Holden Acadia LTZ-V: Hands-on review
A big, brawny SUV care of Uncle Sam
Lots of good things are made in Tennessee. It is the home to things like Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jack Daniel's and the Holden Acadia, just to name a few. The Acadia is the first GM vehicle imported and rebadged as a Holden following the closing of local Australian manufacturing.
So what is this red, white and blue SUV all about?
The model we tested is the top of the line Acadia LTZ-V AWD priced at $67,990. The full pricing structure for all variants is below:
The Acadia has a bold, brawny road presence about it. Its wide stance and large grille maintain much of that "tough" American styling you would find on the vehicle back in the US of A.
It is one of those vehicles that people will either love or hate. However, I think that the front-end speaks to Holden fans of old more so than to the latest generation.
For me personally, this is a good thing.
On the road
Holden's "premium SUV" is home to a 3.6-litre V6 boasting 231kW and 367N of torque. Getting out on the roads of Sydney, it has a surprising amount of poke for a seven-seat SUV. While this is fun, you will notice the fuel bill if you do it regularly.
During our time with the Acadia LTZ-V we were seeing 9.8L/100km on average – not too bad for a vehicle of this size and the traffic we were in.
The nine-speed automatic gearbox is configured well enough to maintain progress and does a good job accommodating more spirited driving.
The cabin doesn't have the most premium finish and has hard plastics in places, but it is still a good attempt. You get leather-appointed trim, heated and ventilated seats and not one but two sunroofs. All-in-all, it is a nice place to be.
The SUV comes with an easy-to-use eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which works with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This is one of the better systems I have used. It's not overly complicated and has an easy intuitive layout. It's also responsive to boot. There is a wireless phone charging bay below it too, so you don't have to worry about tangles or purchasing extra cables that, if you are like me, you will inevitably lose and be forever replacing.
Taking me back to my P-Plater days is an eight-speaker Bose sound system that includes an amplifier and subwoofer. Looking at the wheel, you would think there are no radio or volume controls, but they are tucked away on the back where you would expect to find paddle shifters on a different vehicle.
The ride is impressive too. For a vehicle that has been shipped from the US, it seems to suit Australian conditions perfectly. This is down to Holden's extensive testing (1.5 million testing kilometres) and fine-tuning the adaptive suspension present in the LTZ-V we tested. It constantly adjusts its settings based on the driving style of the person behind the wheel.
Traffic sign recognition is standard across the range, a welcome addition that tells you what the speed limit is for the exact stretch of road you are driving on – which will help you keep your licence in your pocket.
Lane keep assist is also a handy feature, planting you in your lane but not as aggressively as the system in some other vehicles.
Is the Holden Acadia practical?
Yes. The Acadia has seven seats and with the two boot seats folded down, there is 1,042 litres of storage space
Tri-zone air conditioning means everyone in the car is happy and at a comfortable temperature too. In the back, along with their own control panel, there are two USB points to connect devices.
Looking under the mats in the boot, you will find extra storage space. And there is also a space-saver tyre.
It also has a "Tow Haul" mode which changes all sorts of settings to ensure the transmission is set up to make it as easy as possible to tow with the Acadia. The 2,000kg braked towing capacity is in line with its competitors.
Safety and tech
The Holden Acadia LTZ-V is pretty well kitted out, including the following tech:
- Traffic sign recognition with intelligent speed assist
- Autonomous emergency braking
- Lane departure warning with lane keep assist
- Hitch-view system
- 360-degree camera
- Side blind zone alert
- Lateral impact avoidance
- Rear cross traffic alert
- Forward collision alert with head-up warning
- Following distance indicator
- Rear park assist
- Rear view camera
- Auto dimming interior mirror
- Rain sensing wipers
- Wireless phone charging (compatible devices)
- Hands-free power tailgate
- Front park assist and advanced park assist
- FlexRide adaptive suspension
All-in-all, the Acadia is one of, if not the most practical vehicle in its segment. Packed with safety and tech along with enough grunt for any on-road situation, it seems to tick all the boxes.
The big thing for me though is that this brawny, American SUV hasn't just been sent out to showrooms – the testing and refining the Holden engineers have done is obvious and will be appreciated by Australian consumers.