San Francisco: While
the GMC Acadia looks like a traditional SUV, itís actually a car-based
crossover vehicle. The solid unibody construction is rare on such a big
vehicle. Plus three rows of roomy seats make the Acadia almost as
spacious as a full-size SUV, but thankfully it comes without the sloppy
road manners that typically mar vehicles this size.
Of all the cars in the
world, my favorites are the tiny two-seaters that feel like metal
mosquitos. It doesnít matter if theyíre uncomfortable, cramped,
impractical and powered by small rodents. Theyíre fun. And thatís all
So, as you can imagine,
Iím usually unhappy when I have to drive a full-size SUV, even a big,
expensive one that looks like something youíd see on MTV with the Go-Go
girls dancing on it.
Usually these big SUVs
are built on truck platforms that jiggle and shake as they move down the
road, exactly the opposite of what I want in a vehicle. They feel like
theyíre built in several big sections, all of which are held together by
rubber bands. And how could a sports-car guy possibly enjoy driving
something that feels like that?
When I started to drive
the GMC Acadia, I expected it to have that jiggly, sloppy, flabby
feeling thatís so common in the giant SUVs. Itís certainly big, with an
imposing, cathedral-like presence and a cabin that seems to be designed
for NFL linemen. But it didnít drive at all how I expected.
Actually it felt like
GMC had put a Volkswagen Golf on growth hormones. The whole thing seemed
to move in one piece with the kind of solidarity you rarely find in
small SUVs and never, ever, feel in big ones. It didnít shake. It didnít
jiggle. It didnít shimmy. The secret to this carved-from-granite feeling
is in its design.
Unlike most big SUVs
that have flimsy bodies mounted on a thick truck-like frame, the Acadia
is built with unibody construction just like a compact car. It feels
like itís built in one piece, because it is.
The concept isnít new,
but itís rare on this scale. Itís more common on vehicles like the Ford
Escape or Nissan Murano. Itís especially rare for GMC, a company that
advertises its vehicles are tough, capable and ďprofessional gradeĒ,
but not necessarily refined.
The Acadia, though, is
refined. Thanks to its super-stiff, car-like construction, and itís
disturbingly quiet. Even when itís going 70 miles an hour on a country
road, itís silent enough to freak you out. Thatís the good news.
The bad news? Well, I
realize itís become a clichť with General Motors, but the interior still
feels a tad plasticky, especially in such a premium vehicle. Itís
dramatically better than the GM interiors of a couple years ago, but
some parts still feel cheap in what would otherwise be a fairly
That brings up another
sore spot: the price. If you think of this as a regular family vehicle,
itís too expensive for many buyers, with the cheapest model carrying a
sticker price just 10 bucks shy of $30,000.
Adding things like
all-wheel drive and luxury features quickly drives the price even
higher. My test vehicle rang up at more than $44,400.
Granted at that price,
and with that level of equipment, the Acadia becomes more of a luxury
SUV than a people hauler. The GMC tester came with a navigation system,
rear-seat DVD player and other features that added nearly $7,000 to the
But it does have one
thing going for it. It drives well enough, so that even I, Mr. Sports
Car Purist, can like it.
What was tested?
The 2007 GMC Acadia AWD SLT-2 with a base price of $37,370. Options on
the test vehicle: Navigation system ($2,145), sunroof ($1,300),
aluminum wheels ($695), DVD system ($1,295), premium paint ($395),
heads-up display ($350), rear cargo area audio controls ($150). Price as
tested including a $735 destination charge: $44,435.
Why avoid it?
Itís expensive, with a nearly $30,000 base price. And some parts in its
interior feel cheap for such a premium vehicle.
Why buy it? With
a car-like unibody design, it drives far better than most big SUVs. Itís
refined, roomy and silent. By Derek Price © AutoWire.Net - San
GMC Home Page
Byline: Syndicated content provided by Tony
Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
Column Name: Acadia brings new dimension to
Topic: The 2007 GMC Acadia AWD SLT-2
Word Count: 773
Photo Caption: The 2007 GMC Acadia
Photo Credits: GMC Acadia Internet Media
Series #: 2007 - 53
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2007 GMC Arcadia
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2007 GMC Arcadia