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Driven: Holden prices seven-seat Acadia to compete

All-new Kluger-rivalling Holden Acadia set to start from $42,990 driveaway

19 Oct 2018

HOLDEN has revealed full specification and pricing for its vital new seven-seat Acadia SUV, which officially goes on sale in Australia from November 12 and will kick off from a competitive $42,990 driveaway.
The driveaway pricing has been introduced initially to help stimulate interest, with the entry-level front-wheel-drive LT starting from $42,990, while the mid-range LTZ 2WD is $53,990 and the range-topping LTZ-V 2WD is $63,990 
The all-wheel-drive versions that are expected to account for up to half of all volume add another $4000 to each variant. The recommended retail pricing for the LT is $43,490, $53,490 for the LTZ and $63,490 for the LTZ-V.
Holden is not shying away from the Acadia’s roots, demonstrating the model’s “American swagger” in a series of advertising and marketing campaigns designed to differentiate the crossover from its competitors as a design-driven, family-friendly premium vehicle with broad appeal.
Holden has been working on the Acadia for three years as part of ‘Project C1UH’ – the Holden version of the second-generation C1UG GMC Acadia that was launched in North America in 2016. 
The Australian involvement included retuning the suspension and steering, as well as the development of General Motors’ new multimedia system and traffic-sign recognition technology, among other things.
Working concurrently on the Opel Insignia-based ZB Commodore – which shares many elements of the Epsilon II-based transverse architecture that GM dubs ‘C1’ for its larger SUVs and crossovers – Holden’s engineers at Fishermans Bend and Lang Lang revised the Continuous Damping Control adaptive dampers that are fitted to the LTZ-V’s standard 20-inch wheels.
They also set the spring, shocks and electric power steering parameters for this as well as the standard 18-inch wheel and tyre package as featured on the rest of the range.
No other brand in the global GM world will offer the Acadia, making Holden the sole right-hand-drive market for the car. About $30 million was spent on revamping the Spring Hill, Tennessee facility to accommodate Australian and New Zealand production.
It could be argued that the Acadia is in fact an American high-riding and rebodied crossover version of the latest Commodore, but no body or interior panels are interchangeable. 
The SUV is 4979mm long, 1916mm wide, 1762mm tall and with a 2857mm wheelbase, putting it within mere millimetres of the Toyota Kluger (which served as GM’s packaging benchmark) and slightly shy of the Mazda CX-9 (that, along with the CX-8, became the dynamic yardstick to beat).
The newcomer even shares the Commodore’s High Feature powertrain – the fourth-generation 3.6-litre 24-valve naturally aspirated direct-injection V6 petrol engine with idle-stop and cylinder deactivation to help cut fuel consumption.
Due to space limitations under the bonnet, a different exhaust system means the Acadia’s outputs are slightly down on the Commodore’s, delivering 231kW of power at 6600rpm and 367Nm of torque at 5000rpm. 
Drive is delivered to the front wheels via a nine-speed torque-converter automatic transmission co-developed with Ford. Heavily recalibrated for Australia, it shares the Commodore’s calibration, uphill mode, downhill mode, shift stabilisation, performance-mode lift-foot and Holden-first tow-haul mode.
Where the Commodore differs from the Acadia is in the latter’s all-wheel-drive system.
While it has a a similar pre-emptive on-demand system that senses road, steering, throttle and other inputs to send torque rearwards as required, it is all done via a single-clutch rather than Twinster twin-clutch torque-vectoring setup.
The 2WD offers several selectable modes – Normal, Sport, Snow and Trailer Tow, while going AWD gives Normal 2WD, Sport AWD, Off-road Sport AWD, Trailer Tow AWD. 
The combined average standard unleaded petrol consumption figure is 8.9 litres per 100km for the 2WD and 9.3L/100km for the AWD, resulting in a carbon dioxide emissions rating of 209 and 219 grams per kilometre respectively.
Holden reckons the LT 2WD can crack seven seconds from zero to 100km/h, owing to its 1874kg kerb weight. Going AWD pushes that up 94kg, and the heaviest (LTZ-V AWD) tips the scales at 2032kg.
Mirroring the Commodore, the Acadia’s steering is electric rack and pinion, MacPherson-style struts up front and the Commodore AWD’s basic five-link arrangement at the back.
Brakes are discs measuring in at 321mm in the nose and 315mm in the tail. Ground clearance ranges from 199mm (18-inch wheels) to 203mm (20-inch wheels).
As mentioned, the LTZ-V is alone with ZF-supplied Continuous Damping Control on 20-inch wheels, and it was tuned extensively by local ride and handling guru Rob Trubiani. 
Basically, the ‘Normal’ setting is the same as the US-market ‘Sport’ setting while ‘Sport’ runs a firmer setup unique to Australia. The brief was to not make Acadia a sporty SUV, but to offer Holden dynamic DNA as well as class-leading comfort levels. Holden claims some 1.5 million kilometres of real-world local testing, but some of that was carried out by GM in Michigan.
The flagship model is also the first Holden with a 360-degree camera offering digital rather than analogue tech and eight views, plus a GM-first trailer-hitch view. 
Other innovations include autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with cyclist as well as pedestrian identification, lane-keep assist (LKA) that now recognises unpainted road edges and gravel and lateral impact avoidance that works with the Blind Spot monitoring and LKA in incorporating vehicles coming up another lane from behind the Acadia.
It also has haptic seat vibrations to alert the driver (as per the smaller Equinox) and Australia- and New Zealand-rated and nationwide traffic-sign recognition tech that combines GPS and camera data to better manage speeds.
It works with the available adaptive cruise control’s speed-limiter function to automatically adjust the speed to what is posted. This is called Intelligent Speed Assist in Holden-speak.
Holden was also the GM lead for the next-gen C1 infotainment system, significantly improving the human-machine interface, and offering multiple smartphone connectivity and apps inclusion, five USBs with fast-speed 2.1-amp charging and enhanced GPS with natural voice and Google-like search functionality.
As reported by GoAuto back in August, along with pricing, a strong specification story is also key to the Acadia’s appeal, with all models scoring AEB, LKA, rear cross-traffic alert, rear-parking assist, automatic high beam headlights and traffic sign recognition, as well as keyless entry/go, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, sat-nav, three-zone climate control and 18-inch alloys.
The LTZ adds leather, powered driver’s seat, heated front seats, foglights, rain-sensing wipers, wireless phone charging, electric tailgate and parking assistance
Moving up to the LTZ-V adds 20-inch alloys with Continuous Damping Control suspension, electric front passenger seat, ventilated front seats, dual-panel sunroof, HID headlights, adaptive cruise control, higher-speed AEB, 360-degree camera, larger driver info display, premium audio and fancier trim. 
Luggage capacity is 292 litres in seven-seat mode, 1042 as a five-seater and 2102 with all bar the front seats folded. Towing capacity is rated at 2000kg braked and 750kg unbraked. It is sold with a full-sized spare wheel.

2018 Holden Acadia driveaway pricing

LT 2WD (a) $42,990
LT AWD (a) $46,990
LTZ 2WD (a) $53,990
LTZ AWD (a) $57,990
LTZ-V 2WD (a) $63,990
LTZ-V AWD (a) $67,990



2018 Holden Acadia list pricing*

LT 2WD (a) $43,490
LT AWD (a) $47,490
LTZ 2WD (a) $53,490
LTZ AWD (a) $57,490
LTZ-V 2WD (a) $63,490
LTZ-V AWD (a) $67,490

*Excludes on-road costs

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