The Acadia has long since been one of my favorite 3-row crossovers delivering big-time spaciousness, an impeccable ride quality and handsome styling. Well the time has finally come for its complete redesign and this all-new 2017 model is bucking the trend by going smaller.
The last time you saw me in an Acadia was 3 years ago when the family and I took this Denali on a very long road trip to Florida where its stellar big crossover attributes shined. I couldn’t have been more pleased. Now almost a decade after the original’s introduction, an all-new Acadia is here…it’s still V6 powered and capable of seating 7 – though not 8 – but the wheelbase has been slashed by over half a foot. It’s shorter, narrower and about 700 pounds lighter. Combine that with an updated 3.6-liter engine making more power and the Acadia drives with even more zip, feeling downright fast from a standstill and every push of the accelerator thereafter.
The increased 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque still work through a 6-speed automatic transmission and a new all-wheel drive system with a disconnect mode to save fuel. It’s controlled through this new drive mode selector which can effectively disconnect the rear axle from the drive system when the sailing is smooth. Other modes include 4X4, Off Road and Trailer/Tow…for which this Acadia is now rated at 4,000 lbs. max, down from 5,200.
The rotary knob can be a bit directionally confusing and there is no graphical depiction of the changing modes in the driver display. Slotted just below this Denali is the new Acadia All Terrain which comes with a more advanced all-wheel drive system for enhanced off-road driving.
The optional chassis package is a must have for those seeking the most optimal suspension tune, allowing the Acadia to traverse any surface with complete composure while also benefitting back road driving. It’s priced at $1,200 and continuously adjusts the shocks and struts for a beautiful balance of ride and handling.
With the reduction in vehicle size and the use of Active Fuel Management to minimize the engine’s cylinder use from 6 to 4 when conditions allow, the Acadia Denali AWD picks up 3mpgs, now rated at 18mpg city/25mpg highway with its driving range extended to 440 miles.