In the recent ad campaign for the Holden Colorado the famous Hawthorn AFL coach John Kennedy Snr. is heard booming in the background. His famous "Don't think, don't hope, do!" speach compels us to consider his words in the wider context of how Holden is managing its own current difficulties. I first saw the Colorado at the 2011 Perth motor show where it was unveiled amid a flurry of flash bulbs and cheers. Fast forward a year and a few months and the mood at Holden HQ has changed somewhat. Their arch nemesis the Mazda 3 is well ahead at the top of the sales chart and the Commodore is slipping down the top ten sellers list. Into this mix comes the Colorado which represents the best chance Holden have to regain some pride after a bruising sales year.
On receiving the Colorado LT I must say I was a little disappointed as I had hoped to get the more polished LTZ model. In truth the only real difference is at the tray end so I suppose I shouldn’t grumble. Over all the styling is in line with all the Holden remodels with a prominent grille and a slightly raised bonnet. The Colorado is big and imposing but thankfully it doesn’t go too far and its dimensions are comparable to the BT50 and others in the range. In all the Colorado looks well and is big enough to meet any tradies requirement.
The interior of the Colorado is good, but not great. It has good centre console set up and there are a few new features like Bluetooth and USB connectivity for Ipod. This sounds solid however it is missing something very important; a reverse camera. This is a genuine surprise for a vehicle with such a high cabin. Yes it has all the safety features and the driver is well served with steering wheel controls but that really isn’t the point. Don’t get me wrong, I did like the interior however I didn’t find it significantly different in any meaningful way to any other vehicle in its range.
Without doubt the most redeeming feature of the Colorado is its drive quality. The new pickup manages the difficult balancing act of fuel efficiency (between 7.8 – 9.1 litres per 100km) and torque (The larger 2.8 litre engine produces up to 470Nm) very well. Admittedly something more could have been done in the sound proofing department but that’s unlikely to put too many off. Simply put, the Colorado fits the bill of a fuel efficient work horse very well.
Holden are in a difficult place at the moment. Radical change will upset the companies hard-core fans and standing still will see them follow in Fords footsteps out of Australia’s top ten selling vehicles. While many think more could be done by Holden it must be said that they really do make a high quality product. This fact can be lost on the companies detractors who continue to prove that familiarity breeds contempt. In the end the quality of the recent range upgrades, Colorado included, should see the company steady the ship, for now at least.