New Aca­dia of­fers 7-seat al­ter­na­tive

Hamilton News - - PROPERY GUIDE - By Colin Smith

US-built ve­hi­cles play a con­sid­er­ably big­ger role in the New Zealand au­to­mo­tive mar­ket than it might first ap­pear.

While the Ford Mus­tang and ve­hi­cles like the Jeep Grand Chero­kee and RAM trucks are the ob­vi­ous face of au­to­mo­tive Amer­ica, there are pop­u­lar sell­ers like the Toy­ota High­lander, Nis­san Pathfinder, all of the BMW sport util­ity mod­els from the X3 up­wards and the Mercedes-benz GLE and GLS also man­u­fac­tured in the US.

The new­est ad­di­tion to the made-in-the-usa ros­ter is the Holden Aca­dia. It’s a large size seven-seat SUV model built at the GM Spring Hill plant in Ten­nessee that launches this month to give Holden a mod­ern re­place­ment for the seven-seat Cap­tiva mod­els and a ri­val to the Toy­ota High­lander, Hyundai Santa Fe and Mazda CX-9.

For its trip “down un­der” the Aca­dia trades the GMC block cap­i­tal ini­tials across its grille for a Holden lion em­blem and chrome wings while Holden has pushed through some Aus­trala­sia-spe­cific 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. And it gives Holden a fourth — or ar­guably a fifth — pil­lar to its SUV line-up along­side the Trax, Equinox and Trail­blazer. The high-ride ZB Calais-v Tourer also sits on the fringes of the SUV seg­ment.

Holden has been ag­gres­sive with Aca­dia pric­ing. The en­try level front-wheel-drive LT model opens the line-up at $49,990 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 mid-grade LTZ spec­i­fi­ca­tion.

All Aca­dia mod­els de­liver 3.6-litre V6 petrol per­for­mance. It’s ba­si­cally the same unit as the ZB Com­modore with di­rect in­jec­tion, vari­able valve tim­ing and fu­el­sav­ing Ac­tive Fuel Man­age­ment cylin­der de­ac­ti­va­tion that al­lows it to run as a four-cylin­der at light load.

Mi­nor in­let and ex­haust dif­fer­ences ac­count for its 231kw at 6600rpm and 367Nm at 5000rpm out­put fig­ures (com­pared to Com­modore’s 235kw and 381Nm out­puts) and fuel con­sump­tion is rated at 8.9L/100km for front-drive mod­els and 9.3L/100km for AWD ver­sions.

Holden engi­neers tuned the elec­tric power steer­ing, the cal­i­bra­tion for sta­bil­ity con­trol elec­tron­ics and the Aca­dia’s sus­pen­sion — Mcpher­son strut at the front and a five-link in­de­pen­dent lay­out at the rear — for Aus­tralia­sia with test work at the com­pany’s Lang Lang prov­ing ground in Vic­to­ria.

The smooth shift­ing nine-speed au­to­matic is spe­cific to the Holden badged mod­els built in right­hand-drive with North Amer­i­can cus­tomers get­ting a six-speed trans­mis­sion.

Aca­dia has a 2000kg braked tow­ing ca­pac­ity and a Holden-first is the new Tow Haul fea­ture which is a spe­cially cal­i­brated trans­mis­sion mode for tow­ing work. Holden New Zealand is list­ing six mod­els for the Kiwi mar­ket. Deal­ers will stock the en­try level LT in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel -drive vari­ants along with the LTZ and LTZ-V all-wheel-drive ver­sions. Cus­tomers will also be able to or­der front-drive ver­sions of the LTZ and LTZ-V.

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 one-touch re­lease to fold the rear seats and the sec­ond and third rows can be folded flat for ex­tended cargo ca­pac­ity.

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.

For­ward Col­li­sion Alert with Head-up Warn­ing, Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traf­fic Alert are stan­dard and the Aca­dia LT also has the hap­tic re­sponse Safety Seat Alert which re­places audi­ble warn­ings with vi­bra­tion through the driver’s seat.

The Aca­dia of­fers a strong spec­i­fi­ca­tion with LT grade stan­dard equip­ment in­clud­ing tri­zone cli­mate con­trol, push but­ton start, LED day­time run­ning lights and LED tail lamps, 18-inch al­loy wheels with all-sea­son tyres, pri­vacy glass, roof rails, drive mode con­trol, one-touch fold­ing rear seats.

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

The sec­ond tier LTZ grade re­mains on 18-inch al­loy wheels and gains leather ap­pointed trim, power ad­justable and heated front seats (driver 10-way, pas­sen­ger 8-way), rain sen­sor wipers, an au­todim­ing mir­ror, front fog lamps, a wire­less phone charger, front park as­sist and Ad­vanced Park As­sist and a hands-free pow­ered tail­gate as key fea­tures in­cluded in the $6000 step up from base grade.

The flag­ship Aca­dia LTZ-V has 20-inch al­loy wheels, a dual panel sun­roof and LED bi-func­tion head­lights as vis­ual dif­fer­ences.

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 Holden Aca­dia was launched to the New Zealand me­dia with a 280km drive north of Auck­land last week. The run showed off its all-wheel-drive poise and sup­ple ride qual­ity on high­ways and back roads while its strong 3.6-litre V6 petrol en­gine and re­spon­sive trans­mis­sion can push the big wagon along at a lively pace or find ninth gear and ef­fort­lessly cruise at just un­der 1500rpm at 100km/h.


Aca­dia LT 2WD — $49,990 Aca­dia LT AWD — $53,990 Aca­dia LTZ 2WD — $55,990* Aca­dia LTZ AWD — $59,990 Aca­dia LTZ-V 2WD — $67,990* Aca­dia LTZ-V AWD — $71,990 *in­dent or­der only

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