Holden Aca­dia

Aca­dia is the halo ve­hi­cle for Holden New Zealand’s new-found abil­ity to source ve­hi­cles from any­where a Gen­eral Mo­tors prod­uct is built and the full size seven-seater’s ori­gins make it the per­fect ‘hero’ ve­hi­cle for our mar­ket.

New Zealand Company Vehicle - - CONTENTS -

And while Aca­dia may be badged as a Holden, it’s more ac­cu­rately iden­ti­fied as a GMC prod­uct, the truck di­vi­sion of Gen­eral Mo­tors. Aca­dia it­self is built at the GMC plant in Ten­nessee, though un­der the bon­net is a fa­mil­iar pow­er­plant. Aca­dia runs the same 3.6-litre V6 as the ZB Com­modore, though it has been re-tuned, de­liv­er­ing 231kw at rpm and an ex­tremely use­able 367Nm of torque for its Aca­dian ap­pli­ca­tion. The en­gine de­liv­ers a smooth but in­ex­orable amount of drive which re­flects the Aca­dia’s phys­i­cal pres­ence, and the Aca­dia – re­gard­less of the be­holder’s per­sonal taste – has pres­ence. The sweep­ing curves and flow­ing lines we are so used to see­ing are few and far be­tween on the Aca­dia, which in­stead has a chunky and squared off look over­all, right down to the wheel arches. In its home coun­try, Aca­dia would def­i­nitely be con­sid­ered on the small side. In­deed, even here, up against Holden ve­hi­cles such as the Trail­blazer, Aca­dia is not as dom­i­neer­ing as one would ex­pect. When you com­pare Aca­dia to the likes of the Es­calades and Subur­bans, it re­ally is not that huge, but when you see it for the first time, it surely looks it. It’s only when you park along­side some­thing else, like the Holden Trail­blazer, that you re­alise the Aca­dia is to it as Stal­lone is to Sch­warzeneg­ger (in his prime). In­side, Aca­dia is all about re­fine­ment, from the soft touch dash, to the so­phis­ti­cated two-tone cabin colour (lighter on the top), to the fab­rics used – it’s all about mak­ing the ve­hi­cle as plush as pos­si­ble, which, let’s face it, for a fam­ily wagon is just what you need. Aca­dia has a so­phis­ti­cated sec­ond row of seats with ac­cess to the two fast charg­ing USB ports and the first two rows are heated and cooled. Aca­dia fur­ther ex­tends its cabin pa­ram­e­ters by bring­ing the out­side in via the mas­sive moon­roof over­head. But for most buy­ers, the im­por­tant seat is the driver’s one and after many hours in the sad­dle Pil­grim, I can – hand on heart – at­test to its drive all day com­fort­a­bil­ity. How so? I have the dis­tinct hon­our of be­ing the only mo­tor­ing writer in the coun­try to log over 900kms in a pro­duc­tion Aca­dia, and that was done in one day. For more de­tails, see the NZSUV An­nual ac­com­pa­ny­ing this edi­tion. So be­fore any­one says, “yes, but even a week in the Aca­dia isn’t go­ing to be tes­ta­ment to long dis­tance com­fort,” do­ing a 900-plus km trip in a day most as­suredly is. And there wasn’t a leg cramp in ev­i­dence. There is of course, plenty to oc­cupy the driver’s at­ten­tion – you know, that 10 per cent of your brain that’s not fo­cused on the me­chan­ics of driv­ing – on longer trips. Holden’s Mylink in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem is right at home nes­tled in among the Aca­dia’s cabin, though in fair­ness, the faux tim­ber sur­round­ing the shifter could prob­a­bly be dis­pensed with. Still, this ve­hi­cle was named for a Na­tional Park, so a lit­tle bit of wood-like trim is to be ex­pected. The Aca­dia has more boot space than most when in full oc­cu­pancy con­fig­u­ra­tion, but the sim­ple ex­pe­di­ent of los­ing two pas­sen­gers and drop­ping the rear­most seats turns Aca­dia into a very spa­cious five-seater with hol­i­day haul­ing ca­pac­ity out to the back of be­yond. Get­ting to the back of be­yond is achieved through the sim­ple act of twist­ing a dial. Aca­dia runs front-wheel-drive for the most part and can be switched over on-the-fly to AWD us­ing the ro­tary dial next to the shifter. This not only al­lows AWD ca­pa­bil­ity, it gives ac­cess to the Sport mode and a set­ting to im­prove tow­ing ca­pa­bil­ity. Will the Aca­dia set­tle into the New Zealand au­to­mo­tive land­scape? We think yes, and that won’t even nec­es­sar­ily be con­tin­gent on its price which was still un­der wraps at the time this pub­li­ca­tion was go­ing to print. Of course, if Holden NZ can keep it on the low side of $70,000, there will be greater po­ten­tial for more sales. If the price can be kept down, NZ con­sumers will be more likely to be pos­i­tively in­flu­enced by Aca­dia’s orig­i­nal­ity. There is a 2WD model Aca­dia avail­able which is tipped at be­ing the en­try level in terms of price. To us, this does smack of or­der­ing a Su­per­sized meal with a diet soda, but per­haps Holden's think­ing is that an en­try level Aca­dia makes the full noise one that much more as­pi­ra­tional.

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