There are a lot of full-sized sport utilities to choose from on today’s market. The Detroit Three and many of their competitors are always in contention for this rough and tumble segment. When GMC showed me their latest Acadia with its 24 mpg highway and exceedingly well-outfitted interior, though, I realized that not every sport ute is made the same.
The 2013 GMC Acadia in both its base and Denali forms is a good combination of truck-like utility and offroad prowess with luxury car-like interior refinement and highway ride. Some of the competition, notably the Honda Pilot, has better fuel economy, but the Acadia sports a higher expected resale value in return, which in today’s market is often just as important.
General Motors has stuck with the refined blockiness for their SUVs that have made their trucks popular and though some may find this look an acquired taste, it is fitting for a place like ours in which pickup trucks and SUVs are often interchangeable as workhorses for pulling trailers and bouncing through pastures.
The 2013 Acadia is more than capable offroad for most of what Wyoming drivers would expect it to be able to do. It handles deep ruts, thick mud, and (by inference) heavy snow with ease. The all-wheel drive (AWD) option is a must for those who plan to use it as an offroader, though the more fuel efficient two-wheel drive version will likely be all that most people need with more than enough capability to handle the dirt roads and snowpack we usually encounter here. Both options also have the towing (5,200 pounds) and cargo capacity (116 cubic feet) to make a suitable truck stand-in when required.
On the highway, another important driving dynamic here in the Cowboy State, the 2013 GMC Acadia does very well and is far more comfortable than many of its competitors. With its plush interior refinements, excellent ride characteristics, and very comfortable seating, it makes even the roughest roads in Laramie and the downtown Cheyenne construction into silk runs.
In fact, summing up the 2013 Acadia is easy: it’s big, it’s comfortable, and it’s capable. If you like the styling and want a fully-capable SUV, the Acadia is a great choice. One thing the Acadia is missing are fuel economy boosting options like engine stop-start and improved aerodynamics in upper packages. This means that the 17/24 city/highway it sports in its two-wheel drive model is as good as it gets. That may be a turn off for some, but I suspect that those same people would not like the GMC style to begin with.
In a market where SUVs reign second only to trucks in sales, Wyoming enjoys a broad choice of options for sport utes. The 2013 GMC Acadia is a great entry into that list of options and one well worth the look. It is not for everybody, but for those who want a full-sized SUV with plenty of capability, utility, and comfort, the Acadia can definitely wear that saddle.
The 2013 Acadia was driven at a manufacturer-sponsored event in Denver on its introduction last year, then again at a sponsored press club event in September for offroad testing and finally for three days in the Cheyenne-Laramie area as a press loan from General Motors.