GM unveils lighter and more efficient 2017 GMC Acadia

Article by Christian A., on January 15, 2016

GMC is presenting the 2017 Acadia midsize crossover, which is now more refined, versatile and filled with more advanced safety technologies. Likewise, the latest iteration of the Acadia builds on the strong sales momentum in 2015, when GMC sold 96,393 units.

Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC Sales and Marketing, remarked that typically, sales of a vehicle have a bell during its lifecycle. He noted that in the case of Acadia, the crossover has managed to defy convention with its impressive sustainability.

He added that GMC is confident that its momentum will continue to grow with the new Acadia. Positioned between the compact Terrain and full-size Yukon, the 2017 Acadia offers flexible seating, depending on the model. It could be availed as a five-, six- or seven-passenger seater. Aside from that, the new Acadia boasts of being more maneuverable than the first-generation model.

Rick Spina, executive chief engineer for compact and crossover SUVs at General Motors, quipped that the 2017 Acadia offers a greater feeling of refinement -- from the responsive steering to the passenger interaction with its intuitive features. He added that the new Acadia offers the functionality that the vehicle is known for, while providing customers with many benefits.

Exterior Design

Helen Emsley, executive director at Global GMC Design and User Experience, quipped that the design of the Acadia is influenced by extensive customer input. Emsley noted that while the original Acadia was truck-inspired, the 2017 version was SUV-influenced, as expressed by its sculptural details and softened corners, as well as a sleeker windshield angle.

On its front, new Acadia models boast of dimensional grilles and wraparound headlamps. The Denali variant features HID lamps on Denali while other models have halogen projectors. All models boast of standard LED signature lighting. The rear features C-shape lighting graphics, completing its design.

Interestingly, the Acadia Denali is distinguished from other models through a number of premium cues like a dimensional chrome grille, an integrated chrome side trim and chrome-accented door handles.

Other premium cues include a chrome lower-rear fascia and specific six-spoke wheels. On the other hand, all Acadia trim levels come with distinct interior color and trim combinations, as accentuated by authentic aluminum trim.

Interior Design

Inside the Acadia, drivers and passengers alike could well experience a spacious yet functional crossover. For instance, the new Acadia offers new features like a split-folding second-row seat and a curbside seat that could slide and tilt forward, even with a forward-facing child seat in place.

This latest version of the Acadia also offers easier access to the third row, thanks to a driver-side section that could tip and slide forward. On the other hand, the crossover's 50/50-split third-row seat could fold flat to give way for a flat load floor just behind the second row. Likewise, when the second row is folded, the Acadia offers 79 cubic feet (2,237 liters) of cargo space.

GMC has placed levers at the rear of the vehicle to make it easier to fold the second- and third-row seats. Interestingly, the new 2017 GMC Acadia comes with both simple and technologically advanced solutions.

For instance, the rear of the center console has a distinct pull-out storage drawer that could be accessed by rear-seat passengers to store items like devices and small toys. Also, the Acadia comes with a standard rear seat alert that could warn the driver if an item is left in the second- and third-row seats.

Moreover, USB charge ports for compatible electronic devices could now be found on all three rows of the Acadia. The latest evolution of the Acadia, while more focused on refinement, still carries the crossover's signature professional grade design cues -- a chrome-trimmed grille, a wraparound rear side windows and dark D-pillars, as well as squared off and flared wheel arches.


Since the 2017 GMC Acadia weighs 700 lbs. less than the current crossover, less fuel is consumed. Powering the Acadia, as standard, is a 2.5L engine that returns an estimated 28 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg on the city (for FWD models).

This fuel consumption figure is boosted by GMC's first application of Stop/Start technology. Customers, however, could opt for a higher-powered Acadia by availing of the 3.6L V-6 engine.

This powerplant is considered more powerful and more efficient than the current model – offering a GM-estimated output of 310 hp (231 kW) and returning 25 mpg highway (FWD models).

Likewise, this engine allows the Acadia, with the available towing package, to boast an estimated trailering capability of 4,000 lbs.

Both engines are fitted with direct injection and variable valve timing. Moreover, both engines are mated to six-speed automatic transmissions and an electronically controlled drive mode selector.

Press Release

GMC Introduces All-New 2017 Acadia

GMC today introduced the all-new 2017 Acadia – a reimagined crossover aimed at the heart of the midsize segment, designed to offer great versatility and refinement, with more advanced safety technologies.

The new Acadia offers more-efficient powertrains, while continuing to offer three rows of seating on most models. The premium Acadia Denali returns, along with a new All Terrain model offering enhanced off-road capability.

“GMC is a strong, growing premium brand and the Acadia is a cornerstone of our success story,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC Sales and Marketing. “The all-new Acadia leverages GMC’s proven SUV experience to take on and shake up one of the largest vehicle segments, with a strong blend of design, technology and capability.”

The new Acadia goes on sale this spring, almost a decade after its original introduction, and coming off of its strongest sales year ever in 2015 with 96,393 deliveries.

“Typically, a vehicle’s sales can be illustrated on a bell curve during its lifecycle, but the Acadia’s success has defied convention with impressive sustainability,” said Aldred. “It’s a shining example of GMC’s momentum and we’re confident it will grow with the new Acadia.”

New size, bigger advantages
The strategic re-scoping of the 2017 Acadia offers customers a midsize crossover positioned between the compact Terrain and full-size Yukon. Depending on the model, it is available with five-, six- or seven-passenger seating, while offering greater maneuverability than the first-generation model.

“The new Acadia captures a greater feeling of refinement, in everything from the responsive feeling behind the wheel to the way passengers interact with its intuitive features,” said Rick Spina, executive chief engineer for compact and crossover SUVs at General Motors. “It’s a vehicle that offers the functionality Acadia is known for, while delivering big advantages and balance to customers’ everyday lives.”

The new Acadia is 700 pounds lighter than the current model, which pays dividends at the gas pump. A new, 2.5L engine is standard, offering an estimated 28 mpg on the highway for FWD models (EPA estimate not yet available; estimate is based on GM testing). City fuel economy offered is GM-estimated at 22 mpg (FWD) and is bolstered by GMC’s first application of Stop/Start technology, which enhances efficiency in stop-and-go driving.

A new, available 3.6L V-6 engine is more powerful and efficient than the current model, while offering 4,000 pounds estimated trailering capability (with the available towing package). It is GM-estimated at 310 horsepower (231 kW) and 25 mpg highway (FWD models – EPA estimate not available).

Both of the Acadia’s new engines feature direct injection and variable valve timing, and both are mated to six-speed automatic transmissions and an electronically controlled drive mode selector.

Legacy of functionality and spaciousness
The 2017 Acadia builds on a legacy of intuitive functionality, with new features such as a split-folding second-row seat that improves on the original Smart Slide feature of the current model. It offers greater flexibility, including the capability of the curbside seat sliding and tilting forward, even with a forward-facing child seat in place, while the driver-side section tips and slides forward for easier access to the third row.

The 50/50-split third-row seat folds flat for a completely flat load floor behind the second row and when the second row is also folded, there’s 79 cubic feet (2,237 liters) of cargo room. Levers at the rear of the vehicle make it easier to fold the second- and third-row seats.

Additional solutions range from simple to technologically advanced. The rear of the center console, for example, features a unique pull-out storage drawer. It is accessible to rear-seat passengers and allows items such as electronic devices and small toys to be stored out of sight, for greater security and reduced clutter.

There’s also a new, standard rear seat alert that can remind the driver when an item may have been left in the second- and third-row seats. Additionally, all three rows offer USB charge ports for compatible electronic devices.

Design evolution
The new Acadia offers a greater emphasis on refinement, while remaining instantly recognizable with an evolution of the vehicle’s signature, professional grade design cues such as a chrome-trimmed grille, squared off and flared wheel arches and wraparound rear side windows with dark D-pillars.

“It’s a confident design influenced by extensive customer input,” said Helen Emsley, executive director, Global GMC Design and User Experience. “The original Acadia was very truck-inspired, but the new model has a decidedly SUV influence conveyed in sculptural details, softened corners and a sleeker windshield angle.”

New dimensional grilles and wraparound headlamps – HID lamps on Denali and halogen projectors on other models – reinforce the confident, refined appearance, while standard LED signature lighting on all models reflect GMC’s premium attributes. Complementing C-shape rear lighting graphics add a cohesive detail to the design.

Premium cues distinguish the Acadia Denali. Like all Denali models, it features a dimensional chrome grille, along with integrated chrome side trim, chrome-accented door handles, a chrome lower-rear fascia and specific six-spoke wheels.

Inside, all Acadia trim levels feature unique interior color and trim combinations and incorporate authentic aluminum trim.

Latest safety and connectivity technologies
As a contemporary crossover designed for families on the go, the 2017 Acadia offers the latest active safety features to protect them, as well as the latest technologies to keep them connected.

The active safety features are designed to help make drivers more aware of their surroundings and potential crash situations. They are available depending on the model and include:

New Front Pedestrian Braking
New Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking (standard on SLT-2 and Denali)
New Forward Automatic Braking (available on Denali)
New Following Distance Indicator
New IntelliBeam automatic headlamp high-beam control
New Surround Vision camera system
New Safety Alert Seat
Forward Collision Alert
Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning
Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert
Front and Rear Parking Assist.
An available Tow Vision Trailering system helps make hitching easier by employing a rear-vision camera, with dynamic guidelines, to help line up the Acadia’s hitch with the trailer, as well as offering views of the trailer while driving.

And when it comes to connectivity, the Acadia is plugged in with available phone integration technology through GMC’s available IntelliLink system. It offers support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, making it easy to connect to some of the features smartphone users rely on most. (Vehicle user interfaces are products of Apple and Google and require a compatible smartphone and adherence to data plan rates, terms and privacy statements.)

Additionally, an available OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot is on whenever the vehicle is on and comes with a three-month/three-gigabyte data trial.

New foundation and driving dynamics
Built on a new, lighter body structure, the 2017 Acadia’s driving dynamics are more responsive, while its shorter length and narrower width enable greater maneuverability, for easier turning in parking decks and easier parking in home garages.


The body structure incorporates press-hardened, high-strength steels, which allowed thinner components in some areas offering comparable or better crash performance than conventional materials. They also help reduce the base curb weight by 700 pounds (318 kg), compared to the current model.

New splayed front frame rails also contribute to crashworthiness. They flare outward to provide effective folding and crushing performance during small overlap frontal crash situations.

The new Acadia retains a front-drive layout with available all-wheel drive. All models feature a new drive mode selector, which allows the driver to alter chassis and powertrain attributes to suit a variety of driving conditions. Front-drive models offer Normal (2x4), Snow, Sport and Trailer/Tow modes, while AWD models offer 2x4 (AWD disconnect), 4x4, Sport, Off Road and Trailer/Tow modes.

The AWD disconnect mode effectively disconnects the rear axle from the drive system to save fuel. On-demand AWD capability can be reapplied on the go by switching the drive mode selector to 4x4 mode.

Additional chassis and driving dynamics features include:

MacPherson strut front suspension
Five-link rear suspension
Rack-mounted electric power steering system
Four-wheel disc brakes with Duralife rotors
Electronic park brake
Available electronically controlled continuous damping system.
All Terrain
The new All Terrain model matches distinctive design elements with enhanced off-road-driving ability.

At the heart of the Acadia All Terrain’s capability is an advanced AWD system with Active Twin Clutch, which optimizes traction for every condition it encounters. And while it is engineered for optimal performance in wet, snowy and icy conditions, it also provides enhanced stability in dry conditions.

It also has a specific All Terrain mode in place of the Off Road mode on the drive mode selector, which works with the model’s exclusive AWD system to offer enhanced hill-climb capability.

All Terrain models are distinguished from the rest of the Acadia lineup with a body-color grille surround, black chrome trim and unique wheels. Inside is exclusive five-passenger seating, dynamic All Terrain interior accents and covered storage bins in the rear cargo floor in place of a third-row seat.

The 2017 GMC Acadia will be produced at General Motors’ Spring Hill (Tenn.) assembly facility, with globally sourced parts.


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