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Holden employees test Acadia on Aussie roads

Testing times: A fleet of 16 Holden Acadia test vehicles have hit Australian roads in the lead up to the large SUV’s launch later this year.

New seven-seat Holden Acadia SUV being tested by Holden staff before Q4 launch


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26 Jun 2018

HOLDEN is using its employees to test the forthcoming Acadia large seven-seat SUV on Australian roads to ensure it suits local conditions, before arriving in showrooms in the fourth quarter of the year.
The Acadia will be imported from GM’s Spring Hill, Tennessee plant and will replace Holden’s smaller, ageing Captiva, sitting alongside the more off-road-focused Trailblazer in the large SUV segment.
Holden has added 16 examples of the Acadia to its Captured Test Fleet program, which gives Holden employees and their families the opportunity to provide feedback and further refine the vehicle ahead of its market launch.
There are another 14 Acadias testing on US roads and the fleet of big SUVs is expected to clock up about 1.5 million kilometres of testing by the time it goes on sale.
GoAuto has spotted a number of Acadias on Melbourne roads in the past couple of months.
The car-maker says that some of the challenges the employees put the vehicles through include “driving along tram tracks and gravel roads, testing radio, navigation and traffic sign recognition in busy, complexes areas, and withstanding day-to-day abuse by children spilling food and drink on seats”.
Holden regional quality manager Steve Corcoran said the purpose of the CTF program was to ensure any bugs are ironed out and that customers have peace-of-mind about the quality and durability of the product. 
“The CTF program includes people from various backgrounds with various car usage characteristics, all working together to make sure Acadia performs to the highest standards on the road and in broader quality areas,” he said.
“Speaking from personal experience, my kids took it upon themselves to test out how easy it was to clean the interior after dropping ice cream on it – a situation we go through regularly in summer. 
“In that instance I found the seats were easy to clean despite being a more premium material so there was no issue to report back.
“The aim of the program is to find real-world problems before our customers do so that they and their families have absolute peace of mind that their Acadia is built and tuned to perform in every way.” 
As reported by GoAuto last month, the Acadia will be offered with one powertrain, a 3.6-litre V6 petrol unit that is likely produce 231kW/367Nm. 
It will be available in both front- and all-wheel drive and and will be offered with features including idle-stop, a 360-degree camera, wireless mobile phone charging, heated and ventilated seats and a hands-free power tailgate.
It is also expected to come with autonomous emergency braking, traffic sign recognition and a lane departure warning.
Holden previously released an image of the Acadia in 2016 but it was a left-hand-drive GMC version with a Holden badge on the grille, but the company has now released the first shot of the car in local spec production guise.
The Aussie Acadia mostly matches its American twin in terms of styling, but it gains a new split grille treatment and loses the orange indicator lamps up front in favour of clear units. Holden is yet to release an image of the Australian-spec Acadia’s interior.
The Acadia will sit above the mid-size Equinox and small Trax in Holden’s growing SUV line-up that also includes the aforementioned Trailblazer.
It will compete directly with family-focused large SUV rivals such as the Toyota Kluger, Mazda CX-9, Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento and Nissan Pathfinder.
Holden director of sales Peter Keley said the market trend towards SUVs would be replicated in Holden’s own sales split.
“With Acadia undergoing more local testing and its launch on the horizon, Holden is better equipped than ever to satisfy Australia’s demand for SUVs with our range of high-tech, world-class products,” he said.
“SUVs are becoming more and more popular and, where once upon a time most of Holden’s sales would have been passenger cars, we now expect SUVs to take over with Equinox and Acadia leading the way.” 
Holden will reveal more details, including specification grades and pricing, closer to the model’s launch later this year.

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