A quiet, well-constructed interior and excellent seats are some of the Acadia's best qualities, though we'd be remiss not to mention all of that interior space, too. There's no question that this is one massive machine, but it makes the most out of what it's given, though the load floor is a little higher than it could be.
The Acadia can be configured to seat either seven or eight people, with its standard third-row seat. The difference lies in the middle seats, either a bench for three passengers or a pair of buckets with better access to the third row. If it weren't for the lack of sliding side doors, the Acadia would be as nearly as roomy and flexible as a minivan.
The driver and front passenger get the best accommodations, with a high seating position, excellent visibility, and on the Denali, standard heating and ventilation and leather trim. The Denali's second-row seats are also heated and cooled, and on any version, the seats slide on a track to increase leg room or cargo room, depending on how you have the seats folded and filled.
The third-row seat is reserved for small adults at best. It's not so much the available space, but the access path to it. The seat itself lays low and close to the floor, so head room is OK for most grownups. Still, kids and adults will find the third-row seat a little easier to access with the captain's chair layout in the second row—with what GMC calls aisle seating—but in any case it's a little harder than in a minivan due to the somewhat higher floor. A "Smart Slide" feature flips up the rear seat cushion and flip the seat forward, though, for easier access back there.
Cargo space is superb, provided you're not using the third-row seat. With the third row up, the Acadia has 24 cubic feet of room for cargo; fold down the second- and third-row seats, and it reveals a cavernous 116 cubic feet of space. GMC also boasts that you can carry 48-inch-wide drywall and plywood. The only catch is that the Acadia's load floor sits a bit higher than in some other crossovers, so pieces of furniture might not fit as well. And for shorter drivers, the power tailgate might be a necessity.
The Acadia's interior is tight and quiet, with excellent damping of road, wind, and engine noise. GMC has improved interior materials throughout the Acadia lineup over time, including more soft-touch surfaces, French stitching, and red ambient lighting. SLT and Denali models also get aluminum accents, with additional satin-chrome accents, perforated leather, and mahogany inserts in the Denali. The Denali is even quieter with its exclusive interior acoustic package.