The Acadia large sports utility vehicle is proof that Holden has not been forgotten by its General Motors masters in the United States. The genuine seven-seater may be put together from parts in the US but it’s a fair dinkum product made solely for Down Under by Holden engineers and designers.
The highly specified Acadia comes with the latest in automotive technology and safety features in three variants – LT, LTZ and LTZ-V – in two or all-wheel drive, powered by a 3.6-litre direct injection V6 engine producing 231 kW of power and 367 Nm of torque, mated with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Prices start at $43,490, plus on road costs, for the LT 2WD, and top out at $67,490 for the LTZ-V AWD. For this, buyers get active safety features across the range, including autonomous emergency braking with bicycle, as well as pedestrian, detection and lateral impact avoidance as part of lane keep assist with lane departure warning.
Traffic sign recognition includes a mode that if the driver misses a change-of-speed sign, TSR will remind them. To develop this Holden engineers covered tens of thousands of kilometres in testing, made more important by the fact that sign designs differ from state to state.
There’s hitch guidance with hitch view for hooking up a trailer, while the Acadia is the first General Motors vehicle to incorporate the ‘Tow Haul’ mode, which changes gear patterns while towing anything up to 2000 kg.
The Acadia marks the first time Holden has offered a GMC-based product in its line-up. On test was the LTZ-V. In hamburger terms, the Acadia with the lot.
In a nod to its American roots, the Acadia literally has some front, taking on its rivals, considered by Holden to be the Mazda CX-9 and Toyota Kluger, with a bold radiator grille with chrome embellishment and Holden lion prominent.
Wraparound headlamps, daytime running lights, LED tail lamps and 20-inch wheels on the range topper play their part in presenting the robust stance of a typical large SUV.
Cabin noise intrusion is kept to a minimum with the engine performing in a responsive and quiet manner, enabling driver and passengers to engage in a normal level of conversation.
Leather trim in LTZ up, and Bose premium audio in the LTZ-V only adds to the prestigious ambience. Second-row residents have a large storage tray and two cupholders and those in the third row have two cupholders and a container for bits and pieces.
There’s entertainment to keep the lid on kids’ boredom levels with an 8-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus USB ports – 2.1 amp fast charge versions – in all three rows. Satellite navigation is included across the range.
All seating positions are well serviced by technology, with a USB port in the third row, two in the second, plus another two up front. There are two 12-volt outlets; one in the front and one in the cargo area.
ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
A 3.6-litre, naturally aspirated V6 petrol engine produces 231 kW of power and a generous 367 Nm of torque, the latter peak is way up at 5000 rpm. The nine-speed auto transmission is almost CVT smooth.
Fuel economy is paramount with stop / start engine technology on tap and the ability to run on four cylinders under light loads. On the combined city / urban program, the test AWD LTZ-V got through just over 12 litres per 100 kilometres.
Driver Mode Control allows drivers to switch between driving programs from economy to sport, via a knob on the centre console. This also gives access to ‘Tow Haul’, which changes gear patterns while towing.
Active safety features across the range offer autonomous emergency braking with bicycle, as well as pedestrian, detection and lateral impact avoidance as part of lane keep assist with lane departure warning.
Traffic sign recognition includes a mode that if the driver misses a change-of-speed sign, TSR will remind him or her. To develop this Holden engineers covered tens of thousands of kilometres in testing, made more important by the fact that sign designs differ from state to state. There’s hitch guidance with hitch view for hooking up a trailer.
At close to five metres long, the Acadia is a genuine seven-seater with good legroom in all three rows of seats, plus room in the back to take 292 litres of luggage. The latter can be expanded to 2102 litres with rows two and three folded flat.
The second row slides forward to allow fairly easy entry to the back seats, which will take two adults in reasonable comfort. Storage includes a console for second-row occupants and a covered underfloor bin, keeping things out of sight. A space-saver spare is kept under the cargo area floor.
There’s even a rear-seat passenger reminder to alert to any ‘cargo’ such as sleeping kids, pets or valuables on leaving the vehicle.
Active safety features dial up added confidence in speedy going on winding country roads, and the LTZ-V with Flexride adaptive suspension dismisses minor road surface blemishes, producing a smooth ride and assured handling with excellent feedback through the steering wheel and little body roll to trouble occupants.
Braking deals well with the close-to-two-tonne boulevard bruiser.
Rear parking sensors are supplemented with Holden’s innovative seat alert that vibrates beneath the driver when sensing a looming obstruction outside.
One glaring omission for a serious off-roader is the absence of a driver’s left-foot rest, a boon in tough going when the vehicle is being thrown around. It was missed.
Well done Aussie engineers and techs who have taken Trumpster tackle and turned the Acadia LTZ-V into a premium SUV that can carry the family in top-end-of-town style and tame our own wild west, the outback.
AT A GLANCE
Acadia LT 2WD $43,490
Acadia LT AWD $47,490
Acadia LTZ 2WD $53,490
Acadia LTZ AWD $57,490
Acadia LTZ-V 2WD $63,490
Acadia LTZ-V AWD $67,490
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Holden dealer for drive-away prices.
(Acadia LTZ-V 3.6-litre V6 petrol engine with active fuel management, 9sp automatic AWD SUV)
Capacity: 1373 cc
Configuration: 3.6-litre, V6, nine-speed automatic
Maximum Power: 231 kW @ 6600 rpm
Maximum Torque: 367 Nm @ 5000 rpm
Fuel type: Petrol 91 RON
Combined Cycle (ADR 81/01): 9.3 litres per 100 km
CO2 emissions 209 g / km
Drivetrain: Nine-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4979 mm
Width: 1916 mm
Height: 1762 mm
Wheelbase: 2857 mm
Kerb weight: 1860 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 82 litres
Turning circle: 11.8 m
5 years / unlimited kilometres