Flagship Holden Colorado Z71 to take on Ford Ranger Wildtrak

2015 Holden Colorado Z71

The full-fruit 4x4 Colorado shows Australia’s desire for customised utes as Holden and Ford chase the top-selling Toyota Hilux

THE 2015 Holden Colorado Z71 is the brand’s new flagship ute. Priced from $54,990, Holden has taken the four-wheel drive Colorado LTZ crew cab and thrown almost everything it has at it to come up with a top-spec model that hits showrooms in July as an alternative to the upcoming  facelifted Ford Ranger Wildtrak.

Colorado Z712

The Z71 – which comes with unique grey 18-inch alloys, nudge bar, a huge sail plane sports bar over the rear window, a soft tonneau, and unique “Z71” graphics on the outside and leather seats inside – isn’t expected to set the sales chart alight, but comes within a week of the 2015 Ford Ranger Wildtrak being shown. The Wildtrak and the Z71 both serve the same role as a flagship, premium-priced halo model.

“You have a look at the growth of pick up and the LCV market and it’s a huge growth market in Australia,” Holden spokesperson Sean Poppitt told Wheels of the top-of-the-tree Colorado. “People have a real appetite for customising their trucks and having something that can do the workday thing, but then is also stylish and can be driven around in the weekends.”

“It’s a real aspirational model,” Poppitt said. “It’s basically got every option you can throw at it … We don’t expect it to be a huge volume seller but we expect it to be a real halo for that [Colorado] brand”

Colorado Z713

Ford says that a halo model for its Ranger, which is the second-best selling ute in Australia and the brands’ best-selling vehicle, is a must.

“It is critical,” says Ford’s Wes Sherwood. “Our 4x4 sales are going up; Toyota’s are going down, so this is really an area of the market that’s driving our momentum … where we’re particularly gaining momentum is in our 4x4 models and higher-end models like Wildtrak.”

The Wildtrak crew cab, powered by a 3.2-litre diesel, offers four-wheel drive just like the Colorado. The halo Ranger also boasts a full suite of gear including bold colours, Ford’s SYNC2 connectivity and safety gear.

2015 Ford Ranger Wildtrak1

“This is a trend and it’s happening globally, and we feel we’ve been leading the way with our F-Series trucks in American and our Ranger in Asia-Pacific,” said Sherwood.

“What we believe is behind this are people using trucks for dual use. So, work during the week and their families on the weekend. So they need to use their vehicle as an office, so it has to have all the connectivity and advanced features, and they need to have their families in it, so they need all the safety equipment and all the creature comforts you’d expect from sedans and SUVs.”

2015 Ford Ranger Wildtrak2

The Holden Colorado Z71 goes on sale in July priced from $54,990 (manual) and $57,990 (automatic). Pricing for the Ford Ranger Wildtrak is yet to be confirmed.

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