Things we like
- Space, comfort, handling, infotainment and safety tech
Not so much
- Spare tyre access, rear-seat entry
What stands out?The Holden Acadia is a bold-looking, comfortable, and well-built seven-seater with enough room in the third row to comfortably seat two adults. It’s powered by a gutsy V6 petrol engine that offers good economy, and each model grade is available in either front- or all-wheel drive. The Acadia is the most advanced vehicle to wear a Holden badge with all versions coming with the latest infotainment and active safety technology, including autonomous emergency braking that detects pedestrians and cyclists.
The demise of Holden means you may be able to secure huge discounts on remaining models including the Acadia. For more details, read: Holden slashes prices as final fire sales begin.
What might bug me?As if getting a puncture isn’t bad enough, the Acadia makes it difficult to find and remove the spare tyre, which is hidden under two layers under the third row seats. The space-saver spare tyre is narrower than the other tyres on the car, which limits the recommended top speed to 80km/h if you need to use it.
How it’s a little more difficult to access the third row from the safer kerb side of the Acadia because the middle-row seat slide/fold setup was designed for American left-hand-drive models.
Having to put on an apologetic face after your tyres chirp when taking off from traffic lights. The Acadia's length takes quite a bit of weight from the front wheels resulting in wheel spin especially when you have passengers in the rear two rows. This happens with FWD versions and with the AWD Acadias in 2WD mode.
And of course, how Holden's demise could have an impact on resale values. The good news is there should be no negative impact on your rights as an owner when it comes to parts, servicing, warranties and recalls.
For more details about how Holden's closure will impact Acadia ownership, see the 'Is it safe to buy a new or used Acadia with Holden shutting down?' section below.
What body styles are there?Five-door SUV-style wagon only. All variants seat seven people.
The Acadia in front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive versions.
It is classified as a lower-priced large SUV.
What features do all Acadias have?Nine-speed automatic transmission, and seating for seven.
An 8.0-inch touchscreen, with connectivity for mobile devices via Bluetooth. Holden’s MyLink, with in-built satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (which allows you to operate your phone and use some apps, among them navigation apps, from the touchscreen). Steering wheel and voice controls for your phone and the sound system.
Reversing camera, rear-parking sensors, and cruise control.
Tow bar (to mount a tow ball mount and tow ball) and hitch view system that helps you line up the Acadia with a trailer.
Satellite navigation, and traffic sign recognition with intelligent speed assist that, when selected, will slow the car down to the identified speed limit.
Keyless entry and push-button start, and tri-zone automatic air-conditioning
Dusk-sensing headlights, and LED daytime running lights.
City-speed autonomous emergency braking with bicycle and pedestrian detection, forward collision alert with head-up warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist, as well as lateral impact avoidance which will steer the Acadia away from any adjoining cars drifting into your lane when safe to do so.
Seven airbags, anti-lock brakes, and electronic stability control – which can prevent or help control a skid. (For the placement of airbags, and more on Acadia safety features, please open the Safety section below.)
The Holden Acadia is covered by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.
Which engine uses least fuel, and why wouldn't I choose it?The Acadia is only available with a V6 petrol engine that’s coupled with a nine-speed automatic transmission. This is the same V6 powertrain as in the Holden Commodore, though the power settings are slightly lower.
The V6 consumes 8.9 litres/100km on the official test (city and country combined) with front-wheel-drive, and 9.3 litres/100km with all-wheel-drive.
(Power outputs and all other Holden Acadia specifications are available from the Cars Covered menu, under the main image on this page.)
What key features do I get if I spend more?Spending as little as possible on an Acadia will get you an Acadia LT with cloth seat trim, 18-inch wheels, standard cruise control and front-wheel-drive. Upgrading to all-wheel-drive on any Acadia will cost an additional $3500.
Spending more on an Acadia LTZ brings part-leather upholstery with power-adjustable heated front seats.
Hands free power tailgate, auto dimming mirror, front fog-lamps and rain-sensing windscreen wipers.
Wireless phone charging (compatible devices)
Front parking sensors, and advanced park assist that steers the car into a parking spot for you.
Spending top dollar on an Acadia gets you the LTZ-V, which gains adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality that works in slow moving traffic jams, and all-speed autonomous emergency braking.
Adaptive suspension, which adjusts the Acadia’s ride to suit different road conditions.
Digital dashboard display, and 360-degree camera view to that helps make parking easier and safer.
Dual-panel sunroof and 20-inch alloy wheels with sportier tyres.
Ventilated front seats and driver’s seat memory
Does any upgrade have a down side?Spending more on an all-wheel-drive Acadia brings a slight increase of fuel consumption.
Summit White and Glory Red are the only standard colours, with the other six costing extra.
How comfortable is the Acadia?The Acadia’s interior is well put together with quality materials but, as is often the case with American-built cars, it does lack a bit if finesse. That said, soft-touch surfaces abound and both the cloth and leather seats are very comfortable and support you from each side.
There’s plenty of leg- and headroom throughout, including down in third row that’s among the roomiest of all seven-seat SUVs and on par with the Kia Carnival people mover.
At the time of launch, the Aussie-developed multi-media system was deemed the most advanced of any GM vehicle worldwide. It’s intuitive, with sharp graphics and you can sync two phones at a time via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. There are five USB sockets throughout the cabin, including the third row, which are rated at 2.1 amps to allow for fast charging of larger devices such as a tablet.
Road noise is well contained and the ride comfort feels silky even on the LTZ-V’s 20-inch wheels, thanks to its adaptive suspension dampers.
What about safety?The Acadia features active safety and driver-assistance tech that’s designed to protect vehicle occupants as well as other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
This includes traffic sign recognition that can work with the speed limiter to automatically govern your speed to the posted limit when you enter a new speed zone. The system was developed by Holden engineers who tested it around Australia so the system could recognise the dozens of different speed sign designs around the country.
The Acadia’s autonomous emergency braking recognises cars, cyclists and pedestrians. It works at city speeds in the LT and LTZ, and higher highway speeds in the LTZ-V. It’s also the only Acadia to feature adaptive cruise control, which also functions in traffic jams.
Other key safety features include rear-cross traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, blind spot monitor and a lateral collision avoidance system that steers the Acadia to the side to avoid a vehicle beside it that begins to stray from its lane.
Forward collision alert lets you know if you’re in danger of hitting the car in front via a flashing light on the windscreen, an audible warning, and by vibrating the seat cushion. The haptic seat vibrator also lets you know if you stray over a line.
The Acadia also has seatbelt alerts and a passenger reminder that warns you to double-check that you left any sleeping kids, pets or valuables in the vehicle.
Crash protection comprises seven airbags including driver’s knee and full-length side curtain protection that extends to the third row.
The second row has two ISOFIX child seat anchor points, and there are five conventional child restraint anchors including two in the third row.
The Holden Acadia is yet to receive an Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) rating.
I like driving - will I enjoy this car?Despite its American truck looks, the Acadia’s car-like handling is a result of an extensive local suspension tuning program by Holden engineers to make it more comparable with Aussie roads. The ride is best in the LTZ-V, which is equipped with adaptive suspension that acclimates to different road and driving conditions.
The Acadia’s ride feels well composed and it corners well for a 2.0-tonne SUV. In the LTZ-V switching the Sport driving mode stiffens the adaptive dampers, as well as adapting the gear ratios, steering and traction, resulting in precise and composed cornering with surprisingly little body roll even when sitting in the third row.
The Acadia shares the same 3.6-litre V6 engine and nine-speed automatic transmission as the Commodore, though in a slightly less powerful tune that offers up to 231kW and 367Nm. The Acadia’s weight doesn’t seem to bother the V6, which handles the heft well and offers a nice rumble to complement its macho American looks. If anything there seems to be a bit too much much torque through the front wheels. Putting the foot down at the lights results in a hoonish wheel chirp especially when there's weight in the back. This happens with both the FWD versions and the AWDs when in the default 2WD mode.
It’s enjoyable to drive, but there’s no opportunity to engage with it further – the Acadia lacks a manual shifting option via the gear shifter or steering wheel paddles, for example.
How is life in the rear seats?The second-row seats easily accommodates taller passengers and offers occupants access to climate control settings, air vents in the ceiling, reading lights, a deep drawer that slides out from under the centre console and two USB sockets.
The third row is among the roomiest of all seven-seat SUVs and is even on par with the space offered by Kia's Carnival people mover. It seats two adults comfortably, and there’s a USB socket, reading lights and ceiling-mounted air vents.
How is Acadia for carrying stuff?Storage options are plentiful throughout the cabin, and include door bins with a separate nook under the arm rests, and under-floor tubs in front of the second row seats.
With all seats in place the boot holds 292 litres, which expands to a capacious 1042 litres with the third row folded down. Fold down both the third and second rows and you can stash up to 2102 litres of gear behind the front seats.
The Acadia will tow up to 2000kg and the Trailer/Tow drive mode changes the auto transmission’s shift patterns to provide more torque or traction when required. All Acadias come standard with a tow bar – a tow ball is required – and there’s also a hitch view system via the reversing camera display that lets you line up the tow ball and trailer.
Where is the Acadia made?The Acadia is built by GMC in Tennessee, USA.
What might I miss that similar cars have?A more economical turbodiesel engine, which can be had with cars like the Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Mazda CX-8, Peugeot 5008 and Skoda Kodiaq.
Other seven-seat SUVs worth comparing include the Mazda CX-9, Toyota Kluger and Nissan Pathfinder.
If you don’t want something as big but you still need to carry more than five people, the smaller Nissan X-Trail and Mitsubishi Outlander offer seven-seat versions.
Is it safe to buy a new or used Acadia with Holden shutting down?The Holden Acadia arrived in October 2018, and is a rebadged and modified version of the GMC Acadia. There have been no updates to the Holden versions since then.
If you can get a good deal on Acadia as part of the Holden fire sale, there is good reason to feel confident that parts will be available and that servicing and the warranty will be covered.
Australian consumer law requires that a brand supports its products for at least seven years, while General Motors – the parent company of Holden who are behind the closure – have stated that it will extend warranty and service support for 10 years. The company says it will establish a national after sales network to support existing customers for at least the next 10 years. And remember, you don’t have to service your Acadia at a Holden dealership to guarantee warranty coverage.
For more details, read: What does Holden's axing mean for its customers
I like this car, but I can't choose which version. Can you help?If you want an affordable, spacious and very well equipped seven-seat SUV, than it’s hard to go past the Acadia LT.
But if you want something that gives premium-branded SUVs a run for their money in terms of equipment levels and ride comfort for a considerably lower price, than the LTZ-V AWD represents great value too, despite its near $70,000 price tag.
Things we like
- Space, comfort, handling, infotainment and safety tech
Not so much
- Spare tyre access, rear-seat entry
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