Performance » 7
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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10
pleasant enough to drive, but it feels big
A prod of the throttle sometimes results in slow downshifts for passing power.
the Acadia is among the heaviest in its segment, which results in performance that is nothing to write home about
Car and Driver
The steering is intuitive and rather light, which allows the driver to feel more in command.
nary a whiff of truck-stop mountain-man aggression
New York Times
You can have a GMC pickup truck in a veritable Baskin-Robbins variety of flavors, but the Acadia crossover? You get what they give, which is a pretty good combination of a big V-6 and an automatic transmission, with or without all-wheel drive.
The standard 3.6-liter V-6 is strong enough for its displacement, at 288 horsepower, but it's up against a substantial curb weight even before you add all-wheel drive to the mix. Most carpool captains won't notice, but those 5,000 pounds are an ever-present part of the driving experience.
GM's six-speed automatic transmission does a good job of coping, now that it's been retuned for smoother shifts and dithers less in selecting a gear. You won't be squirting between tractor-trailers, but the Acadia accelerates strongly when it's passing and merging.If you need it, the Acadia's all-wheel-drive system can send up to 65 percent of its power to the rear wheels. That can be useful in uphill takeoffs, when a bit of torque steer comes into play. It's also a good all-weather companion, and a good idea when towing anything near the Acadia's 5200-pound tow rating.
With a smoother ride and better handling than those true GMC trucks, the Acadia does manage to feel a little smaller than it is--as well as surprisingly responsive and confident. That's mostly due to its four-wheel independent suspension layout and light, well-weighted power steering. Ride quality is well balanced, too, with new dual-flow damper shocks last year further helping the ride-versus-handling tradeoff.
The GMC Acadia feels heavy, because it is, but acceleration and handling are fine.