2019 HSV Sportscat Look Pack Road Test, Review

Holden released Colorado a quite some while ago. Since then, Holden has even given it a midlife nip and tuck.

HSV took the nip one step further to give us this rather spectacular Sportscat. Sexy isn’t it?

See the Video below


We’ve reviewed Colorado many times and liked it very much.

None of the standard Colorados come with cooee of the HSV version for looks. Although HSV hasn’t touched the engine, Sportscat isn’t just a bit of lippy and a nice hat

It oozes testosterone from every pore.

If Sportscat personified, he would be a besuited 007 type, with rakish good looks. He’d buy you a martini, after purloining your purse to pay for it. He’d laugh, pat you on the back, then hand your watch back, with a wry grin.

He is a cad and a bounder, and has three levels of trim:

They are: Sportscat, Sportscat “look pack” and Sportscat+. They share a 147kw 2.8 turbo diesel power plant, with 440Nm of torque. Interestingly, there is 500Nm with the automatic transmission models. That’s a $2,200 optional extra thank you very much.

  • high ride height,
  • wide wheel track,
  • Cooper Zeon LTZ Sports All-terrain tyres
  • unique fascia and grille,
  • fender flares,
  • bonnet bulge,
  • hard tonneau and 18” forged alloys.

Colorado SportsCat (manual) $60,790

Colorado SportsCat “Look Pack” (manual) $62,490

Colorado SportsCat+ (manual) $66,790

Extras at cost:

  • 6-speed Automatic Transmission with Active Select $2,200
  • Sail Plane (SportsCat “Look Pack” & SportsCat+ only) $1,300
  • SupaShock suspension (SportsCat+ only) $3,600
  • Prestige Paint (Dark Shadow & Mineral Black) $550
  • Tub-liner $300
  • Load Master $795
  • Eye-Bolt $75
  • Load Rack $647


You might think that, starting at 60 grand, the cabin might feel luxurious, but it isn’t. The Interior leaves no doubt that you’re in a commercial ute.

Colorado shares DNA with the Holden Trailblazer SUV. Think of Colorado as a Trailblazer with a tub instead of a rear cargo hold. They both have a neat, but slightly industrial feeling.

It is still a reasonably nice place to be, with controls laid out sensibly. Steering wheel controls and talks fall easily to hand. You can make phone calls, deal with message, and select music, using CarPlay and Hey Siri

HSV has waved a fairy wand over the bits that are easy to change, so there are nicer “SV Sports seats” in Jasmine leather and Windsor suede. There is no lumbar adjustment and I found the seats to poke out too far in the middle of the back.


The leather and suede have also been used lavished with gay abandon on the dash and doors. It has been done in the style of the HSV Commodores which is a nice nod the cars of the past. It adds a much-needed softness to cabin while keeping the commercial uses in mind.

Plastic around the dash and centre console feels hard by comparison. This is where you might expect the harder wearing areas to be. Sportscat probably won’t be called upon to too much off-roading which is just as well. Mud and suede don’t mix.

Seats are relatively comfortable but could use lumbar adjustment. They tend to be firm at the bottom of the backrest and those not needing that support will find they have to make the backrest more upright. The driver’s seat has powered adjustment, so it is easy to fettle the settings while on the move.

Rear leg room is adequate. For such a large vehicle, you’d hope for more, most LCVs are the same. They keep as much room as possible for the big rear tray which is where it counts most.

Power outlets are well placed, but there could be a few more given the fact that tradies are power-thirsty.

There are plenty of cubby holes, cup, and bottle holders.


Sportscat has all the Holden Colorado My-Link features such as Apple CarPlay, 4WD, Collision warning, and a decent audio system controlled through Holden’s touch screen.

Sound from the speakers is nice and clear, and with DAB gives passengers the option of either digital radio, or streaming music from their phones.

“The rugged styling cues of the SportsCat+ model have been exceptionally well received by customers and HSV dealers alike. The introduction of the “Look Pack” now provides buyers with three distinctive SportsCat specification and pricing alternatives to suit their work and lifestyle requirements”, said HSV’s Managing Director, Tim Jackson.

Our car was the mid-range Sportscat “look pack”. That means it looks like a Sportscat+ without the HSV’s fancy Rear De-coupling Anti-Roll Bar and premium AP Racing brake package.

It has all the Sportscat+ additions including unique fascia, grille, fender flares, bonnet bulge, hard tonneau and 18” forged alloys.

  • Electronic climate control
  • Remote window activation (via key-fob)
  • Heated 6-way electric adjustable driver seat
  • MyLink infotainment system with 8” touch-screen
  • Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB+) multi-media
  • 7-speaker audio
  • USB input with iPod® connectivity
  • Phone projection featuring Apple® CarPlay™ and Android Auto™
  • Embedded satellite navigation
  • Remote start (auto only)
  • Roof rails
  • Recovery hooks (front)
  • “Soft-open” tailgate strut
  • Hard tonneau featuring a “quick-release” mechanism & load-rail provision
  • Tub-liner (option)
  • Load Master (option)
  • Eye-bolt (option)
  • Load rack (option)

Special decals look great, but it is the side steps that are most useful. They are tubes with flattened sections that can be used as steps. Colorado is high-set, and the HSV version is 45mm higher at the front. There are internal grab handles too. You’ll need all the help can get is you’re of shorter stature.

Drive and Engine

The engine is ready, willing and able.

We’ve driven the regular Colorado many, many times. Read about it HERE, HERE and HERE.

After being in a 10-speed Ranger the week before, Holden’s 6 speed unit feels slightly last-week. Despite being short a cog or two, it does the job and that’s all you can ask for. Changes are smooth, but it doesn’t get the best from the excellent turbo diesel power plant.

Steering feels good, keeping in mind Sportscat is an LCV (light commercial vehicle). Although it is electric, it still has a firm feel as it turns. HSV changes to suspension make the ride firm, but improves handling no end. Big tyres make the steering feel like the pickup truck which spawned the Sportscat offspring.

It springs from a start, often eliciting an excited chirp from the rear end in the process. The engine runs our of puff under harsh acceleration, but by the time it does, you’ve passed the speed limit. 500Nm of torque is what gets the wheels turning from the standing start, so as well as being nippy around town, it is good in the dirt.

4WD is only engaged off-road by using the rotary dial between the front seats. It is done on the fly, so turning into the wilds requires no more though than turning the steering wheel, twiddling the knob, and hoping for the best.

Colorado is very capable in the wilderness. We’ve driven it on a range of tracks, mountain passes, mud, and sand and it manages well even in 2WD mode.

When in the bush, use 2WD as much as you can. Drop in to 4WD when the terrain starts to get challenging. Keep 4WD Low for reserve. It does the tough stuff over rocks and in sand. HSV suspension will make the rough tracks slightly less wonderful, but it is worth it for the 99% of the time you’ll be on smooth roads.

You can tow up to 3,500kg of braked load with a combined limit of 6,000 kg. More than enough for a caravanning holiday with friends. As always, consider the total loaded weight of your car and trailer when planning a trip, even a short one.

  • 8L 4-cylinder DOHC Duramax Turbo Diesel engine
  • 6-speed manual transmission
  • 6-speed automatic transmission with Active Select (option)
  • Shift-on-the-fly 4WD
  • Limited Slip Differential
  • Engine sump guard
  • HSV Sports suspension
  • Wide wheel track (30mm wider than Colorado Z71)
  • Hi-ride height (45mm higher at the front than Colorado Z71)
  • Cooper Zeon LTZ Pro Sports All-terrain tyres (285/60 R18)
  • Electric Power Steering


Commercial vehicles have all the comforts of home, and that extends to the safety aspects of its engineering.

Blind spot monitoring and active lane control should be standard on all vehicles, especially those with such large places for other motorists to hide.

Having said that, there is a plethora of other goodies to keep you happy, and safe. A reversing camera has been a boon for large SUV/LVCs. Despite being enormous, you can park them with pin point accuracy.

  • Rain Sensing Wipers
  • Front airbags for driver and front passenger
  • Front seat side impact airbags
  • Full length side curtain airbags
  • Driver knee airbag
  • Front disc brakes
  • 4mm brake master cylinder
  • Electronic Stability Control incorporating: o Anti-lock Braking System
  • Electronic Brakeforce Distribution
  • Traction Control System
  • Hill Descent Control & Hill Start Assist
  • Trailer Sway Control
  • Roll Over Mitigation
  • Front & rear park assist
  • Rear-view camera

Good Bits

  • Excellent off-road credentials
  • Apple Carplay/android auto
  • Sharp looks

Not So Good Bits

  • Some cheap plastics
  • Active safety could be improved
  • Diesel in an HSV? Bite your tongue!


Sporstcat looks the business.

In a way, the sound and performance don’t quite match the look. That’s a shame because it is a great drive.

It is comfortable enough for a long trip and has bags of space in the back tray. Even though it has been dolled up at the HSV garage, it lost none of its Holden off-road cred.

I was disappointed that it didn’t have smart entry and start. Having to get the key out of your pocket seems a bit mean. Remember, buyers will be looking at the other vehicles in the segment and they may find Holden features falling a little behind.

I liked it a lot.

Facts and Figures: 2019 HSV Colorado Sportscat

  • Engine: 2.8L six-cylinder turbo diesel producing 147kW/500Nm (440 for manual cars)
  • Transmission: Six speed manual or Six-speed automatic
  • Warranty: 5/ unlimited km
  • Safety: Five stars
  • Origin: Thailand
  • Price: from $62,490


Author: Alan Zurvas

Rating: 3.5/5


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