In this review, we take a close look at GMC’s newest SUV choice on the market. The 2008 GMC Acadia joins a small list of other models that share most of the internal platform engineering including the Saturn Outlook, Buick Enclave, and soon the Chevrolet Traverse. Upon closer inspection, the Acadia seemed like a logical choice in a market that has revolved around gasoline management. By no means does this new GMC make economical benchmarks in its class, but makes a valid argument that it is a great alternative to the “big” sport utility vehicle. In the following, I will discuss fit and finish, ease of use, and take into account some pricing ideas to further educate the consumer.
First and foremost, the new Acadia looks right good size. I would personally like to think it is Suburban like in size compared to other mid-sizers. The body was clean, very effective use of materials and was free of any enormous quality issues. GMC implemented some great use of automotive safety technology, GMC upfitted the Acadia with bright projector beam headlights, led taillights, an engineered low center of gravity (for ease of ingress/egress and less body roll), and ultra-sonic rear park assist. Also coming to the party, this new suv was available in front wheel drive or on-demand AWD for the snow/rain travelers. In turn, the Acadia achieved it’s mission in keeping with the tough “professional grade” look while keeping a revolutionary modern look.
The Acadia is “three rows of seats” business, so getting to the third row might take some smart ingenuity to win over a lot of families. So, the second row on either side, collapses forward into a very ingenious way so that the seat takes up very little room possible. My 6′ tall self got back there very easy, and the seats were polite on the body, the floor was flat, no knee into chest action here too. The “Black Tie Audio” instrument stack was clean, and very well easy to get the hang of. The front captains chairs were great, no problem on those long trips with lots of support for the back and thighs. My test subject also had a couple of smart devices, like MP3 audio jack for ipods, XM Radio, Bose Primo Sound, and Touch Screen Navigation. Resulting in a mobile swiss army knife of fun and functionality, it was lacking very little.
My 2008 Acadia was a fully loaded SLT AWD with all the cake and cookies. So finding all the potential warts was easy knowing that had the prime trim. The standard six speed transmission is wonderful, does the job without having all the long high revving action normally a trait of the four speed. On the other hand, the only available V6 powertrain was all turkey and chickens, very sluggish for such a big SUV. I believe a V8 is on the way, but it should have already been an option, to further appeal to the power hungry. I also didn’t care for the front wheel drive action, making the u-turns were somewhat of a bear, three lanes was the minimum roundabout. Hence, the GMC could of improved on a couple areas to make it more of a sell to the Suburban/Expedition EL crowd pleaser.
So what does the new Acadia price at, and what additions do you receive for the money? Base 2wd SLE models come in at just a tad over $30k, while the high end SLT’s strike as high as $45,000. And expect anywhere from $2,000-3,500 between invoice and MSRP (depends on trim) when you do some negotiating. What protects you in addition? Well, standard is a 5yr/100k mi powertrain warranty, a year of Onstar telematics, and a 100k mi tuneup interval all inclusive to make a higher price justifiable. And so at this price bracket, the Acadia is market competitive. But, I would first look at models like the Mazda CX-9 or maybe even the Honda Pilot to save some cash. Each of those vehicles offer three rows of seating as well. In conclusion, the GMC Acadia is an obvious improvement from the aged Envoy, it should will have no problem finding a niche in its class.
If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to read my other reviews at my website: [http://kookoox10thereviewspot.blogspot.com/]
Shaun Davidson-Automotive and Finance Consultant-2008