They say the world gets smaller every day. From technology to the internet to products made elsewhere, we are indeed tied ever-more tightly together. But if you live Down Under you get some things we don’t when it comes to Chevy. Or as they call it “Holden.” The Holden brand is GM’s Chevy in Australia. Why can’t the US get the Australian Colorado and Blazer?
Remember those cool-looking Utes they used to get? Well, now there’s more than just Utes that we don’t get in the US. Why? There’s a lot of differences besides the sheetmetal, though that’s what strikes you at first glance. Just about everything is different between the US and Australian versions of both the Blazer and Colorado.
Their Colorado is smaller, ours isn’t
First is the Colorado’s size. Australia’s Colorado is a bit smaller than ours-sort of like a Nissan Frontier or Toyota Tacoma. It’s the size that midsize trucks used to be before they got almost as large as a Silverado. Have you noticed that on the street? When you look at a Colorado, or its sister GMC Canyon, they look like a full-size pickup. Unless a new F-150 or Silverado pulls up beside it. You almost feel like, “why bother?”
Why did GM bother to make the midsize so close to its full-size counterpart? If you want a smaller pickup, you don’t want one that’s almost imperceptible from the full-size. It almost seems like it makes more sense to buy the Silverado. Or, if it’s the price that’s a bit much, settle for a low-mileage used Silverado. Or similar GMC Sierra.
Why don’t Colorados come with single cabs?
Then there are the cabs. Here, we get the extended cab or crew cab. The distinction almost seems like not a distinction at all. The Aussies get the double cab or single cab like we used to get before we didn’t. Even Ram doesn’t make a single cab version of its new 1500. Did everyone abandon single cabs in the US? If bigger is better why not offer a three-door cab? Or an optional sleeper like big rigs use?
Many in the US would like a slightly smaller pickup with a single cab. If you want a freight train then go for the crew cab, but not everyone wants one of those cigar-like trucks.
They get V6 and Diesel, we get bangers with turbos
Engines are different too. Here it’s small bangers with turbos. There it’s diesel and V6s. So here we want bigger, longer midsize trucks with much smaller engines. In Aussieland, they want slightly smaller trucks with larger engines? Who comes up with this stuff? Is it more environmentally friendly to have a larger truck with a smaller engine or a smaller truck with a larger engine?
With the Blazer, the differences are much more pronounced. First, our version, which is new, is a crossover. That means it’s unibody-as in no frame. The Australian Blazer gets a body-on-frame as a real SUV should. That makes our Blazer more like a slightly lifted station wagon. It looks cool and all, but the only thing “SUV” about it is the “V.” The “S” and “U” probably should not be part of the description.
The Australian Blazer and Colorado are beefier-looking. There’s more top section, and the body is taller. It just looks more like an SUV is supposed to look. Chevy even has a slogan for our Blazer, “The New Standard In Design.” That doesn’t sound particularly rugged and sporty like an SUV is supposed to be.
Their Blazer and Colorado share body on frame components but we get unibody
The last thing we’ll mention is that both the Australian Blazer and Colorado share sheetmetal and frames. It’s how you get two different vehicles with different needs from a single tool with a little more tooling added. The US Blazer shares nothing with Colorado. It utilizes the GM C1 platform, which the GMC Acadia and older Cadillac XT5 do. But, if you’re going to share a platform for an SUV, wouldn’t you want to consider the stouter of the two?
We’d love to be a fly on the wall in those meetings where they figure this stuff out to see how and why GM does some things. We know it is with the noblest of intentions, but we all see things differently.
That’s what makes the world go ‘round.