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2007 GMC Acadia AWD SLT-2 Bookmark

The Good :)  Bold exterior styling.  Flowing interior design.  Good quality of all parts.  Plenty of room and low step in height. 

The Bad :(  Low fuel economy.  Needs better driving feel. 

Engine                         V6, 3.6 Liters
Output                          275 hp / 251 lb-ft
Weight                         6398 lbs
Price As Tested $42,610

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            The Acadia is GM's first crossover SUV, a better mix of car and SUV that has been popular in recent years with high gas prices.  The 2007 GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook and the 2008 Buick Enclave all share GM's new Lambda vehicle architecture and are built at GM's newest assembly plant in Michigan.  Through May of this year, over 28,000 Acadia's have been sold versus just over 12,000 Outlooks and 2,000 Enclaves, which just went on sale in April.  Until now, GM has been slow to change its truck-based SUVs.  While their monster trucks such as the Envoy, Tahoe, Yukon, and Suburban have made them boat loads of money, buyers are now demanding something more nimble and stylish.  People also don't want to be looked down upon as the cause for global warming and a green smaller vehicle is all the rage.  GM may have come out with one of their most promising vehicles to date with the all-new Acadia.

            The Acadia is quite impressive both inside and out.  This is a vehicle that even Paris Hilton would call "Hot".   The Acadia's main competitors will be other crossovers like the Chrylser Pacifica, Mazda CX-9 and the Subaru B9 Tribeca.  It will also complete against traditional SUVs in its price range such as the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Dodge Durango, and Ford Explorer.   A surprising note is that the Acadia's exterior styling is perhaps nicer than all the above-mentioned vehicles.  GM really got this one's design right.

            " Acadia is a natural extension of the GMC brand," said John Larson, Pontiac-GMC general manager. "Its combination of smooth, responsive driving traits and SUV versatility embody GMC's professional grade philosophy. Acadia is a great looking vehicle that will attract customers who've never visited a GMC showroom."

            You can order the Acadia with either front wheel drive or all-wheel drive.  Each drive train is offered in two styles, either the SLE or the SLT.  The SLT can be ordered in two package choices. We tested the Acadia AWD SLT-2 fully loaded with touch screen navigation, dual sunroofs, 19-inch wheels, head-up display and cargo area audio controls.

            From the exterior the Acadia sits low to the ground with 7.4 inches of ground clearance.  It is also quite wide and has an athletic stance with an overall width of 78.20 inches and a height of 69.90 inches. The wheelbase is 118.90 inches, with an overall length of 200.70 inches, in line with GMC's Yukon model.  Despite the Acadia's large size, it appears more nimble and less truck like when sitting next to a Yukon or Envoy.  The front has a low air damn which further leads your eye towards the ground versus up as in a large SUV.  The one piece headlamps use projector beam technology and are mounted in clear lens.  Molded into the wrap around front bumper are round clear fog lights that look attractive.  The overall appearance of the Acadia is sleek and aerodynamic.  The rear has LED tail lamps which are very bright at night. There is also a rear spoiler that enhances the overall sporty athletic design theme of the Acadia.  The large 19-inch Ultra Bright aluminum wheels had a chrome like appearance and left very little fender gap which was quite nice. 

            Inside the overall styling is good with a wrap around dash and central console.  First impressions of quality are high.  Body panel gaps are very tight and most panels used are made to look and feel like leather.  GM uses a textured fabric on the roof which is a good high end material compared to other fuzzy fabrics.  Small touches of chrome around the air vents and glowing red instrument cluster dials add a nice touch of high class.  A leather wrapped steering wheel with multifunction controls for cruise control and stereo feels good to the touch.  We also liked the good feel of all buttons on the central console and around the navigation system.  There are also lots of storage spaces in the center console and on the doors as well as up above the dash.  A cool feature is the sliding armrest which allows it to be positioned just right for many different drivers.

            Up above a sunroof is still not the high quality unit that is found on German makes, however one button operation makes the unit easy to operate.  The large glass roof for the second row of passengers has an electronic black fabric shade to filter the sun completely out.  This really ads to the feeling of spaciousness in the cabin connecting you with the outdoors nicely. 

            Behind the wheel the Acadia offers a smooth ride and a quiet interior.  Overall, the vehicle feels solid with no squeaking parts or loose steering.  The wide stance provides a confidence building driving experience.  GM's rigid body-frame integral structure enables a lower center of gravity.  For the driver the Acadia does many things well; steering is sharp and the suspension is smooth.  Additionally, the use of high grade materials throughout makes life quite pleasant.

            The DVD based navigation system is a touch screen unit that makes input easy and in general we find touch screens to be the best type of control system.  There is also a feature that allows viewing maps in a fly-over mode which is a nice high end touch.  Points of interest which you can specify can be shown on the map and overall operation is quick.  This system is found in most other GM vehicles and works well and has nice colors and menus.  The stereo system also used the same screen as the navigation unit to allow you to choose AM, FM, XM as well as the CD changer and auxiliary input.  We found it quite easy to use and the sound quality was very high thanks to the 10-speaker Bose audio system.  We highly recommend upgrading to this option.

            In the instrument cluster you can view vehicle settings such as if you want the vehicle to automatically lock all doors as you drive off from a stop, timings for lighting to turn off and on, and if you want to have both mirrors tilt down when you shift into reverse.  The drivers seat also slides back as you exit and this can be turned on or off as well.  You can also view tire pressures in all tires as well.  The trip computer is also displayed here showing average economy.  In our tests we averaged 16 miles per gallon, a poor rating in our books considering that GM states that the AWD Acadia gets 17 mpg city and 24 mpg highway which turned out to be a lie.  It's pretty shocking that our real life city/highway numbers averaged below their published numbers.  This is very misleading for customers who go into the showroom and see such glowing numbers flashing on the window sticker.

            There is plenty of interior room in the Acadia which is comparable to the room in a Yukon.  The trunk cargo volume is 19.70 cubic inches but with the second and third row folded you have 116.9 cubic inches of room.   In the front driver and passenger seats there is 40.40 inches of headroom, 41.30 inches of legroom and 57.80 inches of hip room.  Second row passengers have 39.30 inches of headroom, 36.90 inches of legroom and 57.90 inches of hip room. 

            In the second passenger row, there are actually two individual seats with armrests on the inner portions as opposed to a single bench style seat.  The designers of the Acadia remembered to put large armrests with grab handles in the correct ergonomic position all around.  GM's new second row sliding feature is called Smart Slide.  With a touch of a lever the seat cushion flips up while the seatback slides forward, effectively compressing the space occupied by the seat.  This feature greatly eased entry to and egress from the third row.  What they forgot to concentrate on was seat comfort.  The second row should be as comfortable as the first row.  In the Acadia adults will not find the second row to be comfortable at all.  The lower portions of the seats are too short to provide leg comfort.  They do slide forward and back giving you more legroom.  To have a flat but relatively tall cargo area the seatbacks fold down.  Second row passengers have an electrical outlet just as in your home for easy use and attachment of any device.  You also have air conditioning controls for fan temperature and air direction.  Two dials allow you to adjust volume and set independent sources for your listening pleasure.  Air vents overhead provide great ventilation in the second and third rows.

            The third row is a split folding bench seat.  It offers good views of the outside through the use of large glass in a nice forward slanting shape.  Cup holders and storage areas on the side arm rest also help keep you somewhat comfortable.  We liked putting the 2nd row flat and putting your legs up while seated in the third row, the ultimate lounge chair in this vehicle. 

     Seated inside as a passenger we found that the feeling of an uncomfortable ride was evident in most seating positions.  The front passenger seat is leaned a bit too much forward and its seat cushion is not long enough so we were not comfortable.  It cannot be angled backward either because it is only four way powered.  The rear two seats also had small seat cushions and thus did not provide enough support for your legs and having two separate seats was a bad idea in this vehicle.  The third row is basically a child's bench seat, even though it is split folding.  The bottom cushion is very small and thus it is suited only for sitting in a lounge chair like position with the second row folded down.  Getting in and out is easy as the Acadia is a crossover vehicle making it a bit lower to the ground.  The best seat in the vehicle is the drivers seat which is adjustable in many ways and larger than other seats. 

            Engine power is derived from a 3.6 Liter V6 engine.  It delivers 275 horsepower and 251 lb-ft of torque.  This may not sound like a lot of power considering that he Acadia has a GVWR of 6398 lbs.  However, it was a good amount of horsepower and provided good acceleration and was quiet in almost all driving situations.  There is a small amount of lag which detracts from the driver's feeling of nimbleness in the Acadia and the transmission did have a difficult time picking the perfect gear while cruising at 45-55 mph on rolling hills.  The Acadia has a 6-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with overdrive.  You can also manually change gears using the + and - buttons on the gear lever and this did provide a more responsive driving experience. 

            Steering was precise and featured a variable effort power steering system.  The front suspension features a MacPherson strut design, with a direct-acting stabilizer bar and aluminum steering knuckles.  Isolated mounting points help reduce noise and vibration.  The rear suspension uses a compact, state-of-the-art linked "H" design, which has an isolated mounting system that reduces noise and vibration transmitted to the passenger compartment.  This design enables the handling prowess that comes with an independent suspension, but with minimal floor pan intrusion - a feature that helps the Acadia offer generous passenger and cargo space.  On bumps the Acadia handles a bit rough for those seated in back.  Body lean and sway is controlled well however, and the suspension does not dive very much on heavy breaking.

            Acadia's AWD system is always "on" and continuously sends a controlled amount of torque to the rear wheels.  This is based on vehicle speed, throttle position and road surface conditions.  For most people living in the Northeast or Northwest, the AWD Acadia is a must have for safety reasons during winter months.  The Acadia has a towing capacity of 4500 pounds, enough to tow a boat or trailer for a weekend get-a-way. 

            The OnStar system provides a great deal of features that are sure to benefit you when you own this vehicle.  If you hate using navigation systems, you can talk to a person and have directions downloaded to your vehicle and then simply follow them as you drive.  The system also provides vehicle diagnostics every month making sure things like your brakes and airbags are all working fine.  Also OnStar is great for door unlocking and emergency help in the event of an accident.  Onstar can also help find your vehicle if it is stolen.  With the Acadia having earned 5-stars in the government's front and side impact crash tests, hopefully you will never need to use the emergency features.  There are also four-wheel anti-lock brakes, StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with rollover mitigation technology and GM's tire pressure monitoring system as  standard features. The Acadia features a total of six airbags: two frontal airbags, two front passenger seat-mounted side-impact airbags and two roof rail air bags that cover all three seating rows.

            The window sticker shows city miles per gallon of 17 and 24 on the highway however we got much less during our test drive.  Our average on the highway was about 16 miles per gallon and we checked on this result a few times driving at 65 mph and still the computer showed only 16 miles per gallon.  We cannot figure out why the EPA and GM's window sticker would say this vehicle gets 24 mpg on the highway unless they were just plain lying.

            Our Acadia started off at a base price of $37,370.  Added to this was the optional navigation system for $2,145.  Dual Skyscape sunroofs cost $1,300.  The large 19-inch aluminum wheels cost $1295 but you get a wheel credit of $600 for what comes of the original setup, so the effective price is $695.  Finally, the heads up display ads $350 and the cargo area audio controls cost $150.  This brings our total to $42,610.  There is also the $735 for destination charge which must also be added when you go and buy the vehicle.  We still can't figure out why auto manufacturers charge a destination fee, its not like the car is being delivered to our home.  Shouldn't dealers pay this instead of passing it on to us?  We've never seen a store charge us for fees for stocking their own inventory.  Attention all dealers, don't make us pay for your delivery fees for stocking your dealership !!!!

Besides this, the Acadia is one great vehicle that handles more like a luxury sedan than a large SUV.  We are pleased with the level of detail and refinement offered in the Acadia.  It finally appears GM is on the right track by giving sophisticated and well-designed vehicles to buyers.  No longer do we have to compromise on quality and comfort for sticking with an "Made-in-American" brand.  It appears that the recent turmoil at GM really awakened both management and engineers and we now see better products such as the Acadia hitting dealerships across the country. 

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PRICING

INVOICE

RETAIL

Base Pricing

$34,941

$37,370

Touch screen navigation system $1,780 $2,145
Dual Skyscape sunroof $1,079 $1,300
19" Bright aluminum wheels $1,075 $1,295
Head-up Display $291 $350

 

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COMPARISONS 2007 GMC Acadia
SLT-2 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
2007 Chrysler Pacifica
Limited 4dr Wagon AWD (4.0L 6cyl 6A)
2007 Mazda CX-9
Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
2007 Jeep Commander
Sport 4dr SUV 4WD (3.7L 6cyl 5A)
2007 Subaru B9 Tribeca
Ltd. 7-Pass. 4dr SUV AWD w/DVD, Nav, Gray Int. (3.0L 6cyl 5A)
MSRP $37,370 $35,825 $33,875 $30,260 $37,295
Invoice $34,941 $32,704 $31,322 $27,796 $34,867
Destination Charge $735 $730 $595 $695 $625
Basic 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi.
Drivetrain 5 yr. / 100000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi.
Roadside 5 yr. / 100000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi.
Rust 6 yr. / 100000 mi. 5 yr. / 100000 mi. 5 yr. / Unlimited mi. 5 yr. / 100000 mi. 5 yr. / Unlimited mi.
Base Engine Type & Cylinders V6 V6 V6 V6 flat 6
Base Engine Displacement 3.6 liters 4.0 liters 3.5 liters 3.7 liters 3.0 liters
Valvetrain 24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
24 Valves
single overhead cam (SOHC)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
12 Valves
single overhead cam (SOHC)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
Horsepower 275 hp @ 6600 rpm 255 hp @ 6000 rpm 263 hp @ 6250 rpm 210 hp @ 5200 rpm 245 hp @ 6600 rpm
Torque 251 ft-lbs. @ 3200 rpm 265 ft-lbs. @ 4100 rpm 249 ft-lbs. @ 4500 rpm 235 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm 215 ft-lbs. @ 4200 rpm
Drivetrain Acadia Pacifica CX-9 Commander B9 Tribeca
Driven Wheels all wheel drive all wheel drive all wheel drive four wheel drive all wheel drive
Independent Suspension four-wheel four-wheel four-wheel front four-wheel
Stabilizer Bars front and rear front and rear front and rear front and rear front and rear
Tires P255/65R18
all season
P235/55R19 H
all season
P245/50R20 V
all season
P245/65R17
all terrain
255/55R18 H
all season
Wheels alloy
18 x 7.5 in.
chrome alloy
19 x 7.5 in.
polished alloy
20 x 7.5 in.
alloy
17 x 7.5 in.
alloy
18 x 8.0 in.
Total Seating Capacity 7 6 7 7 7
Front Seat Type bucket bucket bucket bucket bucket
Upholstery Type leather premium leather leather cloth leather
Driver Seat Power Adjustable 8 10 8 8 8
Driver Seat Lumbar Support Standard Not Available Standard Standard Standard
Driver Seat Height Adjustable Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Driver Seat Heated Standard Standard Standard Optional Standard
Passenger Seat Power Adjustable 4 4 4 4 - Optional 4
Passenger Seat Lumbar Support Standard Not Available Not Available Standard Standard
Passenger Seat Heated Standard Standard Standard Optional Standard
Rear Seat Type captains chairs bucket 40-60 split bench 40-20-40 split bench 40-60 split bench
Rear Seat Folding split folding - Optional one-piece folding split folding split folding split folding
Rear Heat rear ventilation ducts with fan control rear ventilation ducts rear ventilation ducts with fan control rear heater unit - Optional rear ventilation ducts with fan control
Heated Driver Mirror Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Heated Passenger Mirror Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Cruise Control cruise control cruise control cruise control cruise control cruise control
Power Steering speed-proportional power steering speed-proportional power steering speed-proportional power steering power steering speed-proportional power steering
Premium Steering Wheel Trim leather-wrapped leather and wood leather-wrapped leather - Optional leather-wrapped
Memorized Settings Acadia Pacifica CX-9 Commander B9 Tribeca
Number of Drivers 2 2 3 Not Available 2
Heads-Up Display Optional Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available
Trip Computer Standard Standard Not Available Standard Standard
Safety Features Acadia Pacifica CX-9 Commander B9 Tribeca
Stability Control Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
De-powered Air Bags Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Head Air Bag front, rear and third row front, rear and third row front, rear and third row front, rear and third row front and rear
Side Air Bag dual front Not Available dual front Not Available dual front
Seatbelt Pretensioners front front front front front
Xenon Headlights Optional Optional Standard Not Available Not Available
Headlight Auto Delay Standard Standard Being Researched Optional Not Available
Headlight Dusk Sensor Standard Standard Standard Optional Not Available
Daytime Running Lights Standard Not Available Not Available Not Available Standard
Front Fog Lights Standard Standard Standard Optional Standard
Signal Mirrors Standard Not Available Standard Not Available Standard
Anti-Theft Alarm System remote anti-theft alarm system remote anti-theft alarm system remote anti-theft alarm system remote anti-theft alarm system - Optional remote anti-theft alarm system
Audio System Acadia Pacifica CX-9 Commander B9 Tribeca
Premium Brand Speakers Bose Infinity Not Available Not Available Not Available
AM/FM AM/FM AM/FM AM/FM AM/FM AM/FM
Satellite Radio XM Sirius Sirius - Optional Sirius - Optional XM - Optional
CD In-Dash 6 CD player single CD/DVD single CD player single CD player 6 CD player
Video DVD player - Optional Not Available DVD player - Optional DVD player - Optional DVD player
Video Games Optional Not Available Not Available Optional Standard
Telematics Acadia Pacifica CX-9 Commander B9 Tribeca
Navigation System DVD navigation system - Optional DVD navigation system - Optional DVD navigation system - Optional DVD navigation system - Optional DVD navigation system
Satellite Communications System OnStar w/Turn-by-Turn Navigation Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available
Phone hands free phone pre-wired for phone - Optional pre-wired for phone pre-wired for phone - Optional Not Available
SPECS
Handling Acadia Pacifica CX-9 Commander B9 Tribeca
Turning Circle 40.4 ft. 39.8 ft. 37.4 ft. 36.8 ft. 35.4 ft.
Hauling Acadia Pacifica CX-9 Commander B9 Tribeca
Max. Cargo Capacity 117 cu. ft. 80 cu. ft. Being Researched 69 cu. ft. 74 cu. ft.
Max. Payload Capacity 1462 lbs. Not Applicable 1479 lbs. 1410 lbs. 1560 lbs.
Max. Towing Capacity 4500 lbs. 3500 lbs. 3500 lbs. 6500 lbs. 3500 lbs.
Mileage Estimates Acadia Pacifica CX-9 Commander B9 Tribeca
City 16 mpg. 16 mpg. 16 mpg. 16 mpg. 18 mpg.
Highway 17 mpg. 24 mpg. 22 mpg. 19 mpg. 23 mpg.
Length 200.7 in. 198.5 in. 199.6 in. 188.5 in. 189.8 in.
Width 78.2 in. 79.3 in. 76.2 in. 74.8 in. 73.9 in.
Height 72.8 in. 68.3 in. 68.3 in. 75.6 in. 66.4 in.
Weight 4936 lbs. 4754 lbs. 4546 lbs. 4826 lbs. 4245 lbs.
Wheel Base 118.9 in. 116.3 in. 113.2 in. 109.5 in. 108.2 in.
Ground Clearance 7.4 in. 5.9 in. Being Researched 8.5 in. 8.4 in.
Interior Acadia Pacifica CX-9 Commander B9 Tribeca
Front Headroom 40.4 in. 39.2 in. 39.6 in. 42.1 in. 38.9 in.
Rear Headroom 39.3 in. 39.5 in. 38.8 in. 40.3 in. 38.2 in.
Front Shoulder Room 61.9 in. 60.8 in. 59.4 in. 59 in. 58.1 in.
Rear Shoulder Room 61.1 in. 60.5 in. 58.7 in. 58.5 in. 57.5 in.
Front Hip Room 57.8 in. 55.2 in. 56.5 in. 55.6 in. 54 in.
Rear Hip Room 57.9 in. 56.3 in. 56 in. 54 in. 54.6 in.
Front Leg Room 41.3 in. 40.9 in. 40.9 in. 41.7 in. 42.3 in.
Rear Leg Room 36.9 in. 39.9 in. 39.8 in. 36.1 in. 34.3 in.
Luggage Capacity 19.7 cu.ft. 13 cu.ft. 17.2 cu.ft. 7.5 cu.ft. 8.3 cu.ft.

 

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