Holden hopes to roar again with SUV made in US
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.
The Holden Acadia is assembled in the US but is a fair dinkum product made solely for Down Under by Holden engineers and designers.