Downsizing is the name of the game for GMC’s redesigned 2017 Acadia. What was once of the largest vehicles in the full-size crossover segment has scaled down to compete with popular midsize haulers like the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot.
But just how small has the Acadia become? In switching to the all-new Chi platform, shared with the Cadillac XT5, GM shaved off more than 18 cm from its overall length and nearly 9.2 cm from its width; it’s also closer to the ground for easier ingress and egress.
As you’d expect, these smaller exterior dimensions have an impact on the interior dimensions. Other than second-row legroom and headroom, the new Acadia is smaller than the outgoing model in every measure, while total cargo capacity shrinks by over 1,000 L to 2,237 L. It should still be every bit the handy family transportation device – space is still generous, and the second-row seats have been redesigned to tilt and slide with a child’s seat on board.
What the Acadia loses in size, it gains back in maneuverability, performance and fuel economy. With 700 fewer pounds (318 kg) to haul around, GM was able to shrink the base engine to a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine. Similar to the unit found in the Impala, it packs 194 horsepower and standard engine idle-stop. It’s vastly more efficient than the outgoing Acadia, with a fuel economy rating of 10.7 L/100 km city and 8.4 L/100 km highway. GM’s just-overhauled 3.6-litre direct-injection V6 is available as an option; it now boasts cylinder deactivation and 310 horsepower. Although the 2017 Acadia can tow up to 4,000 lbs with this motor, it’s down from the previous model’s maximum of 5,200 lbs. Both engines come paired to a six-speed automatic with front or all-wheel drive.
There’s plenty of gadgetry available too, including a 360-degree parking camera, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, lane keeping assist, and forward collision warning with low-speed emergency autonomous braking. There’s even a rear-seat alert system that warns the driver if an item has been left in the second or third row of seats. While it may seem like a gimmick, the system is designed to prevent young children from accidentally being left behind in the vehicle. Kids and parents rejoice: not only is the Acadia equipped with 4G-LTE internet via OnStar, all three rows of seats have USB ports to keep smartphones and tablets charged on the go.
In addition to the well-equipped SLE and SLT trims, the new Acadia Denali offers up adaptive dampers for a cosseting ride to match its wood and leather-clad cabin, while the new All-Terrain trim gets additional exterior cladding and a trick all-wheel drive system with torque vectoring.
Pricing for the 2017 Acadia starts at $34,995 for the SLE FWD, and tops out at $54,695 for the Acadia Denali.