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Holden Acadia 2020 review


The Holden Acadia is a large, seven-seat SUV that effectively replaced the Captiva when it arrived in 2018 to take on the likes of the Kia Sorrento, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Kluger.

CarsGuide has come to know the Acadia well and we’ve put together this overview to help you decide if this is the right SUV for you.  

What do we love about the Holden Acadia?

  • We love the Holden Acadia’s tough looks (pictured: Acadia LT). We love the Holden Acadia’s tough looks (pictured: Acadia LT).
  • We love the Holden Acadia’s tough looks (pictured: Acadia LT). We love the Holden Acadia’s tough looks (pictured: Acadia LT).
  • We love the Holden Acadia’s tough looks (pictured: Acadia LT). We love the Holden Acadia’s tough looks (pictured: Acadia LT).
  • We love the Holden Acadia’s tough looks (pictured: Acadia LT). We love the Holden Acadia’s tough looks (pictured: Acadia LT).
  • We love the Holden Acadia’s tough looks (pictured: Acadia LT). We love the Holden Acadia’s tough looks (pictured: Acadia LT).
  • We love the Holden Acadia’s tough looks (pictured: Acadia LT). We love the Holden Acadia’s tough looks (pictured: Acadia LT).
  • We love the Holden Acadia’s tough looks (pictured: Acadia LT). We love the Holden Acadia’s tough looks (pictured: Acadia LT).
  • We love the Holden Acadia’s tough looks (pictured: Acadia LT). We love the Holden Acadia’s tough looks (pictured: Acadia LT).
  • We love the Holden Acadia’s tough looks (pictured: Acadia LT). We love the Holden Acadia’s tough looks (pictured: Acadia LT).
  • We love the Holden Acadia’s tough looks (pictured: Acadia LT). We love the Holden Acadia’s tough looks (pictured: Acadia LT).
  • We love the Holden Acadia’s tough looks (pictured: Acadia LT). We love the Holden Acadia’s tough looks (pictured: Acadia LT).

We love the Holden Acadia’s tough looks. Yes, there are more elegant large SUVs out there, but the Acadia’s truck-like styling is unapologetically different from the others.

We also love the spaciousness of the interior which offers excellent legroom, even in the third row. There’s great cabin storage and a big boot (1042 litres with the rear seats down). We‘re also fans of the large 8.0-inch screen display screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with USB ports in all three rows.

What do we dislike?

While we love the Acadia’s tough truck looks, we think the interior could be made to feel a little more plush and special, but that said, parents will like the wipe clean surfaces.

The interior of the LT could be made to feel a little more plush and special. The interior of the LT could be made to feel a little more plush and special.

Another Acadia feature we’re not hugely fond of is the V6 petrol engine which make plenty of grunt with 231kW of power and 367Nm of torque, but is thirsty compared to rivals such as the Mazda CX-9.

How much does a Holden Acadia cost?

The list price of the Acadia depends on which variant you go for. The entry-grade Acadia is the LT and in front-wheel drive (FWD) form costs $43,490, while the all-wheel drive (AWD) version is $4500 more.

The LTZ is the next level up and costs $53,490 for the FWD and $4000 more for the AWD. At the top of the range is the LTZ-V which lists for $63,490 for the FWD and again $4000 more for AWD.  

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?

The Holden Acadia has a 3.6-litre V6 making 231kW (at 6600rpm) and 367Nm (at 5000rpm), while a nine-speed automatic shifts gears. That’s more than enough grunt to get the Acadia up and moving quickly and the transmission is a traditional auto, which, irrespective of the technicalities, always feels like it gets drive to the wheels more effectively than a CVT.

The Holden Acadia has a 3.6-litre V6 making 231kW (at 6600rpm) and 367Nm (at 5000rpm). The Holden Acadia has a 3.6-litre V6 making 231kW (at 6600rpm) and 367Nm (at 5000rpm).

The V6 has cylinder deactivation which means that while cruising it can run on just four cylinders for better economy and there’s a stop-start fuel saving system, too.

A big, thirsty naturally aspirated V6 though makes less sense these days though, and other brands are using turbo fours which make plenty of torque low in the rev range and use less fuel.

How does the Acadia interior look & feel?

We think the Acadia’s interior could be made to feel a little more plush and special particularly in the higher grades.

The Acadia’s cabin is modern but it could be kicked up a notch to feel a bit more special (pictured: Acadia LT). The Acadia’s cabin is modern but it could be kicked up a notch to feel a bit more special (pictured: Acadia LT).

Don’t get us wrong, the Acadia’s cabin is modern, just a little bit truck-like in the fit and finish, while there are a lot of hard plastics used in the dash and the console which lowers the tone a bit.

That said, the textured seat fabrics feel good despite being cloth.

What is the Holden Acadia towing capacity?

The Acadia’s braked towing capacity is 2000kg.

Does the Holden Acadia come in diesel?

No, the Acadia doesn’t come in diesel. One engine is available and that’s a 3.6-litre V6 petrol.

What colours is it available in?

The Acadia is available in eight colours: 'Summit White', 'Mineral Black', 'Glory Red', 'Abalone White', 'Dark Shadow', 'Nitrate Silver', 'Scorpion' and wait for it… 'Blue Steel.' Only Glory Red and Summit White are no-cost colours.

Only Glory Red (pictured here on the LT) and Summit White are no-cost colours.

Only Glory Red (pictured here on the LT) and Summit White are no-cost colours.

What are the dimensions of the Acadia?

The Acadia is 4979mm long, 2139mm wide (including mirrors) and 1762mm tall. The ground clearance of the Acadia is 198mm.

The Acadia is 4979mm long, 2139mm wide and 1762mm tall. The Acadia is 4979mm long, 2139mm wide and 1762mm tall.

Does the Acadia have any common problems or faults?

The Acadia has only been on the market in Australia since October 2018 and at the time of publishing no complaints have been received by CarsGuide in our Ask The Guide section relating to the Acadia. Have you had any problems with your Acadia? Let us know.

What is the Holden Acadia's fuel consumption?

After a combination of open and urban roads Holden says the FWD Acadia should use 8.9L/100km and 9.3L/100km in  the AWD. In our comparison with the Nissan Pathfinder the FWD Acadia used 10.2L/100km. 

What features come standard with the Acadia?

The LT comes with an impressive standard features list, including an 8.0-inch touchscreen with sat nav, reversing camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, three-zone climate control, rear parking sensors, proximity key, rear privacy glass and 18-inch alloy wheels.

  • The LT comes standard with an 8.0-inch touchscreen. The LT comes standard with an 8.0-inch touchscreen.
  • Sat nav is accessible through multimedia system (pictured: Acadia LT). Sat nav is accessible through multimedia system (pictured: Acadia LT).
  • The Acadia features three-zone climate control (pictured: Acadia LT). The Acadia features three-zone climate control (pictured: Acadia LT).
  • A reversing camera makes parking a breeze (pictured: Acadia LT). A reversing camera makes parking a breeze (pictured: Acadia LT).

There’s also an excellent array of advanced safety equipment, which you can read about below.

The LTZ gets all the LT’s features and adds leather seats, power adjustable and heated front seats, rain sensing wipers, wireless charging for phones, power tailgate, front parking sensors, and this will make some people very happy – automatic parking.

The LTZ gets all the LT’s features and adds leather seats. The LTZ gets all the LT’s features and adds leather seats.

The LTZ-V comes with all the LTZ’s features and more including ventilated seats, 20-inch wheels, dual-pane sunroof, 8.0-inch virtual instrument cluster, eight-speaker Bose stereo with amplifier and sub-woofer, and adaptive suspension.

What features can you upgrade?

You can’t upgrade any of the Acadia’s features. So, if you’re buying the LT grade but really want wireless charging, you’ll have to step up to the LTZ.

The model featured below is the 2020 Holden Acadia LTZ-V

And likewise if you want the Bose stereo, you’ll have to get the top of the range LTZ-V. While it’s disappointing that there aren’t option packs available, all Acadias are well kitted out with equipment.

There’s also a range of genuine Holden accessories to pick from including cargo mats, pet barrier, tow bar, side steps, roof top spoiler and roof racks. No bull bars or nudge bars, however.

How much storage space does the Acadia have?

The Acadia has excellent storage space. There’s a wide and deep centre console bin, a hidey hole in front of the shifter, a tray for second row passengers, six cupholders (two in each row) and decent-sized door pockets.

  • With the third row in place the cargo capacity is 292 litres (pictured: Acadia LT). With the third row in place the cargo capacity is 292 litres (pictured: Acadia LT).
  • With the third row in place the cargo capacity is 292 litres (pictured: Acadia LT). With the third row in place the cargo capacity is 292 litres (pictured: Acadia LT).
  • There is a hidden storage compartment under the boot (pictured: Arcadia LT). There is a hidden storage compartment under the boot (pictured: Arcadia LT).
  • With those rear seats folded flat there’s 1042 litres of space (pictured: Arcadia LT). With those rear seats folded flat there’s 1042 litres of space (pictured: Arcadia LT).
  • The Acadia has excellent storage space (pictured: Acadia LT). The Acadia has excellent storage space (pictured: Acadia LT).
  • The Acadia has excellent storage space (pictured: Acadia LT). The Acadia has excellent storage space (pictured: Acadia LT).
  • There is a hidey hole in front of the shifter (pictured: Acadia LT). There is a hidey hole in front of the shifter (pictured: Acadia LT).
  • Second row passengers have decent-sized door pockets. Second row passengers have decent-sized door pockets.

The Acadia also has a big boot: with the third row in place the cargo capacity is 292 litres and with those rear seats folded flat there’s 1042 litres of space.

Where is the Holden Acadia made?

The Acadia is made as a right-hand drive SUV at General Motors’ Spring Hill plant in Tennessee, USA.

What is Holden Acadia based on?

In the United States the Acadia wears a GMC badge. GMC or General Motor Company is a division of General Motor which makes trucks and SUVs. Holden is also part of the GM family. Acadias are built as right-hand drive SUVs in the US and shipped to Australia wearing Holden badges. While the American SUV is almost identical to ours, the Australian Acadia has been tuned for local roads.

Which version of the Holden Acadia is the best?

The best version of the Acadia is the LTZ-V which sits at the top of the range. The ride and handling in the variant is better than the two grades below it thanks to adaptive suspension and there’s also extra features such as the ventilated seats and Bose stereo.

How does the Acadia compare to its rivals?

The Acadia stomps all over some rivals such as the Nissan Pathfinder in terms of technology and on-road performance, and while it was found to be more practical and spacious than a Mazda CX-9 the Holden couldn’t match Mazda’s refined cabin, fuel efficiency or dynamic ability.

Is the Holden Acadia 4x4 and can you use it off-road?

The Holden Acadia is not a 4x4 in that it does not have two differentials and a transfer case which sends power to each axle.

The Acadia is not an off-road capable vehicle in the way a four-wheel drive Holden Coloardo is. Instead the Acadia is available with an AWD set-up which uses an electronics system to distribute torque between all four wheels to optimise traction.

While AWD is great for maintaining good traction on gravel and dirt roads the Acadia would not be a good choice for heading off-road. The Acadia’s car-like 198mm ground clearance would also limit how far you’d get off the beaten track before finding yourself beached on a rock.

How does the Acadia feel to drive?

Big, comfortable and powerful. That’s how the Acadia feels to drive. The first time you drive it you’ll be looking out over the giant bonnet and you may feel like you’re driving a semi-trailer, but you will quickly get used to the size.

The first time you drive the Arcadia it feels like you’re driving a semi-trailer, but you will quickly get used to the size. The first time you drive the Arcadia it feels like you’re driving a semi-trailer, but you will quickly get used to the size.

The Acadia’s V6 has plenty of grunt and provides great acceleration for overtaking while the nine-speed automatic shifts smoothly. I recommend the AWD version as there were times in the two-wheel drive where even conservative acceleration sometimes caused the front wheels to spin on wet surfaces.

Noise cancelling technology keeps the cabin quiet, while those front seats are wide and comfortable. Oh yeah, and the seats vibrate when you park too close to something – it’s a safety feature and you can turn it off if, like me, you find it a bit disconcerting. Or, you might find you like it. 

How many seats does it have?

All Acadias have seven seats: two up front, three in the middle row and two in the third row.

Is the Acadia available as a manual?

The Acadia is not available with a manual gearbox, you’ll have to take it easy with a nine-speed automatic transmission.

How reliable is the Acadia?

As mentioned, at the time of publishing we hadn’t received any complaints about the Acadia in our Ask the Guide section. That said, the Acadia has not been on the market in Australia long (it arrived in October 2018) but so far so good. If you do have any issues with your Acadia please let us know.

Is the Acadia expensive to maintain?

Servicing is recommended every 12 months or 12,000km. Expect to pay $259 for the first service, $299 for the second, $259 for the third, $359 for the fourth, and $359 again for the fifth.

What is the Acadia's safety rating?

The Acadia was given the maximum five-star ANCAP rating when it was tested in 2018.

The level of advanced safety equipment is impressive. All grades come with AEB (on the LT and LTZ it’s a city speed version, while the LTZ has higher speed AEB), there’s blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, lane keeping assistance and lane departure warning, plus lateral impact avoidance which will swerve to avoid a vehicle that drifts into your lane.

Also excellent is that the side curtain airbags extend all the way back the entire third row – the CX-9’s do, too, but not the Kia Sorrento’s.

How many years and km's does the warranty last?

The Acadia is covered by Holden’s five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty.

Is the Holden Acadia a good car and should you buy one?

The Acadia is a good car to buy if you need an SUV with seven seats that will offer decent room for adults even in the third row.

The Acadia is also good for big families, looking for an alternative to a people mover, with plenty of space, good storage, USB ports in each row and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus easy to clean surfaces.

For those covering plenty of kays the Acadia is a comfortable cruiser. The Acadia is not an off-road capable SUV and while the AWD version is good for extra traction on gravel and dirt roads, this SUV won’t handle challenging terrain.  


The Wrap

Likes

Truck-like looks
Advanced safety tech
Good value

Dislikes

2000kg braked towing capacity
Engine needs to rev hard to make grunt
Wireless charging not standard on LT

Scores

Richard:

4

The Kids:

4

$43,490

Based on new car retail price

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