2019 Holden Acadia Launch

2019 Holden Acadia Road Test review

Holden Acadia Overview

Holden Acadia is a late entrant into the family 7 seat SUV market. The Acadia completes a five model SUV line-up for the Australian Icon brand.

2019 Holden Acadia LTZ-V front

It is also significant as a representation of the attitudinal shift from a large sedan brand to a brand that has a wide model line-up to appeal to most buyers in the market.

It sits in the same segment as the Mazda CX-9, Toyota Kluger, Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe and the Nissan Pathfinder.

The Acadia range comes in three models, the LT, LTZ and LTZ-V in both FWD and optional AWD. There is one 9 speed auto transmission and one 3.6l V6 petrol engine. Acadia also has eight colour choices and a range of factory fitted accessories.

2019 Holden Acadia LTZ side

Holden Acadia External

Having seen some images before the launch, I was pleasantly surprised how much better the vehicle looks in the flesh than photos.

It has a bold stance with a strong bonnet and grill and the designers have made excellent use of detail lines to accentuate the lower air dam, grill surrounds and headlights.

From the side the detail in the shoulder line and door trims really provides an element of style. It displays character and definition that is lost in images.

From the rear it also has s subtle style that many will find appealing.

The other thing I noticed was that the roofline was lower than expected, yet internally there was an abundance of head space.

All models come with roof rails, alloy wheels and colour coordinated external mirrors. The LT and LTZ ride on 18 inch alloys with continental235/65/18 tyres. The LTZ-v rides on 20 inch alloys with 235/55/20 Continental tyres.

2019 Holden Acadia LTZ interior

Holden Acadia Internal                  

First impressions are of space. The Acadia certainly provides comfortable space for seven occupants.

The driver’s seat in the LT is a comfortable fabric, with manual adjustments but no additional lumbar support. The LTZ and LTZ-V have electronically adjusted leather seats with an excellent lumbar adjustment. Passenger seat, likewise, very comfortable.

This is one of the few cars where there is more seat travel for the driver than I actually need. This combined with more than adequate head room (even with the sunroof) gives the definite feeling of space.

2019 Holden Acadia LTZ-V driver instruments

The steering wheel is thick and adorned with the usual controls. The dash varies by model, but all are clear, crisp and easy to read and use. All have two large dials on the sides with a variable MFD in-between. The LTZ-V has a good Heads up display as well.

2019 Holden Acadia LTZ-V dash

From the driver’s seat the visibility is actually pretty good. The ‘A’ pillar, like most current cars provides a bit of a blind spot, but the Acadia is better than many others. Large external mirrors assist and the 360 degree camera in the LTZ-V is excellent.

There are soft touch points everywhere for elbows etc, but I found the central arm rest and window hip a little high for really comfortable resting.

2019 Holden Acadia LTZ-V centre console

The centre console and stack is well designed and typical Holden. There is a mix of subtle style and patches of bland plastic. Little things like the fact that the cup holders are on the other side of the transmission lever mean that bottles or cups don’t get in the way. The front USB access is great, even for the ham fisted amongst us, but the phone recharge tray sits below them while convenient, means that you lose a little storage pod.

The rear seat is where things get interesting. On the launch the enthusiastic members of the Holden team were referring to the Acadia as ‘Caprice Like’. My reaction, was of course, to smile and ignore. However when I jumped into the back for a section, I actually understood what they meant.

2019 Holden Acadia LTZ rear seat

The driver was 183cm and had the seat exactly where he wanted it for driving, and I am 190cm and slightly larger than the average bear. Well my knees didn’t touch the back of the driver’s seat, I had enough head, knee, leg and foot room to sit comfortably for hours if needed. And the ride was smooth and quiet.

Acadia offers cleverly integrated storage throughout, including a console drawer for second row passengers and a covered under-floor bin in the back where items can be stowed out of sight. There’s even a rear seat passenger reminder that alerts you to double check that there are no sleeping kids, pets or valuables before you leave the vehicle.

2019 Holden Acadia LTZ seat slide

Access to the third row seats is by a clever upright slide forward of the middle row, that allows a child seat to remain in place if necessary. I didn’t attempt the embarrassment of squeezing back there but my co driver, who was considerably leaner than me, did and he was comfortable. This is aided by the ability and flexibility of sliding the middle row seats in a 60/40 configuration to adjust the legroom of both rows.

2019 Holden Acadia LTZ-V boot

Holden Acadia as a seven seat family wagon has class leading room.

Boot space is enormous and with flexible seat folding allows a practical boot area. The size is a minimum of 292L through to a cavernous 2102L with all the seats folded.

2019 Holden Acadia LTZ centrescreen

Holden Acadia Model Features

Holden has packed the Acadia with both comfort and safety features.

Just a couple of brief highlights

  • The entry level LT is jam packed with safety and comfort features
  • The clarity of the centre screen is awesome, probably class leading.
  • It features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • All three rows have USB 2.1-amp ports.

Feature Highlights Standard on Acadia LT:-

  • Traffic Sign Recognition with Intelligent Speed Assist • 2000kg braked towing capacity • Hitch View System • Towing package (accessory ball mount & tow ball required)  • Passive Entry Push-Button Start (PEPS) • Satellite navigation • Tri zone climate control • 18″ Alloy Wheels • LED Daytime Running Lamps • Side Blind Zone Alert • Lateral Impact Avoidance • Rear Cross Traffic Alert • Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist • Autonomous Emergency Braking  • Driver Mode Control • Forward Collision Alert with Head-Up Warning • Following Distance Indicator • Rear Park Assist • Rear View Camera • AWD Optional

2019 Holden Acadia LTZ traffic sign recognition

Acadia LTZ Additional features to LT:-

  • Leather-appointed trim • 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat • 8-way power adjustable front passenger seat • Heated front seats • Auto dimming interior mirror • Chrome door handles • Front fog lamps • Rain sensing wipers • Wireless phone charging (compatible devices) • Hands-free power tailgate • Front Park Assist • Advanced Park Assist • AWD Optional

Acadia LTZ-V Additional features to LTZ:-

  • 10-way power adjustable front passenger seat • Memory driver’s seat • Ventilated front seats • 20″ Wheels • Dual-panel sunroof • Bi function HID headlamps • FlexRide Adaptive Suspension • Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go • Autonomous Emergency Braking (all-speed) • 360-degree camera • 8-inch colour driver information display • 8 Speaker Bose Premium Audio with amplifier and subwoofer • AWD optional

2019 Holden Acadia LTZ engine

Holden Acadia Engine and Drivetrain

The Acadia is powered by a 3.6L V6 petrol engine with direct fuel injection, stop/start and active fuel management across the entire range. It produces power of 231kW @ 6,600 rpm and torque of 367Nm @ 5,000 rpm. This runs through a 9 speed automatic transmission and either FWD or AWD. It’s the same engine, with some modifications, as the current model Commodore.

2019 Holden Acadia LTZ drive select

Acadia returns combined fuel consumption figures of 8.9 L/100km in two-wheel drive and 9.3 L/100km in all-wheel drive using standard unleaded fuel.  On the launch drive we were getting around 10.9L/100K as an average, which was pretty good given the driving conditions.

Ride and handling is accommodated through a combination of McPherson strut front and five link independent rear suspension. This combination was tuned and tested locally by Holden engineers at the company’s iconic proving ground at Lang Lang in Victoria.

2019 Holden Acadia LTZ drive select slide

Acadia will tow 2000kg and has a tow ball rating of 200kg. This is important as the tow ball rating is often the limiting factor. On top of this the tow package is built in every model, all you need to add is the hitch. Add to this the hitch guidance feature of the reversing camera and roll over mitigation and tow haul mode and you have yourself a good towing family SUV.

Holden Acadia is the first GM vehicle to utilise ‘Tow Haul’ mode in the 9T65 automatic transmission. This mode changes gear shift patterns under specific circumstances while towing to aid drivability, performance and stability.

2019 Holden Acadia LTZ driving

Holden Acadia Driving Experience

This is where the story again gets interesting. The driving experience was quite pleasant. Right from the comfortable seating and good visibility which sets up the driver. The engine was smooth, powerful and responsive enough for some mildly spirited driving.

Holden’s 9 speed transmission is well matched to the engine and seems to find the right gear almost at all times. Rarely did I find the transmission hunting for a gear.

Ride and handling was excellent, especially for a large SUV and delivered a smooth and compliant ride. On all road surfaces the Acadia seemed unflustered. We didn’t have the opportunity to try any dirt roads on launch, but I will in my extended road test in a few weeks.

There was good feel through the steering wheel and again it was responsive to minor inputs. Remember these comments are to be taken in context as a large SUV with no sporting pretence.

With only minor road and wind noise, the internal noise balancing system worked a treat. Not sure how it works, but its pretty dam good. My initial thoughts are that the Acadia may just be class leading.

Holden’s engineers get a big tick for ride and handling.

2019 Holden Acadia LTZ safety

Holden Acadia Safety

As mentioned before the Acadia packs most of its safety features into the entry level LT. This is a real bonus for consumers as often they have to climb the model ladder before the good stuff starts appearing.

Safety is another big tick for Acadia

They include:

  • Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian and bicycle detection
  • Following Distance Indicator
  • Automatic High Beam Assist
  • Safety Seat Alert
  • Forward Collision Alert with Head-Up Warning
  • Lateral Impact Avoidance
  • Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning
  • Side Blind Zone Alert with Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Rear Parking Assist.
  • Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR),
  • Plus more as above in the features section.

Holden Acadia Fit For Purpose

Acadia is designed as a seven seat family SUV. It fits the design brief perfectly.

Holden Acadia Model Pricing

Drive Away Pricing Starting From:            Recommended Retail Price Starting From:

LT 2WD  $42,990                                          LT 2WD   $43,490

LT AWD  $46,990                                         LT AWD   $47,490

LTZ 2WD  $53,990                                        LTZ 2WD   $53,490

LTZ AWD  $57,990                                       LTZ AWD   $57,490

LTZ-V 2WD  $63,990                                    LTZ-V 2WD   $63,490

LTZ-V AWD  $67,990                                  LTZ-V AWD   $67,490


Holden Acadia Summary

Holden has designed a winning SUV here.

It will fit seven in comfort, has an abundance of comfort and safety features, with luxury ride and handling and reasonable performance. The Holden team kept referring to this as ‘Caprice Like’ and after spending a little time in the vehicle that reference may not be a farfetched as first thought.

The LT is absolutely a feature packed bargain. The LTZ is probably the best for features/price balance and the LTZ-V is for those that like their bling and extra features.

While the first drive was brief, we will have a chance to have a longer drive in a few weeks.

I have to say that the initial impressions are overwhelmingly positive and buyers definitely should put this on their shopping list.

2019 Holden Acadia LTZ-V rear

The Good:

  • Interior space
  • Ride and handling
  • Value for money especially in LT

The Not so Good:

  • No diesel option
  • Some interior a little bland
  • Small door pockets

Also look at

Model:   Holden Acadia

  • Model Price From $42,990 LT RDAP special offer
  • Engine 3.6L V6 Petrol
  • Drivetrain 9 Sp AT 2WD or optional AWD
  • Power 231kW @ 6,600rpm
  • Torque 367Nm @ 5,500rpm
  • Safety TBA
  • CO2 Combined 219g/km
  • Economy ADR 9.3 L/100 km
  • Servicing Capped Price Lifetime service plan fixed $
  • Tow Rating 2,000 kg
  • Tow Ball Rating 200 kg
  • Warranty 5 Yrs. / Unlimited km with 5yr Roadside Assist