Car Reviews: 2011 GMC Acadia


As the GMC Yukon [slowly]makes its way to a depressing slump because of the car’s poor fuel economy and California’s high gas prices, GMC drivers start to wonder how they can find a car that can fit a lot of passengers and cargo room without having to sacrifice a lot of space in their garage and underprivileged fuel economy.  Well, General Motors has done a great job on their part to come up with a crossover SUV to help drivers to do just that.  The result:  The GMC Acadia.

Just like any other full-size crossover SUV such as the Honda Pilot, the [new]Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander, and the Nissan Pathfinder, the GMC Acadia would fit in just right.  The exterior looks really sleek to attract drivers of all ages (but mostly drivers of 50-60 years of age range), and the beefy 18 or 19-inch wheels and tires (depending on which package you end up getting) give the car a look that would make you go:  “That’s a GMC?”

The 2011 GMC Acadia comes in your basic trim levels starting with the SL, which comes with standard cloth seats, a manual rear liftgate, an AUX-in jack (no USB port in this trim), and TPMS.  The SLE adds hands-free Bluetooth for your phone, rear parking sensors, remote start (which I think is really cool, but at the same time, not really necessary), and an 8-way power driver’s seat with a 2-way power seat for the passenger.

The SLT-1 comes with leather seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a USB port for your iPod/iPhone (you can take a deep breath, now), an available navigation system with XM NavTraffic/Satellite Radio and a back-up camera (the other ones have the backup cameras located in the rearview mirror), and a 10-speaker Bose premium sound system.  The SLT-2 has 8-way heated leather seats with power driver’s lumbar support and recline control and memory seats.

The GMC Acadia is exactly the same as its twin brother, the Chevrolet Traverse as far as the engine goes.  The Acadia has a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 288 horsepower and 270 lb-ft. of torque.  Now, you might be thinking, “A big car with so much weight and a big engine might diminish fuel economy.”  Not exactly true.  GM has done a lot with this car, so the gas mileage is really nothing to worry about; 17 miles per gallon in the city and 24 on the highway, depending on your driving habits.  AWD Acadias have a 1 mile-per-gallon drop.

The interior of the GMC Acadia is very spacious, and the [leather]seats are amazingly comfortable for a full-size crossover SUV, since I am a sucker for any car with leather seats.  Unlike the GMC Terrain, the Acadia sits up higher due to a higher ground clearance, but there are pretty obvious blind spots, so I am glad that GMC had put a [standard]back-up camera inside the rear-view mirror.  The Acadia comes with either 7- or 8-passenger seating, and the second row folds down flat 60/40, and the rear folds down the same way, also, so you do have plenty of room to fit anything you would want from a bicycle to a 4×8 piece of plywood.

How does the GMC Acadia drive?  Pretty smooth, if you ask me, thanks to its powerful V6 engine.  The gas mileage, once again, is not TOO bad, but hey, it’s a full-size crossover; what do you expect?  The steering is really responsive, but braking?  That could use a little more improvement.  The Honda Pilot does not even come close to a car like this; however, the Ford Explorer and the Toyota Highlander, do.

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