Since the first one I drove, I have liked the GM crossover triplets, the Buick Enclave, the GMC Acadia, and the Chevy Traverse. They would be quadruplets were it not for the demise of Saturn, whose Outlook was on the same chassis.
This week I look at the GMC Acadia for 2011, a mid-sized 7 or 8 passenger crossover that is the sporty one of the GM sisters. Powered by a 3.6 liter V-6 and 6-speed automatic transmission, Acadia produces 288 horses and 270 pound feet of torque which provides more than ample power for the 4900 pound SUV that runs regular fuel.
Visibly, this is the best looking of the GM crossovers I have seen. My evaluation vehicle is White Diamond Tricoat, which is a VERY metallic pearlescent paint that looks a foot thick in the sunlight. The Cashmere tan leather interior is a wonderful accent to the great paint job.
The SLT-2 package is the top-of-the-line and has an impressive list of standard features that people really want, such as the power liftgate, keyless entry, 20” chrome wheels, HID headlamps, Bose audio, and rearview camera. Everything you would expect to find as standard is there too, like tilt wheel, cruise control, steering wheel controls, power seats, tri-zone climate control, Bluetooth, and heated and cooled seats. Two standard features in this package which makes it a real joy to drive are the remote start function and a heads-up display, which projects your speed onto the bottom of the windshield.
My test vehicle has three options, the touchscreen navigation system for $1890, rear DVD with headphones for $1445, and the paint option on this vehicle is $795.
In years past, you had to go all the way to a large SUV to get the ride quality of the Acadia. Handling is responsive and the vehicle has impressive crash test ratings.
The interior is beautiful and this package has second-row captain’s chairs which makes entry and exit of the third row seat much easier. The dash is well designed and everything is easy to understand and operate, as is the terrific stereo system. Navigation is also painless and easy to use.
Outwardly, Acadia is quite attractive and GM did a terrific job in using the 20” wheels to make the Acadia beefier-looking. It is one of the few SUVs out there that the ladies and men both would be very pleased with. A loaded Acadia is not an inexpensive vehicle, but it looks great and is very pleasing inside and out.
What I liked most: The ride and drive, and the great interior and exterior looks.
What I would change if I could: Love for this to be the Denali version, but it is coming very soon.
MSRP as tested: $50,125
Fuel Economy: Rated at 16 city/23 highway but I can’t prove it.
Acadia in a few words: Solid and functional, a real joy to drive, and quite beautiful