The 2018 GMC Acadia crossover sport utility vehicle has two engine options, with the first being a 2.5-liter inline-4 engine producing 193 hp and 188 lb-ft of torque. The second is a 3.6-liter V6 engine producing 310 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque. Both are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and the power is fed to the front wheels or to all four wheels. With the six-cylinder powerplant under the hood, there is great throttle response and power is immediate. Overtaking at high speeds and hauling cargo were not an issue. The SUV reached 60 mph from a standstill in a little over six seconds, an above average time in the crossover SUV category. Despite the unit's bigger size than most crossovers, its handling was composed enough through the corners. A body roll is common for SUVs of this size, but the understeer was controlled. The steering was light and made it easy to change direction. However, the response from the pavement was lacking. The brakes performed well, delivering a linear and robust force. A firm and responsive pedal helped in the predictability of the bite. After stop-and-go and heavy braking scenarios, no brake fade manifested.
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The base SL trim comes standard with keyless entry and ignition, a USB port, Bluetooth, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and an infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen and a six-speaker sound system. The SLE-1 trim adds LED headlights and satellite radio, while the SLE-2 trim comes with foglights, power liftgate, remote engine start, power-adjustable driver seat, heated front seats and captain’s chairs for the second row. The Driver Alert I package puts several advanced safety and driver aids. The All-Terrain package adds the V6 engine, hill descent control and an advanced all-wheel-drive system. Starting with the SLE-2, a bigger 8-inch touchscreen and an eight-speaker Bose sound system are available options. The SLT-1 trim includes all features from the preceding trim and comes standard with auto-dimming driver side and rearview mirror, 110V power outlet and power-adjustable front seats. The All-Terrain package for the SLT-1 further adds a cargo management system. The SLT-2 trim adds trailering equipment, driver seat memory settings and heated second-row seats. Starting with the SLT-2 trim, all-wheel-drive models come with adaptive dampers. The Driver Alert II comes standard and includes more advanced safety and driver aids. The cream-of-the-crop Denali trim comes standard with xenon headlights, hands-free liftgate, digital instrument cluster, navigation, ventilated front seats and a power-adjustable heated steering wheel. The Technology package completes the full suite of advanced safety and driver aids.
The 2018 model was tested by the NHTSA and it garnered five stars in the frontal crash test, five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the rollover test. Overall, it achieved a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA. It was also tested by the IIHS and it earned a “Good” score for crashworthiness and “Superior” in front crash prevention. Advanced safety and driver aids that come as standard include cruise control, a rearview camera, and a teen-driver monitoring system. Additional features are added in packages and these are the blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, automatic high beams, safety-alert driver seat, adaptive cruise control and a 360-degree camera.
The 2018 Acadia has a length of 193.6 inches, a width of 75.4 inches, a height of 66 inches and a wheelbase of 112.5 inches. The midsized SUV's All-Terrain package for the SLE-1 and SLT-2 trims gives a more off-road-oriented aesthetic. The Denali trim has its own wheels and exterior styling that separate it from the rest of the trims. The wheel sizes start at 17 inches for the base trim and the bigger diameter wheels only become available for the SLE-2 and higher trim levels. The sunroof and roof rails can only be added beginning with the SLE-2 trim.
Despite being a large crossover SUV, the lower ride height made entering the cabin less of a stretch. The doors open wide but they weren’t as hefty. The headroom was generous for all three rows. However, the legroom for the third row felt cramped and would be better suited for toddlers. Up to seven can sit inside but installing the captain’s chairs reduces the capacity by one. The seats were comfortable even on longer drives. They were also contoured well for the torso but the cushion for the third row was short. Going over rough patches in the pavement, there was minimal disruption in the ride quality. Impacts were dampened well and even the bigger wheels were not as jarring as expected. Noise from the outside environment as well as the hum of the engine was hardly heard inside.
There is 12.8 cu-ft of space behind the third row of seats and 41.7 cu-ft of space behind the second row of seats. Folding down the second and third row of seats now opens up 79 cu-ft of space for loading cargo.