Should I Buy a Holden Colorado?

Hi John, Thank you very much for your kind reply. (Read the earlier Q&A here >>) I agree with your suggestion to buy the Holden Colorado. However, there is a question: Why do Toyotas, including the Toyota HiLux, have higher resale value in the second-market than Holden Colorado? Is that due to the quality of the cars? (I saw some reviews involved in quality problem of Colorado online.) You know I am not worrying about it too much as Holden provides 5 years warranty at this time, however I am worrying about taking time out of my job if the Colorado happens to broken. Can you give me some information about the quality of the cars? Thank you. Best Regards, Stephen

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Resale values are purely a result of supply and demand in the marketplace. Demand for the Toyota HiLux is strong, both new and used, because:

  • Toyota is Australia's top-selling car company. Therefore Toyota spends more on advertising and marketing than any other company. This has been the case for may years. Toyota has been particularly successful with its 'unbreakable' campaign for HiLux.
  • HiLux is insanely popular new - some months every year it's the country's top-selling vehicle. Plenty of 'suits in utes' by the SR5 just because they like them. Plenty of former V8 Commodore and Falcon ute buyers are buying upmarket 4X4 utes these days.
  • Many people don't do objective comparison; they go with HiLux because it is a safe bet, and the marketing is effective. Often it's the only ute they consider buying.
  • HiLux was a real standout when this model was first released - potent petrol engine, five-speed auto, and five-star ANCAP safety rating. So it made a real splash as the top pick at the time. Today, although the market has moved on, the perception remains.

Colorado is traditionally less popular new and used, mainly because Holden traditionally dumps its big bucks marketing passenger cars - and this model is the first time a Colorado has actually been sexy. It's also the first time it's been better than a HiLux, and market sentiment (new or used) does not change overnight.

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I looked at the 'works burger' of utes for both Toyota HiLux and Holden Colorado. According to Redbook:

2012 Toyota HiLux SR5

  • Was $53,490rrp
  • Max priv. sale price today: $42,100
  • Retained value: 78%

2012 Holden Colorado LTZ

  • Was $51,990rrp
  • Max priv. sale price today: $37,900
  • Retained value: 73%

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Bear in mind I used the 2012 year for this comparison above because that was when the Colorado changed to the current shape. 2011 models were the old shape, and when all-new models are introduced the old model always takes a big hit in resale. Using 2011 models or earlier would unfairly skew the assessment of used value.

Based on a ballpark $50,000 spend, a difference of 5% equates to $2500 added depreciation in the Holden Colorado. Over two years, that's $25 a week, ballpark. Question is: would you pay $25 a week for the six-speed V five-speed transmission, and the other advantages (top-of range models compared):

Value Comparison

Let's take a look at the relative merits of the top-spec Colorado versus the top-spec Toyota HiLux

2014 Toyota HiLux SR5

Toyota HiLux SR5

  • $54,490
  • Max power: 126kW
  • Max torque: 343Nm
  • Trans: 5sp auto
  • Tow capacity: 2500kg
  • Payload: 835kg

2014 Holden Colorado Storm RG

Holden Colorado LTZ model pictured

  • $52,960 (-$1530)
  • Max power: 147kW (+17%)
  • Max torque: 500Nm (+46%)
  • Trans: 6sp auto (+1)
  • Tow capacity: 3500kg (+40%)
  • Payload: 1029kg (+23%)

If you had to pay $25 a week for all that, I think the case could be successfully prosecuted that the Colorado represents good value (especially as it's $1500 cheaper up front...).

Essentially I don't think there's a quality difference between the two cars. They are both manufactured in Thailand. They are both designed in Japan (in the case of the Colorado, it's a somewhat enhanced Isuzu).

Reliability is impossible to predict. It think these two would be close (the rest of the Holden range is a quality basket case - the locally produced cars, and those from the old Daewoo operation in South Korea are both lousy). On Radio 2UE in Sydney I take just as many calls from Toyota owners with problems as I do from other brands.

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