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Size, refinement mark GMC’s 2024 Acadia – a much-improved mode of family transportation

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The third-generation Acadia, due to arrive in early 2024, looks a bit like the 2023 version, but looks are definitely deceiving. PHOTO: GMC

For running the roads with family or friends, it doesn’t get much grander than the GMC Yukon or the larger Yukon XL.

For many buyers, however, the prices are out of reach, which means the resized 2024 GMC Acadia could provide a workable solution.

The third-generation Acadia, due to arrive in early 2024, looks a bit like the 2023 version, but looks are definitely deceiving. The new model is 27 centimetres longer, 10.7 centimetres wider and 8.1 centimetres taller. Most importantly for passengers, the distance between the front and rear wheels has increased by 21 centimetres, which translates into greater legroom. The growth spurt means the Acadia can now accommodate up to eight passengers across three rows of seats (seven was the previous maximum).

The Acadia’s new dimensions closely mimic those of the coming 2024 Chevrolet Traverse. Cargo space behind the third-row seat increases by about 80 per cent (including an under-floor storage area). With the second and third rows folded flat, the increase is about 36 per cent.

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The Acadia AT4 gets black-accented wheels and trim, front and underbody skid plates, recovery hooks and an off-road-tuned suspension that increases ride height by an inch. PHOTO: GMC

All this roominess is contained in newly shaped bodywork. The familiar-looking grille displayed on other GMC models is surrounded by stylish headlights and running lights. The taillights are less dominating than before.

The focal point of the Acadia’s revamped dashboard is a relatively massive 15-inch tablet-style touch-screen situated alongside an 11-inch driver information display. To create more floor-console space, the dial shifter has been replaced by a column-mounted stalk.

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The focal point of the Acadia’s revamped dashboard is a 15-inch tablet-style touch-screen situated alongside an 11-inch driver-information display. To create more floor-console space, the dial shifter has been replaced by a column-mounted stalk. PHOTO: GMC

The Acadia gets a standard turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine rated at 328 horsepower and 326 pound-feet of torque. It replaces the previous 228-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder and the optional 310-horsepower 3.6-litre V-6 with its 271 pound-feet, which is 55 less than the new engine makes.

The previous nine-speed automatic transmission is replaced by an eight-speed.

Fuel-consumption numbers haven’t been released, but it could be close to the 11.0 l/100 km in combined city/highway driving attained by the 2023 base engine.

Likewise, pricing hasn’t been announced, but the base all-wheel-drive Elevation trim is expected to list for about $48,000, including destination charges.

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The Acadia’s familiar-looking grille displayed on other GMC models is surrounded by stylish headlights and running lights. PHOTO: GMC

It comes with a good assortment of features such as heated front seats and steering wheel, power-adjustable driver’s seat, power liftgate and wireless phone charging.

The Elevation Premium adds second-row captain’s chairs, power-adjustable passenger seat, 12-speaker Bose-brand audio system with noise-cancelling technology, roof rails and 20-inch wheels (18s are standard).

Included with Acadia AT4 are black accented wheels and trim, front and underbody skid plates, recovery hooks, hill-descent control, terrain-mode setting and an off-road-tuned suspension that increases ride height by an inch.

The AT4 comes with all-wheel-drive with Active Torque Control that varies the traction on low-grip surfaces, from front to back as well as from side to side.

The top-of-the-line AWD Acadia Denali is outfitted with unique exterior and interior trim, heated and ventilated leather-covered front seats, heated second-row seats, power-folding third-row seats, ambient lighting and rain-sensing wipers. An eight-inch head-up driver’s display projects vital data such as speed onto the windshield. The Denali can also be ordered with a 16-speaker Bose audio package, a panoramic, sunroof and 22-inch wheels.

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The Acadia’s distance between the front and rear wheels increases by 21 centimetres, which translates into greater legroom. The Acadia can seat eight people across three rows. PHOTO: GMC

Options for the other trims include a multi-angle surround-view camera and General Motor’s semi-autonomous Super Cruise. It allows for hands-free driving over more than 640,000 kilometres of roads in Canada and the United States, and can execute lane changes when passing slower traffic.

For all models, the standard active-safety technology includes forward-collision alert with emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian/bicycle detection, rear-seat content reminder and blind-zone alert with rear-cross-traffic braking.

The redesigned and enlarged Acadia should be a good fit for many buyers when compared with the more expensive alternatives within the GMC family.

It shouldn’t be seen as revelatory, however, as other brands for years have been offering larger utility vehicles with three rows of seats, such as the Ford Explorer, Volkswagen Altas and the Kia Telluride.

It just appears to be time for the Acadia to join the party.

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The Acadia’s cargo space behind the third-row seat increases by about 80 per cent (including an under-floor storage area). With the second and third rows folded flat, the increase is about 36 per cent. PHOTO: GMC

What you should know: 2024 GMC Acadia

Type: All-wheel-drive midsize utility vehicle

Engine (h.p.): 2.5-litre I-4, turbocharged (328)

Transmission: Eight-speed automatic

Market position: Now that the third-generation Acadia is larger, it somewhat fills the size and price gap between the smaller Terrain and the full-size Yukon.

Points: Increased dimensions translate into added passenger room and cargo capacity. • New design provides a more polished appearance. • New turbocharged four-cylinder engine is now the only choice, but it delivers more power than the outgoing powerplants. • A hybrid system should be an available option. • Adding the AT4 off-road-capable trim level raises the Acadia’s credibility.

Active safety: Blind-spot warning with cross-traffic backup alert (std.); active cruise control (std.); front/rear emergency braking (std.); driver-attention alert (std.); lane-departure warning (std.); pedestrian warning (std.); rear-seat occupant alert (std.)

L/100 km (city/hwy combined): 11.0 (est.)

Base price (incl. destination): $48,000 (est.)

BY COMPARISON

Kia Telluride:

  • Base price: $53,000
  • Eight-passenger utility model comes with a 291-h.p. V-6. AWD is standard.

Ford Explorer:

  • Base price: $50,500
  • Turbocharged I-4 and optional V-6 engines make up to 400 h.p. AWD is std.

Volkswagen Atlas:

  • Base price: $39,100
  • Updated for 2024, seating for seven people, turbo I-4 and V-6 offered. AWD opt.

– written by Malcom Gunn, Managing Partner at Wheelbase Media

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