Holden Colorado: A Gay Tradies Wet Dream

Colorado LTZ Space CabColorado LTZ Space CabChevrolet TraillBlazer holden colorardo frontChevrolet TraillBlazer holden colorardo backColorado LTZ Space CabColorado LTZ Space CabColorado LTZ Space Cab

Note the folding  jump seat. Close the storage bin and lower seat and buckle in!

Colorado LTZ Space Cab

Above are the suicide rear doors missed on our test.

Colorado LTZ Space Cab

Holden Colorado: A Gay Tradies Wet Dream

I know what you’re thinking: Commercial/industrial vehicle, it’s going to be awful beyond description. You would be dead wrong because the week spent with Colorado was a whole bunch of fun.

It’s direct from the USA even though it’s made in Thailand. It reeks of mid-west pickup meets Korean sensibly price sedan yet manages to evoke the primal caveman hunter in all of us. Whether it’s the fact that you sit way above all but the biggest truck drivers, or the feeling that you’re invincible, there is no doubt that the Colorado has a sexy, manly, butch road presence.

Outside:-

If a light commercial four wheel drive can be said to be gorgeous, then the Colorado LTZ Space cab is stunning. It wins hands down in the perv-ability stakes with a big beefy front end positively bursting with confidence and hutzpah. The headlights and single bar grille are huge but you don’t really get an idea of how big until you stand next to them. The bonnet comes quite a way up my chest and I’m 183 cms tall. Even with my height I have to use the side step to enter the cabin easily. In a funny way the external features are quite plain but therein lay the success especially in silver. The colour works well with the huge set of decorative rolls bars and big fat set of alloys. The front doors are obvious, not so obvious are the concealed rear doors. That’s rather a shame for the guests of mine who got into the rear by the front doors. There also a set of occasional “jump” seats which can fold down should you want to give the hot appreciates a lift to collect the “skyhooks” , ”chequered” paint and “left-handed screwdrivers”. Normally the seats are stowed allowing a flat shelf to be used for tools you don’t want knicked. There is also a discrete cubby hole for odds and sods. Opening the concealed rear door would have made our airport run so much easier. Instead we had one unfortunate soul climb into the back by moving the front seat forward on the passengers’ side. I feel quite the bone head now because this fact has only now come to light as I write this story. Best I not mention to the bloke who origami’ d himself into the back jump seats. The big rear tray was chock-a-block full of bags and duty free instead of the ubiquitous tools and building things. I’ve just had a swig on the Courvoisier bought as a gift, how thoughtful of them

Next, the ground clearance is full 4X4 height. This means you could go camping on the weekend if you could be bothered emptying your kit onto the garage floor and replacing it with tents and so forth.

Very nice looking and just the sort of thing big butch boy wants to be seen in, despite diesel being the only engine option.

Inside:-

A little disappointing if I’m being honest. It isn’t something I can put a finger on but it didn’t feel like quality. The blue lighting and instruments are the colour du jour around at Salmon St. The Colorado is American designed and made in Thailand, but has somehow managed to feel Korean from about 10 years ago.

Apart from the look, everything is there. The simple infotainment system is an up-to-date but bear-bones affair. It has the feel of the Cruze as does the rest of the interior so it’s functional and reasonably comfy. I mentioned the nifty doors but I can’t speak to their function as I only discovered them when writing up the story. That’ll teach me for not reading the user guide.

The seating is comfy yet basic. Keep in mind we had the top model but there is no leather and not much else in the way of luxury. I wonder how long the fabric will last if the ute is used on a building site? It’s hard to clean builders dust out of fabric. The preview of the SUV version at the OZ Motor Show had a much smarter cabin with nicer appointments and a cosier feel. Once the SUV arrives the ute may gain a new top model for those wanting a bit of luxury in their working lives.

What kind of person buys an off-roader ute? The kind of person buying Colorado will be a sexy tradie. The kind who wanders aimlessly about the place with a shirt carelessly left open to reveal a tight set of abs nestling neatly under a lightly muscled chest. He won’t be the kind who goes in for endless manscaping so he won’t have shaved every last hair from his body. Despite his dislike of manscaping, he’ll still want a few gorgeous things to get him through his busy day. You only have to look at the skyrocketing Aussie fixation with 4 by 4’s fitted with every device known to modern man. The cabin will be strewn with cowhide as far as the eye can see and the dash will be sporting the latest in whiz-bangery with a sound system of 2 million watts. Of course a careful queen would opt for a “light” version of whatever vehicle he buys. It will be sans luxury because he would rather hoard money in the bank, or under his mattress, rather than spend it on a car. The rest of us will want to go the whole hog. Remember when you go to sell your car the top models sell first and always net you a few extra shekels.

The rear section of the space cab has a couple of occasional seats. They fold down like a trolley-dolly’s jump seat and are accessed by the afore-mentioned suicide doors. Most of the time you use the shelf for your more precious tools there, as well a change of smart clothes so you can stop in at your favourite watering hole on the way home. The less than comfy seats would be left stowed unless you had an unusually successful night out and required seating for more than 2. There are hidden bins under the shelf.

The tray is not secure so you won’t be keeping anything the permanently. The tonneau cover clips rather cleverly over a discrete lip so would be fairly weather tight. It’s not so easy to be able to do up quickly but perhaps this would loosen up with time. Most things do. I know I loosen up no end given the right prompting. In this case size counts and although it isn’t the biggest in class, it is completely useable space.

The Drive:-

The 4 cyl 132KW duratec diesel pushes the Colorado along at a respectable pace. The acceleration is brisk like most modern diesels and is typically frugal in its drinking habits. It’s the 440nm of torque which allow the Holden to be quick off the mark, and to be loaded to the gunnels with tradie stuff and still be nippy. One thing that struck me was although the engine noise almost never penetrates the cabin, there is quite the ruckus outside. It’s a commercial vehicle though so this isn’t really an issue. On the road you’ll have the air on and the windows up. In that case the cabin is quiet as a mouse.

It’s built to cart things around the place so the ride is good but the handling is a bit like driving a bouncy castle. The first thing a normal car driver will notice is lots of extra turns lock to lock. That means you have to turn the wheel more times to go around a corner. It makes driving a huge vehicle quite the handful in the carpark at your local Coles. The 4 X 4 system is easily operated from a knob on the console but we didn’t get the chance to give it a proper workout. The angles of 30o (attack) at the front and 22o at the rear (departure) are quite good for a ute this big but it means you can go up and down really big hills. Of course with the front angle being bigger, you scrap your bum on the way out. Perhaps that’s how hard core off roaders roll? The tank is a huge 78 litres so I’d reckon on about 500 k’s out of a tank around town so that figure will be much higher on the open road. That’s extraordinary for a vehicle this size.

As for the little touches like auto headlights and wipers, power seats, auto dipping mirrors etc, forget it. Perhaps those too will be on the luxury SUV version coming soon. You’ve got cruise and other such modern accoutrements and a fistful of safety gear for emergency situations. These days that’s the very least a car requires to makes 5 stars so hardly remarkable.

All of this means a decent drive but at no stage do you forget you are in a large pick-up. You sit higher than almost anything else on the road. Most like a view, but the driver’s seat is a long way up even if on the lowest setting. You’d want to be really keen on looking down into other cars. It’s amazing what you see when you do look, but that’s a story for another time.

You could certainly take the Colorado off-road but around town it does feel big. In short, it is more than fit for purpose but you probably wouldn’t be buying one if you weren’t in a trade of some kind. I have friends who are thinking of buying one to tow a trailer and jet ski. They like the idea of throwing wet things into it without having to worry about the floor and upholstery. It’s also fit for that purpose because it certainly has enough oomph for that As for how much it can town, does it really matter? Most will never carry anything more than a couple of tool boxes and a spare set of clothes!

Conclusion:-

I enjoyed my week in her but I wouldn’t buy one. That’s not entirely fair because I’d rather a sporty coupe or a handsome drop-top. A tradie on the other hand will find the Colorado easy to drive, easy to park, easy to load and cheap to buy. Make of that what you will; it’s certainly worth a look.

Price $29,990 – $51,990 (SUV not included in this price range)

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