New Car Previews

Preview: 2017 GMC Acadia

Detroit, Michigan – The GMC Acadia has been around for a decade now and despite reaching the end of the previous generation’s model run last year, 2015 was a record sales year for the mid-size crossover with over 96,000 units sold in the United States alone.

For the 2017 model year the Acadia is all new and for the most part, significantly improved. Most impressively the Acadia, in front-wheel-drive, is more than 300 kg (700 lb) lighter than last year’s model weighing in now at 1,794 kg versus 2,112 kg. With plentiful use of press-hardened, high-strength steel being a contributor to the Acadia’s weight loss (and superior crashworthiness), it’s a considerable overall size reduction that has helped shed mass too.

GMC’s mandate sought a more driveable Acadia; one that is both easier to park and offers superior driving dynamics that required the reduction in both size and weight. The 2017 Acadia shrinks in every exterior dimension:

Model Year Wheelbase (mm) Length (mm) Width (mm) Height (mm) Turning radius (m) Curb weight (FWD, kg)
2017 2857 4917 1916 1745 11.8 1794
2016 3021 5101 2003 1844 12.3 2112

Past Acadia buyers who enjoyed the crossover’s impressive cargo carrying capability will lament the new Acadia’s reduced profile, especially considering the new rig offers approximately half the cargo space it used to. Behind the third row seat, capacity goes from 682 L to 362 L, and with all seats folded, the capacity is reduced from 3,288 L to 2,237 L.

GMC suggests the new Acadia better fills the space between the full-size Yukon and the compact Terrain, and still offers a spacious and comfortable cabin for passengers. Supportive seats are found up front, while both second and third row seats split and fold, with the third row folding flat into the floor. Clever storage and cubbies abound in the new Acadia with niceties like USB charge ports in all three rows for electronic devices.

Technology abounds, applying to both convenience (Apple Car Play, Android Auto, Tow Vision Trailer camera system) as well as safety. The latter includes active features like front pedestrian braking, low speed automatic braking, and Lane Keep Assist. GMC is also introducing a new feature called Safety Alert Seat that remembers when the rear doors have been opened before the driver enters the vehicle. Before exiting the vehicle, the driver is reminded to check the rear seat, in the hopes of mitigating children (and pets) inadvertently left in the car and perishing from heat stroke.

Precision is a word GMC’s executives repeatedly used during the launch presentation, speaking to the desire to continue to push GMC to be considered as a premium brand. Interior finishes are impressive and the materials were well assembled on the two display models available.

The Acadia is motivated by two new powertrains, including a 2.5L four cylinder, employing Stop/Start technology, designed to improve the crossover’s fuel consumption numbers.

A new 3.6 L V6 will also be available, offering improved fuel efficiency and more power, putting out 310 hp, enabling the Acadia to tow up to 1,815 kg (4,000 lb). Each of the Acadia’s new engines feature direct injection and variable valve timing, and direct power through six speed automatic transmissions.

While there will continue to be multiple trim levels available including the luxuriously appointed Denali, GMC will also offer an All Terrain model Acadia for the first time with sportier styling and a more advanced all-wheel-drive system. The new Active Twin Clutch system is said to optimize traction in both inclement and dry-road conditions.

For buyers whose needs suit the new Acadia’s size, GMC’s mid-size crossover holds promise for being a great choice in the crowded market segment.

Pricing has not yet been announced for the 2017 Acadia, but the Tennessee-built crossovers are expected in dealerships this spring.