Anyone who mourns the loss of the big Holden Commodore station wagon as THE ideal Australian family car needs to check their calendar and stop listening to talkback radio.

Yes, the next ZB Commodore wagon won't quite offer the rear accommodation of the outgoing Aussie-built VFII version, but this will actually represent the second round of downsizing. Remember, the current-shape - 2008-onwards - Sportwagon has less cargo space than the VT-VZ model that preceded it.

This move to smaller but better looking Sportwagons has come about because the average Australian hasn’t thought of wagons as the ultimate in family hauling for some time, with our love affair with SUVs having moved firmly into the long-term commitment stage.

Residual emotional connections with the classic Commodore wagon are partly justified, though, thanks to the 11-year lifespan (to date) of the often-troublesome Holden Captiva.

Aside from age and reliability issues, the Captiva's limited size has forced it to straddle the increasingly cemented mid-size and large SUV segments. The now-discontinued Captiva 5 was the right size and shape for the mid-size class, yet the longer but no wider seven-seat Captiva 7 has never quite held a candle to segment heroes like the Mazda CX-9, Kia Sorento, Toyota Kluger, Hyundai Santa Fe and Nissan Pathfinder.

The Captiva will be replaced by the US-designed Acadia by mid-2018. The Captiva will be replaced by the US-designed Acadia by mid-2018.

Salvation is now finally approaching for Holden fans looking to treat their family to a decent-sized seven-seat SUV, with the US-designed Acadia heading our way by mid-2018.

We recently had the opportunity for an early taste of this future, driving a pre-production prototype behind the barbed wire at Holden's legendary Lang Lang proving ground in Victoria.