12 March 2019

Holden Acadia LTZ 2019 Car Review

There’s nothing quite as efficient at underlining the size of a vehicle as extracting it from the underground car park at AA headquarters.


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Holden Acadia LTZ 2019
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Holden Acadia LTZ 2019
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Holden Acadia LTZ 2019
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Holden Acadia LTZ 2019
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Holden Acadia LTZ 2019
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Holden Acadia LTZ 2019

It’s not unknown for testers to get out to check how close a pillar or concrete wall is the first time they do it, even when the car is liberally supplied with parking alerts.

Whoever chose the standard features for NZ’s Holden Acadia LTZ must have realised that anyone owning a vehicle 4979mm long, and 2139mm wide including mirrors, might be grateful for some assistance, and so this Holden boasts a suite of forward and reverse cameras almost mind-bending in their efficiency.

Inside, completely unable to see the car’s limits, you could swear you’d just put a gleaming black bumper through a wall. Inside, you can see just how many millimetres you have in reserve – and yes, it does auto change to forward view when you swap from R to D.

That is far from the only thoughtfully efficient part of this car. It’s easy to write it off as just another imposing, American-lite crossover, but it’s much more than that – both to potential owners, and to Holden NZ.

For this is now arguably the brand’s flagship car for those who find the Euro-sourced Commodore too refined.

Sold in the US as a GMC car, here it gets a nine-speed auto transmission, and the same V6 engine as the Commodore V6, but with a different intake and exhaust. Like the Commodore, this one cuts two cylinders when you’re trailing the throttle, and features start-stop, both to save fuel.

Stand back and it looks like a wagon-SUV crossover, it’s only when you get nearer that you realise how imposing it is. That carries through when you clamber into the cavernous cabin. But behind the wheel it’s easy to manoeuvre – yet your eyes tell you it’s built for Texas. It certainly rolls round briskly-taken corners, but it always feels confident. Ground clearance is lower than many SUVs, even soft-roading ones, at 182mm and it may be the combo of family-focussed ride allowing the big body to tilt, with confident handling controlling the whole plot from the driver seat, which results in a planted feel at the wheel, even while the body is on a lean.

Translating functions into real-world use seems an Acadia talent. Rear cross traffic alert, collision alert, traffic sign recognition and many more can result in a cacophony of warning beeps. But this car one uses an array of sounds and visuals to make it easier to identify what’s going on – or to ignore it if need be.

At times on the bendier back roads of our tester’s commute the imminent impact warning – a large red-lit impact image briefly flashing in the instrument panel – was a little too fast to come up, but it wasn’t intrusive enough to annoy when it wasn’t needed. The car’s ability to read traffic signs and pass them on to the driver worked well, without making a song and dance of it. Even the lane keep assist, which is a little too keen to tweak the steering wheel in some brands of car, was a subtle aide in this one.

If you’re a city slicker who simply must have an SUV you can leave the thing in 2WD mode to save a little on fuel and tyre wear, or rotate an easy dial for 4WD, Sport, off-road or towing.  

Designed as a family crossover SUV for a large family that likes to be sure it never leaves something at home, Acadia will seat seven in reasonable comfort, though leg room to the third row is more limited than some – mind you, row two can adjust somewhat to assist.

That second row gets its own air controls, plus two USB ports. To the rear, the power-assisted tailgate accesses a boot naturally restricted with all seven seats in use, but it’s a generous size with the third row folded.

Fold both back rows and there’s over two cubic metres – our tester loaded it with a giant screen and stand, and all the boxes and kit for a trade stand. We’d organized two hatchbacks with seats folded, and needed neither.

There was little to criticise. Some might prefer more side bolstering for the front seats, and a few won’t like the body roll in corners and will prefer the more precise handling of a Mazda. But a big family with the budget to add Acadia to their list will have very little to complain about and much to like, especially at this price, with the likes of equivalent Ford Everest and Hyundai Santa Fe pitched at a good $10k more.

At a glance

Models

Holden Acadia LTZ

Engine

3.6-litre V6

Price

$59,990

ANCAP safety rating

5

Power and Torque

231kW at 6600rpm, 367Nm at 3800-4000rpm

Transmission

Nine-speed auto

Fuel economy

9.3l/100km

Towing capacity

2000kg

2WD/4WD/AWD

AWD

Seating capacity

7

Luggage capacity/payload

292 litres (to roof, all seats in place) 1042 litres (row 3 folded), 2102 litres (row two and three seats folded)

Safety systems

  • Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian and bicycle detection
  • Forward collision alert with heads-up warning
  • Side Blind Zone Alert
  • Advanced Park Assist
  • Traffic Sign Recognition with intelligent speed assist
  • Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning
  • Front/Rear Park Assist and reversing camera
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
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