by Andy Bryenton
Did you know that Holden, the renowned motor brand, began as a saddlery in the 1860s? James Holden was stitching leather in Adelaide before the car was even invented.
Which means he was a man who’d appreciate just how comfortable modern vehicles have become. One, which bears his name really stands out as Holden enter a new era of global supply and reach, thanks to the power of parent company General Motors. The new seven-seater Acadia wears James’ monicker, but actually comes all the way from Tennessee.
To use a phrase from that part of the world, the interior space of this technically advanced and comfortable seven-seat family cruiser is ‘as big as all outdoors’. Three rows of jet-black leather seats, the front two boasting heaters can be moved about for ease of access, and rest assured, the back row is not simply for show. You’ll also find all the electronic gadgets, which a family wagon demands, including the addition of wireless phone charging to free up a total of five USB ports for the kids’ tablets and games.
Comfort is definitely the order of the day, which may seem counter-intuitive when talking about a machine from the United States heartland, where it wears the GMC badge alongside big, boisterous pickup trucks.
Moreover, there’s a big difference between the Acadia and the other large SUV in Holden’s range, based on the Colorado. The 3.6 litre v6 from the ZB Commodore just fits with the Buick-derived nine-speed transmission and adaptive AWD system to provide confident and smooth power about town, no matter what the load. It is no jacked up, knobbly tyred mud-slinger, but a refined way to travel, which uses its all-wheel abilities to provide grip and inspire confidence while carrying a large family in quiet comfort. That quiet is achieved with advanced noise cancelling technology, making the cabin an even more relaxing space away from the maddening traffic.
Holden is confident that this new large SUV will impress those who would perhaps, in other times, have been wedded to the idea of a big Commodore wagon to carry the family to and from school and sports. It’s an indication of the new global focus and reach of the company that they are moving far beyond the formula of being ‘Australasia’s big four-door sedan brand’, taking the best that GM can offer and tuning it pitch perfect for what drivers demand today.