The GMC Acadia midsize crossover is known for flexibility, accommodating space and the functionality that illustrates the brand's professional grade philosophy. The Acadia Denali builds on those attributes with higher levels of luxury and style.
Continual refinements greet the Acadia for 2015, including a new heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel standard on SLT-2 and Denali models, a new 20-inch wheel design and a trio of new exterior colors: Crimson Red Tintcoat, Dark Sapphire Blue Metallic and Midnight Amethyst Metallic.
Acadia's lineup includes the SLE (with SLE-1 and SLE-2 trims), the SLT (with SLT-1 and SLT-2 trims) and the Denali models, with seven- or eight-passenger configurations. A 3.6L V-6 VVT engine that uses gasoline direct injection technology powers all Acadia models, optimizing performance and fuel economy across the board.
The engine is paired with Acadia's fuel-saving six-speed automatic transmission to help give FWD models an EPA-estimated 24 mpg on the highway. The transmission controls provide quick and consistent shifts for a commanding feel behind the wheel. All-wheel drive is also available. Towing capability for the Acadia is 5,200 pounds (2,364 kg), when properly equipped.
Known for its interior functionality especially popular with families, including the SmartSlide seating system, Acadia allows easy access to the third row for both seven- and eight-passenger seating configurations. Additionally, the second and third row still fold flat for class-leading maximum cargo space, including the ability to carry 48-inch-wide sheet goods, such as drywall and plywood.
The Acadia Denali, available in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models with seven- and eight-passenger seating configurations, continues to turn heads on the road. With signature design cues including a monochromatic exterior highlighted with chrome accents, the Denali exudes luxury through its many high-end details.
Some of Denali's impressive exterior design cues include unique body-side moldings with chrome accents and Denali badges, dual flow-through chrome exhaust outlets that are integrated into the rear fascia and high-intensity discharge headlamps.
Denali's standard comfort and safety features continue to inspire drivers on the inside, too, with interior features such as perforated leather seating and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with mahogany inserts. Denali-specific aluminum trim and accent lighting in the footwells and sill plates add to the interior ambience, while heated and cooled seats provide an extra level of relaxation. Technology continues to play a role in the Denali with the Color Touch navigation system, which allows drivers to use a wide range of functions from a touch screen infotainment center, including music, maps, Bluetooth, weather and more.
When it comes to safety, the Acadia Denali is up to the task with the side blind zone alert and rear cross traffic alert, a radar system that helps detect things drivers might not see in a blind zone. Also standard on Denali models – and all Acadia models – is hill-hold assist braking technology, which applies the brakes for 1.5 seconds when the driver's foot leaves the brake pedal on inclines of 5 percent or steeper. To avoid unintended acceleration, an enhanced electronic pedal override reduces power to the engine when the brake and accelerator pedals are depressed at the same time.
Acadia Denali also features an exclusive interior acoustic package that makes it the quietest model in the Acadia lineup.
Exterior highlights and features
With a sleek and sculpted exterior design, the Acadia emits a look of refinement. From the three-bar grille and the standard diffused LED running lamps in the front to the rear spoiler, its beauty is in the details.
Offered with 18-, 19- and 20-inch wheel designs that complement the exterior's lines and stance, Acadia is stylish and functional. Vehicle entry and exit is an easy maneuver with a body-frame integral structure that enables lower entry/exit height for passengers. The front door step-in height is only 18.9 inches (480 mm), and the rear door step-in height is 19.8 inches (503 mm). Entry to the second- and third-row seats is easy thanks to very wide rear doors and GM's exclusive Smart Slide second-row seat feature.
The Acadia's design is sleek and highlighted by chrome accents and large wheels, including 20-inch wheels on Denali models. Halogen projector-beam headlamps are standard on SLE and SLT models, while Acadia Denali comes with standard high-intensity discharge headlamps (available on SLT-2).
Interior highlights and features
Acadia's refined interior uses upgraded soft-touch materials, with French stitching that adds a tailored look and red ambient light flowing across the dashboard. SLT and Denali models have aluminum accents on the center console, doors and dash.
A feeling of openness is abundant in the Acadia's interior, with a car-like "low and away" instrument panel that exudes roominess and control. The instrument panel and other interior elements feature high-quality, low-gloss materials and tight gap tolerances.
All Acadia models offer three rows of seating that can be configured for seven or eight passengers, regardless of trim level. The seating configurations include two front bucket seats, a 60/40-split second-row bench (three passengers) or two second-row captain's chairs (two passengers) and a 60/40-split third-row bench seat.
GM's exclusive Smart Slide feature is standard, allowing quick and easy access to the third-row seating area. The second-row seat cushion flips up while the seatback slides forward, effectively compressing the space occupied by the seat with the pull of a lever. The Smart Slide system also allows the second row to be positioned fore/aft. When adjusted rearward, the second-row seat provides more legroom for taller passengers. When adjusted forward, it provides more storage space or additional legroom for third-row passengers.
Storage space of 24.1 cu. ft. (682 liters) is available behind the third-row seat (with the cargo management system removed). Maximum available storage capability behind the first row of seats is 116.1 cu. ft. (3,288 L).
The interior color/trim combinations include Ebony, Dark Cashmere, Cocoa Dune and Light Titanium.
Color Touch infotainment
GMC's Color Touch Radio with touch-screen control is standard in the Acadia, with available Color Touch navigation (standard on Acadia Denali). Available IntelliLink allows customers to seamlessly integrate online services such as Pandora ® internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio ® using hands-free voice and touch-screen controls via Bluetooth-enabled phones.
IntelliLink adds stereo audio streaming and wireless control of smartphones, building on the voice-activated Bluetooth hands-free calling capability, while retaining all the capabilities of today's entertainment functions, including AM/FM/SiriusXM tuners, CD player with MP3 playback, auxiliary and USB inputs.
New for 2015, the USB port is relocated to the lower area of the center stack on the instrument panel. It enables passengers to more easily plug in their own media to play through the radio.
Other technology features include text message support, which alerts the driver to new messages for review and response (functionality depends on the smartphone), and XM Tune Select, which enables the user to create alerts for favorite songs or artists (available only with Navigation models).
Additional audio system features include a photo viewer and a standard rear-vision camera with dynamic guide lines that will display on the high-definition screen.
The Acadia features a 3.6L engine with direct injection technology that helps produce power similar to many V-8 engines with the use of regular unleaded gasoline. In the Acadia Denali, it is rated at 288 horsepower (215 kW) and 270 lb-ft of torque (366 Nm), with ninety percent of the engine's peak torque is available from approximately 2,500 rpm to more than 6,000 rpm.
In SLE and SLT models, the engine is rated at 281 horsepower (210 kW) and 266 lb-ft of torque (361 Nm). In all models, it is mated to the Hydra-Matic 6T75 six-speed automatic transmission, an advanced transmission with clutch-to-clutch shift operation for front- and all-wheel-drive vehicles. It also offers automatic grade braking, shift stabilization and precise shift control, as well as hill start assist.
The available intelligent all-wheel-drive (AWD) system provides increased traction on slippery roads by actively managing the torque distribution between the front and rear axles, based on factors such as wheel speed, throttle and surface conditions. There is no driver intervention: The system automatically decides how much torque to apply and delivers it to the wheels that have the best traction.
Ride and handling
Acadia rides on a long 118.9-inch (3,019 mm) wheelbase, with wide 67.3-inch (1,721 mm) front and 67.4-inch (1,709 mm) rear tracks – a combination that lowers the center of gravity and enables smooth, stable ride and handling characteristics.
Additional chassis and suspension features include:
- Independent front and rear suspensions
- Low-flow shocks and struts for improved ride and handling
- A front suspension featuring a MacPherson strut design, with a direct-acting stabilizer bar and aluminum knuckles. Isolated mounting points help reduce noise and vibration
- A rear suspension with a compact, linked "H" design, which uses an isolated mounting system to reduce noise and vibration transmitted to the passenger compartment
- Power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering is standard; variable-effort steering is available
- Four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes are standard on all models, with additional brake features including dynamic rear proportioning, hydraulic brake boost and panic brake assist.
The Acadia continues a tradition of offering the latest in safety developments with forward collision alert and lane departure warning standard on Denali and available on SLT-1 and SLT-2 models. The crash-avoidance systems employ a high-resolution camera mounted on the windshield to determine if the driver is too close to vehicles ahead. There are visual signals and audible alarms to warn the driver of a possible collision. Sensors also can detect if the vehicle is changing lanes without a turn signal to give the driver time to correct.
Side blind zone alert and cross traffic alert are standard on Acadia Denali and SLT-2. They match smart engineering with driver-centric safety, using radar to help watch where drivers might not see. When a vehicle enters the blind zone or approaches in cross-traffic, the systems warn of a possible collision.
Acadia is the leader with the segment's first Front Center Air Bag. This feature deploys from the inboard side of the driver's seat and inflates between the driver and front passenger, providing added protection for both front occupants in side-impact crashes.
The Front Center Air Bag is part of a 360-degree safety system that helps protect passengers before, during and after a crash, including anchor pretensioners for outboard occupants and pelvic-thorax seat-mounted side air bags. The structure is reinforced in numerous areas with high-strength steel, including a stiff steel cross-car beam welded across the floor between the B-pillars.
It also uses dual-phase steel in select areas, such as the lower engine compartment rails. Dual-phase steel is strengthened in the paint oven and offers easier formability, reduced mass, greater strength and better crash energy absorption than most high-strength steels.