Full 2007 GMC Acadia Review
What's New for 2007
The 2007 GMC Acadia is an all-new large crossover SUV for 2007 that can seat up to eight passengers.
The new 2007 Acadia is GMC's first front-wheel-drive unibody vehicle, one of a new family of full-size crossover utility vehicles -- or CUVs -- cruising around on GM's dedicated Lambda platform. By using a carlike body structure design instead of a more traditional truck-based frame, the Acadia is able to seat up to eight passengers with more sedanlike room and comfort than they'll find in GM's full-size SUVs. And because the architecture is hundreds of pounds lighter, drivers will find the Acadia more fuel-efficient, with road manners that are much more carlike, too.
Powering both SLE and SLT versions of the 2007 GMC Acadia is a 275-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 that's hooked up to GM's brand new six-speed automatic transmission -- a combination we think most SUV drivers will find vastly superior to existing V6 or V8/four-speed automatic powertrain combos. The Acadia's modern performance is aided by its stylish, more aerodynamic and swept-back profile that helps reduce wind noise and enhances fuel economy at cruising speeds.
The Acadia's stance is also long and wide, with a wheelbase of nearly 119 inches. With a fully independent, coil-spring suspension, it's a combination that lowers the center of gravity and contributes to a smoother, more stable ride and sharper reflexes than you'll find in a traditionally framed SUV. The rear suspension is fitted in a compact, isolated "H" design that reduces noise and vibration in the passenger compartment as well as intrusion into the floor pan -- a key feature that helps the Acadia offer generous passenger and cargo space in the second and third rows.
It looks as if the General is getting its large-SUV act together and finally looking forward instead of back -- the new 2007 GMC Acadia CUV is well-thought-out and a giant leap in the right direction for many sport-utility drivers who simply require lots of passenger and cargo room but not the truckish excess. As long as you don't need heavy-duty, full-frame towing capability or the off-road prowess of a more focused four-wheel-drive vehicle, we'd put the inviting new GMC Acadia at the top of your shopping list without reservation.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 GMC Acadia is a well-equipped seven- or eight-passenger full-size crossover SUV available in three trim levels -- base SLE and uplevel SLT1 and SLT2. Regardless of trim level, you have your choice of standard seven-passenger or available eight-passenger seating. Standard SLE features include 18-inch alloy wheels, front and rear air-conditioning, remote keyless entry, powered accessories, cruise control and a six-speaker CD/MP3 stereo system.
Stepping up to the basic SLT1 package adds machine-polished wheels, heated/colored outside mirrors with turn signals, leather seating with heated/power front seats, tri-zone automatic climate control and a premium Bose 10-speaker audio system with subwoofer, steering-wheel audio controls and an in-dash six-disc CD changer. Those who want it all can opt for the top-of-the-line SLT2 trim that piles it on with remote vehicle starting, rear park assist, a power rear liftgate, rear-seat entertainment system and satellite radio. Many of these features are available on lesser models, too; SLTs may also offer optional premium extras like a power two-panel sunroof, 19-inch wheels, head-up windshield instrument display for would-be Corvette pilots, a navigation system, Dolby 5.1 surround sound and cargo area audio controls.
Powertrains and Performance
The all-new GMC Acadia is a front-wheel-drive crossover utility vehicle with available all-wheel-drive traction. Power is supplied by GM's new 3.6-liter V6 that produces 275 hp and 251 pound-feet of torque over a broad rpm range. The engine is mated to a new, more fuel-efficient and responsive six-speed automatic transmission with tap-up/tap-down shifting and a low 1st-gear ratio -- a combination that provides the large-but-lighter Acadia with smooth, brisk acceleration and solid cruising and passing power.
Not surprisingly, the Acadia returns decent fuel economy, too: EPA estimates are 17-18 mpg/city and 24-26 mpg/highway, depending on drivetrain -- a significant 10-20 percent improvement over its thirstier, V8-powered truck brethren. For those folks with a boat or good-sized load to haul, a medium-duty trailering package is available and towing capacity is respectable for a unibody at 4,500 pounds.
The Acadia's available "active" AWD system maximizes traction in slippery conditions, always supplying a small amount of stability-enhancing power to the rear wheels and automatically adjusting the torque split from 90/10 to 35/65, front-to-rear, as needed. While venturing far off the beaten path and boonie-bashing is not advised due to its long wheelbase and unibody construction, it can certainly handle wet or snowy roads, slick boat ramps and gentle dirt/muddy trails just fine -- all without any driver involvement whatsoever. Note, however, that you'll pay that small penalty of 1-2 mpg of fuel economy for the privilege of driving all four wheels all the time.
The Acadia features a full complement of modern safety equipment, including antilock disc brakes, stability control and a tire-pressure monitor. Rollover sensing technology preemptively activates the side-impact airbags if sensors determine a rollover is imminent -- and if one occurs, the airbags stay inflated longer to provide increased occupant containment.
Additional standard safety features include full side-curtain head airbags for all three rows of seating, three-point seatbelts with load limiters, tire-pressure monitoring and the OnStar Generation 7 communications system with advanced Automatic Crash Notification and downloadable, turn-by-turn navigation capabilities.
Interior Design and Special Features
The 2007 Acadia is the most sedan-like and comfortable GMC sport-utility ever built, with a spacious, functional cabin providing contemporary sophistication and refinement. GM's dedicated new Lambda platform offers lots of room to stretch out -- with seating accommodations in all positions ranking among the best in its segment. All models are equipped with a folding third-row seat; seven-passenger versions include second-row captain's chairs for a 2-2-3 layout, and eight-passenger models include a 60/40 split-folding second-row bench seat for a 2-3-3 configuration. Although it can certainly seat seven or eight comfortably enough, we think six in a 2-2-2 arrangement will likely enjoy one of the best-equipped and spacious three-couple passenger expresses in the business.
Another benefit of the Acadia's integrated body-frame structure is a lower, more convenient step-in height for passengers compared with body-on-frame SUVs. Access to the third-row seat is made even easier by wider rear doors than most, coupled with GM's Smart Slide second-row seat adjuster. Overall, our editors found the seating in the first and second rows to be superb, with a "low and away" dash and much more "laid back" space than you'll find in GM's current trucks. Although the front two rows will easily seat the starting four or five from your local prep basketball team, any more-snugly held teammates in the third row might wish for higher seating and increased thigh support. Still, the accommodations way out back are a vast improvement over GM's truck-based SUVs -- while offering almost 117 cubic feet of total cargo volume and more than 19 cubic feet behind the third-row seat, slightly more than the trunk of a Cadillac DTS sedan.
Around town and on the open highway, the full-size 2007 GMC Acadia strikes a friendlier, more desirable balance between performance, capability and efficiency, and seems to be much closer to what most SUV drivers truly need. The optional 19-inch wheels increase the crossover's bling factor, but they also transform the Acadia's otherwise comfortable ride quality into a somewhat jarring experience that many target buyers won't enjoy. For those in a hurry or towing a trailer, we found that the SLT and its upgraded variable-effort power steering made quick work of obstacles fast or slow. Our only other complaint regards the programming of the six-speed automatic, as downshifts can be a bit lethargic unless prodded by a sharp throttle boot.