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2017 GMC Acadia SLT AWD

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DRIVEN - 2017 GMC Acadia SLT AWD, MSRP like 45,500 or something


Something in the showroom at GMC to fend off the onslaught of Jeep Grand Cherokee sales

Downsized to hit a broader swath of the market.  Much more garageable than old Acadia.

Solid build quality, inside and out.

Feels very hefty and solid on the road, giving the impression of durability and ready for tough roads.

If GMC wanted it to feel like a truck, and not a crossover, then they hit the jackpot.

First and second row seating is very solid and comfortable.  Drivers seat is very adjustable.  Rear seats even good for large adults and plenty of leg room.

Sort of a 'truck cockpit' that works well.  Armrest, shifter, gauges, door switches.  Done well.  

Trunk with third row folded is good.

Interior quality on GM's recent models is very good, and despite bland interior colors, the materials come off as not cheap.  Switches, knobs, etc. their action is much improved over just a few years ago even.  Seams and gaps and tolerances and fits, all greatly improved versus old GM preconceived notions.

Good views out the cabin.  You sit high, but not too high and the view out the back hatch is pretty good too.

Obviously a much more quality feeling vehicle than say, a Kia Sorento.  GMC does convey added quality and value here.

If you wanted a modern day 2006 GMC Envoy this is probably it (I am trying to determine who is on this list).


Doesn't feel like a crossover. So yes, if you wanted a car like handling, this maybe feels more trucky and something to compete with Jeep.  Feels heavy (solid, true, but heavy also).

Big lack of torque.  Lazy throttle, tranny waits a bit, and engine lacks torque.  Doesn't have a bunch of get up and go for in town driving.  

That's probably because even though they tout that the Acadia lost weight, if you consider it lost a lot of size too, it's pounds per square foot is probably not much different.  I'll add that the weight feels high and maybe its a bit tippy feeling (yes I drive a sedan all day).

I personally still think the styling is a dud here.  If you wanted a modern day 2006 GMC Envoy, here is your rig (I don't see anyone clamoring for a vehicle as dull as the Envoy).

I realize the upper trims have some nicer interior bits, but the death black interior in this rig was a bit depressing.  

Even if the knobs and switches for the radio and climate control had a nice feel to them, they look cheap; it detracts from whatever else good is going on inside.  Kinda crazy because the steering wheel and stalks feel and look great.

Badly done plood bits in some places detract a lot, too.  The plood by the shifter is not terribly offensive but the other small bits are really badly done.

So does the touchscreen that is too low and angled to not be anywhere near you think it would need to be convenient to your line of sight.  Well, maybe it is closer to your finger (manuf's will have to start looking at putting more touchpads in behind the shifters).

Actually, the 8 inch touchscreen may seem huge on the spec sheet but it really seems small in the Acadia and i think in 2-3 years we will have 12 inch touchscreens in the dash.

In general, the interior lacks interesting details.

I could go for like 2" more interior width for the elbows and butts.

Tight third row.  Yes, I get it.  Like sales guy said, GM believed it would be better for GM overall to move the Acadia down in size and leave the big CUV for new Chevy Traverse and Buick Enclave.

Borderline laughable trunk space with third row up.  Yes, I get it.

Overall, no sizzle in the steak.  But some folks love steak a lot.


I do think GMC was right to plug this market hole, although i didn't favor moving the Acadia name down to this class to do it.  In any case, I think the new gen Acadia will please those moving up from the Terrain, and those looking for something more size competitive to the Grand Cherokee and some other larger mid-sizers.  Time will tell if Traverse and Enclave fill the need for the larger crossovers, and conversation with sales guy confirms for me that it is selling well and hitting a market.

The Acadia though feels solid and built well, and gives the impression of being capable to tackle many conditions.  It's new found truckiness may play more into what GMC is looking for in a demographic.  It delivers on that concept, apart from dull styling.

I usually letter grade vehicles, but i don't know if I can even fairly grade this.  If the vehicle did not have a model name that gave me preconceived notions, I would probably still only give it a B or a B-.  The styling, lack of engine wow, and more sedate steering and handling FOR ME downgrades it a bit.  I admit this vehicle may not be 100% my cup of tea even if there are a lot of things I like about it otherwise.

I'll just say its welcome in the market, and seems built well, is comfortable and let the chips fall on this one.  If it makes GM money, I am on board.  Ultimately, I'd like to see them spice it up some (maybe I need to drive a Denali LOL).




Edited by regfootball
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  • 2 months later...

I had to take a look.  Yes, I've seen it on the showroom floors.  However, because it was so new then, I was more taken by the first-gen Acadia.  Looking at it, I think the new version is a little too sculpted.  I liked the cleaner look of the last one, especially the light assemblies and grille up front.  I remember that the first-gen was nice to sit in and nicely finished.  Back then, it came in at around the low $30s.  I recall that it featured a 3.6 VVT V6 and a 6 speed.  Is that what the current ones run with?  Cool name in Acadia.  What a stunning place. Seems like GMC has a thing with national parks and territories of the north ... Denali, Yukon, Acadia.

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