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Private Fleet Car Review: 2019 Holden Acadia LTZ 2WD

This Car Review Is About: The 2019 Holden Acadia in LTZ 2WD trim. It’s the big and American styled machine that replaces the Captiva. It has four doors, fat flanks, a dropped jaw front end, and a V6/auto combination that spins the front driven tyres at the slightest hint of provocation. It’s a seven seater, by the way.This Car Costs: $53,490 is the current sticker price according to the latest pricing guide. $57,490 is for the all wheel drive version. At the time of writing, Holden is moving the LTZ 2WD for a driveaway price of $54,990 for a Summit White body, or $55,565 for one in metallic. That includes free scheduled servicing for three years and a five year warranty.

The Engine Is: a 3.6L V6 with Stop/Start tech mated to an generally super smooth nine speed auto. It’s essentially the same pair to be found in the Commodore. Economy was average, with a final figure of 10.0L/100km. Peak power is 231 kilowatts, with peak twist of 367Nm coming in at 5000rpm.On the Inside It’s: One of the most mundane looking looking interiors currently going. A dull, slabby, semi-gloss, fine-grained black plastic with no visual appeal whatsoever dominates the front seat area and it’s little better heading rearward. The driver and front seat passenger stare at a dash that has a generic a look as can be found. There are silver coloured air vent surrounds at each end, a basic looking centre dash screen and vents with a silver surround sit above a generic looking aircon control cluster, and a pair of seat heater buttons are inserted in either side of a nook for a smartphone charging pad. Front seat passengers also get a different take on heated seats in that either the bottom or back and bottom of the seat can be selected.There are vents in the roof for the centre and rear seat passengers. The rear section gets its own controls and again, they’re GM generic. They do work and well enough for the centre seat passengers to make no negative noises. Said rear seat passengers have the wonderfully simple pull strap system to raise and lower the pews, and the rear gate is powered and comes with the same height adjustable feature found in the LTZ-V. There is also rear section aircon controls which, admittedly, is a rarity seen in this class of car.The touchscreen for the radio is, at least, well laid out in regards to usage. Although it’s a typical GM look, it is easy to read, easy on the eye, and relatively easy to use. However there was a glitch with the digital tuner. After powering up the car, there were times where the screen indicated it was searching for a signal yet would play the last station. At other times it would not play a digital station at all but would be fine when selecting FM. This is the same glitch as noted in the LTZ-V, which means either it’s a glitch that can’t be fixed or Holden is unaware of the problem which is unlikely.On The Outside It’s: Possibly why it seems to not have lit up the sales charts. Take a look at the offerings from Ford, Toyota, Mitsubishi etc. None of them are as overtly apple pie as the Acadia. That’s made evident by simply driving around and keeping an eye out for them. A heavy front end, broadened flanks at the rear passenger doors, a perhaps too solid C pillar and a fussy design here too. Wheels are 6×2 spoke alloys, with Continental Cross Contact LX Sport rubber at 235/65/18.It’s a clear three box design with the bonnet, front and centre seats, then a separate section for the rear. It’s not an entirely cohesive look.

On The Road It’s: A weird mix. Off the line, from a standing start, the front driven rubber will easily chirp with no more than a gentle push of the go pedal. But thanks to its bulk, that’s about as exciting as it gets. That peak torque needs a lot of spin to really be effective in pulling the front wheel drive machine around, and as good as the gearbox is in utilising the torque, there simply needs to be either more of it, or have it come in lower. There is actually an easy fix for that, though, and it’s a one word answer. DIESEL. Yup, there is no oiler in the range and that’s thanks to the country of origin.

Underway it’s super quiet, refined, and smooth in its operation. Go for an overtake and again that dearth of torque become apparent. The same applies for anything remotely uphill, and soon the cogs are nine, eight, seven….. Although Holden’s own engineers have worked on the suspension tunes of the Acadia range, with “FlexRide” dampers on the LTZ, it’s more an American floaty, wafty, spongy ride, even with the big rubber. On the up side, it never bottomed out in the suspension travel, but the plastic strip on the chin did scrape too often on mediocre intrusions. Rebound is well controlled, it’s simply a matter of feeling the springs are too soft up and down.Handling is, well, like the interior. It’s ok. Response is not slow, and it’s not sports car rapid either. The latter isn’t surprising, of course, but the front end could do with a quicker how d’ye do when the tiller is twirled. Body roll is experienced but is also not as bad as expected.

Another weak spot is the way the brakes respond. Or, correctly, don’t respond. There’s dead air for the first inch or so, it seems, then a not spongy but not hard travel and retardation is simply too slow for a vehicle that weights around the two tonne plus mark.What About Safety? Autonomous Emergency Braking, bundled with pedestrian and cyclist detection, starts the list. The LTZ-V has a higher sensitivity when kit comes to reading the road ahead that the LT and LTZ. Blind Spot Alert is standard, Rear Cross Traffic Alert is standard, and Lane Keep Assist and Lane Departure Warning are also standard. A driver’s kneebag, along with front, side, and curtain airbags complement the five standard and two ISOFIX seat mounts. Pack in 360 degree camera views, semi assisted parking, and front sensors, and the Acadia LTZ wants for nothing in regards to keeping the internals safe.The Warranty Is: Five years or unlimited kilometres, with 5 years roadside assist if serviced at Holden dealerships. Website has a capped price quotation system.

At The End Of The Drive.
For a car that is intended to be Holden’s saviour, the Acadia range falls short. This is partly evidenced by the sheer lack of them on roads compared to their opposition from Ford, Toyota, Mitsubishi, and Korea. There is little spark and it falls short of lighting the candle. Having an interior look that is outweighed by entry level cars half its price, no diesel, a lack of genuine tech appeal, a softish ride that may not be to the liking of potential buyers and a rear cargo that simply doesn’t look as wide as Holden’s other seven seater (which comes with a diesel and is therefore more suitable for purpose), plus an exterior unrelated to anything else in the family, means the 2019 Holden Acadia LTZ has a very sharp stick with which to push stuff uphill. It does nothing bad, but it simply does nothing special.