“Holden have a new Rodeo but its not called the Rodeo. Meet the Colorado. It’s not only highly capable on and off road, but the revised styling looks considerably better than the outgoing nameplate”
- words by Anthony Crawford.
It’s not that Holden wanted to dump the Rodeo name and start again, that wouldn’t be the smart move. It takes many years and millions of dollars to build automotive brands and the last thing Holden needed, was to start again in the same category.
Rodeo paid dividends for Holden in Australia as a reliable and tough light commercial workhorse.
There was nothing wrong with Rodeo sales either. In 2007, Holden sold over 18,000 of them, skewed favourably toward the 4X4 variants.
Unfortunately for Holden, it didn’t own the name. That intellectual property belonged to successful Japanese truck company Isuzu, who’s relationship with Holden’s parent, General Motors is no longer.
The irony is, Isuzu Ute Australia is set to launch their own light commercial vehicle in Australia called, the D-Max which is sure to compete against Holden’s new model.
I’m not sure that Holden is too worried though, as the name change has forced the local operation to take a step back and look at the category with a fresh set of eyes and make some welcome changes.
For a start, Colorado is a global brand for General Motors light trucks segment, which could offer some economies of scale and subsequent pricing advantages over competitors.
You will be hard pressed to notice much of a difference between the Rodeo and Colorado, at least from the rear of the vehicle. Things are fairly similar down that end, so you need to look closely to spot the redesigned tailgate and taillight assembly.
Walk around to the front of the truck (Holden execs are using the term truck with increasing frequency when describing the Colorado) and you will be pleasantly surprised. The new grille is decidedly Chevrolet DNA and much better looking for it.
Engineering wise, not a lot of change here either. Three engines are on offer including my pick, the 3.0-litre four-cylinder common rail turbo diesel that pulls the Colorado along, effortlessly. It ought to, with 360 Nm of torque at 1800rpm with the manual and slightly less with the auto albeit, peaking at 1600rpm.
But I’m not sure how many of the 3.6-litre Alloytec V6 petrol engine variants Holden thinks they will sell, given the continuing petrol price crisis, but my guess is, not many.