It's rare when a car goes longer than six years between full redesigns, yet the GMC Acadia is soldiering into its ninth year since it was first introduced way back in the latter half of the Bush administration. Now, there are ways in which it is metaphorically graying at the temples. But even in the face of all-new and thoroughly impressive competitors, the old lady Acadia remains a highly desirable three-row family crossover.
Chiefly, the 2016 GMC Acadia continues to be the most spacious vehicle in its segmentIt has seatbelts for Seven occupants, and even full-size adults can fit comfortably in its third row, a feat that only a few rivals can match. It also boasts more cargo space than everything short of a minivan or Suburban-like jumbo SUV.
The SLT-1 adds 19-inch wheels, upgraded steering, heated mirrors, tri-zone automatic climate control, leather first- and second-row seats (third row simulated leather), heated front seats, an eight-way power passenger seat, a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system and rear headphone jacks. The SLT-1's Open Road package adds a dual-pane sunroof (stand-alone option on SLE-2 and both SLT trims), towing equipment, forward collision warning, lane-departure warning and a navigation system. The Premium Edition essentially adds 20-inch wheels to the Open Road package.
The 2016 GMC Acadia is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. Output on most trims is 281 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque, but the Denali produces 288 hp and 270 lb-ft thanks to an extra exhaust. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional on all trims.
In Edmunds performance testing of the related Chevrolet Traverse, we measured a 0-60-mph time of 8.1 seconds with all-wheel drive, which is a bit slow for a large crossover. A Buick Enclave, which shares the Denali's more powerful engine, was actually a half-second slower. Properly equipped, the Acadia can tow up to 5,200 pounds.
EPA-estimated fuel economy is 18 mpg combined (15 city/22 highway) for the front-drive Acadia. The all-wheel-drive model drops slightly to 17 mpg combined (15/22). These figures are average for the class.
Standard safety equipment on the Acadia includes antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front seat side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags, a rearview camera and rear parking sensors. All but the SLE-1 also have a front-center airbag that inflates between the driver and right front passenger for additional protection in a side-impact collision.
The standard OnStar system includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, an emergency assistance button, stolen vehicle locator and active intervention, and remote door unlock.
Forward-collision and lane-departure warning systems are included with the Open Road packages available on the SLT trims. They are standard on the Denali. Blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert are standard on the SLT-2 and Denali; they are optional on the SLT-1.
In government crash testing, the 2016 Acadia received a top five-star rating for overall performance, with five stars for total frontal impact safety and five stars for total side impact safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Acadia the highest possible rating of "Good" in the moderate front overlap, side and roof strength tests. Its seat/head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.
The 2016 GMC Acadia is the quintessential American family cruiser, with a comfortable, isolating ride and a quiet cabin that makes summer road trips relatively serene (bickering siblings notwithstanding). At the same time, though, there's no hiding the Acadia's immense dimensions and ample weight. The V6 engine has enough power to get it up to speed on the highway, but it lacks punch and can feel strained during passing maneuvers, especially when full of luggage and passengers. The Acadia can also feel comparatively cumbersome when maneuvering it on tight city streets and in parking lots.
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Exterior: The exterior of this unit is in excellent shape with no major flaws.
Interior: The interior is in excellent condition.
Mechanical: This vehicle is "Insight Certified" with no known mechanical defects after completing a 144 point mechanical inspection with required maintenance performed.
Tires: The tires are in excellent health with plenty of tread life remaining.