Aca­dia head of seven-seater class

Te Awamutu Courier - - Driven -

Holden’s new seven-seater we first saw at Fiel­d­ays has fi­nally ar­rived — and I drove the top of the range Holden Aca­dia LTZ-V now avail­able at Rose­town Holden.

For its trip ‘down un­der’ the Aca­dia trades the GMC ini­tials across its grille for a Holden lion em­blem and chrome wings while Holden has pushed through some Aus­tralasi­aspe­cific up­grades, most no­tably the ad­di­tion of GM's lat­est nine-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

Aca­dia has a strong vis­ual ap­peal with ob­vi­ous North Amer­i­can styling themes and di­men­sions.

Holden has been ag­gres­sive with Aca­dia pric­ing. The en­try level fron­twheel-drive LT model opens the lineup un­der $50K, with a $4000 pre­mium for the all-wheel-drive LT while the flag­ship LTZ-V model with all-wheel-drive tops the range at $71,990. Be­tween the two is a midgrade LTZ spec­i­fi­ca­tion.

All Aca­dia mod­els run the 3.6-litre V6 petrol engine we have grown used to from the Com­modore.

The di­rect in­jec­tion engine has vari­able valve tim­ing and fuel-sav­ing Ac­tive Fuel Man­age­ment cylin­der de­ac­ti­va­tion that al­lows it to run as a four-cylin­der at light load. It also has stop-start tech­nol­ogy.

The smooth shift­ing nine-speed au­to­matic is spe­cific to the Holden badged mod­els — and it is a beauty.

This is a big car — but it has plenty of get-up-and-go and econ­omy is around the 9L/100km mark.

Ride com­fort is a bit typ­i­cally Amer­i­can, but there are other set­tings to give it a sportier ride,

All Aca­dia mod­els are seven seaters with sec­ond row seat­ing that can be ad­justed front-to-rear to vary the third row legroom. There is a one­touch re­lease to fold the rear seats and the sec­ond and third rows can be folded flat for ex­tended cargo ca­pac­ity.

Aca­dia has a 2000kg braked tow­ing ca­pac­ity and a Holden-first is the new spe­cially cal­i­brated trans­mis­sion mode for tow­ing work.

Safety rates high on the Aca­dia's cre­den­tials with the stan­dard Holden Eye safety pack­age com­pris­ing Au­ton­o­mous Emer­gency Brak­ing with pedes­trian and cy­clist recog­ni­tion, Fol­low­ing Dis­tance In­di­ca­tor, Lat­eral Im­pact Avoid­ance, Lane Keep As­sist with Lane De­par­ture Warn­ing and Traf­fic Sign Recog­ni­tion with In­tel­li­gent Speed As­sist.

The 8.0-inch touch­screen colour dis­play pro­vides satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion as stan­dard with Ap­ple Car Play and An­droid Auto con­nec­tiv­ity as stan­dard equip­ment.

My flag­ship Aca­dia LTZ-V runs of beau­ti­ful 20-inch al­loy wheels, has a dual panel sun­roof and LED bi­func­tion head­lights.

In­side there are ven­ti­lated front seats and 10-way power ad­justable pas­sen­ger seat, mem­ory func­tion for the driver's seat and it gets a 360-de­gree cam­era sys­tem, 8.0-inch colour in­stru­ment dis­play and gains an eight-speaker Bose Pre­mium Au­dio sys­tem.

The cam­era sys­tem is great for such a big car — you have mul­ti­ple views to choose so you know ex­actly where you are in tight sit­u­a­tions.

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