New Acadia offers 7-seat alternative
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 S-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-theusa 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 lineup 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 allwheel-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 fourcylinder 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 right-hand-drive with North American customers getting a six-speed
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 allwheel -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 tri-zone 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 auto-diming 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.