The serpentine Sea-to-Sky highway with its endless curves, blind corners and elevation changes is a technical and fun drive – and perhaps a mid-size SUV isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think about exploring this beautiful and challenging road. But the Acadia I was driving was equipped with GMC’s optional continuously variable suspension and it is fantastic. The ride was silky-smooth, but it remained firm enough to feel competent and connected, and there was never a hint of floatiness. The moment a curve came up, I felt in control and enjoyed the Acadia’s tenacious grip.
As a matter of fact, I was often surprised at how flat it stayed in the twisties. Is it fun to drive on a mountain road? I’d stop short of saying that, but let me put it this way – it has a nice, solid and planted stance on the road and it’s a lot more fun than most other mid-size SUVs. The V6 puts down plenty of power off the line, and passing is no problem either. The transmission is smooth, but definitely takes a second or so to downshift when you put the pedal down.
GMC made a big deal about how quiet the new Acadia is, and for the most part, I found that to be true. Even at highway speeds, it seemed to be quite hushed inside.
There’s a rotary Traction Select knob that allows the driver to choose between 2WD, 4WD, Sport, Snow and Tow modes. If your trim has the trailering package with heavy-duty cooling system, your Acadia will have a towing capacity of up to 1,814 kg (4,000 lb). And if you’re towing, you’ll appreciate the Tow Vision Mode for the back-up camera which adds a centering line to make maneuvering and positioning your trailer easier.
While the Acadia can get quite pricey as you make your way up through the trims to the Denali, there is some good news here too. GMC has actually reduced the price of the 2017 by $2,000 across the board.
GMC has obviously continued making their Acadia a boldly styled SUV, and they’ve really upped the Acadia’s game in terms of technology and drivability. It’s a nice ride, to be sure, and it does a great job at almost everything – but it has plenty of competition at the higher end of the pricing schedule.
Pricing: 2017 GMC Acadia
Acadia SLE FWD: $34,995
Acadia SLE AWD: $37,995
Acadia SLT AWD: $47,295
Acadia All Terrain AWD: $49,390
Acadia Denali AWD: $54,695