I found the third row relatively easy to access (but only on the curb side). When the second row is moved ahead a bit, I, at 5’10”, had a reasonable amount of leg-and head-room back there. Anyone taller than me will likely wish for more space but it is usable for adults, and certainly spacious for children. There’s another USB port back there too and the third row reclines for comfort.
There’s a hands-free power lift gate which requires you to sweep your foot underneath the driver’s side rear corner toward the rear tire – I found it wasn’t very sensitive and needed a few tries every time. Irritating. The cargo space behind the third row is quite limited, but if you’re not using the third row, it can be folded away to provide a much more spacious and useful 1,181 L of room.
You will find two new choices with the Acadia: a 193 hp (188 lb-ft of torque) 2.5L four-cylinder for buyers whose priority is fuel economy; plus an all-new 310 hp (271 lb-ft of torque) V6 – the only thing it shares with the previous engine is its 3.6L displacement. Both are coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission, and in the Denali’s case, all-wheel drive.
Of note, the All Terrain trim gets an advanced twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system and an additional off-road driving mode.
It’s not just a new engine under the skin that caught my attention. GMC has somehow managed to trim 728 pounds from the Acadia’s curb weight, which is a tremendous achievement. The base vehicle’s weight went from 4,683 pounds down to 3,956! That’s going to have a direct impact on the vehicle’s drivability and fuel economy. GMC rates the 2.5L four-cylinder at 11/9.2 L/100 km (city/highway) and the six-cylinder at 13/9.3 L/100 km.
Speaking of under the hood, GM also sent us to the Whistler/Blackcomb resort where we got a behind-the-scenes tour of the snow grooming machine maintenance shop. These are half-million dollar PistenBullys from Germany we’re talking about – some with 1,500-metre cable winches allowing them to anchor themselves to the mountaintop so they can groom the steepest ski runs. It was pretty cool to see what they look like pulled apart. We also went on the jaw-dropping Peak2Peak gondola, which takes you from the peak of one mountain to the next. Traveling at surprisingly high speeds and at eye-watering, sphincter-clenching heights made for quite an adventure – I would highly recommend this if you’re ever in the area. It’s a whole new perspective from which to enjoy the mountains, valleys and lakes!