Test Drive: 2013 GMC Acadia car test drives gmc
2013 GMC Acadia. Click image to enlarge

Nonetheless, where my GTI and front-drive Volvo wagon would have not got any further than the end of my driveway, the AWD Acadia plowed through the axle-deep stuff and delivered my wife to work and my daughter to dance (school was closed). Had the Acadia been on snow tires, it would have been a veritable Yeti. I noticed the reduced grip more when the conditions actually got better on the hard packed surfaces.

The AWD Acadia normally operates with a front-to-rear torque split of 90:10. A computer-controlled clutch pack in the rear differential will send more juice to the rear wheels if needed.

The rest of the traction issues are handled by the standard StabiliTrak electronic stability and traction control that incorporates a rollover mitigation program.

Okay. GMC Acadia: 1. Old Man Winter: 0. Oh, and Esso: 5. Fuel economy, er, consumption rose to 18.4 L/100 on that nutty winter day.

The vehicle gets an official rating of 13.3 L/100 km city and 8.8 L/100 km highway.

A few days later with the roads clear and dry I took the Acadia SLT-1 on a day trip. There are a few times when GM suspension engineers nail a tuning (Caddy ATS take a bow), and this full-size SUV is certainly one of them. This is a vehicle that drives smaller than it looks (until you have to park it).

GM has arrived at an excellent ride/handling balance with the Acadia, no doubt helped along by the 2013 suspension tweaks. The ride is compliant and refined, yet there is not an ounce of slop in the chassis. It stays remarkably flat during cornering. Fine steering and brake feel complete the package.

On the highway it tracks straight and true. Factor in the comfortable seats, good outward visibility and kickin’ Bose audio, and the Acadia makes for an accomplished long distance tourer. Loaded down and towing a boat could be a different story, considering the modestly powered V6.

On this trip I saw a more respectable 12.2 L/100 km.

The main reason for buying a big crossover is to haul stuff and people. Yes, minivans will perform these functions better and with more efficiency, but whenever I tell this to friends looking at crossovers they invariably tell me where to get off.

Test Drive: 2013 GMC Acadia car test drives gmc Test Drive: 2013 GMC Acadia car test drives gmc Test Drive: 2013 GMC Acadia car test drives gmc
2013 GMC Acadia. Click image to enlarge

So, next to a minivan, the Acadia is pretty good. The two second-row captain’s chairs are very comfy (a second row three-butt 60/40 bench is available), and they accordion forward allowing easy access to the third row, which is quite habitable.

Behind the rear seat are 558 L of cargo space – enough for a serious run to Costco. Fold the second and third row flat and you’re looking at a whopping 3,313 L – and bonus, 4×8 sheets of building materials will lie flat.

If you have to go big, and a “cry uncle” minivan isn’t in the cards, the upgraded GMC Acadia continues to impress with its utility and drivability.

Pricing: 2013 GMC Acadia SLT-1 AWD
Base price (SLT-1 AWD): $46,750
Optional equipment: Rear seat entertainment system – $2,255; two-panel sunroof – $1,685; heavy duty trailering package – $550
A/C tax: $100
Destination charge: $1,500
Price as tested: $52,840

Crash test results
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)

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