I looked at everything & mean everything! It came down to the Dodge Durango, Jeep GC, Toyota 4Runner & Acadia. I rented a Durango and Jeep for a couple of days. Both of them had driving positions that didnt allow me to read the gauges because the steering wheel blocked it. In the Jeep, the A Pillar is way to wide & the roof line to low to be comfortable. With the rear seats down, the Durangos load floor was so high that my dog was breathing down my neck and could be pitched out the side window. The 4runner was nice, but the rear air vents were blocked when rear seat was folded flat, the passenger seat sits very high and is not adjustable plus no sunroof delete available in my state(Im 6'3").
I liked the more utilitarian styling of the SLE model. Its not "blinged" out and looks more like a traditional GMC should. I didn't want my SUV to look like a car. I like the power-liftgate off switch. If you own a dog or in a low garage/parking structure, you will too! Besides, I don't have the patience to wait for it to open/close nor risk my dog deciding he wants to escape when its going down. Drives really smooth and don't agree with edmunds review of it being bland to drive or hard to maneuver due to its size. I like the heft and substantial feel..doesn't feel like a car but its also not as clumsy or porky feeling as piloting a Yukon/Tahoe. Finally the 4 rear A/C vents are great!
The interior is very plastic looking but not much different from the 2009 GMC Sierra Crew Cab pickup I had (fyi-the 2013 interior is revised). Its early, but its a bit of a gas pig. However, its a 2.5 ton vehicle w/AWD so I expected to pay more at the pump. The driver seat is way to soft..I have already built up the seat foam using a professional auto upholstery shop. The head rests are terrible and can hit some people in the neck/shoulders and having to have them shaved down as well. Its a shame GMC has ruined resale by using these as rental vehicles. I two year leased mine knowing the used car market is flooded with the Acadia/Traverse. Found it difficult to find low optioned AWD SLE's .
I know this is almost a year out, but just saw your post about modifying your GMC seat.
I have the opposite problem.
I'm a short lady (5 ft 2) and for me, the soft seat is generally good, but the seat back curve doesn't fit the curve of my back and it pokes in just below my shoulder blades, causing a lovely back ache after about an hour of driving.
I test drove a Chevy Trav and a GMC Acadia, and both did the same thing.
Sales dude told me they could shave the foam down in the seat, but sometimes it's easier said than done.
Did your upholstery person have any issue with seat heaters/air bags in the seats?
Otherwise, this platform so works for me, gas guzzle and all.