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2011 GMC Acadia Introduction

The 2011 GMC Acadia lineup has been expanded to include a new Denali model. The Acadia Denali features a more luxurious interior and signature Denali design cues. The 2011 Acadia Denali uses the same 3.6-liter V6 as the other models and is available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

The GMC Acadia can seat seven or eight and haul a mountain of cargo. Inside and out, the Acadia is similar in size to the GMC Yukon and Chevy Tahoe. It's more refined, offers sharper handling, and gets better fuel mileage than a full-size SUV, however. A crossover, it's constructed more like a car than a truck, so it's lighter and has a more rigid chassis than a truck does.

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.

The only places where the Acadia falls short of truck-based SUVs are in heavy-duty towing or slogging through muck or over rugged terrain. Properly equipped, the GMC Acadia can tow 5,200 pounds, while a Yukon is rated to pull 7,500 pounds or more. The Yukon is based on the Sierra full-size pickup, so it can regularly handle terrain unsuitable for the Acadia. But you may not need that capability. The 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, the Acadia handles better and is smoother than a Yukon and other truck-based SUVs. It offers excellent driving manners, whether on country roads, rough city streets or pock-marked freeways. It smoothes 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 loaded with 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 GMC Acadia shares platforms 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 biggest change is the addition of a Denali luxury model. All 2011 Acadia models get the latest version of OnStar, and offer Bluetooth, heated cloth seats, and power lumbar adjustment.

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