2016 GMC Acadia

The efficacious carrier

"The GMC Acadia offers plentiful space, luxury features and family comfort outplays all."

"The Acadia is well-built, safe, pleasant to drive and, yes, not too ugly as many claim," said Issam.

Although the all-new 2017 GMC Acadia was launched at the Detroit Motor Show in January, we had the chance to grab the last model of the Acadia in Beirut from RYMCO for a weekend. As you all know the GMC Acadia can seat seven or eight, depending on configuration, and tow a big quantity of cargo (like the Chevrolet Traverse). Inside and out, the Acadia is similar in size to the truck-based GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Tahoe. However, it's more refined, offers sharper handling, and gets slightly better fuel mileage than a full-size SUV. Being nominated as a crossover SUV, it's built more like a car than a truck, so it's a little lighter and has a more rigid chassis than a truck does.

When I jumped into the cockpit I was a bit worried that the GMC Acadia would feel big - especially in Lebanon where most of the roads are narrow and parking spots are not that abundant, particularly around Beirut suburbs. Well it's a seven-seater that felt remarkably similar to the Terrain somehow (technically, the Acadia is still a crossover vehicle according to GM), so perhaps that explains the 'big' subconscious feeling I had. Just like the GMC Terrain, the GMC Acadia drives like a car. And despite its extra size, it's still just as easy to park with confidence thanks to all these gimmicks and features.

The entertainment system worked out really well. The touchscreen dashboard is nowhere near as sensitive to touch as a mobile phone. No need to push the same icon twice to get what you want.

Gas consumption was pretty good! Again, a bigger vehicle, so I assumed it would be worse on gas than any other small SUV, but this really wasn't the case. Although the trunk is on the smaller side when the third row seating is upright, the seats fold down quickly and easily, churning out a bunch of trunk space.

Every Acadia comes with a modern 3.6 liter V6 engine that develops 288 horsepower, a six-speed automatic transmission, and either front- or all-wheel drive. Acadia comes with the required safety equipment, including side-curtain airbags that provide head protection, side-impact airbags for torso protection and StabiliTrak electronic stability control and other active safety features that help the driver avoid accidents.

Verdict
Well as you know, you have many vehicles in that segment that offer six, seven or eight seats. But in that price range you've got the Acadia's sibling, the Chevy Traverse, the Dodge Durango and many more. The 2016 GMC Acadia comes in SLE, SLT, and Denali trim levels, all with the 3.6 liter V6. Front-wheel drive is standard, all-wheel drive optional. Check out your nearest dealer - you might need a crossover as your family is growing up!

Pros: Commodious for all occupants and cargo, smooth handling, fuel economy, comfortable ride
Cons: Feels its weight when driven hard, poor off-road capabilities
Rivals: Mazda CX9, Honda Pilot, Dodge Durango, Ford Flex, Toyota Highlander, Hyundai Grand Santa Fe
3.5 stars
One word: methodical

Specs
Engine: 3.6 L direct injection V6, 288 hp @ 6,300 rpm, 364 Nm @ 3,400 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic, FWD/AWD
Performance: 0-100 km/h: 9 sec, 13 L/100 km, top speed: 172 km/h
Chassis: 2200 kg

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