Make us your home page
The Daily Drivers | By Peter Couture and Lyra Solochek, Times Staff Writers

The Daily Drivers: GMC's Acadia has robust room, not enough vroom

The GMC Acadia is a midsize crossover that seats seven and belongs to the class of vehicles that function (and look) like station wagons, despite being labeled SUVs. Our tester was the more upscale Denali trim. The Acadia is the GM cousin to the Chevy Traverse and Buick Enclave.

Appearance: The Denali trim brightens the base Acadia quite a bit. The body-color front and rear fascias are an improvement to the black plastic of the lower Acadia trims. There's also a silver-tone grille, 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels, chrome trim and dual exhaust tips. Lyra liked the angled headlights that dip near that grille, and the fog light "dimples" beneath them. Overall effect? An aggressive stance with a bit of character.

Performance: The 3.6-liter, 288-horsepower V-6 seems to pull above its weight, providing plenty of torque and acceleration. We found the ride of our front-wheel-driver (AWD also is available) to be smooth, and despite its height, the Acadia didn't feel top-heavy. (The Acadia has a carlike unibody chassis.) The steering feel is responsive. Our one complaint: Even though the six-speed transmission shifts smoothly, it is slow to respond when you need quick acceleration for interstate passing. The mpg, an estimated 16/23, isn't great, but then it's an almost 5,000-pound vehicle.

Interior: The quiet interior seems even more expansive thanks to a double-pane sunroof. The perforated leather seats, which can be heated or cooled, are comfortable. As parents, we appreciated the easy access to the backseats. With second-row captain's chairs, all the kids need to do is hop in and walk through the center aisle to get to the third row, which is comfortable and even okay for adults (at least around town.) The second- and third-row seats fold down to provide a maximum cargo capacity of 116.9 cubic feet. We also liked that you can adjust the opening height for the power lift gate. Our tester had the technology package, which includes an entertainment system (just one screen, though) for rear passengers. Our main complaint about the cabin is simply one of materials; the "wood" trim looks more like fake laminate and there is too much "budget" plastic, especially in a center console that Peter felt was on the flimsy side. The driver's rear view can also be compromised, and the Acadia is the prime candidate for a blind-spot warning system; instead, you'll have to make do with "spotter" mirrors within the side mirrors.

Our 3 favorites

Peter Couture

Color: The White Diamond Tricoat is worth the extra $795.

Head-up display: This is one of our favorite GM features.

Grille: The chrome honeycomb grille is one of the sharpest on the market.

Lyra Solochek

Personality: The Denali trim's body kit and wheels give the crossover a more aggressive, flashy look.

Towing: Pull as much as 5,200 pounds. And the hitch is hidden discreetly when not in use.

Quiet: The cabin has sound insulation and laminated glass.

The bottom line: The GMC Arcadia crossover is a capable minivan alternative with easy access to rear seats. But you'll pay a premium for this Denali trim. Looking for a less-expensive family hauler? Try Chevy's Traverse.


GMC Acadia Denali

Price: $32,605 base, $43,880 Denali start, $48,820 as tested

Powertrain: 3.6-liter V-6, 6-speed automatic, FWD

Horsepower: 288 at 6,300 rpm

Torque: 270 pound-feet at 3,400 rpm

Curb weight: 4,656 pounds


in inches:

Wheelbase, 118.9

Length, 201.1

Width, 78.9

Seats: 7

Fuel economy:

16 miles per gallon city, 23 mpg highway

Fuel type: Regular unleaded

Safety features: StabiliTrak, ABS, airbags, parking assist, "spotter" mirror, OnStar (crash response, crisis assist and emergency services)


The Daily Drivers: GMC's Acadia has robust room, not enough vroom 12/09/11 [Last modified: Monday, December 12, 2011 12:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Insurance regulators fret over a spike in auto glass claims


    TALLAHASSEE — Three months ago, state regulators weren't tracking a surge in broken auto glass claims, particularly in Tampa Bay.

    The issue has their attention now.

    The Office of Insurance Regulation is taking on assignment of benefits abuse in the 2018 legislative session. Pictured is Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier. | [Times file photo]
  2. Proino Breakfast Club owner charged with not paying state taxes


    LARGO — Just before noon on a recent Sunday at Proino Breakfast Club, the dining room was bustling as owner George Soulellis chatted with a customer.

    Proino Breakfast Club at 201 West Bay Drive in Largo. The owner was arrested last month on a theft of state funds charge, according to court records. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
  3. Former Sen. Greg Evers, advocate for law enforcement, dead at 62.

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Former State Sen. Greg Evers, the Baker Florida strawberry farmer and veteran politician, was killed in a single car crash hear his home in Okaloosa County. The Florida Highway Patrol confirmed the death late Tuesday, but deferred any further information pending an investigation. He was 62.

    Former Florida Senator Greg Evers, R- Milton, was a passionate advocate for law enforcement and corrections officers. He was found dead Tuesday afternoon in a car crash. He was 62. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  4. Foundation Partners buys Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home


    ST. PETERSBURG — Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home, the Tampa Bay area's largest family-owned funeral company, has been sold.

    Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home, the Tampa Bay area's largest family-owned funeral company, has been sold.
[CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  5. Water Street Tampa unveils video showing downtown's transformation


    TAMPA — Water Street Tampa, the sweeping, 50-plus acre redevelopment project in Tampa's urban core, has unveiled new images and video of what the downtown district will look like upon completion.

    Strategic Property Partners released a conceptual image of what the Tampa skyline will look like once its redevelopment of 50-plus acres of downtown will look like. [Photo courtesy of  of SPP]