GMC offers its new crossover in three flavors—Acadia, Acadia All Terrain and Acadia Denali. The first is your garden-variety crossover presenting a blend of all-weather capability and passenger/cargo practicality. The second, as its name suggests, is an off-road-centric model which prioritizes ground clearance and 4X4 flexibility. The last is GMC's luxury line and offers all the comfort features you could possibly want in an entry-premium three-row CUV.
In its most basic form, the new Acadia is 700 pounds lighter than the car it replaces. Don't let that number fool you, however; this is still a large, spacious SUV.
The Acadia's updated styling represents a pretty significant departure from the old look. Up front, the bug-eyed headlamps are gone, replaced by slimmer, LED-lined housings. The squared-off, three-slot grille is also gone, replaced by a vaguely octagonal piece that blends nicely with the slimmer, more elongated shape of the new SUV.
Inside, you'll find a center stack topped by a touchscreen boasting a surround that mirrors the octagonal theme of the grille. Housed here are all the connectivity features you've come to expect, including OnStar with 4G LTE and a WiFi hotspot.
Moving back, you have your choice of either a two-seat second row with captain's chairs or a three-seat bench. Behind that is an optional third row.
The GMC Acadia offers a new feature called "Rear Seat Reminder." This system exists to keep distracted parents from accidentally abandoning their children in the back seat. If you open the rear doors before getting into the car and driving off, a chime will sound when you next shut the car off and open your door. This chime is accompanied by a message in the main cluster that says, "Check Rear Seat."
Under the hood you'll find one of two engines—a 2.5L four-cylinder or a 3.6L V6. The four-pot produces 193 horsepower and 188lb-ft of torque; the six is good for 310 horsepower and 271lb-ft. Both engines are available in standard front-wheel-drive configurations or with optional all-wheel-drive and are mated to six-speed automatic transmissions.
The four-cylinder is rated at 21 MPG city and 26 highway with front-wheel-drive; all-wheel-drive drops that to 21/25. With the six, you should expect 18 MPG in the city and 25 on the highway no matter which drivetrain configuration you opt for.
With the smaller footprint comes a little less capability as a trade-off for reduced weight and added efficiency. With the third row up, 12.8 cubic feet of cargo space is available in the rear. With the third row folded, that bumps up to 41.7 cubic feet. Fold the second row down too and you max out at 79 cubes. V6 models are also rated to tow 4,000lbs.
Trim level breakdown
The basic Acadia is available in SL, SLE and SLT trims. For information on the All Terrain and Denali variants, see blow.
The SL trim comes standard with a 7" IntelliLink infotainment system with wireless pairing, streaming audio and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay capability, a AM/FM/MP3/USB/AUX sound system, seven-passenger seating, a manual tilt/telescoping steering wheel, keyless entry and start, tri-zone automatic climate control, 17" aluminum wheels with all-season tires, halogen projector headlamps, heated outside mirrors and daytime running lights.
The SLE-1 adds LED DRLs, a six-speaker audio system upgrade and additional interior comfort and convenience features.
SLE-2 adds a programmable power liftgate, a power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, remote start, silver roof rails, 18" wheels, six-passenger seating with second-row captain's chairs and fog lamps.
SLT-1 adds a power-adjustable passenger seat, perforated leather seating surfaces, a 120V power outlet, auto-dimming side- and rear-view mirrors, Bose premium audio and an 8" IntelliLink screen upgrade.
SLT-2 offers 20" machine-finished wheels, power driver and passenger seat plus mirror memory and heated second-row seats.
The Denali is the most luxurious variant of the Acadia. In addition to the equipment included in the SLT-2 trim, it sports a unique grille, 20" polished wheels, chrome roof rails, HID headlamps, a hands-free power liftgate, heated and ventilated front seats and power tilt/telescoping heated steering wheel.
The All Terrain model is available exclusively in AWD with the 3.6L V6. It features hill descent control, black roof rails, 18" wheels, rear park assist, an advanced all-wheel drive system with additional drive modes, five-passenger seating, a leather-wrapped wheel, side blind zone and lane change alert and rear cross traffic alert.
It is available only in select colors, rides higher than the standard model and features unique exterior trim to denote its off-road capability.
Front, side and curtain airbags are standard, along with a rearview camera and other industry-standard safety features such as anti-lock brakes, stability control and tire pressure monitoring.
Driver Alert package items (available from the SLE-2 trim and up) include low-speed front emergency braking, a safety alert driver seat, Intellibeam headlamps, front and rear park assist, following distance indicator, lane keep assist, forward collision alert and side blind spot/lane change alert.
In addition to the Chevrolet Traverse and the Buick Enclave, the Acadia's main rivals include the Dodge Durango, the Honda Pilot and the Hyundai Santa Fe. Buyers can also look at the less truck-like Ford Flex.