Review - HSV Colorado SportsCat

By Alexi Falson on 24 Mar 2022
image for Review - HSV Colorado SportsCat The iconic Holden Colorado dual-cab ute has been transformed in recent years, in more ways than one.

It’s now known as the HSV SportsCat, which was previously the top variant of the Colorado just a few years ago, which has also seen its design spearheaded by Holden Specialty Vehicles, a division that isn’t afraid to make a statement. As a result, the HSV SportsCat is one of the most striking, aggressive and dynamic offerings in the dual-cab ute segment, but you’re no doubt curious about what’s lurking beneath. 

The HSV SportsCat competes in perhaps the most fierce segment of the Australian automotive segment, the dual-cab ute market, where it goes up against overall top-sellers like the Ford Ranger, Toyota HiLux, Isuzu D-MAX, Mitsubishi Triton and the Mazda BT-50. With competition this stiff, the HSV SportsCat needs to rely on far more than its looks if it wants to win over Australian buyers, which is what we’re going to be taking a look at in this review.

So, with this in mind, just how capable is the HSV SportsCat as a dual-cab ute when it comes to daily driving, family duties, worksite potential and sheer payload and towing capacity, and how does it compare to the leading dual-cab utes on the Australian market? Let’s find out. 

Starting Price: $62,490

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HSV Colorado - SPORTSCAT V (4x4) Specifications

Model Date 2022
Make HSV
Series 82C43 MY20
Variant SPORTSCAT V (4x4)
Fuel type DIESEL
Transmission 6 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive 4x4
Engine TCDI
Engine capacity 2776
Engine configuration DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 3600 / 2000
Cylinders DT4
Torque 500
KW 147
Fuel tank size 76.0
Fuel usage specs 8.6 / 0.0
CO2 228
ANCAP security rating Unrated

For more details and other variants, check HSV Colorado car page.

How Much Does It Cost?

The HSV SportsCat lineup kicks off from $62,490 for the entry-level SportsCat V with a manual transmission, while stepping up to the range-topping SportsCat SV brings the price tag up to $66,790. Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change, and do not include on-road costs. 

HSV also offers a number of personalisation options for the SportsCat range, including a Load Master cargo management system, off-road equipment, upgraded SupaShock suspension system and a load rack for added cargo. 

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You? 

You could save money by getting one of OnlineAuto’s car experts to assist you in finding the best value model for you. Check out the services available: Car Buying, Vehicle Finance, Sell My Car. 

What Features Does the HSV SportsCat Have?

The HSV SportsCat comes riding on a set of 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Cooper Zeon LTZ all-terrain rubber, and comes packaged with a four-wheel drive system fitted with a limited-slip differential and an upgraded HSV Sports Suspension system. 

As standard, the SportsCat V receives a three-dimensional grille design, set of halogen headlights with LED fog lights, daytime running lamps and tail lights, as well as keyless entry, an 8.0-inch infotainment system with DAB+, satellite navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a seven-speaker sound system, cruise control, rear-view camera with front and rear-mounted parking sensors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, automatic wipers, hard tonneau cover with alloy sports bar, climate control, heated sporty bucket seats with suede inserts, recovery hooks, a full-sized spare tyre as well as a heap of active safety technologies that we’ll cover later in this review. 

Opting for the SportsCat SV adds a set of 362mm four-piston brake calipers from AP Racing, and a decoupling anti-roll bar for the rear axle.  

Range Features: 

  • 18-inch alloys 

  • Cooper Zeon LTZ all-terrain tyres 

  • Four-wheel drive system

  • Limited-slip differential 

  • HSV Sports Suspension 

  • Three-dimensional grille design 

  • Hard tonneau cover 

  • Alloy sports bar 

  • Automatic halogen headlights 

  • LED tail lights, fog lights and daytime running lamps 

  • Keyless entry and start 

  • 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and satellite navigation 

  • Seven-speaker sound system 

  • Rear-view camera with front and rear-mounted parking sensors 

  • Climate control 

  • Heated seats 

  • Bucket seats with suede inserts 

  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel 

  • Full-sized spare tyre 

  • Recovery hooks

  • Decoupling anti-roll bar over rear axle (SportsCat SV) 

  • Upgraded AP Racing 362mm four-piston brake calipers 

HSV Colorado - SPORTSCAT V (4x4) Colours

Summit White Dark Shadow
Absolute Red Mineral Black

Is it Comfortable to Drive? 

If you’re familiar with how dual-cab utes feel on the road, the HSV SportsCat will be a familiar yet impressive reminder of just how adaptable the platform can be. Power is supplied by a 2.8-litre, four-cylinder Duramax 2 diesel unit which produces 147kW and 500Nm of torque, which puts the SportsCat on par with a number of its key rivals, but not at the head of the pack. On the road, though, this power translates to smooth, near effortless acceleration, with power sent to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission that works wonders in making the SportsCat feel like a powerful, buttery-smooth dual-cab ute. 

This means that daily driving around town is an extremely smooth, user-friendly experience that remains exceptionally comfortable on Australian road surfaces. While its size might take some getting used to, the lightweight steering rack makes low-speed maneuvering a simple task, and with the help of the reversing camera and parking sensors, car parks are less intimidating for those new to dual-cab utes. For those that are familiar with the layout, though, you’ll be pleased to find out that the SportsCat is a relaxing commuter with a healthy amount of power underneath the bonnet. 

The off-road focussed suspension makes light work of any bumps on the road, which means that the SportsCat is actually a perfect option for long distance road trips with the family with its soft ride quality. This, however, does translate to some noticeable body-roll when moving through the corners, however, as a complete package, the SportsCat strikes a perfect balance for those looking for a comfortable dual-cab ute. 

Is it Powerful Enough For Work, Off-roading and Towing? 

HSV has seemingly designed the SportsCat with towing, off-roading and potential on the work site primarily in mind with its hardcore platform, upgraded hardware and striking looks. As a result of the revised platform and added off-road hardware, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how capable the SportsCat is when pushed off-road.

There’s a healthy 32-degree approach angle, 24-degree departure angle and a 27-degree ramp breakover angle, which means that the SportsCat is able to better some of the figures offered up in key rivals like the Isuzu D-MAX, Mazda BT-50 and even the Toyota HiLux. The same applies for the ground clearance, with the SportsCat offering 251mm of height above the road which helps it conquer some seriously tough terrain, with the help of the torque on offer from that four-cylinder diesel unit. 

In terms of payload and towing, HSV says the SportsCat is rated at 1-tonne of payload capacity, which is paired with a braked towing capacity of 3,500kg. In terms of keeping up with its competitors, the SportsCat matches the payload potential and towing figures of its main rivals, which is complemented by the addition of hill descent and trailer-sway control, as well as roll-over mitigation and hill-start assistance. 

All up, then, it’s clear to see that HSV has designed the SportsCat range to be a hardcore and capable addition to your garage that not only keep up with its main rivals, in a number of off-road circumstances, it leaves them in the dust. 

Is it Practical and Spacious? 

Stepping inside the HSV SportsCat greets the driver and front passenger with a simple, largely black interior design that prioritises ergonomics and comfort over design flair. As a result, the front cabin is spacious, albeit a little underwhelming for a premium-priced ute. However, what it lacks in style the SportsCat makes up for when it comes to space and comfort inside the cabin, with a huge number of practical touches hidden away throughout the cabin. The cabin can accommodate even the tallest of drivers without a problem, with a huge amount of head, shoulder and legroom in the front combined with a fully-adjustable driving position. Up front, you’ll find the usual set of storage in the door bins and underneath the large folding armrest for any loose items you accumulate. 

In the rear of the cabin, there’s enough space for kids and growing teenagers to get comfortable, although any full-sized adults might notice a lack of legroom in the rear, which is something no doubt familiar to dual-cab utes as a whole. Overall, though, there’s enough space for adults to comfortably sit on short-to-medium journeys, with a huge amount of headspace on offer. For the parents out there, the ISOFIX anchors and top tether mounts are easy to access thanks to the wide door openings, making it perfectly acceptable for families with young children. 

Is it Safe? 

The HSV SportsCat is yet to receive an official ANCAP safety rating, however, we do know that the vehicle that it is based on, the Holden Colorado, was awarded a five-star ANCAP safety rating when it was tested back in 2016. This rating applied to all Colorado variants up until September, 2020, which suggests that the SportsCat would be ranked similarly. 

Regardless, HSV is packaging the SportsCat with a huge range of safety equipment, including forward collision alerts, lane departure warnings, hill start assist and hill descent control, trailer sway control and a host of airbags. 

Is it Fuel Efficient?

HSV SportsCat is rated at 8.6L per 100km on a combined cycle, with economy figures jumping to 10.8L per 100km around town and dropping to 7.5L per 100km on the highway. Overall, the economy figures are on par with its competitors in the diesel-powered, dual-cab ute segment, with the SportsCat neither out-pacing its competitors or being embarrassed by them. 

Our Verdict: Is the HSV SportsCat Worth it?

While the latest iteration of the HSV SportsCat is one of the more niche entries into the dual-cab ute segment, it’s tried-and-tested platform and hardcore underpinnings mean that it has absolutely no problem with keeping up with the dual-cab ute establishment in the key areas that buyers demand from their utes. On the road, it remains a comfortable family cruiser, while off-road it is able to push into areas that some of its competitors might even struggle. 

While it might not have the special touches inside that you’d expect, there’s not many dual-cab utes that truly feel special on the inside, either, so with this in mind, the HSV Colorado is definitely deserving of a spot on your shortlist for dual-cab utes. On that note,  if you’re in the market for a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925.

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Five-year, unlimited KM warranty 

  2. Nine-month, 15,000km service intervals 

  3. No official ANCAP safety rating 

  4. 8.6L per 100km fuel economy

  5. 1-tonne payload capacity with 3,500kg braked towing capacity


  • Capable workhorse

  • Comfortable suspension on the road

  • Exceptional performance off-road


  • Single engine lineup

  • Underwhelming interior design 

  • Pricey options list

OnlineAuto Rating: 8/10

HSV Colorado Competition

HSV Colorado

Ford Ranger
Nissan Navara
Toyota Hilux
Isuzu D-MAX
Mitsubishi Triton


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

Have any questions? Call us on 1300 719 925

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