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Private Fleet Car Review: 2019 Holden Acadia LTZ-V

This Car Review Is About:
The 2019 model year Holden Acadia LTZ-V. The engine of choice is a 3.6L petrol V6, and the transmission is a nine speed automatic. There are three levels, being the LT, LTZ, and LTZ-V, with two or all wheel drive. Prices start from $42,990 driveaway with the top range a substantial $67,990. That’s for 2018 plated cars.Under The Bonnet Is:
The more or less same driveline as found in the unfairly maligned Commodore. A V6, petrol fed, of a 3.6L capacity. That drives the front wheels via a truly superb nine speed automatic. Consumption is rated as 8.9L per 100 kilometres on a combined cycle. We finished on 11.2L/100km on a mainly urban cycle. Peak power is 231 kilowatts, with peak twist of 367Nm coming in at 5000rpm. Make a note of those figures.

It’s a keyless start, as expected. The engine itself is almost noiseless from inside, both on idle and underway in normal driving. Like all engines, push it and you’ll hear it. Even then it’s not the most aurally engaging engine going.Being the AWD version means a selector dial is fitted in the rather staid looking centre console. Choices are Snow, Towing, and the ubiquitous Sport. Sport was trialled and discarded as being needed rarely.

A potentially handy item is Remote Start. Lock the car using the key fob, hold the tab that has a circle with an arrow cursor icon, and the Acadia starts up. Great if it’s been hot or cold and the aircon has been set appropriately prior to starting.

On The Inside Is:
Boredom. Plenty of average looking plastic, a squeaky centre console near the driver’s right knee, unappealing faux wood inlays, and seven seats. All windows are powered but, disappointingly for a top tier vehicle, only the driver’s window is one touch up/down. Where the driver and passenger knees rest in the console are the switches for heating and, blessedly, venting for the leather seats up front. Centre row passengers get a pair of USB ports, the front seats a wireless charge pad for compatible smart phones and a USB port plus 12V socket. Cold? Use the steering wheel’s heating function.Rear seat access is via a powered tailgate with selectable opening positions or via the tiltafold centre row seats. The centre row have a one touch lever to move the seats forward and folding at the same time. Cargo is 292L with the third row in place, and that goes to a much more user friendly 1042L when they’re folded. Lay the centre row down and that virtually doubles to 2102L.

Although the rear seats are the much easier to deal with pull strap style, where a strap gets pulled and the seat easily swings up or easily pushed down, there doesn’t appear to be as much room laterally as Holden’s own Trailblazer. All seats in the review vehicle were a simple mix of black leather and white stitching.The touchscreen is simple to read however the digital audio broadcast tuner had hiccups. Sometimes on start it would instantly show stations, on others it would would be as if it were in a permanent loop scanning. It does come with the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto pairing. Speakers are from Bose and they sounded as if the DAB signal was a compressed FM sound. Some DAB units offer a separate FM tuner to a DAB tuner, others combine the two. Even with sound adjustment the system simply couldn’t get the same depth as similar systems in other brands.A HUD wasn’t offered, but GM’s vibrating seat and strip of red lights for collision warnings were fitted as standard. Other standard equipment as fitted is a reverse camera, satnav, and a pair of sunroofs. One would have been fine, with either a roof mounted screen or seat back screens more appropriate for a top tier vehicle. On the upside is a rear seat reminder and a traffic sign recognition system for the satnav.

Things such as the centre console, a narrow one at that, seemed too high for the left arm and too forward with the overhang almost fully blocking the drive selector dial, and the indicator and wiper stalks seemed at a too high angle off the steering column, and the A pillar is more an AA pillar. At least the indicator and wiper columns are Aussie configured with right hand for the flashers.Actual leg room was suitable for front and centre, with really tall people probably the only ones that would find the third row an issue. Shoulder room was the same, in that the front and centre rows would accommodate adults well enough but the third row was moderately ok. And it’s those last two words that define the interior of the LTZ-V. It’s moderately ok. There isn’t anything that stands out, and it’s not unappealing. It’s simply ok.The Outside Has:
A very American look. A bluff Superman like chin with a black grille above it which replaces the over the top GMC bling, slightly unfocused eyes as headlights with eyebrows that run back into the leading edges of the fenders, and fat hips over the rear wheel arches. In profile it seems as if there are three distinctly different designs. The rear has a separate window box to the centre, and then the front from the A pillar is seemingly unrelated to the rest. The A pillar is huge, way too huge for genuinely safe three quarter forward vision.Rolling stock stands out, with 20 inch allys on 235/55 Continental Cross Control rubber. Overall length is deceptive; it looks long but not as long as the 4979 mm length it is. Wheelbase is 2857 mm. There are eight colours to choose from with Mineral Black, Blue Steel, and Nitrate Silver amongst them, and potentially a better colour choice than the Dark Shadow that faded the Acadia into obscurity. A couple of splashes of chrome and rectangle shaped exhaust tips give the LTZ-V a little more visual difference to the other two models.On The Road It’s:
A weird mix. Off the line, from a standing start, the front driver 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-V, 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 ncomes 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-V 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, it falls short of lighting the candle. Having an interior plastics 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-V has a very sharp stick with which to push stuff uphill. It does nothing bad, but it simply does nothing special.

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