Ford has completely thrown in the towel in terms of smaller trucks in the U.S. market, letting leftover Rangers dwindle on dealer lots as the last stragglers are sold off. General Motors has not completely abandoned the segment though, committing to building an all-new Colorado midsizer based off its acclaimed global model sold in Southeast Asia, Australia, and elsewhere.
There are still a few global goodies we won't get, and this is one of them. Behold the 2013 Holden Colorado 7. As the name implies, it has a seven-passenger capacity, and is essentially Holden's home-badged version of the new global Chevrolet Trailblazer SUV. Similarly positioned in overseas markets to our Traverse crossover, which ostensibly replaced the outgoing GMT-360-based Trailblazer in North America, the Colorado 7/Trailblazer is an entirely different animal from the soccer-mom oriented Lambda-based Traverse.
Dimensionally, the Colorado 7 is smaller than the Traverse, closer in size to a Jeep Grand Cherokee, with an overall length of 192 inches, compared with the Traverse's 203.7 inches. A Grand Cherokee has an overall length of 189.8 inches. Its 112-inch wheelbase is slightly shorter than the Grand Cherokee's 114.8 inches, and considerably shorter than the Traverse's 118.9 inches. Maximum cargo capacity for the Colorado 7 is 64.6 cubic feet with both rear rows folded, compared with the Traverse's capacious maximum of 116.3 cubic feet.
Unlike the Traverse, the Colorado 7 has part-time four-wheel drive with a real low-range transfer case, an item that's becoming increasingly rare among mainstream SUVs. The rear suspension is a live axle with coil springs, compared with the Colorado pickup's rear leafs. Aiding the Colorado 7's off-road capability is a limited-slip differential, Descent Control System, and hill-start assist.
Similar to the Traverse, there's just one engine and transmission combination offered. Instead of the Traverse's 3.6-liter V-6, the Colorado 7 gets a 2.8-liter Duramax four-cylinder turbodiesel making 177 hp and 347 lb-ft of torque mated exclusively to a six-speed automatic. Thanks to the abundant torque of the turbodiesel, maximum towing capacity is 6614 pounds. That's a nice, round 3000 kg in metric-speak.
And although you won't find MyLink or Siri integration on the Colorado 7, it does come standard with Bluetooth hands-free calling, USB and iPod connectivity, and a standard rearview camera on the base LT model. The LTZ trim adds 18-inch wheels (16-inch are standard) projector-beam headlights, LED taillights, and chrome window moldings and outside mirrors.
Although we won't get the global Trailblazer or Colorado 7, there's a slim, unconfirmed chance we might get the 2.8 Duramax as an option in the new Colorado. Why are we hopeful? Chevrolet has committed to a turbodiesel option for the Cruze compact sedan, and we know the 2014 full-size Ford Transit will get a diesel option in the U.S. True, neither of those vehicles is in the same class as the Colorado, but both show that traditionally diesel-averse U.S. manufacturers are starting to warm up to compression-ignition engines. A midsize truck with nearly 350 lb-ft of torque and close to 30 mpg highway sounds like a good combination to us.
Source: General Motors