2017 2017 GMC ACADIA DENALI AWD
So what does this mean, exactly? They shrunk it – and not by a little either.
The '17 Acadia is seven inches (177.8 mm) shorter and 700 pounds (317.5 kg) lighter than the outgoing model.
On the plus side, the Acadia is now a much easier vehicle to park and maneuver in crowded mall parking lots, and average fuel economy (for V6 models) is about 2 L / 100 km better.
$62,245 (as tested)
The downside is it is now smaller on the inside – cargo space has shrunk by about 1,000 litres) – although third-row seating remains.
Built in Saturn's former home of Spring Hill, Tenn., the Acadia shares the new C1XX platform with the Cadillac XT5.
In addition to a chassis and an assembly plant, the Acadia also shares a 3.6L DOHC V6 engine, which features active fuel management and cylinder deactivation. Power output is identical to the Caddy, rated at 310 horsepower and 271 lb-ft. of torque.
One difference between the two, however, is the gearbox. The Acadia gets a six-speed automatic transmission, as opposed to the eight-speed found in the XT5. While its starting price of $54,695 isn't exactly cheap, the Acadia Denali comes equipped with a lengthy list of standard premium equipment, including a leather interior, heated and ventilated front seats, an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen with navigation and satellite radio, dual 8-way power front seats and 20-inch aluminum wheels.
On the road, the Acadia Denali delivers a quiet and comfortable ride. The handling doesn't seem especially sharp, but is acceptable for a mid-size SUV. The steering feels reasonably direct and responsive and, much like the XT5, acceleration and power delivery from the 3.6 is solid, if unspectacular.
Inside, the Acadia Denali is handsomely designed, very wellequipped and quite comfortable. The design aesthetic is much heavier on pick-up truck influ- ences than the XT5, but the Denali trim does make the Acadia feel more luxurious. Not a Cadillac, but still pretty luxe for a GMC.
And despite being a bit down on interior space compared to its cavernous predecessor, the Acadia is still spacious, and getting in and out of the third row is easy.
Compared to the XT5, which I drove a few weeks prior, the Acadia Denali holds its own and may make more sense if you're in search of value and aren't as concerned about the badge on the front grille.