capable tyres.
Click the Photos tab above for more images by Tom Fraser.
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