ummer is the time of year when the family car is receiving a one of a kind workout; we’re off on the road to visit our friends and families or to take it on a camping adventure all while bringing the two kids, the animals, stacks of presents and eskies full of food.
We then return from our vacations a little stressed, maybe even looking for another holiday and realise that perhaps our choices in a car maybe lack in a few crucial areas.
That need for space, a vehicle adaptive to different driving or lifestyle conditions with long trip comfort essentially a great all-rounder for the whole family. Some unique requirements for that Australian driving experience.
This is why the focus needs to be on not just the journey but the arrival; Something Holden is hoping to champion with the entry of its all-new model the Acadia taking the brand into the growing large SUV market.
We were lucky enough to be one of the first few in the country to get behind the wheel of the Acadia in October and see what it had to offer and put it through its paces.
We’ve broken down the vehicle into some key areas we think are on the checklist for a new car in no particular order.
It has been a while since we’ve seen any SUV on Australian roads with a presence like this, We have long had the Mazda CX-9 and X – Trail or the Kluger that have been around long enough now they are part of the furniture in the looks department.
But the Holden Acadia just seems to bring a bit of a more robust and stylish look to the segment with some definite American influences coming from I suppose the fact of the Acadia is manufactured in Tennessee but yet still refined enough not to be seen as not over the top.
The Acadia also comes in a range of stylish colours including Mineral Black, Glory Red, Abalone White, Blue Steel, Dark Shadow, Nitrate Silver, Scorpion, and Summit White.
The Acadia is a leader in protection with an impressive range of accessories standard on all models, The Acadia has also achieved a five-star ANCAP safety rating, tested to the new 2018 ANCAP / Euro NCAP aligned protocols, and it’s passed with flying colours.
The Acadia has a suite of safety features across the range,
– Autonomous Emergency Braking
– with pedestrian and bicycle detection
– Following Distance Indicator
– Automatic High Beam Assist
– Safety Sear alert
– Forward Collision Alert with Heads up Warning
– Lateral Impact Avoidance
– Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning
– Side Blind Zone Alert with Rear Cross Traffic Alert
– Rear Park Assist.
– Traffic Sign Recognition with Speed Assist
Day to Day
The Acadia has a feeling of space you are going to love, unlike most seven-seat SUV’s that are really a four-seater with two kids seats in the back.
The Acadia seems even to be able to fit most people under 6ft comfortable in the 3rd row, and the room is more generous as you move forward in the cabin.
You can also fold the seats down to make an impressive cabin space for those flatpack nightmare trips to IKEA or a remarkable amount of retail therapy with many configurations of the seating to suit.
All the modern inclusions for passengers make long road trips perfect, with USB charging points front and back, roof mounted aircon outlets and climate controls installed in the rear and centre console in all models.
As you move up the range, you can enjoy fantastic comfort and other options like wireless charging, heated or ventilated seats, and enjoy hitch view, for towing or even 360-degree camera views.
Taking to the road, I got to drive the Acadia in a range of dry, wet, and slippery conditions and was pleasantly surprised with its size, handling and manoeuvrability.
Looking at the size and place of manufacture you would think the Acadia would drive like a boat with wave-like motions and sweeping cornering, But the Holden team have worked to bring the tuning and power that we all know to love in Australian driving and put into the Acadia.
It was a delight to drive being sporty and agile on some of Victorias sweeping and windy roads.
The 3.6 Litre V6 and nine-speed automatic transmission comes standard across the range and brings impressive acceleration and flowing changes on all types of loads and conditions.
We took a test drive in every variant from the entry LT to the LTZ-V, and kept the foot down in all of the conditions and even trying the AWD and no matter what we tried we couldn’t notice much of a difference in ride, or drive across the range or get the vehicle to have a miss step.
It is definitely an enjoyable car to drive whether it be a short distance in the city traffic or on the open road for a 1200km interstate road trip.
Holden has come a long way in the infotainment offerings of late, but the Acadia seems to step it up again with a range of options.
Acadia will definitely keep the kids, or tech-savvy of us entertained with its 8-inch infotainment touch-screen with Apple Carplay and Android Auto the car has a range of USB ports in all three rows and not just any old ports, they all support fast charging and Ipad charging, just what you need on the road.
Along with the fantastic range of safety tech standard on the vehicle, it is definitely a tech lovers kind of car.
Let’s get straight into it and talk business the Acadia starts at the LT 2WD and Up to the LTZ – V AWD and the RRP is below
LT – 2WD = $43,490
LT – AWD = $47,490
LTZ – 2WD = $53,490
LTZ – AWD = $57,490
LTZ-V – 2WD = $63,490
LTZ-V – AWD = $67,490