The scalpel has been out in the Holden engineering department to give the latest Holden Colorado a much needed make-over, and now the bandages are off, it seems the procedure has been a success.
The new Colorado is a truly international affair with engineering input from Australia, Brazil and Thailand, and the result is a ute with better road manners and a lot more technology.
It’s got a sharp new face making the 2017 Holden Colorado look a lot more grown up.
The cabin too looks sharper, and it’s in here you’ll probably notice the biggest differences compared to the old car.
You’ll immediately notice how much quieter the new Colorado is.
Diesel clatter was a pronounced feature of the old Colorado’s interior, but those agricultural noises have been subdued thanks to new torque converter, relocated balance shaft and engine and wind acoustic packs, which really help the Colorado in its efforts to become more car like.
A new electric power steering system also makes a big difference. It provides a noticeably more precise feel and requires less turns lock to lock.
The re-tuned suspension provides a more composed ride, one that won’t have you feeling you’re about to bounce off the road when driving without a load on.
Of course, hauling loads is what the Colorado does best. It can cop a full tonne in the back, and will happily tow 3.5 tonne without batting an eyelid.
The Duramax diesel engine is befitting of a true workhorse, pumping out 147kW and 500Nm when teamed up with the automatic transmission - the manual however only delivers 440Nm, making the extra couple of hundred dollars to upgrade to the auto a no brainer.
The 2.8 litre 4-cylinder engine pulls strongly after some initial turbo lag.
One you’re up and moving, plant the right foot and the swell of torque on offer from about 2000rpm makes for pretty easy overtaking.
It’s reasonably economical too. Holden claim 8.6 litres per 100km, I was close, achieving 9.3 litres per 100km over a week of mainly city commuting.
The six-speed auto transmission has been recalibrated, and while it can still hesitate to kick back a gear on occasion, overall it’s pretty well sorted.
Inside you can expect a lot more technology. Standard across the range is Apple Car Play and Android Auto - systems that mirror your phone on the larger 7″ colour touch screen, an invaluable addition for anyone who’s ute doubles as their office.
You also get the upgraded Holden Mylink infotainment system that includes Bluetooth streaming, voice recognition and digital radio.
A reverse camera is also standard across the range, while upper spec models get a forward facing camera, forward collision alert and lane departure warning.
All Colorados have scored a 5 Star ANCAP Safety Rating.
There’s still large expanses of hard, dark plastics and dash architecture is largely unchanged from the outgoing model, but as a workhorse it’s pretty much what you’d want.
As a car to fulfill work duties and double as the family car on weekends, the Colorado’s competitors do a better job of pampering you.
Yes, on paper it does everything else the others do, and even though it’s a significantly better car than the old model, it’s just not as polished.
The Colorado is more expensive than the base model 4X4 automatic Navara, and only betters the price of the base Hilux 4X4 auto by about $1500.
There’s lots to like about the Colorado - it’s got a great personality and is easy to live with, but you’d be well advised to drive the others before plonking down your hard earned cash.
NUTS and BOLTS - 2017 Holden Colorado LS
Engine: 2.8 litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel developing 147kW and 500Nm
Transmission: Six-speed Automatic
Safety: Five star
Price: from $47,190