The Chevrolet Colorado pickup has made a big splash in the American midsize truck market with its semi-compact size and high levels of design and functionality. One thing the U.S.-spec Colorado lacks, however, is an SUV version. That’s not the case in Australia though, as the global version of the Colorado has spawned a seven-passenger, three-row SUV with an honest body-on-frame design.

Meet the Holden Colorado 7.

Though it’s not new, it’s new to most folks not living Down Under or in a few Asian countries. Introduced for the 2012 model year, the Colorado 7 offers much of the same equipment and functionality as its pickup sibling. Like GM typically does with its truck and SUV counterparts, the Colorado 7 uses the truck’s powertrain, in this case, a 2.8-liter four-cylinder Duramax engine and six-speed automatic transmission. Even the two-speed transfer case is the same.

Interestingly enough, the Colorado 7 is also known as the Chevrolet Trailblazer in some markets. But don’t mistake this for the Trailblazer sold in the U.S. between 2002 and 2009. The global version shown here is a completely different beast. Despite this, the Colorado 7 offers U.S. buyers a tasty glimpse at what a resurrected Trailblazer could look like, should GM ever decide to build it. Based off the U.S.-spec Colorado, the seven-passenger SUV would slot between the Tahoe and Equinox, effectively becoming a more rugged alternative to the unibody Traverse.

With all that aside, let’s take a look at the Colorado 7.

Continue reading to learn more about the Holden Colorado 7.

  • 2015 Holden Colorado 7
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    six-speed automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    177
  • Torque @ RPM:
    346
  • Displacement:
    2.8 L
  • 0-60 time:
    8 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    31600 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Holden Colorado 7
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2015 Holden Colorado 7
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2015 Holden Colorado 7
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The Colorado 7 looks basically identical to the global Colorado pickup from the A-pillars forward. The grille features the two-tier design with fog lights down low, along with chrome accents all around. From the A-pillar rearward, the truck body is replaced by that of an SUV.

The doors feature two main character lines – one down low and one just below the belt line. The upper character line comes off the front fender and runs through the door handles and over the rear haunches created by the tires. Large side windows allow for good outward visibility, while a oddly shaped third window makes the Colorado 7 easy to spot.

A large window and taillights are the main features on the tailgate, along with a chrome accent piece. Chrome is also found up top along the roof rails.

The Colorado 7 is offered in two trim levels: the LT and LTZ. The LT comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels and side steps. Those who upgrade to the LTZ get 18-inch wheels, projector beam headlights, LED taillights, chrome side window surrounds, body-colored door handles and power-folding side mirrors.

Exterior Dimensions

Overall Length 4,878 MM (192.04 Inches)
Overall Width, including mirrors 2,132 MM (83.93 Inches)
Overall Height 1,834 MM (72.20 Inches)
Minimum Ground Clearance 219 MM (8.62 Inches)
Wheelbase 2,845 MM (112.00 Inches)
Front Overhang 948 MM (37.32 Inches)
Rear Overhang 1,085 MM (42.71 Inches)
Front Track 1,570 MM (61.81 Inches)
Rear Track 1,588 MM (62.51 Inches)
Approach Angle (degrees) 30
Departure Angle (degrees) 22
Ramp Break-over Angle (degrees) 22
Wading Depth 600 MM (23.62 Inches)

Interior

2015 Holden Colorado 7
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2015 Holden Colorado 7
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2015 Holden Colorado 7
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The Colorado 7’s interior, especially the dashboard, matches its truck counterpart. The three-spoke steering wheel offers controls for the cruise control, radio and the driver’s information display in the gauge cluster. Speaking of radios, the Colorado 7’s HVAC controls take on early 2000s boom box design with its round control center and cool blue digital readout. It almost seems like the whole thing should tilt forward to reveal a vertical CD slot.

Anyway, the rest of the cockpit is traditional business. The gearshift offers manual controls while an old-school parking brake only leaves room for one cup holder. A rotary dial controls the 4WD operation, offering both high and low ranges in 4WD mode, along with 2WD.

The second-row bench offers seating for three and folds 60/40 style for access to the third row and for folding flat to haul cargo. The third row seats two and splits 50/50 style. When all five seats are folded, the load surface is mostly flat, but with a small space in the rear sitting lower than the rest. Storage for smaller items is good, with cubby spaces all around for do-dads and knick-knacks. Rear passengers also enjoy their own air vents.

Drivetrain

2016 Chevrolet Colorado Duramax Diesel High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 638249

The Colorado 7 is powered by the same 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel found in the Colorado pickup. Similar to the one found in U.S.-spec Colorados, the Duramax diesel puts out 177 horsepower and 346 pound-feet of torque. It comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shifting capabilities.

The SUV also packs a part-time transfer case, giving it 4WD on demand. With shift-on-the-fly, the transfer case offers 4WD high and low ranges while sending power to a limited-slip rear differential.

The Colorado 7’s rugged powertrain and stout frame allow it to tow an impressive 6,613 pounds on its hitch. The Colorado 7 rides on a traditional ladder frame. This gives the SUV a solid foundation. Up front, a double wishbone suspension is borrowed from the Colorado pickup but gets its own tuning by way of different coil springs.

Out back is where things get really different. Gone are the truck’s leaf springs in favor of a five-link setup that utilizes coil springs and monotube shocks. The life axle remains.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type Duramax in-line four-cylinder 2.8-litre diesel
Output 177 HP
Torque 346 LB-FT
Transmission Six-speed automatic

Prices

2015 Holden Colorado 7
- image 634521

The current Colorado 7 carries a starting price of $43,990 in Australia. That translates to roughly $31,600 U.S. dollars at the current exchange rates. That’s not a bad starting price for a body-on-frame SUV that comes with 4WD and diesel power.

Safety

2015 Holden Colorado 7
- image 634531

Crash protection comes by full-length side curtain airbags and three point harnesses for every seat. Up front, dual airbags, seatbelt pretensioners, and load limiters keep occupants safe. Two front airbags, Anti-lock brakes, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, front seatbelt pretensioners, rear park assist and a backup camera round out the features.

The Colorado 7 ranks a full five stars with the ANCAP crash test standards.

Competition

Ford Everest

2015 Ford Everest High Resolution Exterior
- image 577487

Like the Colorado 7, the Everest is based off a midsized pickup truck. In this case, it’s the global 2015 Ford Ranger. The Everest gets three engine options, along with an automatic or manual transmission option. The most powerful engine available is the 3.2-liter five-cylinder turbodiesel, though a 2.2-liter turbodiesel and 2.0-liter gasoline engine are offered.

The Everest boasts some of the segments most technologically advanced features and the most luxurious cabin. It also gets Ford’s terrain management system that help keep the SUV moving over rough ground.

Read our full review on the 2015 Ford Everest here.

Toyota Fortuner

2016 Toyota Fortuner High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 637171

Following in the Everest and Colorado 7’s tire tracks is Toyota’s newest SUV – the Fortuner. It’s base on the 2016 Toyota Hilux pickup and comes with the truck’s 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel and automatic or manual transmission choices. Of course, 4WD comes standard.

Packing seven seats in three rows, this body-on-frame SUV offers more rugged performance than the Highlander but in a smaller package than the 2014 Land Cruiser Prado.

Read our review of the 2016 Toyota Fortuner here.

Conclusion

2015 Holden Colorado 7
- image 634554

The Colorado 7 offers plenty of functionality and room for seven on a rugged platform with diesel power. You’d have to turn to Audi or Volkswagen to get anything similar here in the U.S – and that’s a shame. Though Chevrolet already has a wide array of SUVs and crossovers, it would seem the market would welcome a body-on-frame SUV that slots under the Tahoe. Currently the Traverse fills this role, but is limited in what it can haul or tow thanks to its unibody design and transverse engine.

With the popularity of the U.S.-spec Colorado and GMC Canyon, it would only make sense to chase profits into the SUV realm as well. While it’s rather unlikely the U.S. will ever get a Colorado-based SUV, connoisseurs of such vehicles can look and lust after such a vehicle that actually exists elsewhere in the world. What’s more, GM already has names with history – the Trailblazer and Envoy.

C’mon GM, let’s see you build them.

  • Leave it
    • * GM won’t likely build one here
    • * Turbodiesel is a bit underpowered
    • * Time for a refresh

Press Release

Holden will boost its popular SUV range and build upon the success of the Colorado light commercial vehicle range by introducing its first serious off-roader in more than a decade, the new Colorado 7 4X4.

2015 Holden Colorado 7
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Colorado 7 will be available in two specifications, the well-equipped entry level LT and top-spec LTZ.

Colorado 7 also shares the safety credentials of its Colorado Crew Cab stable-mate, which is recognised with a 5-star ANCAP safety rating.

Colorado’s robust structural design is backed by a comprehensive array of safety features with Electronic Stability Control, dual front airbags and full-length curtain airbags that extend to the third row on both LT and LTZ variants.

One powertrain and transmission combination will be available with the strong-performing 2.8-litre diesel engine and 6-speed automatic transmission standard on both LT and LTZ Colorado 7 models. The Duramax diesel engine achieves 132 kW of power and 470 Nm of torque.

Colorado 7’s advanced diesel technology ensures it returns 9.4 litres per 100 kilometres (ADR 81/02) and 252 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

Colorado 7’s chassis has been engineered independently of the Colorado LCV and is biased towards passenger comfort. While both models share an independent double wishbone front suspension set up, Colorado 7 features a five-link live axle rear suspension configuration that is unique to the SUV and coil springs front and rear.

The Holden SUV’s impressive off-road performance is underpinned by a part time four-wheel drive system with transfer case, with low and high ratio gears, Shift on the Fly and Limited Slip Differential. Colorado 7’s Descent Control System enhances its already formidable 4X4 capability.

Colorado 7’s generous interior dimensions enable a spacious and practical interior layout, with seven seats fitted across the range. With the second and third row seats folded, Colorado 7 can accommodate as much as 1830 litres of cargo.

Holden Executive Director - Sales and Marketing Philip Brook said Colorado 7 will be an exciting addition to Holden’s growing SUV portfolio, allowing Holden to offer a serious 4X4 alternative in the rapidly expanding SUV market.

2015 Holden Colorado 7
- image 634513

“The new Colorado 7 is the type of vehicle Australian buyers expect Holden to offer. We’re really excited to bring a genuine off-roader back into the Holden line-up,” he said.

“Colorado 7 is a very impressive all-rounder – it has seven seats, tough on-road presence, a rugged body-on-frame structure, powerful 2.8 litre Duramax diesel powertrain with 6-speed automatic transmission, 3-tonne towing capacity and enough room to haul the family and a heap of gear.

“It also has an accomplished and durable four-wheel drive system with Shift on the Fly, Descent Control and Limited Slip Differential, which means it’s capable of tackling the toughest bush tracks.

“Colorado 7 also offers peace of mind with a maximum five star ANCAP safety rating, reversing camera, rear parking sensors, driver and front passenger airbags, full length curtain airbags and Electronic Stability Control across the range.

“With our Captiva range a proven performer in the family SUV sector, Colorado 7 taking up the challenge in the serious four-wheel drive market, and the new Trax SUV arriving next year, Holden will be in its best position yet to take advantage of the SUV sales boom.

Powertrain and performance

Colorado 7 is powered by the same Duramax in-line four-cylinder 2.8-litre diesel engine first seen in the Colorado LCV range. It delivers peak torque of 470 Nm and 132 kW of power.

The high-tech diesel engine is designed to achieve a balance of load-carrying performance and fuel economy and returns 9.4 litres per 100 kilometres and 252 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

Colorado 7 has an impressive 3,000kg towing capacity thanks to the torque and strength from its diesel powertrain, 6-speed automatic transmission and robust driveline.

Colorado 7’s stable footprint is courtesy of front independent double wishbone suspension and five-link rear suspension configuration with coil springs at all four wheels.

The five-link rear suspension has been engineered to provide greater stability and surefooted performance, particularly when towing. Its design enables a smoother towing experience and minimises trailer snaking and lateral movement.

2015 Holden Colorado 7
- image 634514

Highlights include:

2.8-litre Duramax in-line 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine
Six-speed automatic transmission with Active Select
Independent double wishbone front suspension
Five-link live axle rear suspension
Coil springs front and rear
Hydraulic power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering
Shift on the Fly 4X4 system with dual range and two-speed transfer case
Four-wheel disc brakes
Cruise control
Descent Control System (DCS)
Hill Start AssistLimited Slip Differential
Sump guard

Safety and security

Colorado 7 has been awarded a five star ANCAP safety rating thanks to its comprehensive range of high-technology active and passive safety features.

Front driver and passenger airbags and full-length curtain airbags that extend to the third row seats are standard features on both LT and LTZ models, while rear parking sensors and a reversing camera provide additional peace of mind.

Colorado 7 benefits from a robust frame and body structure constructed from high-strength steel and a technically advanced chassis systems which delivers enhanced accident avoidance capabilities. Full length side impact protection beams reinforce the passenger safety cell and offers optimum protection in the event of a collision.

Standard safety and security features:

Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD)
Front airbags for driver and passenger
Full length curtain airbags
Front seatbelt pretensioners with load limiters
Front seatbelt sash height adjust
Three rear seat child anchor points
Three-point seatbelts across all seven seats
Rear Park Assist
Reversing camera
Security alarm

Manufacture

The new Holden Colorado 7 is built on the same production line as its Colorado sibling at GM’s advanced vehicle assembly plant in Rayong, Thailand.

The powerful new range of Duramax four-cylinder turbo diesel engines are produced exclusively at GM’s high-tech Thailand engine operations, which opened alongside the vehicle plant in September last year.

2015 Holden Colorado 7
- image 634515

Bold, dynamic exterior design

Holden’s newest SUV was designed in parallel with the Colorado truck in GM’s design studio in Brazil, where the team was challenged with creating a clean sheet design that would appeal to a vast bandwidth of customers in multiple markets.

Designers have made full use of Colorado’s brutish proportions to create a bold and appealing exterior design that conveys a sense of agility and purpose.

Colorado 7’s strong personality is balanced by muscular styling with finer sculpted highlights which sweep through Colorado 7’s roofline, doors and fenders, and a distinctive upper glass canopy that wraps around the rear corners of the exterior.

Standard LT features include:

Reversing camera
Rear Park Assist
16-inch alloy wheels
Body coloured front and rear bumpers
Body coloured door handles
Body coloured mirrors with side turn signal
Side steps
Front fog lamps
Front and rear mudflaps
Aluminium roof rails
High ride height

LTZ builds on LT features, with:

18-inch alloy wheels
Projector headlamps
LED tail lamps
Front fog lights with chrome surround
Chrome side window mouldings
Body coloured door handles with chrome strip
Chrome power folding side mirrors with side turn signal

Roomy interior designed with seven seats and clever storage

The Holden Colorado 7 has a spacious and flexible seven-seat layout, with up to 30 practical storage options located throughout the cabin.

Up front, the Colorado 7 features a sculpted dual cockpit design with flowing instrument panel that seamlessly integrates with the front upper door panels. LED ice blue illumination enhances the three-dimensional dials, dual gauge instrument cluster, audio system and air-conditioning controls in the driver’s display and centre stack.

For maximum flexibility, Colorado 7’s second row has 60/40 split folding seats which can be stowed in a forward tumble motion with a single latch in the seat back. The second row seat backs are also reclinable, while the third row has a 50/50 split configuration. Both rows fold to create a versatile load space.

Colorado 7 has a generous 235 litre rear cargo area with the third row in use, which increases to 878 litres with the third row folded into the floor. Additional storage is available with the second row tumbled (1,780 litres) and folded (1,830 litres).

Passengers in the second and third rows benefit from roof-mounted air-conditioning controls with four air vents.

2015 Holden Colorado 7
- image 634516

Standard LT features include:

Leather wrap steering wheel
Bluetooth® connectivity
USB and auxiliary
Six-speaker audio system
Woven cloth seat trim
Multifunction steering wheel controls
Power windows with cloth trim door inserts and metallic spear mouldings
Roof mounted rear air-conditioning controls with second and third row air vents
60/40 tumble fold second row seats
50/50 folding third row seats
Third row armrest storage
Rear auxiliary power outlet and coat hooks
Cargo area auxiliary power outlet

LTZ builds on LT features, with:

Leather seat trim
Six-way electric adjustable driver’s seat
Eight-speaker audio system with amplifier
Single zone climate control
Chrome interior door handles
Gloss Piano Grey centre stack mouldings
Chrome gear shifter
Power fold mirrors

Exterior colours

Holden will offer six exterior colour choices:

Summit White – solid white
Carbon Flash* – metallic black
Royal Grey* – metallic grey
Nitrate* – classic silver metallic
Blue Mountain* - metallic light blue
Sizzle – bright metallic red

*Prestige paint $550 (RRP)

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