Holden hopes to roar again with SUV made in US

Southern Telegraph - - WHEELS - Derek Og­den

Since re­tir­ing from ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ing in Aus­tralia, Holden has been bat­tling rel­e­vance in the mar­ket­place.

How­ever, while the gen­uine born-and-bred Aussie car may have be­come a thing of the past, that could be about to change with the Aca­dia.

OK, so the Holden seven-seat sports util­ity ve­hi­cle may be as­sem­bled in the United States but it’s a fair dinkum prod­uct made solely for Down Un­der by Holden en­gi­neers and de­sign­ers.

Holden chair­man and man­ag­ing direc­tor Dave But­tner says there is still a la­tent pas­sion for Holden prod­uct, with the aim of the Aca­dia to make a con­fi­dent state­ment to counter any doubts about the fu­ture.

“Rid­ing in the Holden Aca­dia of­fers a pre­mium ex­pe­ri­ence, with the lux­ury of space, com­bined with ver­sa­tile in­te­rior con­fig­u­ra­tions, the lat­est tech­nol­ogy, a full suite of safety fea­tures and lo­cal tun­ing for our roads,” he says.

“With the ad­di­tion of Aca­dia to our SUV fam­ily of Trail­blazer, Equinox, Tourer and Trax Holden is de­ter­mined to be on the shop­ping list for Aus­tralians look­ing to buy an SUV.”

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 231kW of power and 367Nm of torque, mated with a nine-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

Fuel econ­omy is para­mount with stop/start en­gine tech­nol­ogy on tap and the abil­ity to run on four cylin­ders un­der light loads.

Holden claims on the com­bined city/ur­ban pro­gram, the 2WD gets through 8.9L/100km, while the AWD uses 9.3L/100km.

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” when us­ing a trailer.

Prices start at $43,490, plus on road costs, for the LT 2WD, and top out at $67,490 for the LTZ-V AWD. At launch, drive­away prices run from $42,990 to $67,990 re­spec­tively.

At close to 5m long, the Aca­dia is a gen­uine seven-seater with am­ple leg room 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.

There’s even a rear-seat pas­sen­ger re­minder to alert to any “cargo” such as sleep­ing kids, pets or valu­ables on leav­ing the ve­hi­cle.

On the out­side, the Aca­dia out­mus­cles what Holden con­sid­ers to be its main ri­vals, the Mazda CX-9 and Toy­ota Kluger, with a bold ra­di­a­tor grille with a fo­cus on the big Holden badge, flanked by head­lamps and day­time run­ning lights.

The LT rolls on 18-inch al­loy wheels. In all vari­ants, the en­gine per­formed 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 added to the pres­ti­gious am­bi­ence.

A full wind­screen head-up dis­play would have been a wel­come ad­di­tion across the range.

With the re­cent rise and rise of the SUV, Holden even sees the Aca­dia LTZ-V, with its limo-like char­ac­ter, as the new Caprice.

Here the com­pany has pulled out all stops to sat­isfy the Aussie pas­sion for home-grown prod­uct.

Now it’s up to buy­ers to prove it.

Pic­tures: Mar­que Mo­tor­ing

The Holden Aca­dia is as­sem­bled in the US but is a fair dinkum prod­uct made solely for Down Un­der by Holden en­gi­neers and de­sign­ers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.