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Chevrolet Colorado 2023: it’s the latest GM ute from the US, but why won’t it come to Australia?


The United States will score yet another pick-up that would suit the Australian market, but why won’t we get it down under?

The Chevrolet Colorado is coming back, but only to the United States where it will be sold in five different variants. 

Despite being perfect for Australia’s healthy and high-volume dual-cab ute market, the latest Colorado will not come here.

The vehicle itself is a development of the Holden Colorado that departed the market in 2020 and shared many components with its Chevrolet counterpart.

Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 2023 sand blasting
The new Chevrolet Colorado will not be coming to Australia

US production for the dual-cab will begin in the first half of 2023 at General Motors’ Missouri assembly facility for the left-hand drive market.

Colorado facts and specs for 2023 

The next-generation of Chevrolet Colorado is going to be available in the US market with five variants: WT, LT, Z71, ZR2 and Trail Boss.

In terms of dimensions, the Colorado has an overall length of 5415mm, is 2029mm tall and has a wheelbase of 3337mm. 

Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 2023 front 3/4
The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 certainly looks tough!

To compare, a Toyota Hilux SR5 dual-cab ute has a maximum length of 5330mm, is 1860mm tall and has a wheelbase of 3085mm– so the Colorado is slightly bigger in every proportion, however it still finds itself in the smaller pick-up category in the US market. 

A new Chevrolet Silverado LT Trail Boss measures in with a ginormous wheelbase of 3747mm and has an overall length of 5885mm. The Silverado is taller, too, riding high at 1990mm. 

The Chevrolet Colorado will ditch the outgoing 2.8-litre turbo-diesel in favour of a slightly smaller 2.7-litre turbocharged petrol engine. In base guise, the 2.7-litre is tuned to produce 176kW/351Nm, however in high-performance trim, this engine can make up to 231kW/583Nm

Chevrolet Silverado EV 2024 silver
The Chevrolet Silverado EV will be bigger than the Colorado

Chevrolet says that this new powertrain provides more power and torque in high-spec guise than both the existing 3.6-litre V6 or 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engines. 

Australia most recently scored a Holden-badged version of the Colorado with the 147kW/500Nm 2.8-litre diesel that was ditched to make way for the new 2.7-litre petrol. 

Why the Colorado is not coming to Australia 

The Chevrolet Colorado was sold in Australia as the Holden Colorado between 2008 and 2020 and, in the later stages, was sold as a rebadged Isuzu D-Max with the same powertrain and running gear.

Holden Commodore VF range
Holden no longer builds utes in Australia

However, with the demise of Holden in Australia, General Motors (GM) is now a very quiet entity on Australian shores. 

GM made the decision in 2020 to sell its Thailand factory to Great Wall Motors and to not continue to produce the dual-cab Colorado in Australia, even if it was under the Chevrolet name rather than Holden.

General Motors Speciality Vehicles (GMSV) sell the Silverado pick-up and the Corvette supercar, but that’s it.

Chevrolet Silverado EV 2024 blue
The upcoming Chevrolet Silverado EV

For GMSV to build the Colorado in right-hand drive and send it to Australia where it will battle in a highly-competitive dual-cab industry with the likes of the Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux would be a considerable undertaking – and one that GM is very unlikely to do. 

Which other utes has Australia missed out on?

The first model that comes to mind is the Hyundai Santa Cruz ute, and while it’s not based on a ladder-frame chassis like the dual-cab utes sold in Australia. 

The Santa Cruz rides on the same underpinnings as the Tucson SUV and would be ideal for city driving, rather than hardcore offroading or for work. 

Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022
The current Hyundai Santa Cruz that could come to Australia one day

Chasing Cars understands that Hyundai continues to actively look at bringing the Santa Cruz to Australia in 2023 or 2024.

Another ute we missed here in Australia was the South-American Volkswagen Saviero utility vehicle, based on the Volkswagen Fox/Gol – an entry-level small car by the company. 

The Saviero looks a lot like the original Proton Jumbuck that was sold in Australia from 2002 to 2009, that introduced smaller utes to the Australian market. 

Another model that was never introduced to Australia was the Honda Ridgeline that used a naturally-aspirated V6 engine along with four-wheel drive. The model was based on an Acura MDX platform and built only for the Canadian and US market.

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