The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - Cover Story -

tyre com­pounds and tread pat­terns to im­prove com­fort, cor­ner­ing and brak­ing, es­pe­cially in the wet.

There is more sound dead­en­ing be­tween the en­gine and the driver. The front side win­dows are now 4mm thick rather than 3mm, to dull road noise. New rub­ber mounts for the en­gine, trans­mis­sion and body aim to add re­fine­ment.

Man­ual mod­els have a new fi­nal drive ra­tio to ease progress from rest when tow­ing a heavy load (pre­vi­ously this mostly led to stalling).

The au­to­matic trans­mis­sion has less shud­der (thanks to a HOLDEN COLORADO LTZ PRICE $50,640 drive-away (auto adds $2200) WAR­RANTY 3 years/100,000km CAPPED SER­VIC­ING $1396 over 3 years SER­VICE IN­TER­VAL 9 months/15,000km SAFETY 5 stars, 7 airbags EN­GINE 2.8-litre 4-cyl turbo diesel, 147kW/440Nm (auto 500Nm) TRANS­MIS­SION 6-speed man, 6-speed auto; 4WD THIRST 7.9L-8.7L/100km DI­MEN­SIONS 5361mm (L), 1874mm (W), 1800mm (H), 3096mm (WB) WEIGHT 2121kg-2128kg SPARE Full-size al­loy TOW­ING 3500kg PAY­LOAD 1022kg-1029kg (auto) TURN­ING CIR­CLE 12.7m new in­ter­nal “en­ergy absorbing damper” usu­ally only found in Ger­man lux­ury cars) and holds on to the en­gine’s torque bet­ter, rather than try­ing to slur a gear change in pur­suit of econ­omy.

That said, fuel con­sump­tion is also down slightly; our 200km-plus of open road driv­ing, un­laden, re­turned 8.5L/100km.

Based on a pre­view drive on pot-holed moun­tain roads and coarse ru­ral roads, Holden has closed the gap to the class lead­ers.

We tested five mod­els, in­clud­ing three crew-cab LTZ utes with four adults on board, ini­tially with an empty tray, then with 200kg and later with 500kg.

Un­usu­ally, there was not a sig­nif­i­cant change in ride com­fort, laden or oth­er­wise. The same can’t be said of most other utes (al­though the Ranger does well to dis­guise a load).

The only clue to the Colorado’s cargo was slightly lighter steer­ing and longer brak­ing dis­tances, to pull up the ex­tra weight.

The steer­ing feel and gen­eral com­fort when un­laden — which is how most are driven — have gone from bot­tom of the pack to within cooee of the bench­mark Volk­swa­gen Amarok and Ranger XLT. There used to be rea­sons not to buy a Colorado but Holden has elim­i­nated them. It’s a bet­ter truck with more equip­ment and a sharp drive-away price. The HiLux and Ranger won’t have the ute mar­ket to them­selves much longer.

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