There have been lots of talk lately about how the popularity of crew cab trucks are on the rise and that people are buying them as they double as a work truck during the day but can double as a family car on the weekend.
So when Holden gave me the keys to a Colorado LTZ crew cab i was really interested in seeing how good it be as a family car.
We all know the Colorado’s credentials as a work truck with a sizable tray and a massive 3500kg towing capacity makes it a perfect fit for the work site.
That towing capacity also makes it a perfect fit for families on the weekend specially those who have the need to tow thing like the boat, caravan, jets ski, dirt bike, race car etc.
On the outside it looks big I quite like what Holden has done with the looks of the new model Colorado, had quite a few comments during the week I had it all of them positive seems everybody I talked to loved the look of it.
It’s got that I’m a big tough truck look to it and i think it really looks great in this colour Sizzle which is a bright metallic red, being the top of the range LTZ model it’s equip with several features including 17” alloy wheels, fog lights, LED tail lights, projector head lights, alloy sports bar side steps, various chrome finishings that set this apart from lower models in the range this truck was also equipped with a locking hard tonneau cover.
Under the bonnet the Colorado is powered by GM’s new duramax 2.8L turbo diesel developing 132kw @ 3,800 rpm and a whooping 470nm of torque @ 2,000 rpm.
Start it up and sounds like a diesel truck my mate described it as a mechanic trapped in the engine trying to get out, it’s not as quiet and refined as the diesel engines in its Holden stable mates the Cruze and Captiva but I never really expected it to be either.
This engine really means business it’s a little slow off the mark although not as bad as you would like for something this size but once you get a handful of rev’s on board and it really wants to go. The big torque figures are really what i am talking about and lsing a load behind it or in the tray and it doesn’t really faze this truck at all. Point it at a hill and this truck wants to keep going I never had an issue at all even on the steepest hills I drove it up.
Being diesel this truck is rather good on fuel I averaged 11.2L/100km over the week which was a mix of bumper to bumper traffic, light traffic, highway and very slow driving down many km’s of dirt roads. I managed to do 480 km over the week and the trip computer said I still had 210km to go before empty that’s damn close to 700km out of a tank something other people should be able to better by heaps which gives this truck decent range for touring.
The 6spd auto impressed me its perfectly matched to the engine and always seemed to pick the right gear for situation the active select function works great and makes it damn easy for you to pick the gear you want at any time.
Inside the Colorado has heaps of room as well as plenty of storage spots, the dash is well set out I find the Camaro inspired instruments with ice blue lighting rather easy to read, there is a display screen between the dials that displays various other functions of the car including transmission temp which is very important for 4wding and towing.
The rest of the dash remind you it’s truck designed for work first and play second while im sure the materials used a re very hard wearing which is what you want in a work truck, there not much in the way of luxury for you to use it as a family car as well.
The centre is taken up by the rather large round control for the climate air conditioning which I think is a touch too much for my liking I think it the whole thing could be set out better with standard controls you see in other vehicles. Plus at night it’s a huge pain in the butt as the temp dial reflects off off the back window so every time you look in the revision mirror so see the aircon control.
The arm rests on the doors and the console big lid are made of hard plastic which means if you hit a bump while resting your arm on the door armrest it can hurt.
Being that this was the top of range LTZ model I would have liked it to be bit more equipted and a bit more user friendly given that I see it the top range models doing more family duties then being just kept to the work site.
The stereo system is pretty much the same as what you get in the base model it has blue tooth connectivity, USB input with iPod connectivity, two 12v power outlets, the sound is not too bad but the speakers in front doors did distort a bit when any song with modest base was played even at rather sedate sound levels it was quite annoying at times.
Not sat nav or colour screen really made the centre stack look a bit low rent for being the top of the range model which was a little disappointing for me other people might like the set up more then i did and find it more appealing then I did.
The seats were rather comfortable for a truck seat although after several hours of driving around bumpy dirt roads my back side needed a break and a walk around. Considering you should stop and get out every couple of hours when on a long trip anyway I don’t see the seats as a problem while touring like a said they comfortable. The back seats are comfortable as there’s a very good amount of leg room
It’s on road handling is where i wasn’t totally impressed you can tell this truck was built to carry and tow a big load as it’s rather stiffly sprung and yes it means you feel the bumps on the road. It never feels unsettled but you do bounce around a little bit in it.
The 17inch alloy wheels look good and the Bridgestone Dueler H/T tyres provided plenty of grip on all the surfaces I tested it in.
But this truck wasn’t just built to drive on everyday roads it was built to go off road and that’s where it’s specialty is, point it off road and the Colorado handled everything perfectly it’s huge ground clearance made it so much much easier when driving across uneven surfaces. i didn’t get to do much 4 wheel driving in it as the mud I went looking for just wasn’t there. The shift on the fly 4wd controls access by a knob in the console made it so much easier to switch to 4wd when needed.
The steering is not to bad it’s well weighted and goes where you put it but the on road manners are not quite as good as other vehicles I’ve driven it has height adjust but no reach which took it a little bit for me to get the right position.
The thing that drove me completely nuts was the steering wheel was hard and a little slippery, which meant at times I really had to grip the wheel tight and going around some corners I had to grab the bottom of the wheel while turning to stop my hands slipping. The hardness of the wheel made sure after a few hours of driving around bumpy dirt roads with a tight grip on the wheel my hands were aching a little bit. This could be fixed by fitting a wheel that’s easier to grip and has a little bit of softness. It’s really hard to explain but it kinda felts like holding something completely solid with no give in it at all.
All up I think the Colorado is quite a good truck and yes it does answer my initial question this truck works perfectly to be used for work during the week and play on the weekends it’s got great looks, a heap of interior space, seating for 5 people, a large load capacity and awesome towing ability. It also has a very good off road capability which means it would perfect for the the family that likes to get out in the bush for the weekend, this truck has the means to take from home to the bush and back again.
My only let downs were it could of been slightly better equip for a top of the range model, some of the interior finishings could be a touch softer and the slippery steering wheel.
Not going to bang on about this as i have in the past this truck is a bit hard to reverse park it does have reverse senors but the beep could be louder and no reverse camera means it looses points.
Would I buy one if needed a truck with great 4wd capability to take the family bush for the weekend or if i lived in the country then yes i would for sure as this truck would take me anywhere i would like to go.
There are also some genuine Holden accessories Packs and a massive list of accessories so instead of going to the trouble of finding after market bits and having them fitted you are able to buy your Colorado the way you want it from the factory.
From more info on Holden’s massive Colorado range check out their website www.holden.com.au/vehicles/colorado
Massive thanks to Holden for lending me this great truck for the week.