A very sexy makeover for the well-liked GMC Acadia?
This three-row crossover has been winning friends for years with its Yukon-like cabin room, but easier parking manners and comfier ride quality.
The 2017 model builds on these strengths… but does it drop some capability along the way?
Surely, something MUST have fallen by the wayside for the 2017 Acadia to be a massive 700 pounds lighter than the current model. No swap to aluminum a la the Range Rover or new Q7. High-strength steel can only do so much, right?
It turns out what has really been lopped off the Acadia is much of its size: this new vehicle has a half-foot less wheelbase and overall width than the current model. It is also much lower than ever before, and shorter overall.
GMC hopes to make the new Acadia great at everything it did before, like seating for up to eight people, towing up to 4000-pounds and generally being a full-size SUV — without any of the hassles.
The design upgrade is clear to see from outside or in: this new model is seriously cool in its Denali trimline or the never-before-available All Terrain package with extra off-road ability. That All Terrain Acadia is exclusively a five-seater for 2017, with cargo bins in the back where the third row of seats usually lives. Standard twin-clutch AWD and new front suspension join forces with new off-road and towing drive modes.
Where the All Terrain really pushes our buttons is with its blacked-out style! Body-color and black chrome dominate the nose for the Acadia All Terrain — giving the new truck a menacing feel not unlike the lean/mean Durango R/T.
THe Acadia will be nowhere near as quick as the top Durango HEMI V8, though: standard power is now from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder making around 185-horsepower. A 22-mpg city and 28-mpg highway are the goals for this base engine — rather than speed, obviously. The top motor is the trusty 3.6-liter V6 making 310 horsepower — an improvement of about 30 ponies versus the current truck. With a tighter turning radius — but same 6-speed auto — the new Acadia will be much speedier and nimbler in V6 form than the current truck.
That being said, overall towing maximums are down by about 1200-pounds for the new model.
We’re somewhat confused by the radical repositioning of the Acadia for 2017. So much so, we almost expect an Acadia XL to join the range with a LWB about a year after the new model reaches showrooms in ~May of 2016. No word from GMC on the new space tallies for the second or third rows: but expect some big cuts despite the improved comfort back there. 79-cubic-feet is cargo room is promised with all seats folded in the 2017 GMC Acadia, down from 110-cubic-feet-plus in the current vehicles. That’s pretty drastic.
Perhaps the Acadia’s siblings in the Chevy Traverse and Buick Enclave will differentiate themselves with longer wheelbases? Remains TBA.
To be sure, the new Acadia looks massively improved for the next model year. We hope its new size does not scare away its many fans, however. Even the coolest look and most modern tech will be an issue for buyers seeking people/cargo room above all else.
For the rest of us, though, the new Acadia looks right-sized to take on the BMW X5 in capability, but at Toyota Highlander prices.
2017 GMC ACADIA Denali