SUVs now outnumber passenger cars in sales. When you add LCVs, or Light Commercial Vehicles like pick-ups, passenger cars are hugely eclipsed sales-wise.
Colorado is one such LCV.
A Drive-away offer of $56, 826 for a special 2017 plate clearance price, down from $62,077.
It has a 5 star safety rating, and comes as 2 or 4 wheel drive
There are several body styles: Single cab, space cab, crew cab which means 2 or 4 doors, and there is either a chassis or ute back configuration depending on what model you buy. The Chassis body has a cabin on which you can have your own preference of aluminium tray back. Perhaps you might even select a camper of some kind. I know, Irony, right?
The 2.8 duramax diesel has 147kw and 500Nm of torque.
It is surprisingly lusty, and drives the wheels through a fairly smooth 6 speed auto. I’d expect more gears as we near the end of the second decade of the 21st century, but hey-ho. It tends to be a bit patchy in selections when you’re driving in a slightly spirited way. I can’t help it, it’s a fun car.
Our Z71 is the top model and comes with sexy 18” wheels, handsome trim along the rear tray, and some more at the rear window. It also has this eye-catching decal on the bonnet making it look aggressive. The DTRL LEDs at the front add to the handsome overall appearance at the front.
Colorado is no shrinking violet. It is big and bold, and the Tonka Toy look appeals the our inner bogan.
I picture myself as a sweaty tradie, with heavy tool belt and an open flanny and, Oh, sorry, I stepped out for a moment!
It’s a big old chunk of metal which you don’t really notice until it comes time to park. There is no auto parking, so it’s all down to the driver. Parking in a normal space uses all of that space with nothing to spare.
With sensors all round, and a rear camera, the parking process is surprisingly easy.
Why buy a big pick-up? Because it can go off-road, climb rocks, and traverse deep mid and sand, or, at least the 4X4 versions can.
The cabin is fairly comfy. The Heated leather seats have reasonable support. I’m not sure I’d like to travel the countryside in them, but only time would tell.
There are few bins and cubby holes, apart from the ones in the doors so you find yourself using the cup holders instead. I used the area in front of the gear lever to store bits and bobs, and kept turning the heating on by accident.
I love the My-Link system which has Apple car play. The Z71 Colorado has an 8” screen touch screen and is one of the easiest systems I’ve used. Pairing your phone is intuitive and takes only 30 seconds. It responds quickly with menus which make sense.
Apple CarPlay/Android Auto is present and accounted for.
The cabin is billed as “luxurious” by Holden, but that’s a bit of a stretch. It is a commercial vehicle, and looks it. That’s not bad, it’s just the way it is.
The dash is clearly laid out, with climate and audio in the centre stack within easy reach. Driver dials have a digital speedo, but this LCD screen is also used to display other information. There is plenty of room to have the digital speedo always visible.
However, everything is where you expect it to be.
The driver aids such as lane departure warning, collision warning can be annoying at times but you quickly get used to them. Look as I might, I couldn’t find the off button for the lane departure warning.
There is no fancy smart entry and start, so you have to press buttons on the key fob to open. You then need an actual key in an actual lock to start. From the fob, you can remote start, and remote control the windows for hot days. You can let the hot air out of the cabin, and get the air conditioning icy cold.
There is no doubting you’re in a ladder-chassis commercial vehicle when driving, but the robust feel, and the ability to go anywhere, makes Colorado compelling.
We recently took the Z71 off-road, through mud and water, and over a rock-climbing route, and it coped admirably.
On the road, the ride is firm, especially with no load in the back.
Steering is good for such chunky tyres. Once you get used to it, you can have fun chucking it around. You have to be a little careful in the wet, which only adds to the fun.
This time I stuck to my tried and tested trek.
It is the trip I’d normally use to press a sporty hatch to the max, and guess what? The Colorado was a hoot. The top gear is tall, and with no paddles, the 6 speed auto was trying to change up as quickly as it could.
Every now and then, the Z71 would slip into a lower gear as it sensed the top of a hill, and scream its tits off the rest of the way down. At the bottom, you tug on the wheel, and around you go in a way pick-ups of old definitely couldn’t manage.
You sit so far above the rest of the traffic, that there is a certain air of smugness which envelopes you until you’re sitting in a long line of wannabe SUVs. You once felt special, but now? Not so much.
Colorado isn’t a revelation exactly, but it is fun. There is a bunch of room in the cabin, and a spacious tray for trips to Bunnings (I suggest just after lunch, a time when there are lots and lots of tradies picking up their tradie things).
The seats keep your buns warm, and the climate control keeps the atmosphere just so.
It is now, and has always been, a peach.