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2010 GMC Acadia Introduction

The GMC Acadia offers the utility of a big SUV with the refinement and fuel-efficiency of a car. The Acadia is a crossover SUV, meaning it looks like a truck but it uses unibody construction like a car. Crossovers have been gaining in popularity because they make so much sense for so many families, but what sets the Acadia apart is its size: It's big, similar in size to the GMC Yukon and Chevy Tahoe, both inside and out.

The Acadia can seat seven or eight, and it can carry a lot of cargo. Yet it offers a fuel economy advantage of three-to-five miles per gallon over a Yukon, a benefit of its lighter weight and more efficient powertrain. We've think the Acadia delivers what most people want from a full-size SUV. For starters, it's big and roomy inside. The driver sits high off the ground and has a commanding view of the road. There are three rows of seating, and rear-seat DVD entertainment is available.

The only places where the Acadia falls short of truck-based SUVs are in heavy-duty towing or for slogging through military-grade muck. Properly equipped, the GMC Acadia can tow 5,200 pounds, while a Yukon is rated to pull 7,500 pounds or more. Based on the Sierra full-size pickup, the Yukon can handle rugged terrain that the Acadia cannot. The Acadia offers all-wheel drive for capability in stormy or snowy weather and it's fine for unpaved roads, but it's not meant for true off-road use. That's plenty for most people.

On the road, the Acadia offers superb driving manners, whether on country roads, rough city streets or pock-marked freeways. It absorbs rough pavement in a soothing manner and takes corners reassuringly for such a large vehicle. It handles better and is smoother than a Yukon and other truck-based SUVs. GMC's 288-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 is responsive and sophisticated and supplies good acceleration performance. Its six-speed automatic transmission is smooth and efficient, further aiding fuel economy.

Three rows of seats provide room for seven or eight, though it's more comfortable with six. Two adults and two or three children plus their belongings can be carried with ease. The Acadia comes loaded with comprehensive 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 can help the driver avoid accidents.

For 2010, the changes are few. There are available 20-inch chrome-clad alloy wheels, USB connectivity in the center console, a Yukon Denali-style roof rack and an available Cashmere interior.

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