Aca­dia to com­pete with Kluger

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Motoring -

Holden has re­vealed full spec­i­fi­ca­tion and pric­ing for its vi­tal new seven-seat Aca­dia SUV, which of­fi­cially goes on sale in Aus­tralia from Mon­day and will kick off from a com­pet­i­tive $42,990 drive­away.

The drive­away pric­ing has been in­tro­duced ini­tially to help stim­u­late in­ter­est, with the en­try-level fron­twheel-drive LT start­ing from $42,990, while the mid-range LTZ 2WD is $53,990 and the range-top­ping LTZ-V 2WD is $63,990.

The all-wheel-drive ver­sions that are ex­pected to ac­count for up to half of all vol­ume add an­other $4000 to each vari­ant. The rec­om­mended re­tail pric­ing for the LT is $43,490, $53,490 for the LTZ and $63,490 for the LTZ-V.

Holden is not shy­ing away from the Aca­dia’s roots, demon­strat­ing the model’s ‘Amer­i­can swag­ger’ in a se­ries of ad­ver­tis­ing and mar­ket­ing cam­paigns de­signed to dif­fer­en­ti­ate the crossover from its com­peti­tors as a de­sign-driven, fam­ily-friendly pre­mium ve­hi­cle with broad ap­peal.

Holden has been work­ing on the Aca­dia for three years as part of ‘Project C1UH’ – the Holden ver­sion of the sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion C1UG GMC Aca­dia that was launched in North Amer­ica in 2016.

The Aus­tralian in­volve­ment in­cluded re­tun­ing the sus­pen­sion and steer­ing, as well as the devel­op­ment of Gen­eral Mo­tors’ new mul­ti­me­dia sys­tem and traf­fic-sign recog­ni­tion tech­nol­ogy, among other things.

Work­ing con­cur­rently on the Opel In­signia-based ZB Com­modore – which shares many el­e­ments of the Ep­silon Ii-based trans­verse ar­chi­tec­ture that GM dubs ‘C1’ for its larger SUVS and crossovers – Holden’s engi­neers at Fish­er­mans Bend and Lang Lang re­vised the Con­tin­u­ous Damp­ing Con­trol adap­tive dampers that are fit­ted to the LTZ-V’S stan­dard 20-inch wheels.

They also set the spring, shocks and elec­tric power steer­ing pa­ram­e­ters for this as well as the stan­dard 18-inch wheel and tyre pack­age as fea­tured on the rest of the range.

No other brand in the global GM world will of­fer the Aca­dia, mak­ing Holden the sole right-hand-drive mar­ket for the car.

About $30 mil­lion was spent on re­vamp­ing the Spring Hill, Ten­nessee fa­cil­ity to ac­com­mo­date Aus­tralian and New Zealand pro­duc­tion.

It could be ar­gued that the Aca­dia is in fact an Amer­i­can high-rid­ing and re­bod­ied crossover ver­sion of the lat­est Com­modore, but no body or in­te­rior pan­els are in­ter­change­able.

The SUV is 4979mm long, 1916mm wide, 1762mm tall and with a 2857mm wheel­base, putting it within mere mil­lime­tres of the Toy­ota Kluger – which served as GM’S pack­ag­ing bench­mark – and slightly shy of the Mazda CX-9 – which, along with the CX-8, be­came the dy­namic yard­stick to beat.

The new­comer even shares the Com­modore’s High Fea­ture pow­er­train – the fourth-gen­er­a­tion 3.6-litre 24-valve nat­u­rally as­pi­rated di­rect­in­jec­tion V6 petrol engine with idlestop and cylin­der de­ac­ti­va­tion to help cut fuel con­sump­tion.

Due to space lim­i­ta­tions un­der the bon­net, a dif­fer­ent ex­haust sys­tem means the Aca­dia’s out­puts are slightly down on the Com­modore’s, de­liv­er­ing 231kw of power at 6600rpm and 367Nm of torque at 5000rpm. Drive is de­liv­ered to the front wheels via a nine-speed torque-con­verter au­to­matic trans­mis­sion co-de­vel­oped with Ford. Heav­ily re­cal­i­brated for Aus­tralia, it shares the Com­modore’s cal­i­bra­tion, up­hill mode, down­hill mode, shift sta­bil­i­sa­tion, per­for­mance-mode lift-foot and Holden-first tow-haul mode.

Where the Com­modore dif­fers from the Aca­dia is in the lat­ter’s all-wheeldrive sys­tem. While it has a sim­i­lar pre-emp­tive on-de­mand sys­tem that senses road, steer­ing, throt­tle and other in­puts to send torque rear­wards as re­quired, it is all done via a sin­gle-clutch rather than Twin­ster twin­clutch torque-vec­tor­ing setup.

The 2WD of­fers sev­eral se­lectable modes – Nor­mal, Sport, Snow and Trailer Tow, while go­ing AWD gives Nor­mal 2WD, Sport AWD, Off-road Sport AWD, Trailer Tow AWD.

The com­bined av­er­age stan­dard un­leaded petrol con­sump­tion fig­ure is 8.9 litres per 100km for the 2WD and 9.3L/100km for the AWD, re­sult­ing in a car­bon diox­ide emis­sions rat­ing of 209 and 219 grams a kilo­me­tre re­spec­tively.

Holden reck­ons the LT 2WD can crack seven sec­onds from zero to 100kmh, ow­ing to its 1874kg kerb weight. Go­ing AWD pushes that up 94kg, and the heav­i­est, LTZ-V AWD, tips the scales at 2032kg.

Mir­ror­ing the Com­modore, the Aca­dia’s steer­ing is elec­tric rack and pin­ion, Macpher­son-style struts up front and the Com­modore AWD’S ba­sic five-link ar­range­ment at the back.

Brakes are discs mea­sur­ing in at 321mm in the nose and 315mm in the tail. Ground clear­ance ranges from 199mm, 18-inch wheels, to 203mm, 20-inch wheels.

As men­tioned, the LTZ-V is alone with Zf-sup­plied Con­tin­u­ous Damp­ing Con­trol on 20-inch wheels, and it was tuned ex­ten­sively by lo­cal ride and han­dling guru Rob Tru­biani.

Ba­si­cally, the ‘Nor­mal’ set­ting is the same as the Us-mar­ket ‘Sport’ set­ting while ‘Sport’ runs a firmer setup unique to Aus­tralia. The brief was to not make Aca­dia a sporty SUV, but to of­fer Holden dy­namic DNA as well as class-lead­ing com­fort lev­els. Holden claims some 1.5 mil­lion kilo­me­tres of real-world lo­cal test­ing, but some of that was car­ried out by GM in Michi­gan.

The flag­ship model is also the first Holden with a 360-de­gree cam­era of­fer­ing dig­i­tal rather than ana­logue tech and eight views, plus a Gm-first trailer-hitch view.

Other in­no­va­tions in­clude au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing with cy­clist as well as pedes­trian iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, lane-keep as­sist that now recog­nises un­painted road edges and gravel and lat­eral im­pact avoid­ance that works with the Blind Spot mon­i­tor­ing and LKA in in­cor­po­rat­ing ve­hi­cles com­ing up an­other lane from be­hind the Aca­dia.

It also has hap­tic seat vi­bra­tions to alert the driver – as per the smaller Equinox – and Aus­tralia and New Zealand-rated and na­tion­wide traf­fic­sign recog­ni­tion tech that com­bines GPS and cam­era data to bet­ter man­age speeds.

It works with the avail­able adap­tive cruise con­trol’s speed-lim­iter func­tion to au­to­mat­i­cally ad­just the speed to what is posted. This is called In­tel­li­gent Speed As­sist in Holden-speak.

Holden was also the GM lead for the next-gen C1 in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem, sig­nif­i­cantly im­prov­ing the hu­man­ma­chine in­ter­face, and of­fer­ing mul­ti­ple smart­phone con­nec­tiv­ity and apps in­clu­sion, five USBS with fast-speed 2.1-amp charg­ing and en­hanced GPS with nat­u­ral voice and Google-like search func­tion­al­ity.

As re­ported by Goauto in Au­gust, along with pric­ing, a strong spec­i­fi­ca­tion story is also key to the Aca­dia’s ap­peal, with all mod­els scor­ing AEB, LKA, rear cross-traf­fic alert, rearpark­ing as­sist, au­to­matic high beam head­lights and traf­fic sign recog­ni­tion, as well as key­less en­try-go, Ap­ple Carplay and An­droid Auto, sat-nav, three-zone cli­mate con­trol and 18inch al­loys.

The LTZ adds leather, pow­ered driver’s seat, heated front seats, fog­lights, rain-sens­ing wipers, wire­less phone charg­ing, elec­tric tail­gate and park­ing as­sis­tance

AMER­I­CAN SWAG­GER: Holden has re­vealed full spec­i­fi­ca­tions for its new seven-seat Aca­dia SUV, set to ri­val the Toy­ota Kluger. The model is set to start at $42,990 drive­away to help stim­u­late in­ter­est.

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