2017 GMC Acadia
One constant you can put up there with death and taxes, is people always want more. So, it’s usually the case for each new generation of vehicle to get bigger and bigger. Well, GM has proved before they’re not afraid to give people more from less, and that’s the story behind this new GMC Acadia, so let’s hear more about it.
Trivia question: what was the first modern 3-row crossover? If you said the 2007 Saturn Outlook, congratulate yourself. If you said the 07’ GMC Acadia; well, you’re half right as it did share its chassis with the Outlook. And if you’re saying “what is a Saturn?” Well, you’ll have to google it, as we must move on and start talking about this 2017 GMC Acadia.
Trim is in, and no one has been on more of a weight-loss kick than General Motors. Now sharing a chassis with the Cadillac XT5, its 700-lbs. lighter than the outgoing Acadia. That’s due to a shrunken exterior size, more high strength steel, and a smaller 193-horsepower 2.5-liter I4 engine that is now standard. But, even with the V6, it’s some 600-lbs. lighter.
That 3.6-liter V6 is now optional and it’s also a new one, putting out both more horsepower at 310, and more torque at 271 lb-ft. Yet despite the bigger numbers, towing capacity falls from 5,200-lbs to 4,000, mostly due to the tidier dimensions.
With overall length cut 7–inches, and wheelbase shaved by over 6-inches, the new Acadia is far more garage-able. So, it’s now more midsize than full-size, looking very Dodge Durango-ish, and directly competitive with the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander.
Trimmer also helps the exterior appearance, now more modern and stylish; and, thankfully, far from a mini-me Yukon. Signature LEDs are standard on all models.
Denali trim still features an overdose of chrome, and a big grille for fully flaunting it.
Both engines come with a 6–speed automatic transmission, with a choice of front or all-wheel-drive.
Our V6 all-wheel-drive tester showed a noticeable lack of torque down low; but once you reach 4,000 on the dial, a surprising surge of power gets delivered rather abruptly. We hit 60 in 6.8-seconds; pretty quick for a 3-row family ute, and over a second quicker than before. We finished out the ¼ in 15.4-seconds at 92 miles-per-hour.
Shifting of the automatic transmission was very slow, with a noticeable lack of momentum each time a new gear was selected. With a short 119-foot stopping average from 60, and only minimal fade; the brakes were very confidence inspiring.
And if you zone out and need the Acadia to apply the brakes for you, it can do that as well, abruptly and consistently; provided you opt to add the Technology Package.
The optional all-wheel-drive system operates as front only if you chose, or leave it in auto. You can also select Sport, Off Road, and Trailer Tow modes.
Of course, the smaller size has taken a toll on interior space. But, you won’t really notice it much in first or second row seating. The 2nd row split bench, or Captain’s chairs, all slide fore and aft, as well as fold easily.
The third row is actually easier to get to, but noticeably tighter when you do. And, seatbelts are down from three to two. So, Acadia’s max body count drops from 8 to 7.
Maximum cargo capacity falls most of all, from 116.1 cubic-ft. to 79.0. Still all these aspects are competitive with Pilot and Highlander.
As for how it drives, well lighter is always righter; so it certainly feels more agile. But we’d avoid the I4 unless you’re a lone wolf.
V6 Government Fuel Economy Ratings with all-wheel drive are respectable, at 18-City, 25-Highway, and 20-Combined. We averaged a good 22.1 miles-per-gallon of Regular. For a reasonable Energy Impact Score of 16.5-barrels of oil burned yearly, while emitting 7.2-tons of CO2.
Base pricing is $1,905 lower than before, starting at $29,995. But again, that’s for the I4 and you’re going to want the V6 that will cost you at least $37,090. AWD adds 2-grand more; Acadia Denali starts at $45,845.
The 2017 GMC Acadia is clearly better in every aspect including size. While nothing about the Acadia blew us away with excitement, there’s a lot to like about it.
Yes, the smaller size means Acadia has given up its niche of being a true full-size truckin’ SUV alternative. And, only time will tell if the “going along to get along” strategy will work. But, for now, we think the Acadia will deliver more, from less, for more of you.
- Engine: 3.6 liter
- Horsepower: 310
- Torque: 271 lb-ft.
- 0-60 mph: 6.8 seconds
- 1/4 mile: 15.4 seconds @ 92 mph
- EPA: 18 mpg city / 25 mpg highway
- Energy Impact: 16.5 barrels of oil/yr
- CO2 Emissions: 7.2 tons/yr
2023 BMW X7
Should Keep The BMW Faithful Coming Back For More
While BMW got serious about their SUV game around the same time as most other luxury brands, it took them until just a few years ago to deliver a 3-row example. This year, that X7 is updated with new style and new tech. So, let’s see if that makes it the ultimate premium 3-row family machine.
When it comes to utility vehicles, bigger seems to be better for a lot of people. So, for BMW, there’s none bigger or better than the X7 3-row utility, which for 2023 gets a comprehensive update after just 4-years on the market. That includes a facelift to bring it more in line with the new 7-series carline, which is to say joins the more vertical, aggressive grille party. Also, the actual headlights have been moved lower in the front fascia, with squinty DRLs above for the first time on a BMW. In back, taillights take on a 3D posture, with a new chrome bar connecting them.
There are also multiple new M Sport packages to choose from to spice up the exterior, with larger air intakes up front, high-gloss black trim, upgraded exhaust, cascade grille lighting, and 22-inch wheels, as well as M Sport brakes…
…and the interior too, with aluminum trim and exclusive steering wheel. But, by far the biggest change inside for ‘23 is a new dashtop curved display that eliminates the typical BMW well-hooded gauge pod and blends 12-inch Live Cockpit Pro into the 15-inch infotainment touchscreen, which now features iDrive8. Both a Head-Up Display and a large panoramic sunroof are standard.
Whether set up for 2 or 3 passengers, 2nd row seat room remains plentiful, and though the X7 doesn’t look ungainly large like many of its competitors, access to the 3rd row is quite good. Cargo space is reached through a fairly unique, Range Rover-style, split tailgate, which is quite oddly satisfying to watch unfold. There’s room for 48.6 cubic-ft. of goods behind the 2nd row, with a max of 90.4 cu.-ft.
The base xDrive40i has always been the sensible choice, even more so now with a new inline-6 turbo getting a significant bump in horsepower from 335 to 375, and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that results in a total of 398 lb-ft. of torque.
At our Mason Dixon test track, there was enough to blast this big beast to 60 in just 5.4-seconds. That’s only about half a second slower than the V8 did the deed back in 2019. Making that optional 523-horsepower V8 simply overkill at this point. Our best ¼-mile pass was 13.9-seconds at 100 miles-per-hour. All X7s get a quick shifting sport-tuned 8-speed automatic transmission, which adds a new Sprint Function that finds the lowest usable gear instantly and maxes electric boost with a hold of the left shift paddle. What fun!
New looks and updated tech are cool, but BMW has also addressed dynamics as well, with a retuning of all chassis systems, including the optional Dynamic Handling Package which adds adaptive suspension with roll stabilization and uses GPS and camera data to prepare for what’s coming. We’re not sure if our slalom course was anticipated, but the X7 sure felt well-equipped to handle it. All-wheel drive is standard on all X7s, along with comprehensive drive modes.
In our braking runs, the pads bit down hard quickly, stopping us from 60 in just 115-feet with very little nosedive.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the 6-cylinder are 21-City, 25-Highway, and 22-Combined. We averaged just 21.0 miles-per-gallon on Premium.
There’s an average Energy Impact Score; 13.5-barrels of oil yearly, with CO2 emissions of 6.5-tons.
Pricing starts at $78,845, and it’s a significant step up from there to $104,095 if you want the V8. Even more reason to stick with the 6-cylinder as far as we’re concerned.
It took the ultimate driving machine folks quite a bit of time to enter the 3-row family crossover segment, but when they did, they were able to create their largest utility ever and keep it consistent with their values. For 2023, the BMW X7 gets even more dynamic, embraces new tech, and looks better too. All things that should keep the BMW faithful coming back for more.
- Engine: I-6
- Horsepower: 375
- 0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 115 feet (avg)
- MW Fuel Economy: 21.0 MPG
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- Torque: 398 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 13.9-seconds at 100 mph
- EPA: 21 City / 25 Highway / 22 Combined