2018 Acadia New Car Test Drive
Completely redesigned, the 2017 GMC Acadia is substantially smaller and lighter than previous-generation (pre-2017) models. Vehicles typically grow bigger when they enter their next generation, but that didn't happen with this all-new three-row crossover utility vehicle.
While its predecessor sat up to eight passengers, the 2017 Acadia seats seven. Interior space remains adequate for seven passengers, though cargo room has diminished.
Snipping seven inches out of the body length and losing 740 pounds in overall mass means improved handling. We found the 2017 Acadia responds better than its predecessor to driver inputs and is a lot easier to maneuver in tight spots.
Smaller and lighter allows a smaller, more efficient powertrain, and the 2017 Acadia makes a new four-cylinder engine available as an alternative to the optional V6. Developing 194 horsepower, the new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is suitable for daily driving with a light load. Response is good initially, but the four-cylinder runs out of steam when pushed harder. Fuel economy is EPA-rated at 21/26 mpg City/Highway.
The 3.6-liter V6 gets the Acadia briskly underway and delivers ample reserve power for highway passing. The V6 is rated at 310 horsepower. With the V6 and front-drive, Acadia is EPA-rated at 18/25 mpg City/Highway, or 21 mpg Combined. All-wheel drive reduces the Combined estimate to 20 mpg.
A new All Terrain option includes an Active Twin Clutch all-wheel-drive system that can transfer torque both front to rear, and left to right. An All Terrain setting replaces Off Road mode in other AWD models. The All Terrain option forgoes a third-row seat, providing instead a rack that can be moved forward and back, to hold cargo in place.
Though smaller in size, the 2017 Acadia design manages to blend its family-oriented crossover status with a tough, truck-like appearance. Angular elements are still evident, but the 2017 Acadia isn't as blocky as some GMC models.
Posh Denali trim is loaded with such luxuries as a hands-free power liftgate, heated and ventilated front seats, and heated second-row seats. Acadia Denali is the only model with Continuously Variable Ride Control.
GMC's IntelliLink infotainment system retains its 8-inch touchscreen, but adds Apple Car Play and Android Auto compatibility.
Available safety features include a 360-degree camera, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning with emergency braking. The Safety Alert seat vibrates in the direction of the warning. A rear-seat reminder can warn that kids may be left in the car, or the driver is exiting.
The 2017 GMC Acadia is available with front-drive or all-wheel drive and a choice of engines.
Acadia SL ($29,995) comes with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, seven-passenger seating, keyless entry and start, tri-zone automatic climate control, a 7-inch touchscreen, and rearview camera. Acadia SLE-1 ($33,375) adds SiriusXM satellite radio, carpeted mats, LED daytime running lights, and a compact spare tire. SLE-2 ($35,995) gets a programmable power liftgate, heated front seats, six-passenger seating, and 8-way power driver's seat, and foglamps. Seven-passenger seating, the V6 engine, two-panel sunroof, and Driver Alert package are optional.
Acadia SLT-1 ($39,275) includes a power front passenger seat, perforated leather-appointed seats, auto-dimming driver's mirror, Bose 8-speaker audio, Driver Alert package, and 120-volt outlet. SLT-2 ($42,675) adds the V6 engine, 20-inch machined aluminum wheels, memory package, and heated second-row seats.
Acadia Denali ($45,845) comes with 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, a unique grille, 8-inch color touchscreen navigation with IntelliLink, heated/ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, and bright roof rails.