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SAFETY | 9 out of 10
Top Safety Pick
Five stars overall; four stars frontal, five stars side
compromised outward visibility
Acadia's high belt line in back makes backing up tricky.
The 2012 GMC Acadia promises top-notch safety, and according to the major crash-testing agencies, it delivers.
With its strong, carlike body and stout overall design, the Acadia earns the highest overall ratings from both the NHTSA and the IIHS. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives it an overall rating of five stars, split between four-star front-impact scores and five-star side-impact numbers. The Acadia also aces the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) roof strength test, receiving top 'good' ratings across the board, which makes it a Top Safety Pick.
The Acadia's list of safety gear includes standard anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control; front-seat side airbags, and curtain bags that reach to the third-row seat. OnStar, GM's telematics system, is provided standard with six months of service, too. Rear parking sensors are standard, but front sensors are not offered, and neither are blind-spot monitors, though the Acadia's side rearview mirrors now have blind-spot zones for better visibility.
They'll come in handy, because like other big crossovers, the Acadia has somewhat poor visibility to the back. Shorter drivers will have issues when changing lanes or backing up--all the more reason to take our recommendation and buy the optional rearview camera, which can be a boon in parking lots.
The 2012 GMC Acadia is a standout for safety, even in a class of very safe vehicles.