I was a HUGE fan of the Holden Colorado LTZ I previously tested and so I jumped on the opportunity to review the LS base model! I found the LTZ to be a surprisingly good BabyDrive; it was spacious, had a lot of the comforts most utes lack was easier than most utes to install child seats and was great to drive. Eager to see how the base model LS would differ we put it through our BabyDrive testing…
The new LS base model did not disappoint me at all! Very similar to the higher spec LTZ but firstly improved by the fact it has no carpet on the floors so it can be hosed down!! AMAZING!! The kids can climb in after the beach and I can throw all the gear in the footwells and it can be swept out a lot more easily than carpet!
The media system in the LS has a slightly smaller 7-inch touch screen that is easy to use and to connect my phone to. It has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and DAB+ digital radio reception which is fantastic for a base model ute.
The LS model still has reversing sensors and a reversing camera which is FANTASTIC for a base model ute as a lot of top models utes don't come with either. These and its tight turning circle made it easy and satisfying to park for a car of its size.
I was intimidated at first by the size of the Colorado LTZ, I thought it would be awkward to lift my hefty baby up into and being 162cm I’d never be able to reach in to do up her seatbelt, let alone into the back of the tray with the pram! I’m happy to say I was wrong! And none of this was a worry with the LS model because I knew what to expect!
The elevated seating position gave me great visibility and I discovered it to be the perfect height for posting bub straight into her car seat without having to bend down and in like I do with many lower cars. Bub is much bigger now and she loved the view out of the windows and the excitement of climbing up the step and into the cab!
The cab is VERY spacious and there is ample leg room in the front for a 182cm passenger with a rear-facing child seat behind them. I could get a good amount of grocery shopping in the cab too and found it surprisingly comfortable to use the tray for the stroller, dog and shopping bags. Lifting the stroller in and out of the tray was pretty simple, and yes I had to lift it higher than I would a sedan but it’s straight in and I didn’t have to bend, unlike some cars where I’m fighting to post it through a difficult shaped boot opening. The tray had a rubber flooring which is great for hosing down and doesn't damage a stroller when you're sliding it in and out like a tray with an abrasive surface could.
One of the main downsides for me with utes is the back window being flat and so close to the back seats that when my daughter was rear-facing, the sun would shine straight in onto her face.
I fitted three child seats into the Colorado, there are ISOFix in the two outer seats and top tethers on the back of all three backrests. Utes are notoriously difficult to install child seats and I find the Colorado one of the best for fitting them. The spacious cabin means you have more room to work in and maneuver the child seats around and it has regular metal top tether anchor points on the back of the seat backs rather than some of the alternative top tether methods in some utes.
The doors seemed to shut better on this LS model as I found the doors hardly ever shut first time with the LTZ which was annoying and disturbed sleeping passengers!
The windows open about an inch automatically when you open the doors, which at first I thought was a nice feature to let some air in but soon became annoying because if it's raining you really do not want to have water coming in and I found if bub is asleep the noise of the opening and closing windows is disturbing too.
There was nowhere convenient for my mobile phone and the central storage compartment lid is too long, spilling my drink and making its opening button inaccessible with a drink in the holder.
The cup holders are an inadequate size and we could do with a few more of them please Holden!
The steering wheel could not be adjusted in and out but I didn't find it as much of a problem in the LS model as I had previously in the LTZ and I found the seats more comfortable in the LS model. They are woven upholstered so they would collect spills and crumbs and be harder to wipe clean.
These were really the only faults I could find, we found it a great family car and the LS base model really has a lot of the features I would want like reversing camera and sensors and cruise control without the big price ticket. It was enjoyable to drive, park and use with children. It is also practical as a five-seater with enormous and accessible storage space in the tray, or you can fold the back row of seats up and throw your weekend camping gear in the back for a rare parents only weekend getaway! (One day!!)