Review: Holden Acadia

Pros

  • Packed with technology

  • Smart and spacious configuration

  • Easy to drive and manoeuvre

 

Cons 

  • Bulky plastics inside

  • Engine misses punch at speed

The new Holden Acadia wouldn’t look out of place hauling a family cross-country from New York to Los Angeles. It definitely has the space and the comfort to do so. But it’s mainly because it looks so American. It’s long, boxy and the prominent grill aggressively pointing forward. With the chrome accents on the windows, door(handles) and around the lights it radiates class, something most other 7-seaters don’t have. Hence the slogan Holden uses to promote the Acadia: ‘Don’t just turn up. Arrive.’

Initial Impression

It takes a minute to get used to the new Holden Acadia. The car is a bold statement by itself. Where most manufacturers opt for rounder lines and subtleties, the Acadia goes for the American big, straight look, with sharp lines to accentuate it’s shape. It’s nonetheless good looking though and because of its shape provides heaps of space that would otherwise have been lost by a sloping roof line or edgy curves. Inside the same style line continues, but the classy chrome from the outside is replaced by wood panelling inside. On the top-of-the-line LTZ-V you’ll get a dual panel panoramic sunroof to give the interior an even more spacious feeling, but without is you can clearly see that 7 people can sit in the Acadia with comfort. In the driver seat you’ll have access to practically all modern technologies on the market, including every possible safety feature. A nice place to be, that’s for sure.

 

Driveability

Considering the size of the Acadia it’s surprisingly easy to handle. No slugging around the steering wheel or trouble getting of it’s place at the traffic light. The 3.6L V6 makes light work of getting the Acadia moving, especially when popped in Sports Mode where it just makes that few extra revs to supply a little more kick. Once driving on the highway you don’t have to expect it to overtake with lightning speed however, but that’s not what the engine is engineered for. Torque, not top speed. It makes the longer drives comfortable though, because the revs are low and cabin noise brought to a minimum. The Acadia is 2WD, but you’ve got the option to get the AWD version, which will give you the possibilities to take the family off the beaten path as well. We expect that it does so in the same comfort as we experienced on the tarmac, where the Acadia provides a smooth ride. It’s centre of gravity is kept lower than most MPV’s, which gives it a sporty character and easy handling.

While driving the Acadia helps you constantly with safety features like Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection, Lateral Impact Avoidance, Autonomous Emergency Braking and Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure warning to just name a few. The one that’s most useful though has to be Traffic Sign Recognition with Intelligent Speed Assist. Not only can you always check your dashboard what the actual speed limit is in case you missed it, the Acadia will also tell you by flashing it and turning the excess speed red on the speedometer. That will definitely keep you from getting a speeding fine. Once arrived park assist both front and rear will help you fit in a spot that seemingly looked to small, plus you can count on the assistance of your 360 Degree Camera with no less than 11 angles. You really have to try hard to hit something in the Acadia – or forget your kids on the back seat thanks to the Rear Seat Passenger Reminder.

Liveability

With seven fully upholstered (leather in the LTZ and LTZ-V models), everybody will feel at home in the new Acadia. Where in other 7-seaters the two seats all the way in the back are sometimes flimsy and not really comfortable, the opposite is true in the Acadia. These passengers even get their own USB-charger and cup holders! Add that to the fact that the middle row doesn’t need to fold down completely thanks to an ingenious system where the seat tilts forward for easy entry and you would almost choose to sit in the trunk.

It’s the driver seat where the most options are though, with an easy to operate entertainment system that’s extremely user friendly. Smooth swiping motions give you access to Apple Carplay and Android Auto, but you can also control the climate in the back from here or change the camera settings around. Another funky option the driver has is to option the powered trunk (with hands-free operation, except in the LT version) in different heights to make sure it doesn’t hit the ceiling when unloading all the kids toys or sporting gear. Very smart. As is the wireless phone charging for the front passengers.

Another point in which the intelligence of the Acadia excels is how smart the two rows fold down. The furthest in the back is easy enough by just pulling the lever, but how are you now going to reach the second row? No need to walk around the car, because the Acadia has two latches in the trunk that each operate part of the back seat. Easy and effortless, unless you’ve made use of the 5 anchor points to attach the baby seats – then you’ll have to take them out first of course.

Cost

Pricing for the new Holden Acadia start at $42,990 for the base LT model in 2WD. Opting for the AWD version will set you back an additional $4000. The LTZ is $11,000 more, but will get you the leather-appointed trim and technological extras like the wireless charging and hand-free power tailgate. Add another $10k and you’re in the top-of-the-line LTZ-V which provides a dual-panel sunroof, adaptive cruise control with stop/go function and for music lovers: a Bose 8-speaker premium audio system. Plus some more chrome.

Conclusion

The new Holden Acadia proofs that a functional 7-seater can be classy, luxurious and practical at the same time. It handles like a normal car, not like a mini-bus. It’s comfortable, both in driving capabilities as well as liveability inside. It might not set land speed records, but definitely packs a punch when you want to get moving. The fact that seven people get equal seating is exceptional and easily transformed into a 5 seaters you get heaps of luggage space. The safety features, especially the camera with 11 angles, are top-of-the-range and will give you a secure feeling when carrying precious cargo. Whether that be the kids or a glass cupboard filled with porcelain.

Interested in a test drive? Come and see the Motorama City Holden team in Moorooka or Springwood. The new Holden Acadia comes standard with 5 year/unlimited kilometre factory warranty.