The Ver­dict

4 x 4 Australia - - Driven -

HOLDEN’S re-engineering of its Colorado for 2017 has been highly suc­cess­ful, pro­pel­ling it from dis­ap­point­ing tailen­der to a good thing among the eight pop­u­lar 4x4 dual-cabs. The Ranger, on the other hand, has al­ways been a good thing, ever since it ar­rived in 2011, a year before the Colorado. It be­came a whole lot bet­ter thanks to a mid-gen­er­a­tion up­grade in 2015.

How­ever, Holden has moved the Colorado on more in this up­grade than Ford did last year with its Ranger. But then again, some­thing spe­cial had to be done, given the Colorado was pre­vi­ously so far to­wards the back of the pack.

The Colorado has im­proved to the point that in many ways it’s now the equal of the Ranger in what it does and doesn’t do.

On-road the two are now a close match in terms of re­fine­ment, com­fort and gen­eral drive­abil­ity. The Colorado’s smaller en­gine doesn’t give it a per­for­mance dis­ad­van­tage, ei­ther. In fact, it can even feel a bit sportier than the Ranger thanks to its gear­box tune and higher peak en­gine torque – and be­ing a bit lighter doesn’t hurt.

The Colorado’s on-road dy­nam­ics, at least on bet­ter roads, also have a sporty edge to them com­pared to the Ranger. It feels a bit smaller and more ag­ile than the slightly longer and big­ger Ranger. There’s gen­er­ally a nicer steer­ing feel in the Colorado, too.

But things start to go downhill for the Colorado once the roads de­te­ri­o­rate. It doesn’t han­dle the bumps as well as the more com­pli­ant and sup­ple Ranger. Things unravel even more com­pared to the Ranger off-road, thanks to less sus­pen­sion travel, no rear locker and less ef­fec­tive chas­sis elec­tron­ics.

That said, the Colorado will still com­fort­ably do 99 per cent of what most peo­ple will ever want to do off-road; it’s just that the Ranger, in its post-2015 it­er­a­tion at least, is a stand-out per­former off-road.

Throw in its ex­tra cabin space and tow­ing and load-car­ry­ing prow­ess and you can see why it jus­ti­fies the ex­tra cost.

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