2020 Holden Colorado Review
Toby Hagon’s 2020 Holden Colorado Review With Price, Specs, Performance, Ride And Handling, Ownership, Safety, Verdict And Score.
In a nutshell: There’s no manual gearboxes on the 2WD Colorado any more, but elsewhere in the revamped MY20 Holden ute lineup there are more choices through accessories and black paint, all adding to the value of a solid workhorse.
2019 Holden Colorado LSX Specifications
Price $49,190+ORCs Warranty 5 years, unlimited km Service Intervals 12,000km or 9 months Safety 5-star ANCAP Engine 2.8-litre 4-cyl turbo-diesel Power 147kW at 3600rpm Torque 500Nm at 2000-2200rpm Transmission 6-speed auto Drive 4WD Dimensions 5361mm (L), 1872mm (W), 1800mm (H), 3096mm (WB) Ground Clearance 215mm Kerb Weight Angles 28.3 degrees (approach), 23.1 degrees (departure), 22.1 degrees (rampover) Towing 3500kg Towball Download 350kg GVM 3150kg GCM 6000kg Boot Space NA Spare Full-size Fuel Tank 76L Thirst 8.7L/100km claimed combined
A new grille is the most obvious visual differentiator for the updated Holden Colorado MY20 (model year 2020), which now comes with a broader model range but no manual gearboxes for two-wheel drive variants. There’s a revised lineup, as well as a broad range of features designed to up the value of an honest and capable workhorse.
What’s in the range and how much does it cost?
A rejig of the model range is the biggest change to the MY20 Holden Colorado. And it all starts at the bottom end, where manual gearboxes have been dropped. The Colorado has become the first workhorse ute to be offered without a manual option on the two-wheel drive models (manuals continue with 4×4 models).
That also means the price of entry has risen to account for the six-speed manual as standard on those 4×2 models. Speaking of which, pricing kicks off with the base LS (from $31,690 as a 4×2 and $43,490 as a 4×4) and two-wheel-drive-only LT ($41,490) moving up to the LTZ (from $44,690 as a 4×2 and $51,190 as a 4×4) and Z71 ($54,990 in 4×4 only), although some variants have been discontinued, such as the LT 4×4.
And the LSX that sprang up as a limited-edition model in 2018 has returned as a permanent fixture, priced from $46,190 as a manual and $2200 more for the auto. The LSX provides some of the tough exterior elements – wheel arch flares, dark 18-inch alloy wheels, extended black sports bar and “Colorado” splashed across the tailgate – but with most of the interior equipment fitted to the base model LS, right down to the vinyl floors in lieu of carpet. The only extra inside is digital radio as part of the 7.0-inch touchscreen that incorporates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Those wanting more can choose the LTZ, which brings things such as carpet and front parking sensors as well as an 8.0-inch touchscreen that incorporates satellite-navigation. It also gets forward collision warning (although no auto braking) and lane departure warning.
An LTZ+ adds a towbar, which sneaks the payload in under 1000kg, in turn making it more attractive for those hoping to take out a novated lease. The top of the Colorado pile is still the Z71, from $54,990 or $57,190 with the six-speed auto transmission.
But depending on which model you’re after you can also add a range of accessory packs, which bundle various features into one lump sum, while also introducing “credits” (or discounts) of between $500 and $2000.
The Tradie pack adds things such as a roof tray, side steps, rear bumper step and 12V auxiliary power outlet for $6650, for example. The Black pack ($2950) is pure styling, adding a black bonnet bulge, black grille, rear Colorado tailgate sticker and the black wheels from the Z71. The Rig pack ($4650) also focuses on the look, with a nudge bar and LED light bar, tow kit with trailer brakes, and cupholders.
Two levels of Farmer packs ($6250 and $7900) keep it simple with a bulbar, tow kit and rear tray with folding sides (the heavy duty kit adds underbody protection and front wheel arch flares). Or you can splash out $19,550 (or $17,550 with the “credit” discount) for the Xtreme kit, which adds bits and pieces from most of the above packs as well as an off-road recovery kit, all-terrain tyres and unique front bumper with integrated winch.
What’s the interior and practicality like?
The Colorado has long had one of the more spacious dual-cab ute bodies and absolutely nothing has changed for this MY20 update. That translates to a particularly accommodating back seat, with head a legroom adults will be comfortable with. There’s also decent width to the back seat.
Up front, that space continues, although the rest of the equation isn’t quite as rosy for the driver. The seats don’t offer much lateral support, for example, so don’t have the snug feel of better ones in the class. The Colorado also misses out on reach adjustment for the steering wheel, something that compromises the driving position.
Still, at least there’s decent storage, including a pod on top of the dash and a pair of cupholders. The door pockets are also usefully sized. As for the presentation, it’s nothing edgy or overly elegant, but the finishes and plastics are in keeping with class expectations, which is still below that of many passenger cars.
What are the controls and infotainment like?
The Colorado was the first ute to get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, something that makes for easy connectivity of a smartphone. The control screen (7.0 inches on the LS, LT and LSX and 8.0-inch on LTZ and Z71) is also high on the dashboard, making it easy to glance at when at speed.
The various buttons and dials are also generally large, making for easy selection on the run. Even the steering wheel has well chosen buttons for controlling the audio and cruise control. It’s less handy having to twist the right-hand stalk to scroll through various trip computer menus.
What’s the performance like?
As with most of the rest of the car, nothing has changed with the 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo in the Colorado. That’s no bad thing, with 147kW and a hearty 500Nm to play with (or 440Nm with a manual). It’s the torque that defines the engine, the full whack arriving from as low as 2000rpm. For that reason, it’s in the middle engine revs that the grunty engine excels, pulling strongly and rarely fussed by hills.
The engine isn’t particularly smooth or quiet, but in some ways that gives it some character and is in keeping with the no-fuss nature. We only trialled it with the six-speed auto that is increasingly becoming the weapon of choice for the Colorado (all 4×2 models now only come mated to that auto transmission).
There’s nothing slick or intelligent about it, but it’s decisive and clean in its shifts, also relying on the torque when it makes sense rather than dropping down a gear. Fuel use of 8.7 litres per 100km is, again, nothing special but is in the mix with class rivals.
What’s it like on the road?
Suspension is towards the firmer side, which means you’ll feel jiggles and smaller bumps when unladen. But previous experience suggests the Colorado steps up its game once you’ve got more weight on board. Indeed, there’s always an inherent toughness to the way it disposes of larger bumps, albeit with little elegance in the motions.
The steering is nothing special and lack of weight over the rear means all that torque will overcome the tyres on a wet road. That’s in line with other utes, the Colorado merely acceptable in its road manners than anything standout.
What’s it like off the road?
There’s generous ground clearance, good wheel articulation and decent underbody protection, particularly if you go for the Xtreme or Farmer packs with their chunkier steel shields.
But the Colorado also has its shortcomings, mainly in the operation of its traction control system and the lack of a locking rear differential. While we didn’t get to trial it this time around, previous experience suggests it doesn’t do as good a job as, say, the Toyota Hilux.
But that’s mostly in the really challenging stuff, where you’re lifting wheels and slipping and sliding. Over faster gravel roads and sand it powers through nicely, and its suspension is certainly up to the task of some big hits. It’ll also clamber over some fairly serious rocks and ridges without getting caught up.
Does it have a spare?
Yes, there’s a full-size spare tucked under the tailgate. Like all utes, you’ll get dusty lowering it if you need to use it, but it’s at least there for those deflating moments.
Can you tow with it?
Carrying things and towing is a big part of the Colorado’s remit, with claimed capacity of 3500kg.
The payload on a dual-cab 4×4 Colorado pick-up ranges from 1085kg in the base model LS with an auto transmission to 979kg for the better equipped LTZ+. If you choose the Xtreme pack you can lower that payload by about 150kg to account for the weight of the additional accessories.
All of which impacts towing, because the weight of the vehicle and everything in it (including people and luggage) cannot exceed 3150kg – and you also have to account for how much weight the towball is pushing down on the rear of the vehicle.
If you’re towing that full 3500kg, for example, you’ll likely have 350kg on the towball, subtracting exactly that amount off the payload.
You also have to consider the rated gross combined mass, which for the Colorado is 6000kg. So, if you have a 3500kg trailer then everything else can’t exceed 2500kg. Considering the car weighs almost 2.2 tonnes, that only leaves a few hundred kilos to play with.
Still, that equation is actually quite favourable by dual-cab ute standards; the Volkswagen Amarok, for example, doesn’t leave nearly as much to play with once you’re dragging a bit trailer.
What about ownership?
As with all Holdens these days Colorados are covered by a five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty. There are also advantages in buying the Holden accessories. That includes a five-year factory warranty and the peace of mind that they’ve been engineered to work with things such as airbags and other safety situations in all situations.
Servicing is required every nine months or 12,000km and there is a capped price service promise. That means services will cost between $299 and $599 for the first seven check-ups, covering seven years or 84,000km. On average, each of those first seven services costs $433, totalling $3033.
What safety features does it have?
The Colorado’s safety credentials haven’t changed and amount to a solid structure with seven airbags to help it achieve a five-star safety rating. That safety rating wouldn’t stick if the Colorado were retested today, because it’s missing the autonomous emergency braking (AEB) now common on passenger cars and available on rival utes including the Mercedes-Benz X-Class, Ford Ranger and Mitsubishi Triton. Instead, there’s a forward collision alert system that beeps and flashes if it detects a potential crash. There’s also lane departure warning to alert if you’re wandering out of the lane.