Nothing reflects the changing automotive tastes of Australian families more than the 2019 Holden Acadia. Where once Holden’s venerable Commodore served as the default family lugger, a paradigm shift has seen the sales pendulum swing towards SUVs.
That leaves the brunt of the family work in the Holden stable to the Acadia, the large, seven-seat SUV that serves as the brand’s flagship. And now it’s serving time in the CarAdvice garage alongside our fleet of long-termers.
In the spirit of family value, we’ve got the keys to the entry-level Acadia, the LT front-wheel drive. It’s the most affordable in the six-SUV range, with a starting price of $43,490 plus on-road costs.
But, Holden’s sharp pricing strategy means you can drive away in one for $43,990. As an added incentive, Holden’s throwing in seven years’ scheduled servicing.
For historical context only, that’s around $8000 more than the last locally built, entry-level Commodore, the MY17 Commodore VF II Evoke. While that might seem like a significant price jump, you do get a whole lot more metal for your money. And seats.
A quick rundown. Even in this entry-level variant, Holden has thrown the kitchen at the Acadia.
Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloys, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, DAB+ radio, three-zone climate control, push-button start, and cruise control (although not adaptive).
There’s a decent suite of safety tech, too, with low-speed autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, and a slightly alarming haptic seat alert that vibrates to warn of a host of potential calamities.
A full complement of airbags cover occupants in all three rows, and there’s a five-star ANCAP rating awarded in 2018.
Holden has made a big play for the large-SUV segment with the Acadia, investing time and money to tune the family hauler to Australian conditions.
We’ll dive more into how the Acadia handles Australia’s roads in the coming weeks, but first impressions are good, the locally tuned suspension offering a supple drive experience.
So too the motivation from the 3.6-litre atmo V6 under the bonnet, with its generous 231kW of power and 367Nm of torque transmitted to the front wheels via the Acadia’s slick nine-speed auto.
There’s a generosity to its performance, belying its size and sheer road presence. Again, we’ll delve more into its performance in the coming weeks.
And we’ll test its chops as a seven-seater, increasingly the go-to arrangement for larger families. Certainly, in this large-SUV category, a seven-seater makes sense, and in this application, with its proudly boxy dimensions, the Acadia has the makings of a proper seven-seater with uncompromised third-row seating.
We’ve been fans of the different iterations of the Acadia we’ve had through the CarAdvice garage since its launch last year. But, spending a week in a vehicle does not offer the same perspective as a three-month long-term test.
We’ll hand the keys over to the wider CA staff as well, gaining valuable insights from those who don’t usually spend their working lives testing and assessing cars. Sometimes, it’s these insights that prove the most valuable.
So, strap in for the ride-along as we measure whether the Acadia is a worthy flagship of the Holden range, and whether it should be on your consideration list.