2010 Acadia New Car Test Drive
The GMC Acadia offers the utility of a big SUV with the refinement and fuel-efficiency of a car. The Acadia is a crossover SUV, meaning it looks like a truck but it uses unibody construction like a car. Crossovers have been gaining in popularity because they make so much sense for so many families, but what sets the Acadia apart is its size: It's big, similar in size to the GMC Yukon and Chevy Tahoe, both inside and out.
The Acadia can seat seven or eight, and it can carry a lot of cargo. Yet it offers a fuel economy advantage of three-to-five miles per gallon over a Yukon, a benefit of its lighter weight and more efficient powertrain. We've think the Acadia delivers what most people want from a full-size SUV. For starters, it's big and roomy inside. The driver sits high off the ground and has a commanding view of the road. There are three rows of seating, and rear-seat DVD entertainment is available.
The only places where the Acadia falls short of truck-based SUVs are in heavy-duty towing or for slogging through military-grade muck. Properly equipped, the GMC Acadia can tow 5,200 pounds, while a Yukon is rated to pull 7,500 pounds or more. Based on the Sierra full-size pickup, the Yukon can handle rugged terrain that the Acadia cannot. The Acadia offers all-wheel drive for capability in stormy or snowy weather and it's fine for unpaved roads, but it's not meant for true off-road use. That's plenty for most people.
On the road, the Acadia offers superb driving manners, whether on country roads, rough city streets or pock-marked freeways. It absorbs rough pavement in a soothing manner and takes corners reassuringly for such a large vehicle. It handles better and is smoother than a Yukon and other truck-based SUVs. GMC's 288-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 is responsive and sophisticated and supplies good acceleration performance. Its six-speed automatic transmission is smooth and efficient, further aiding fuel economy.
Three rows of seats provide room for seven or eight, though it's more comfortable with six. Two adults and two or three children plus their belongings can be carried with ease. The Acadia comes loaded with comprehensive safety equipment, including side-curtain airbags that provide head protection, side-impact airbags for torso protection and StabiliTrak electronic stability control and other active safety features that can help the driver avoid accidents.
For 2010, the changes are few. There are available 20-inch chrome-clad alloy wheels, USB connectivity in the center console, a Yukon Denali-style roof rack and an available Cashmere interior.
The 2010 GMC Acadia comes in SL, SLE and up-level SLT trim levels, and each is available with front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD).
Acadia SL ($31,740) and SL AWD ($33,740) come with cloth upholstery, air conditioning with rear controls, cruise control, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, power outside mirrors, power windows, programmable door locks with remote keyless entry, four-way manually adjustable driver's seat with lumbar adjustment, three-passenger 60/40 split second-row bench seat, three-passenger 60/40 split third-row bench seat, AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio with XM Satellite Radio, automatic headlamps, daytime running lights, rear spoiler, roof rails and P255/65R18 tires on painted aluminum wheels. Acadia SLE ($34,365) and SLE AWD ($36,365) add remote start, power driver's and front passenger's seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, power liftgate, fog lamps and rear park assist. Options include a trailering package ($525), a DVD rear-seat entertainment system ($2,305), dual headrest DVD player ($2,010), advanced remote start ($265), and the Hit The Road package ($1,015) with splash guards, cross roof rails and chrome assist steps.
Acadia SLT ($38,085) and SLT AWD ($40,085) upgrade to leather upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control with rear controls, heated front seats, a more sophisticated Bose stereo with rear radio controls, driver information center, outside temperature display, compass, a Bluetooth wireless cell phone link, universal garage-door opener, turn signals integrated into the outside mirrors and P265/60HR19 tires on machined alloy wheels. Options include the Preferred Package ($1,350) with eight-way power driver's and four-way power front passenger's seats, express power front windows, heated outside mirrors, trailering equipment, heavy-duty cooling, and P255/55HR20 tires on chrome-clad alloy wheels; DVD rear-seat entertainment ($1,445); navigation ($1,890); sunroof ($1,400); second-row console ($300); leather and climate-controlled second and third rows ($650); and the Technology Package ($1,000 with head-up display, cargo-area audio system and HID projector low-beam headlamps.
Safety features include dual frontal airbags, side-curtain airbags, seat-mounted side-impact airbags for the driver and front-seat passenger, OnStar, anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist, traction control, and StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover mitigation. Optional all-wheel drive enhances safety on slippery surfaces.
OnStar uses a global positioning system and an extra-powerful cellular telephone to put the driver in touch with the OnStar center, which can tell where the vehicle is located and send help or provide other assistance. Should the airbags deploy, the system can automatically notify the OnStar center that an accident has occurred and where the vehicle is located so it can then send help. OnStar service is free for the first year but after that requires a subscription fee.