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
2024 Mazda CX-90
A Force To Be Reckoned With
If you’ve been following Mazda lately, you’ll know they’ve been fielding some serious new designs; you could even say, they’re latest efforts are 10-times better than before. After all, the CX-3 became the CX-30, then CX-5 became the CX-50, and now it’s the CX-9’s turn. So, let’s find out if this all-new CX-90, their largest SUV yet, is a real multiplier or if it’s all just a numbers game.
Don’t think of this 2024 Mazda CX-90 so much as an updated version of the CX-9, as it’s more of a complete rethink of their 3-row crossover, the first built on an all-new, large vehicle platform for the brand. And this platform carries a host of surprises. Not only does it make the CX-90 bigger by every dimension, but it’s a rear-drive architecture, and features all-new powertrains, including the brand’s first plug-in hybrid, and even an inline-6 engine.
Why an inline-6 to replace the CX-9’s turbo-4? Well, in general terms, I6s are better balanced, run smoother, and can deliver more torque at lower RPM. Just ask the BMW faithful, or any of the truckers you see going down the road hauling more than 20-tons of cargo with their inline-6s.
There are 2-versions of the longitudinally mounted 6, both assisted by turbocharging and a 48-volt mild hybrid system. Output for the base Turbo is 280-horsepower and 332 lb-ft. of torque; this Turbo S cranks it up to 340-horsepower and 369 lb-ft. The PHEV, on the other hand, is based on a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter I4, working with a 100-kW electric motor to deliver 323-horsepower and 369 lb-ft. of torque. A 17.8-kWh battery delivers 26-miles of EV driving.
It’s not the prettiest SUV, but it does have very smooth body work; plus, the longer hood and 7½-inches of wheelbase stretch over the CX-9, give it more stately proportions. All CX-90s come with i-Activ all-wheel drive and the brand’s first 8-speed automatic transmission; the longer wheelbase allows tow ratings to step up from 3,500-lbs. to 5,000.
At the test track, our Turbo S launched effortlessly with good grip on the way to a 6.4-second 0-60. The smooth vibes continued throughout the ¼-mile, with refined power delivery, seamless shifts, and a noticeably more solid and stable feel at speed than the CX-9. Our best time was 14.7-seconds at 98 miles-per-hour.
Through the cones, it still behaves like a Mazda, with very good steering feel and a solid presence in corners at low to moderate speeds. Some understeer and body roll will show up when pushed hard, but Mazda’s Kinematic Posture Control uses subtle selective braking to help the vehicle rotate, and safety systems will step in well-before it gets out of sorts.
There’s a nice firm feel to the brake pedal, delivering good stopping results of 118-feet from 60 miles-per-hour. You can feel a lot of weight transfer, but nosedive was well contained.
Another unique element the CX-90 brings is seating arrangements for 6,7, or 8. It’s the 8-seater that’s standard with 3-across bench seating for 2nd and 3rd rows. 7-seaters get either captain’s chairs in the 2nd row, or more contoured seats for the 3rd; 6-seaters sport 2nd row captains and the contoured 3rd row. Cargo capacity varies with seating, but is at best 15.9 cubic-ft. behind the 3rd row, 40.1 behind the 2nd, and 75.2 with all seats folded.
As far as what it’s like to actually live with, the CX-90’s cabin is a clear step up, including on some trims suede-like materials, intricate stitching, and real wood, all consistent with what we’ve seen from the brand lately. A 10-inch dashtop touchscreen is standard for infotainment, with upper trims getting a larger 12.3-incher. We applaud Mazda’s inclusion of plenty of old-school manual controls for radio and climate, which keeps menu diving limited to secondary functions. PHEVs get a few unique controls and readouts to monitor drive modes and battery level.
Overall, the CX-90 is highly functional, entertainingly sporty to drive, and will be more competitive in the ever growing 3-row family crossover segment; and its posh interior may even attract luxury buyers on a budget.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the Turbo S are 23-City, 28-Highway, and 25-Combined. We averaged a good 26.5 miles-per-gallon of Regular.
Pricing begins with the base Turbo at Select trim for $40,970, PHEVs are available in Preferred trim and above starting at $48,820, and the Turbo S starts at $53,125.
Force multiplier is a military term for when strategic elements come together to produce results greater than would have been possible without them. Well, no high-level math skills are necessary here to see that the 2024 Mazda CX-90 is clearly more than just a much better CX-9; it’s now a force to be reckoned with in the 3-row family crossover segment.
- Engine: 3.3-liter I-6
- Horsepower: 340
- 0-60 mph: 6.4 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 118 feet (avg)
- MW Fuel Economy: 26.5 MPG (Regular)
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- Torque: 369 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 14.7-seconds at 98 mph
- EPA: 23 City / 28 Highway / 25 Combined
- Starting Price: $40,970