Test Drive Notes Library
- The shape is more squared off at the back than most other SUV/Crossovers. That provides more room in the back for passengers and cargo. Overall, this is a nice-sized vehicle. It’s got the extra, third row of seats if you need them, but you’re not burdened with driving around a truck with a two-seat-ass when you don’t.
- Smooth and plenty powerful. The 3.6-liter V6 engine provides 310-horsepower of more-than-enough smooth power, and the six-speed automatic transmission is mostly, and nicely, invisible, except for an occasional notchy shift in stop and go traffic. For those who want to save fuel, there’s a four-cylinder, 193hp engine, but only with the front-wheel-drive models.
- The Acadia provides a surprisingly comfortable ride. It’s bordering on serene in there sometimes. It’s especially smooth and comfortable on the highway. Our tester had GM’s magnetic damping option, which was terrific. It reminds us of the old Saturday Night Live commercial where they did a Bris in the back of a Lincoln Town Car. But unlike the Town Car, the rabbi is unlikely to get sea sick in the Acadia. The handling is taut, and quite good for a large vehicle, despite the comfy ride.
- Front seats are comfortable. Interior is clean looking (at least until we spent a week in it), with clear controls, nice large knobs and buttons, and an intuitive GM touch screen with a useful home button. Apple Car Play and Android Auto were in there. It’s not quite high-end luxurious inside, but it’s plenty nice.
- In the rear, our top-trim Denali version had two captain’s chairs. Well, they’re not really captain’s chairs. More like lieutenant’s chairs. They’re individual, but not the large, beefy “captain’s chair” you associate with front seats, or even the second row of plush minivans. But there’s plenty of room back there for two, and the seat backs are adjustable. The third row has better headroom than most, due to the shape of the Acadia, but still, adults who draw the short straw (or with short legs) will be the one’s you’ll find riding back there.
- The top trim Denali comes with a good selection of safety features, including low-speed automatic braking, blind-spot monitor, and forward-collision alert. For an extra $1345, out test model also got full-speed, automatic emergency braking, and a bird's eye camera. We’d recommend that Technology Package.
- GMC gives you a five-year, 60,000 mile powertrain warranty. 3/36 on everything else.
Test Drive Notes Library
- Mileage is rated at 20 mpg overall (18/25). In our, admittedly, mostly city driving test, we got about 16.5.
- The Denali version with the Tech Package and Damping Suspension is a little over $50,000. The level of luxury inside the cabin says $45,000 to us.
- There’s a great array of safety equipment on the high-trim Denali test car. But you may be forced to move up the price ladder if you want all that stuff. You can’t get forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking on anything but the highest two trim levels. And you can’t get high-speed emergency braking on anything but the Denali. And that’s something everybody should have.
- It’s a very comfortable car, and it handles well, but that doesn’t mean it's nimble. If you’re coming out of a sedan into a crossover, like a lot of people are these days, it’s going to feel bigger and more ponderous to drive.
- This thing has huge blind spots in the A pillars (on either side of the front windshield). They’re big enough to lose a Nissan Versa in, so you need to be careful when turning through intersections with pedestrians.
- The Acadia comes with a backup camera, but it’s not a great quality one. When do you notice that? At night, or when it’s raining. Or both. Then you have to count on the sonar-beeping-parking-assistance-thing to keep you from backing into your garbage cans.
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