Story: Heywood R. K. Winchester III
Model Tested: Base
Rating: 5 out of 6
The 2013 GMC Acadia Denali first debuted at last year’s 2012 Chicago Auto Show, where it was clear that this full-size, seven passenger sport-utility has had some serious aesthetic tweaking in comparison to the last generation Acadia. GMC upgraded the already more-than-spacious interior to compete with the quality already under the hood.
The Denali designation, in case you’re unschooled in GMC’s terms, means you’re getting the full top-shelf package: 20-inch wheels, a special anti-noise acoustic build, and front seats that both heat and cool. Leather lines the steering wheel between mahogany trim, and the Bose system provided is more than enough to shake the streets even from inside the showroom. The Acadia’s interior is looking better than ever, from the aluminum accents to subtle red LED accents.
The engine, while largely unchanged from the previous model, is still nothing to shrug off. Packing a 288 horsepower 3.6 Liter V6 with an estimated tow rating of 5200 pounds, the vehicle’s acceleration is quick and responsive. The Acadia handled the streets of New York nicely, giving a consistently smooth ride over some rough city-terrain. Steering and brake systems were equally impressive, whether in traffic or handling tight corners.
Aimed squarely at competing with Ford’s Explorer, GMC has put out an impressive all-around luxury package here: a classy, top-of-the-line cabin with muscle that should satisfy most people with their eyes on a middleweight SUV. he 2013 Acadia Denali is definitely not one to be slept on.
Damage: $49,355 (base price)
Power: 288hp, 270 lb.-ft.
0-60: Not too shabby
Gas Cash: 16 city, 23 hwy
Miles Driven: 80