GM's cash cow loses weight and morphs into a cash stallion.
Through trial and error, GMC has finally learned that people don't use crossovers as full-blown SUV replacements. Instead, this segment once reserved for vehicular identity crises has morphed into a best-of-both-worlds kind of car much better than what the El Camino could pull off. As long as it can swallow more people than a Honda Accord and fit a healthy amount of shopping bags, then consumers are more than happy to forgo hardcore off-road capabilities for car-like fuel economy. GMC's new generation of Acadia responds to this battle cry in a big way.
If you hate reading or want to see the Acadia's seats fold down then check out this GMC promotional video.
The 2016 version loses an immense 700 pounds over its predecessor to achieve numbers like 22 mpg in the city with a 194-horsepower 2.5-liter inline four aided by stop-start technology. Those needing more power can opt for the 3.6-liter V6, which drops city economy to 17 mpg but makes 310 horsepower. For a 3,950-pound machine, this is fun-zone power. Now don't start thinking that the weight loss is all due to the fancy high-strength steel; the car also shrunk. This means that now it can only hold up to seven people versus the old model's eight. These passengers can traverse shopping malls with front-wheel drive spec or kick up dirt in the all-wheel-drive version, but both will get the same six-speed automatic box.
New toys like self-braking and following distance indicator come via cameras that monitor the car's surroundings. The Acadia retains its design language with wraparound rear windows and square wheel arches. The rest of the car, from the grille and headlights to the leaned-out wheel arches and lower stance, looks more confident and determined. The new-found confidence is there because of popularity. After all, GM just couldn't keep customers away from the previous Acadia. Don't expect to see this smaller and more self-assured crossover until this spring. Expect pricing to come in around $30,000.