Holden Colorado Buyer’s Guide

ByPhil LordMarch 5, 2020
Holden Colorado Buyer’s Guide

With Holden quitting the market, is now the time to buy a new Colorado? We explore the pros and cons of buying a 2020 RGII Holden Colorado.

With Holden shuttering the brand, the Colorado is now attracting among the biggest discounts in the Holden stable as dealers wind down and clear stock. While both Holden and its dealers are mostly being coy about what you can expect to pay, you can expect a discount of $10K or more on, for example, a MY2020 LTZ Crew Cab. MY19 demos will be even cheaper. But is the Colorado worth buying at any price?

RGII Holden Colorado Specifications

Price: $37,490-$57,190 (plus on-road costs) Engine: 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel Power/torque: 147kW/500Nm Transmission: Six-speed automatic Towing (braked): 3500kg/350kg (towball download) Ground Clearance (claimed): 215mm Angles: 28.3-degrees Approach / 23.1-degrees Departure / 22-degrees Rampover Fuel cons/CO2: 8.6L/100km 228g/km (ADR Combined) Safety Rating: Five-star ANCAP

What’s in the range?

The RGII Colorado 4X4 range is offered in nine models in five trim grades and five body choices. The entry-level LS can be had in Single Cab/chassis, Space Cab/chassis, Crew Cab chassis or Crew Cab pickup. Standard gear includes Holden MyLink seven-inch screen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, USB with iPod connectivity, leather steering wheel, power windows and mirrors, Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control. Cloth seats, vinyl flooring and 16-inch steel rims mark this as the “poverty” pack. In addition, LS Crew Cab gets rear-view camera and rear park-assist and six audio speakers.

Next up is the LSX Crew Cab, which improves on LS spec with black-painted rear sports bar, fender flares and grille and 18-inch alloys (painted Arsenal Grey). LSX also comes with a soft tonneau cover, tailgate lock and a Colorado decal on the tailgate. The LTZ is the mainstream popular spec and it has a tonne of standard gear. LTZ Space and Crew Cab adds an 8-inch colour touch-screen, embedded sat nav, voice recognition, DAB, remote engine start (auto only), climate control, rain-sensing wipers, power driver’s seat, front park-assist, forward collision alert with head-up warning, lane departure warning, tyre pressure monitoring, 18in alloys, electro-chromatic rear view mirror, heated power-fold exterior mirrors, side steps, LED tail lights and front fog lights. Showing the world, you haven’t skimped on your Colorado, the LTZ has floor carpet, alloy sports bar and chrome-look side mirrors and door handles.

LTZ Crew Cab gets seven speakers, spray-on tub liner and rear privacy glass and a no-cost option of leather (heated front) seats over LTZ Space Cab. The LTZ+ Crew Cab is a model that was designed to appeal to novated lease buyers with its sub-1000kg payload. The only differences over LTZ are the payload rating and a standard towbar. The top-shelf Colorado is the Z71 Crew Cab, which improves on LTZ Crew Cab spec Z71 embroidered front seat headrests, sailplane sports bar and side rails with Z71 graphics, unique soft tonneau cover, black exterior door handles and mirrors, black tailgate handle, black body side mouldings, Z71 bonnet decals, roof rails, unique front fascia with integrated nudge bar, black grille, guard flares underbody protection and soft drop tailgate.

A limited-edition based on LTZ Crew Cab auto called Storm was announced last November and comes with a black front bumper with LED light bar, bonnet protector, soft-drop tailgate, roof rails, black rear sports bar and Storm decals.

An automatic transmission is a $2200 option across the range, except in LS Space Cab/chassis, where auto is the only transmission offered. All Colorados are powered by the 147kW/440Nm (500Nm with auto) 2.8-litre Duromax four-cylinder turbo-diesel and with either six-speed manual (or $2200 optional six-speed auto) driving through a part-time 4WD system with limited-slip rear diff.

What are the pros and cons of the Holden Colorado?

The Colorado is one of the best-handling 4WDs on the market, with good steering feel and a responsive chassis, topped off with an acceptable ride quality for a ute. The cabin in the Crew Cab is one of the largest and most comfortable in the class too.

While the Colorado auto has a healthy 500Nm of torque to play with, it’s in a fairly narrow rev band that renders it less impressive than the number suggests. The engine is not as smooth or quiet as most competitors either and off-road it lacks underbody clearance. While utes are becoming increasingly better specced, noteworthy omissions on Colorado are autonomous emergency braking, lane-keeping, keyless entry/start, reach-adjustable steering and rear diff lock. You can’t have rear disc brakes either (Colorado uses drums instead).

Prices you’ll pay

While the manufacturer recommend retail price (that is, the price before on-road costs) kicks off at $37,490+ORCs for LS Single Cab Chassis manual and tops out at $57,190+ORCs for the Z71 Crew Cab auto, you can bet you won’t be paying those prices now that Holden is exiting the market. For example, at the time of writing the most popular spec, some dealers were advertising MY20 LTZ Crew Cab auto for $42,990 drive-away, a saving of approximately $13,000 on list price (which is $52,690 plus on-road costs). The Colorado comes with a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty. Despite pulling out of the market, Holden will have a continued dealer presence for parts, service and warranty support for at least 10 years (as is the legal requirement).

What goes wrong with the Holden Colorado?

The current Colorado first arrived in 2012 as the RG series and was updated in 2016 with the RGII, so the model has been around for long enough to sort out any major issues. However, there are still problems being reported by owners for models as recent as MY2018, such as a failed automatic transmission torque converter (evidenced by excessive vibration under load) and high engine oil consumption, in some cases so high that a new replacement engine has been deemed necessary.

Any recalls I need to know about?

There have been a few since the RG Colorado arrived on the scene in 2012 but the current RGIII variant hasn’t been subject to any recalls. The main ones of note, date back to 2015 when the Extended Cab Colorado was recalled for a missing bolt (one of two fasteners) for the rear seatbelts; the affected vehicles were built between 15 September 2011 to 16 June 2015. Similarly, all variants were affected from 12 January to 18 March (build) when it was discovered the bolts on the front seatbelts hadn’t been tightened correctly. But that was it.

Why should you/should you not buy it?

The Colorado is engaging to drive and has plenty of room and now represents great buying. But it lacks some high-end features of competitors and the engine lets it down in terms of useable torque and lack of smoothness. While it may be a bargain now, you’d want to hang onto your Colorado because it is very likely to suffer a higher depreciation rate than other utes due to Holden closing down the brand’s new-vehicle sales operations. Whatever you do, there isn’t a lot of time to decide: reports suggest that Holden dealers may clear all new-vehicle stock by June.