Last issue Holden let us put the Colorado LS-X through its paces on a handful worksites across Sydney. This issue we decided to tackle the lifestyle angle and managed to get hold of a stunning, bright-orange LS-X Colorado.
If you missed last issue, we loaded up a Colorado LTZ with timber and towed a trailer with an excavator to worksites all over the Sydney region. Holden’s work ute made light work of the substantial load.
For this issue we were handed the keys to an LS-X with black trim and accessories. I’m usually not a fan of bright colours on utes, but I have to admit, if I was buying one tomorrow, I’d go for the orange for sure.
Time To Get Sandy
We wanted to take the LS-X to the types of places tradies liked to visit on weekends with family and friends, but heavy rain just before we took delivery meant the trails were underwater and the Colorado didn’t have a snorkel fitted. So after a little careful thought the sandhills of Stockton Beach seemed an excellent option.
As soon as the skies turned blue we hit the dunes and the traction-control was immediately turned off.
It was a little strange, because when tackling a few substantial slopes and accelerating through some good turns on the beach I could still feel something, but I wasn’t sure what. It turned out to be the Electronic Stability Control. Reading the manual revealed holding down the traction-control button for 7 seconds turned this feature off, making available all the power and potential needed to tackle challenging terrain, including the beach.
This new-found control and power unleashed the actual performance of the Colorado on sand. When we needed that little bit of go to push through soft sand or steeper sections of dunes, the Colorado just lit up with performance.
But I must add that the Electronic Stability Control and traction control should be left on for all on-road driving conditions. These sophisticated features work exceptionally well to keep driver and passengers safe on the road, especially when the road is wet or in other hazardous conditions.
After letting the tyres down we struck up a chat with a local tradie who warned us about some real soft spots on the dune access, and then it was time to hit the beach.
I figured 4WD HI was the best approach to the soft-sand entry and hit it with a fair amount of inertia. The Colorado just skimmed across the sand with ease, and we were on the beach, drama-free, with the windows down and loving life in no time.
The centre-console dial to shift between 2WD, 4WD HI and 4WD LOW is one of the simplest and easiest-to-access I’ve seen. Changing between settings while on the move was also a breeze.
Being 6’4″ tall I’ve found the legroom and headroom aren’t quite roomy enough in many utes, but the Colorado was spacious on all fronts.
2.8-Litre Duramax Power
After heading up the beach for 20 minutes or so to get a feel for the conditions, it was time to see how the 2.8-litre diesel Duramax engine would cope with some of the more challenging conditions Stockton was renowned for.
Some of the dunes there stand a good 20m to 30m tall and can run for over a kilometre before turning into a new dune.
That situation repeats up the entire length of coastline.
After eyeballing a few nice, steep sections and making sure there were no unexpected, sneaky little drop-offs, it was time to rip in, and the 500Nm of torque and 147kW of power from the automatic LS-X variant was instantly evident. There probably isn’t a more testing environment of a car’s power than soft sand, and in a market where a lot of competitor vehicles are producing 450Nm the extra torque pushing up steeper hills was obvious.
Performance was impressive.
After spending a few hours in the steeper dunes it was time to hit the flat sections. The main beach area already had plenty of tyre tracks which can pull you in different directions if you don’t actively steer out of them.
Most of the time it’s actually great to follow someone else’s tracks, but I wanted to put the steering and suspension to the test. I slowly built up speed and snaked my way down the beach, crossing over many existing wheel ruts as I veered left and right. Even at speed the car felt great. As with the LTZ we tested last issue, the Colorado is a great mix of a rigid truck chassis with the drivability and smoother-handling suspension of an SUV. There was still enough tightness and feel left to be able to know exactly how the vehicle was handling, and even when intentionally letting the rear end drift at speed the control and precision of the ute was spectacular.
I couldn’t think of a better way to get a good portion of the sand off our sexy orange Colorado than tearing through some large, freshwater catchments between several of the dunes. The waves that shot up off the front of the LS-X were impressive and made for some great action shots.
When we pulled back into the petrol station to wash and vacuum the ute and inflate the tyres I had yet another local walk over to check out the Colorado and have a chat.
“She’s pretty flash,” the fella said as he walked around the ute, and there was no doubt the very stylish black accents made for an impressive sight: 18-inch black alloy rims, black grille, black fender flares, tinted weather shields, tinted bonnet protector and rear sports bar. Along with the black Colorado decal on the tailgate, this work ute is a real eye-catcher, but due to its stance on 18-inch wheels it’s a tough look.
Tough Exterior. Refined Interior
Like the LTZ, there is plenty of great tech in the stylish and spacious cab, along with a very refined and well-laid-out interior that more than matches the impressive tough exterior.
The infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and sat nav made getting from A to B an easy and enjoyable experience. The addition of the well-appointed steering-wheel controls also meant when a work call came in, or I needed to change a song or podcast, I could easily do so without my hands having to leave the wheel.
Adding further safety and reducing the risks of potential accidents are Rear Park Assist and the rear-view camera which displayed perfectly on the 7-inch LCD screen, even at night. It made getting into that tight parking space even easier.
It’s always an epic day with a 4WD on the beach and the LS-X more than lived up to our high expectations. After spending a solid week driving the Colorado around to photoshoots, site visits and talking with tradies around Sydney I have to say I’m a Holden fan, and being in the lucky situation to be able to put the majority of work-ute offerings to the test, we are fortunate to have such a solid choice of well-specced and great-performing work utes for both onsite and weekend lifestyle activities.
For more info visit the Holden website www.holden.com.au/cars/colorado