PLEASANTLY CHARMING: 2019 GMC ACADIA SLT AWD
It wasn’t that long ago that the GMC Acadia and its super-sized all-star relatives that included the Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave, and now deceased Saturn Outlook (R.I.P.) were the all-American crossovers found outside any fast food drive-thru housing an occupancy of one to feed a family of five. Nearing the gamut of full-size crossover territory, it was a tough slot considering most of their competitors were leaner, quicker and more agile. So when it came time to reintroduce a new take on the American lifestyle, GMC’s approach was not to follow in the footsteps of the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave, but rather become its own identity.
When the Acadia was redesigned in 2017, they trimmed the fat by over seven inches in length and nearly four inches in width dropping its waists line from a nearly full-size crossover into the mid-size segment. Continuing to offer three-row’s as standard, even on the entry $30,195 SL, is sure to satisfy its consumer base as there is seating for up to seven passengers. However, the seven passenger seating only goes as far as the SLE models as our mid-grade $39,195 SLT, seen in this article, sees a more content lifestyle with second-row captain chairs, making it only a six-person dweller.
Seeing that its name stems from a national park in Maine, our Acadia probably isn’t one for a nature hike regardless of its available $3100 all-wheel drive system. With a new $1495 Black Appearance Package that has been introduced for 2019, the 20-inch wheels, glass black grille, and black roof rails might have a differing opinion when it comes to a jarring, grubby trail-head. Nevertheless, as we see a nearly forty-thousand price tag, we found ourselves a bit puzzled to see that our tester featured halogen headlights in lieu of a favored LED or HID setup.
Conforming to a humble way of life, the Acadia is a no fuss, no muss kind of family crossover. It carries the simple things like a user-friendly 8-inch infotainment system with mobile Apple CarPlay & Android Auto connectivity, three-zone climate control, on-board Wi-Fi connection and a dual-panel glass roof. For those that aren’t foregoing with the latest technology in advance safety, the Acadia is still one of the few that keeps its innocence as features such as forward collision alert with emergency braking, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control remain an available option on the higher trim SLT-2 and Denali.
The interior suits the family friendly vibe with a modest, subtle use of dark finished accents and soft touch materials. There is an accompanied level of comfort from the leather interior with power adjustable heated front seats and movable second row captain’s chairs that can slide and recline for added relaxation. Occupants will find there is plenty of charging capability with five available USB ports – if a sixth person happens to find themselves without a place to charge, they’ll have to make do with the 12-volt socket or 120-volt plug near the center console.
At the bottom end of the lineup, the Acadia sees a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 193-horsepower and 188 lb-ft of torque. Despite its best effort, the sweetness lies behind its optional 3.6-liter V-6 that is standard on the SLT trim and above. Deploying 310-horsepower seems like a hefty power number; however, this three-row family crossover weighs nearly 4400lbs. Its performance supplies a solid outcome with 271 lb-ft of torque as it sees 0-60 mph in just over six seconds when left to its own devices through the six-speed automatic. Supporting manual shift functionality with controls a top the gear lever, the Acadia is not one to be driven in a sporty fashion as the transmission agenda stems from a leisurely schedule.
Signing onto saving fuel, it is not new news that GM vehicles can shut off multiple cylinders in the sight of recovering a few mpg’s on the trip computer and in return, save a few bills at the pump. So then it comes as no surprise that the Acadia’s V-6 can shut off two of its six cylinders under cruising speeds. This, in return sees encouraging results as we averaged 17.7 mpg in the city and 28 mpg’s on the highway after performing a 150 mile highway run.
Assigned to what the Acadia does best, there is no hesitation that it is a smooth riding family hauler. Although our example featured 20-inch wheels that boosted its presence, its ride quality wasn’t harshly affected with assertive composure. Steering may have taken a course from the transmissions rule book with an unconscious composition, but then again, it’s not like we’re rubbing tires with a racetrack. Its overly boosted electric steering handles the task at hand providing simplified gestures in its movements. And then there are the brakes that handle themselves in an orderly fashion proving to deliver quick stopping performance from the responsive linear pedal.
The biggest problem we found with our Acadia is its price – at $45,585 it’s missing some key components that makes it competitive in the three-row crossover segment such as the active safety features and upgraded premium options that are featured on the even more expensive SLT-2 and range topping Denali. However, there is some good news to come out of this, GMC dealers will be quick to negotiate as there is a mid-cycle refreshed 2020 GMC Acadia coming down the pipeline and dealers will want to move inventory to make room for new product. So if you not having the latest and greatest is okay with you, there is sure to be a great deal to be had with the Acadia, and in return provides a satisfying outcome of comfort, performance, and capability.
Model: 2019 GMC ACADIA AWD
Starting Price: $30,195
As Tested: $45,585 (SLT-1 – BLACK EDITION)
Engine: 3.6-LITER V-6
Horsepower/Torque: 310-HORSEPOWER / 271 LB-FT TORQUE
Transmission: 6-SPEED AUTOMATIC
Drivetrain: ALL-WHEEL DRIVE
Fuel Economy: EPA RATED: 17-CITY /25-HWY / 20-COMBINED
(AS TESTED: 17.5 MPG COMBINED | 28 MPG – 200 MILE HIGHWAY)
Fuel Range: 355 MILES
0-60 MPH: ±6.0 SECONDS