Holden’s pick-me-up

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - Cover Story - JOSHUA DOWL­ING NA­TIONAL MO­TOR­ING EDI­TOR

MEET Holden’s next hero. The brand’s fu­ture is riding on the Colorado ute, which will re­place the Com­modore as its icon — and profit maker — once lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing ends late next year.

When the im­ported Com­modore ar­rives from Ger­many in late 2017 with­out a V8, which ac­counts for an as­ton­ish­ing 38 per cent of sales, de­mand for the big sedan will fall off a cliff.

This will cat­a­pult the Colorado to top spot in the Holden line-up, car­ry­ing with it the task of re­vers­ing the brand’s 22-year sales slump.

The Colorado al­ready has given the Com­modore a black eye, eclips­ing it in Jan­uary’s sales tal­lies.

Over the past 10 years, de­mand has more than dou­bled for four-door 4WD utes, the new fam­ily cars, de­signed for work and play. The Ranger has been Ford’s top-sell­ing name­plate since February 2014 and Toy­ota’s HiLux has over­taken the Corolla year-to-date.

That’s why Holden has thrown ev­ery­thing it pos­si­bly can into this Colorado up­date, which is more than just a bold new look mid­way in the model cy­cle.

Holden ad­mits it had some home­work to do. Barely a few months af­ter this gen­er­a­tion Colorado went on sale in 2012, Holden ex­ec­u­tives apol­o­gised to deal­ers for an un­der­whelm­ing ve­hi­cle.

It was one of the vic­tims of Gen­eral Mo­tors’ bank­ruptcy dur­ing the GFC. Devel­op­ment bud­gets were slashed and the Colorado’s launch was de­layed.

In the up­date, stan­dard fare in­cludes seven airbags, rearview cam­era, Ap­ple CarPlay (first in class), dig­i­tal ra­dio, cruise con­trol, dig­i­tal speed dis­play, re­mote en­try, au­to­matic head­lights, LED day­time run­ning lights, auto “up” power win­dows on all doors and rear air vents on crew cab mod­els.

The Colorado LTZ — the most pop­u­lar vari­ant and the ri­val for the HiLux SR5 and Ranger XLT — gains em­bed­ded sat­nav (so you’re not com­pelled to use phone data), lane wan­der warn­ing (but not lane-keep­ing, as in the Ranger) and forward col­li­sion warn­ing (though not au­to­matic brak­ing).

The LTZ also gains front and rear park­ing sen­sors, power ad­just­ment for the driver seat, 18-inch rims, chrome sports bar, heated and power fold­ing door mir­rors, re­mote start via the key­fob (auto only) and rain­sens­ing wipers.

Holden even put car­pet in the door pock­ets and made them larger to han­dle big bot­tles of wa­ter. Good thing — the op­tional cuphold­ers that plug into the dash are too flimsy to hold any­thing.

What’s miss­ing? Dual-zone air­con­di­tion­ing isn’t avail­able on any model. There’s only one USB port (al­though there are three 12V sock­ets). Its steer­ing wheel is still only height ad­justable.

Un­like the HiLux SR5 and Ranger XLT, there’s no house­hold power point to charge a lap­top or the like. A tow bar and tray liner are not stan­dard. The Ranger XLT has th­ese ex-fac­tory. In its favour, the LTZ is $7000 cheaper. The Colorado is built in Thailand and its devel­op­ment was based in Brazil yet Holden en­gi­neers did more than 100,000km of test­ing on Aus­tralian roads to come up with unique set­tings for the sus­pen­sion, au­to­matic trans­mis­sion and power steer­ing.

They also devel­oped new

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.