TOUGH ENOUGH: Holden keeps up with its rivals by offering more car-like engineering, technology and safety in the forthcoming MY2017 Colorado ute.
TOUGH ENOUGH: Holden keeps up with its rivals by offering more car-like engineering, technology and safety in the forthcoming MY2017 Colorado ute.

Major engineering and technology changes for Holden Colorado

HOLDEN'S new Colorado ute goes on sale in a little over two weeks, and will arrive featuring a raft of engineering and technology changes to strengthen the model's place in this highly competitive segment.  

Full range, specification and pricing of the MY2017 Colorado won't be revealed until late next week (look out for our full road test review in our next edition), but key changes are now known and make for happy reading for those hoping to upgrade their current Colorados.  

MY2017 Holden Colorado LS. Photo: Contributed
MY2017 Holden Colorado LS. Photo: Contributed Offroad Images

On the chassis front, electric power steering arrives to replace the rather agricultural current hydraulic setup, with Holden Australia's team co-developing the system with the GM Brazil team. Holden says the new steering delivers a more responsive feel, there's a faster steering rack and the number of turns lock-to-lock is lower to deliver "a more car-like feel and a more precise response."  

Holden and GM Brazil also collaborated to bring major changes to the Colorado's suspension; there are revised engine, transmission and body mounts, revised traction and stability control, and a new final drive ratio on the manual transmission to improve drive quality, particularly when towing. New tyres will also be music to the ears of current Colorado drivers.  

MY2017 Holden Colorado LTZ. Photo: Contributed
MY2017 Holden Colorado LTZ. Photo: Contributed Offroad Images

Holden's lead development engineer, Amelinda Watt, said the 2017 Colorado needed to be more versatile than ever for Australian buyers. "We know customers like to drive their Colorado off-road or on unsealed roads, but we also know they spend a lot of time on the bitumen," she said. We can expect, therefore, that Holden has made its new ute a more refined on-road offering, in line with its chief one-tonne ute rivals; the majority of which have been recently updated.  

Pushing the ute in a more car-like direction (the 4x4 Crew Cab with space for the family is the strongest selling Colorado), Holden has added new MyLink infotainment with desirable Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, there's a 7-inch or 8-inch screen depending on your model grade, bluetooth, voice recognition and digital radio as standard. Higer grade models also score embedded sat nav, while a rear-view camera is standard on all pickup models (optional on the cab chassis).  

MY2017 Holden Colorado. Photo: Contributed
MY2017 Holden Colorado. Photo: Contributed

Holden said it had been able to address customer feedback relating to current Colorados, with its engineers carrying out local testing at its Lang Lang Proving Ground, on public roads around Victoria and on rural country roads and 4x4 tracks. The final development drive for the new Colorado program was managed by Holden in Australia, which bodes well for our market's requirements.  

A key update is the introduction of a Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber (CPA) torque converter for the new Colorado, something typically found on diesel passenger cars and a first for the truck segment in Australia. This should reduce engine noise and vibration, and combined with a new engine acoustic pack and wind noise package, we can expect the new ute to offer a significantly quieter and more comfortable drive.  

MY2017 Holden Colorado LTZ. Photo: Contributed
MY2017 Holden Colorado LTZ. Photo: Contributed

The 2.8-litre four-cylinder Duramax diesel will remain the engine across the new Colorado range, while buyers will be offered a comprehensive active safety package on higher grade models.   

The current Holden Colorado trails only 4x4 ute rivals Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger and Mitsubishi Triton in 2016 year-to-date sales, and if priced sharply, the new model should shake the segment up nicely.  

MY2017 Holden Colorado Z71. Photo: Contributed
MY2017 Holden Colorado Z71. Photo: Contributed


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