In many ways, the 2018 Holden Colorado LT is the forgotten child of the dual-cab 4WD segment – with Toyota’s HiLux and Ford’s Ranger getting all the headlines. Certainly, in sales terms anyway. It’s even harder to sit above the pack now too, with the Amarok, X-Class and a raft of others arguing the toss. Things in the dual-cab segment used to be so much simpler before everyone wanted a piece of it.
The Holden Colorado is, however, a genuine contender that presents as solid value for money, especially in LT guise as tested here. Added to those listed above, there’s also the Navara, BT-50 and D-Max dual-cabs of course all jostling for position in a segment that is now a serious battleground in Australia.
It’s not just a tough battleground either. It’s the heartland in 2018. With Holden and Ford no longer offering ‘Falcodore’ utes, it’s the dual-cab segment that is attracting so much attention and luring buyers who might otherwise have looked at the traditional Aussie four-door. These dual-cabs appeal to a broader range of buyers than ever before too, most serving double duty as default family transport at the higher end of the model-grade tree.
While there’s plenty of focus on the SR5 and Wildtrak level variants – or Z71 in Holden-speak – the value that can be had lower down the food chain is impressive and worthy of consideration. That’s true whichever dual-cab you’re looking at too. If you don’t have $55K to spend on a Z71 then, the LT we’re testing is a pretty solid all-rounder that shouldn’t break the bank.
Entry-level LS kicks the Colorado range off and then you step up to this LT. Pricing starts from $46,990 for the manual and $49,190 for the auto as tested here – both before on-road costs. As you can see, though, our tester has a fair whack of exterior options added to the standard offering.
They include: safari light bar ($2690), LED light bar ($1050), Colorado tailgate decal ($300), rubber tub mat ($360), tow bar and trailer brake controller ($1750), three-piece hard tonneau ($2650), black sports bar ($1320) and black 18-inch wheels ($1250).
That brings the starting price to $60,560 before on-road costs. Given many of these accessories are the same that plenty of buyers would usually fit right after purchase, that’s an indicative price for what it will cost you to get your Colorado looking this tough. It does look tough too, and plenty of people commented on the extras that had been added and what they did for the Colorado’s overall appearance during our time with it.
Powering the Colorado, there’s the Duramax 2.8-litre turbo-diesel we’re familiar with. It makes a very respectable 147kW at 3600rpm and 500Nm between 2000–2200rpm. The torque peak being available so low in the RPM range – the key to most diesel engines' effortless ability – makes driving the Colorado day to day feel really easy.
Like most good diesel engines, it just gets about its work with a minimum of fuss. There’s a 3500kg tow capacity and an ADR fuel-usage figure of 8.6L/100km. On test, we used 9.5L/100km over the course of a week.
While the engine can be a little noisy, it’s no noisier than what you’d expect for the segment and it’s well matched to the six-speed automatic gearbox. Shifts can be felt a little more at high-RPM loads, but when you’re trundling around town, it’s a smooth and fuss-free combination.
Inside, you get a 7.0-inch screen (not the 8.0-inch of the LTZ), but you do still get Holden’s MyLink smartphone connection that worked faultlessly for us on test. The proprietary satellite navigation also worked well for us, but if you choose to go with the Apple mapping system, as I did, either works a treat. The phone connection is excellent too, either via direct plug in or Bluetooth.
You also get a rear-view camera, rear parking sensors, a full suite of airbags, automatic headlights, and better than average audio quality from the infotainment system. Given these dual-cabs are used more and more for daily lifestyle driving, the increase in standard creature comforts is starting to get to the point it should have been at for some time. You don’t get forward collision alert, as you do in the LTZ, but that’s the only real gripe on the equipment front.
In short, I really enjoy the Colorado drive experience. None of the dual-cabs really stand out for excellent unladen ride quality, not even the coil-sprung Navara and X-Class, but the Colorado doesn’t skip about as much as some either. Engineers worked hard to sharpen up the steering response for this update, and you can really feel that change if you’ve tested the older model. It turns in sharper, but just feels more balanced and solid over the front end into a corner.
The throttle response is also excellent, and the interplay between engine and gearbox is enjoyable around town. The Colorado is efficient in the real world too, as evidenced by the sub-10L/100km fuel-use return. Evidence that the engine never has to work hard.
The Colorado can bounce around over really rough surfaces, but it's tied down better than it’s ever been before, and it feels solid, which is the crucial point. There are no rattles or wobbles from either the body or the cabin to make it feel cheap.
Combined with the improvements to the steering, the Colorado is a decent all-rounder and we know it can tow well and perform off-road too. While it’s not the segment leader, it isn’t a mile behind the standard-setters in the Ranger and Amarok.
As for whether you need the extras fitted to our tester, that’s up to your sense of style and off-road needs. If you live in the outer urban/rural areas, the extra lighting is invaluable, as is the bullbar. If you live in town, though, and you don’t head off-road too often, there’s some money to be saved there.
The Holden Colorado is covered by Holden's now standard five-year/unlimited km warranty and services are required every 15,000km. They cost just $349 each up to 60,000km, which is compelling value in this segment for a diesel engine. The Colorado has a full five-star ANCAP rating.
The Colorado continues to feel like a tough, well built, solid dual-cab. It does, in fact, feel like it’s put together better than some of the more expensive competition. While it’s not the best all-rounder in the segment, it’s still one we’d highly recommend you consider if you are buying a dual-cab. Even more so when there are solid deals and longer warranties to be had.