Walk into a HSV dealership these days and you’d be forgiven thinking they’d never existed. You’ll see a Camaro, Silverado and a glammed-up Holden Colorado. As sad as that is, it’s also a reality and no fault of HSV. This week we finally got our hands on the Holden Colorado SportsCat with “Look Pack”, a head-turner for sure. But is it worthy of the famous badge?
What is it?
To put it simply this is a top of the range Holden Colorado with lots of plastic aesthetic bits and pieces stuck on. There’s also a SportsCat+ model that scores some worthy upgrades such as rear de-coupling anti-roll bar and AP Racing brakes. The new “Look Pack” adds all the aggressive bits from the SportsCat+ such as unique front end, grille, wheel arch flares, bonnet bulge, attractive hard tonneau cover and 18” alloys.
The SportsCat rides higher with HSV tuned suspension and has a wider wheel track. You can see where some of the extra dollars go when items such as Cooper Zeon LTZ Sports All-terrain tyres and sports seats covered in Jasmine leather and Windsor suede are added. Basically, it’s the hero Colorado with input via HSV’s new digs in Clayton South, Victoria.
Behind the Wheel
Firing up the SportsCat is a familiar experience, the Duramax diesel is every bit as diesel in nature as before. HSV hasn’t touched it, while it’s not a bad unit it certainly could do with a little more refining. Driving the SportsCat does reveal a far more convincing handling package, it’s cornering prowess, body control and overall athleticism is up several notches over a standard Colorado.
But HSV wasn’t too concerned with ironing out its inherent jitteriness over just about any surface that isn’t as smooth as glass. The latter isn’t uncommon for many dual-cabs but we’re talking about a segment where the all-conquering Ford Raptor exists.
The part time 4×4 system remains the same with shift on the fly 4×4. Once again, our dictator Trevor Long spent some time in it and offered the following insights.
This thing looks the part of the brute ute, it fits in well with the current trend to boost and add panels to give the tradie style dual-cab an even more manly look.
In the Orange we drove it looks even better, having seen one in White I’d take the Orange any day – but on the inside it’s really just a Colorado with some improved trim. It would work if it was a special edition Holden Colorado, but I’m sorry this doesn’t fit with what I know as a HSV.
Every HSV I’ve driven has felt like a sports car from another factory – this I guess is a signal to the future where HSV have to take a different approach. That said, I’d take it over the standard Colorado any day.
Yes, this is clearly eye candy for the cashed-up tradie, the new “Crush” colour turned more heads at Bunnings than those at the Australian Open. I can see the appeal, but you’d have to be one hell of a Colorado fan.
It’s a case of status quo in most cases, up front sits the familiar 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel engine. Outputs remain the same at 147kW/500Nm for the optional six-speed automatic or 440Nm for the six-speed manual. The 4×4 system includes 4H and 4L modes. The ride is 20mm higher than a standard Colorado, making the leap into the cabin marginally more difficult.
Towing capacity remains the same at 3,500kg (braked) and 750kg (unbraked).
The SportsCat misses out on AEB and instead has a forward collision alert. The system uses a digital front mounted camera and a strobing red light projected onto the windscreen. It certainly serves its purpose well, by scaring the crap out of you via the visual and audible alert. But really, at this price a fully autonomous emergency braking system should be installed.
Holden’s MyLink system is fitted and although a little old these days can accommodate Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Why Would You Buy One?
HSV fans would probably choke on their weetbix at this suggestion, but perhaps you’d spend the extra cash because you still want a ute with a HSV badge? Either that or you’re still a diehard Holden fan. Because honestly, given the other options out there this is an underdone effort.
The HSV Colorado SportsCat with “Look Pack” is priced from $62,490, adding $1800 to the standard SportsCat. A six-speed automatic adds $2,200, the fitted optional sail plane adds $1,300 plus other options like a $300 tub-liner, $795 load master kit, $75 eye-bolt and $647 load kit.
There’s no doubt this is a polarising vehicle, simply because HSV stands for Holden Special Vehicles. Does the SportsCat live up to that legendry heritage, of course not. In fact there’d be less drama if this was not branded a HSV at all. But it is, so take it or leave it. It’s a 7.5 out of 10 for me.
Chris is EFTM’s Motoring Editor, driving everything from your entry level hatch to the latest Luxury cars through to the Rolls Royce.
He has been in the media for 20 years, produced three Olympic games broadcasts, attending Beijing 2008 & London 2012.
Strangely he owns a Toyota Camry Hybrid, he defiantly rejects the knockers.
Chris is married to Gillian and resides in Sydney’s North West. They have Sam the English Springer Spaniel and Felix the Burmese cat to keep them company, and recently welcomed baby Henry to the family.