2014 GMC Acadia Introduction

Like the related Chevrolet Traverse, the GMC Acadia can seat seven or eight, depending on configuration, and haul a big pile of cargo. Inside and out, the Acadia is similar in size to the truck-based GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Tahoe. However, it’s more refined, offers sharper handling, and gets slightly better fuel mileage than a full-size SUV. Qualifying as a crossover SUV, it’s constructed more like a car than a truck, so it’s a little lighter and has a more rigid chassis than a truck does.

For 2014, Acadia gained Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning. Both features are standard on the Denali version and available for the SLT-1 and SLT-2. Each system alerts the driver with visual cues on the dashboard, as well as audible signals. All 2014 Acadia models add dual charge-only USB ports at the rear of the center console, for use by second-row occupants.

Every Acadia comes with a modern 3.6-liter V6 engine that develops 288 horsepower, a 6-speed automatic transmission, and either front- or all-wheel drive.

Choices for the 2014 Acadia range from the rental-grade SLE1 to the luxurious Denali. The GMC Acadia shares its basic structure with the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave. Acadia shoppers on tight budgets should look to the Chevrolet Traverse. And if a Denali isn’t fancy enough, or you prefer even quieter and softer motoring, check out the Buick Enclave.

Acadia delivers what most people want from a full-size SUV. The driver sits high off the ground and has a commanding view of the road. The Acadia can carry a lot of cargo. We found it seats six adults comfortably. Rear-seat DVD entertainment is available, to keep the youngsters occupied.

The only places where the Acadia falls short of truck-based SUVs are in heavy-duty towing and for slogging through muck or over rugged terrain. Properly equipped, the GMC Acadia can tow 5,200 pounds, while a Yukon is rated to pull more than 8,000 pounds. The Yukon is derived from the Sierra full-size pickup, so it has greater ground clearance, low-range 4WD and a chassis designed to regularly handle terrain that’s unsuitable for the Acadia. But most drivers never need that capability. Acadia offers all-wheel drive for stormy or snowy weather, and it’s fine for unpaved roads. That’s plenty for most people.

On the road, Acadia handles better and is smoother than Yukon and other truck-based SUVs. Driving manners are excellent, whether on country roads, rough city streets or pock-marked freeways. It rides smoothly over bumpy pavement and takes corners in a reassuring manner for a large vehicle.

The 288-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 is responsive and efficient, and supplies good acceleration. Its 6-speed automatic transmission is smooth and efficient, further aiding fuel economy.

Acadia comes with required safety equipment, including side-curtain airbags that provide head protection, side-impact airbags for torso protection and StabiliTrak electronic stability control and other active safety features that help the driver avoid accidents.

The 2014 GMC Acadia shares its platform with the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse. It was launched as a 2007 model; the 3.6-liter V6 was revised for 2009. For 2011, the Denali luxury model was added.

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