Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2012 GMC Acadia
Until just a couple of years ago, GMC only sold trucks - and truck-based SUVs. They were slightly nicer, trim-wise, than a Chevy truck or SUV - but not as pricey as a Cadillac truck or SUV. That worked ok until the mass popularity of trucks and truck-based SUVs began to tank - and the mass popularity of on-road-friendlier, car-based crossover SUVs began to take off. What to do?
Join the Crossover Club - with models like the Acadia, GMC's first model that's not a truck or based on a truck and which comes with FWD or AWD but not RWD or 4WD.
WHAT IT IS
Though it has the hunky looks of a large, truck-based SUV, the eight-passenger Acadia is the first-ever GMC model to be built on a front-wheel-drive, integral frame/body passenger car chassis (with an all-wheel-drive system available optionally).
It is slightly larger - and can carry more people - than the similar in layout Acura MDX, Lexus RX, Mazda CX-9 and other medium-large, entry-luxury crossover SUVs.
It has two corporate twins - the Chevy Traverse (on the lower end) and the Buick Enclave (priced slightly higher).
The Acadia is marketed as more upscale than the Traverse - and sportier than the plush-minded Enclave.
Prices start at $32,605 for the base SL with front-wheel-drive and top out at $43,880 for an all-wheel-drive Denali.
WHAT'S NEW FOR 2012
Last year GMC added a new ultra-premium Denali trim with 20 inch wheels, dual sunroofs and numerous additional exterior/interior enhancements debuts to the lineup, along with a $45k sticker price. This year, the price of the Denali has been reduced by about $1,300.