Auto Review: 2014 GMC Acadia

GMC Acadia Front View

With clean, aggressive lines, Acadia looks ready to take you anywhere you want to go, no matter the weather
With clean, aggressive lines, Acadia looks ready to take you anywhere you want to go, no matter the weather | Source

Introduction to GMC Acadia

Sharing its basic platform with the Chevy Traverse and Buick Enclave, the GMC Acadia carries over from 2013 largely untouched - why mess with a winner? Acadia brings an exceptional level of quality to the table. With seating for up to 8 passengers, a long wheelbase and wide track for a stable ride and a powerful, 288 horsepower V6 engine, Acadia combines the roominess and versatility of a minivan with an attractive, aggressive go-anywhere look and (with all-wheel drive option) excellent bad-weather driveability.

Driver's area is roomy and comfortable, with adjustable bucket seats and tilt/telescope steering wheel
Driver's area is roomy and comfortable, with adjustable bucket seats and tilt/telescope steering wheel | Source
Acadia offers a sporty view through the wheel at GMCs signature red instrument panel, with optional HUD available (not pictured)
Acadia offers a sporty view through the wheel at GMCs signature red instrument panel, with optional HUD available (not pictured) | Source
Acadia interior shows high level of finish, quality materials for a safe, relaxing environment.
Acadia interior shows high level of finish, quality materials for a safe, relaxing environment. | Source
Acadia's second row rear seat slides fore/aft for comfort and folds forward to allow easy access to third row rear seat.
Acadia's second row rear seat slides fore/aft for comfort and folds forward to allow easy access to third row rear seat. | Source
With both rear seats folded flat, Acadia offers up to 116 cubic feet storage
With both rear seats folded flat, Acadia offers up to 116 cubic feet storage | Source

Equipment and Features

Acadia follows GMCs package layout as seen on sister models Terrain and Yukon, beginning with the nicely-equipped base SLE-1 and SLE-2 models, to the mid-level package SLT-1 and SLT-2, topping out with the Denali. All Acadias are equipped with the same powertrain - GMCs 3.6 liter V6 engine, rated at 288 hp and 270 lb/ft of torque at 3.400rpm, mated with a 6 speed automatic transmission. Trailering capacity up to 5.200lbs is available with the optional factory tow package. Acadia is rated at 17mpg city/24 hwy in front wheel drive models, and you only give up 1 mpg by opting for the 4 wheel drive option, for 16 city/23 hwy. The Acadia has plenty of power for towing, hauling and passing. Good thing, too, considering that Acadia's 116 cubic feet of storage capacity (among the largest in its class) gives you plenty of room to haul your gear.

As for equipment and options, even the standard SLE-1 trim level comes very nicely equipped, with 4 wheel ABS disk brakes, StabiliTrak vehicle stability control system, cruise control, rear-vision camera system, BlueTooth, OnStar, Ultrasonic rear parking assist, 6.5" color touch-screen HD-capable radio with AM/FM/XM, with CD, USB and AUX input. Available options include a trick, fighter-jet-inspired Heads Up Display, IntelliLink system, navigation, remote start, rear seat DVD entertainment system, 120-volt ac outlet, TriZone climate control, remote power liftgate and 10 speaker Bose audio with subwoofer. There's sure to be a package to fit your particular needs, as well as your budget.

Acadia Headlight/Taillight

Acadia features smooth, projector beam headlight for a clear view of the road ahead
Acadia features smooth, projector beam headlight for a clear view of the road ahead | Source
Acadias LED rear taillight assembly provides a smart, stylish parting view for the competition
Acadias LED rear taillight assembly provides a smart, stylish parting view for the competition | Source

GMC Acadia styling

Acadia is definitely eye-catching, with Halogen projector highbeam headlamps with LED signature daytime running lamps, efficient, long-lasting and reliable LED taillamps and wrap-around rear glass creating a very smooth, seamless line through to the rear of the vehicle. The large grill and angular headlight assemblies give Acadia a very purposeful demeanor while the large wheels and tires give the driver confidence that Acadia can handle even the worst road surface. Step-in height is convenient, making ingress/egress exceptionally easy.

Acadia was constructed with safety in mind, and it has earned class-leading five-star safety ratings for overall safety. Traction and stability control (along with available four wheel drive) combine to help the driver avoid accidents, while Acadias solid construction, reinforced steel safety cage design and 6 standard airbags help protect passengers when they can't be avoided.

Detail of Acadia Interior

Acadias steering wheel offers a comfortable, sure grip
Acadias steering wheel offers a comfortable, sure grip | Source
Close-up detail of stitching shows quality of construction.
Close-up detail of stitching shows quality of construction. | Source
Quality of materials and workmanship shine through on Acadias dash
Quality of materials and workmanship shine through on Acadias dash | Source

GMC Acadia Driving Impressions

We took the Acadia out for a spin recently and the our midwest December weather offered us several inches of snow, making it easy for up to try out the Acadias available four wheel drive and ABS braking. The standard StabiliTrak made bad weather driving a cinch, monitoring Acadia's responses to steering and braking inputs, and automatically pulsing the brakes or reducing engine power to help you avoid a loss of control. Acadia works hard to make driving easy, giving the driver a relaxed feeling behind the wheel.

Acadias V6 works well with its 6 speed automatic transmission, providing ample power for passing, merging and hauling while helping the driver avoid the gas pumps as much as possible. With the longest wheelbase in its class to help dampen out road irregularities, Acadia offers a very smooth, stable ride, soaking up the miles with confidence. This is a very easy vehicle to get used to for long road trips.

While researching Acadia for this article, I had the opportunity to speak with Acadia owner, John S. of Hobart, IN. When asked what he liked most about his Acadia, John responded easily.

"The quality. It just really feels like a very well-made, quality vehicle."

After a few days with Acadia, we have to agree.

Acadia by GMC

GMC Acadia Wrap-Up

GMC Acadia remains one of the best choices in this crowded, competitive market segment. With a generous towing capacity, good fuel economy, excellent 5 star safety ratings, Acadia offers more seating and storage capacity then competitors from Ford and Dodge, and offers a very secure, comfortable ride. For anyone looking for a vehicle with minivan-like roominess, car-like comfort and near SUV-level of driving confidence, Acadia presents a compelling argument to shop GMC for your next new vehicle.

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About the Author

Dan Petreikis is a professional Sales Consultant at Harbor Buick/GMC in Portage, IN. He is an independent writer and reviewer for HubPages, maintains several blogs and has written articles for Yahoo! Voices among other sites. He currently lives in Chicago, but can often be found lurking the aisles at Harbor Buick, assisting customers.

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