Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Sorry, there are no cars that match your search

Holden Acadia LT 2019 review

Nedahl Stelio
Family reviewer

12 Dec 2018 • 9 min read

There are definitely times when you appreciate extra space in the car, even if you only have two kids (let alone when you have three or four and the extra space is a daily necessity). The Holden Acadia is the new seven-seat SUV to enter the market and I got to review it on the week I needed space the most: the weekend I had to do the fruit and veggie shop at the markets for the food co-op I’m in. 

The Acadia offers an American made alternative to cars like the Mazda CX-9, Toyota Kluger and Kia Sorento. How does it compare to these cars? I drove it with my family for seven days to find out. 

What does it look like?

First impression of the Acadia is that it’s big and looks it. It’s actually a tiny bit shorter in length than the CX-9 but it looks bigger from the outside. The truck-like front gives a rough and rugged effect and while I’m sure this car will certainly appeal to a particular customer, for me it’s too butch. There’s nothing really sleek or sporty about it and literally everyone who saw it this week commented on the exterior and how large it looks.

  • First impression of the Acadia is that it’s big and looks it. (image credit: Dean McCartney) First impression of the Acadia is that it’s big and looks it. (image credit: Dean McCartney)
  • There’s nothing really sleek or sporty about the Acadia, it's very truck-like. (image credit: Dean McCartney) There’s nothing really sleek or sporty about the Acadia, it's very truck-like. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

I was in the Acadia LT which is at the bottom of the range (there are three models, which keeps things simple), so the interior was basic, but everything is designed well and it’s all functional and easy to use.

The dash and the doors do look a little hard and plasticky, but then you get inclusions in this base model that you don’t on every other base model, like a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear shift knob.

The Acadia LT has a basic interior, but everything is designed well. (image credit: Dean McCartney) The Acadia LT has a basic interior, but everything is designed well. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

There are fabric seats in this model which look and feel nice, no cheap scratchy cloth here, so you’ll be fine to wear shorts. Everything else is fairly standard.

How spacious is it?

Here’s where the Acadia shines because the interiors are huge. In the front there’s loads of leg and head room, with a great divide between driver and front passenger, it’s all very breezy and light, even without a sunroof in the LT. 

My two children had loads of room in the second row, they’re aged five and seven and there were no complaints of their legs sticking into the seats in front of them. I was also able to fit a third child seat in the middle - I fit two boosters and a baby capsule. 

But the real star is the third row, because adults can fit back there perfectly comfortably, which is a novelty even in this category. I’m 161cm and I had about 15cm in front of my knees to the seat in front, so taller adults will also be fine and the roof doesn’t slope downwards either, so head space is ample. 

  • Up front, there's loads of leg and head room. (image credit: Dean McCartney) Up front, there's loads of leg and head room. (image credit: Dean McCartney)
  • Children will have plenty of room in the second row. (image credit: Dean McCartney) Children will have plenty of room in the second row. (image credit: Dean McCartney)
  • There are five top tether points over the two back rows, and two ISOFIX points for children’s car seats. (image credit: Dean McCartney) There are five top tether points over the two back rows, and two ISOFIX points for children’s car seats. (image credit: Dean McCartney)
  • Adults can comfortably sit in the third row. (image credit: Dean McCartney) Adults can comfortably sit in the third row. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

Using the boot in a seven-seater always depends on how many people you are seating in the car. With all seats in use, the boot is 292L - it’s small, but that’s standard in this category, and every other seven-seater is the same. You’ll fit school bags and some groceries. 

With the third row down, the boot grows to 1042L which is plenty of room for a growing family and you can fit everything from prams to sporting equipment. 

And with the second row down, I was able to fit in all the boxes for the fruit and veggie shop which I was very grateful for this week. At 2102L you can fit a mattress back there.

  • With all seats in use, there's 292L of boot space on offer. (image credit: Dean McCartney) With all seats in use, there's 292L of boot space on offer. (image credit: Dean McCartney)
  • Fold the third row of seats down and the boot grows to 1042L. (image credit: Dean McCartney) Fold the third row of seats down and the boot grows to 1042L. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

How does it drive?

The Holden Acadia drives exactly how you think it’s going to drive - it’s large and a bit heavy and is not as agile as a CX-9 or even a Kluger. There’s a 3.6L V6 engine which is great for getting up hills and zooming along freeways, you can definitely feel the power when compared with a smaller engine.

Under the bonnet is a 3.6-litre V6 engine. Under the bonnet is a 3.6-litre V6 engine.

The drive is also a little bouncy, in the LT Holden hasn't nailed the way the car feels on the road. I tested the two-wheel drive (2WD) but you can opt for all-wheel drive (AWD) which gives better traction along dirt or gravel roads. 

Parking is fine, the car is big but it’s still relatively okay to park. The steering is a tiny bit heavy but nothing to worry about, and the turning circle feels smaller than it has any right to in this car. 

How easy is it to use every day?

Let’s get the most annoying bit out of the way - the car beeps a lot. I turned the collision warnings down (the option to do this is on the steering wheel), because it beeped at everything as I approached it. 

Even with the collision warnings on the lowest setting it would still beep and flash red on the windscreen if I drove past a person who happened to be on the side of the road, and it beeps if you get too close to the car in front, however I don’t think I was close enough to warrant a beep.

It also beeps if you haven’t put your seat belt on before starting the car, and it beeps when you get out to check the backseat for kids, so you don’t forget them inside. This is something you may get used to. Or ignore. 

The second row is easy enough to put down with the pull of a handle, the seats simply flip forward and kids can climb through to the third row. Putting the seats back up however is a bit of a workout. The third row is easy both ways, so you’re fine there. 

There are six cupholders in total, two in each row, plus handy bits of storage that you’ll discover as you go - a spot in the front to throw keys and a phone, a large centre storage bin, a bottle holder in each door. The second row gets a large drawer and the third row gets a small storage spot next to the cupholders. 

In total, there are six cupholders with two up front. (image credit: Dean McCartney) In total, there are six cupholders with two up front. (image credit: Dean McCartney)

There are also air vents in each row and tri-zone climate control which is great for Australian summers.

How safe is it?

For families, the safety is great. There are five top tether points over the two back rows, and two ISOFIX points for children’s car seats. Airbags cover the driver and front passenger and side curtain airbags extend all the way to the back row. 

You’ll also get the newer safety technology as standard across the range, including auto emergency braking (in the LT it’s a city speed version), blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and rear cross traffic alert. So it’s got all the safety you could hope for in a 2019 model vehicle. 

What’s the tech like?

The Acadia LT is equipped with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, whichever your smartphone poison. It’s the easiest tech to use as it syncs with your phone and the main apps appear on the multimedia screen, so you can use maps to navigate, Spotify or whatever you use to listen to music and podcasts, and you can use voice control to make calls and send text messages while driving.

The sound system is also good, I put the music up quite a few times this week on some long drives and there was no distortion.

How much does it cost to own?


The Wrap

The Holden Acadia LT ticks all those boxes on paper that you want it to tick for a seven-seat vehicle. It has loads of space inside, a large boot when the back seats are down, all the latest safety as standard, plus it’s comfortable and well priced. 

For me though, the clunky way it drives and the rugged exterior overtook all of those other great features. I gave it a family rating of 6.5 out of 10. My children rated it the same, I think the beeps really got to them. 

Likes

Interior space
Boot space
Safety features

Dislikes

Lots of beeping
Clunky driving
Large feeling

Scores

Nedahl:

3.3

The Kids:

3.3

$43,490

Based on new car retail price

VIEW PRICING & SPECS