The all-new more now than ever mid-sized 2017 GMC Acadia remains a three-row crossover SUV with seating for up to seven passengers, in spite of it being re-sized downward to the tune of six inches of length.
Now right sized as GMC says, the Acadia has lost 700 pounds in the process, and will be far more fuel efficient and nimble in its handling as a result. This is a good thing, as the old one and its GM twins Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse were some of the largest crossovers out there.
In fact this is the reasoning for the downsizing as among other things it created a lot of overlap into the full size arena with the GMC Yukon. Now it will be more in the heart of the mid-size market, about on par with the Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander.
As to styling it’s all-new yet remarkably recognizable as a GMC with its blocky lines and chunky proportions. It gets generous helpings of LED accent lighting and in the tail lights, but remarkably still has only halogen headlamps even when it’s supposed to be professional grade. HID’s only come on the top-end Denali.
Its cabin is all new in look and feel with a much more modern design featuring higher quality materials. New and more innovative storage areas will be found along with improved seating flexibility.
As it is smaller now, base grades will come as a two-row with seating capacity for five. Only when you step up in trim does that third row appear with its six and seven-passenger seating configurations. And if you’re wondering where that 6-inches went, look at and behind the third row seat area.
It of course has lots of new technologies all the rage today with infotainment this and connectivity that, USB ports for all, and a healthy helping of Wi-Fi goodness. Driver assistance aids and crash prevention systems are available too, such that the Acadia has a shot at being an IIHS Top Safety Pick + honoree.
And in that way, the new GMC Acadia’s basic body structure utilizes increased amounts of high strength steel to be lighter and more rigid for crash safety. It has innovations like a new splayed front frame rail that will help its performance in small-offset crashes.
Engines choices now begin with a 2.5 liter four-cylinder that has a chance of powering it with its new lighter weight. It will be the mileage champ with up to 28 mpg highway. Optional is GM’s now widely acclaimed 3.6 liter V6, here with 310 horsepower. Both engines come with a six-speed automatic transmission.
It comes standard in front-wheel drive and available with a new all-wheel drive system that has multiple drive and terrain modes. Like most coming to market now, it automatically disconnects the rear axle to save fuel unless it is told to be connected by you or the computer.