2017 GMC Acadia

2017 GMC Acadia

Episode 3606
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

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. 

Specifications

  • 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 MX-5 Miata 1

2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Still A Miata, And That’s A Great Thing

Episode 4340
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

When the cool little Mazda MX-5 Miata arrived for 1990, it immediately triggered a host of imitators and sparked a genuine global roadster revival. While that fad has faded, America’s love affair with the MX-5 has stayed strong. And, we’re pretty sure we know why!

The 2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata is probably one of the most recognizable cars on the road, and it has a way of putting a smile on our face every time we see one, not to mention any time we get a chance to hop behind the wheel. The Miata concept really hasn’t changed drastically over the last three decades, proof that Mazda got the formula right from the beginning.

Rear-wheel drive, minimal weight, tight suspension, willing engine, superb manual shifter, simple folding top, and just enough creature comforts to make long drives as pleasant as carving up backroad twisties.
An overload of power has never been part of that equation, and many may still decry the lack of horsepower, but just a reminder, this car was meant to rekindle the spirit of British roadsters from the 1960s that were a pure joy to drive, and had engines half as powerful as what the Miata works with today, which is a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter I4 with 181 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque.

2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata 3/4 Front
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Profile
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata 3/4 Rear
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Front Detail
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Rear Detail
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata 3/4 Front2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Profile2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata 3/4 Rear2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Front Detail2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Rear Detail

A six-speed manual transmission remains the standard; you must upgrade to top Grand Touring trim to even get the available six-speed automatic. And it all works together to deliver a joyful driving experience that few other vehicles can match.

The exterior design has gotten more purposeful and less cartoonish over the years; new for this year is updated lighting which now incorporates the LED DRLs into the headlight assembly, as well as a more cohesive design for the full LED taillights, plus some fresh wheel choices.

Continual upgrades under the skin too, with a new asymmetric limited-slip differential for all manual-equipped Miatas. Its purpose is to minimize oversteer, and if you think that means it’s less fun, you’d be wrong.

The perfect feel and action of the shifter keeps you looking for reasons to shift gears.

It was still a blast to dart through the handling course at our Mason Dixon test track and on the autocross circuit at Summit Point Motorsports Park. Minimal body roll and perfectly neutral handling had us scooting through the turns with ease. Kinematic Posture Control was added back in ’22, using selective braking to tighten up cornering. Adding to it for ’24 is a new steering rack and updated software for the Electric Power Assisted Steering that provides better on-center feel and more precise control.

7.0 seconds to 60 mph won’t exactly get your blood pumping, but it’s plenty adequate for the Miata’s mission and the engine sounds great for a four-cylinder. The perfect feel and action of the shifter keeps you looking for reasons to shift gears. But keep those engine revs above 6,000 for the most power. We did and our best quarter-mile was 15.4 at 92 mph.

Our average braking distance of 118 feet from 60 mph may have been a little longer than we’re accustomed to from a performance car these days, but their predictable and fade-free nature will give you plenty of confidence at your next track day.

2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Dashboard
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Seats
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Instrument Cluster
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Central Display
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Shifter
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Trunk
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Engine
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Dashboard2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Seats2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Instrument Cluster2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Central Display2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Shifter2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Trunk2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Engine

Things remain all business in the cockpit, with everything falling readily to hand, and comfortable seats locking you in place. The most notable change in here for ’24 is a bigger infotainment screen, growing from 7.0 to 8.8 inches.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings with the manual are 26 City, 34 Highway, and 29 Combined. That’s a slightly better than average Energy Impact Score of 10.3 barrels of annual oil use, with 5.0 tons of CO2 emissions.
Starting price is only $30,170; top Grand Touring goes for $35,470.

It’s true that the Mazda MX-5 Miata has barely evolved over the years; but fortunately for all of us, virtually all of the ways that it has changed have been for the better, yet even in 2024, it remains incredibly affordable. It has been such a constant presence and passion for so many of our MotorWeek staffers over the years it seems like it has been around for a lot longer than just three decades, and thankfully, it looks like there’s no slowing the Miata down.

Specifications

As Tested

  • Engine: 2.0-liter I4
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Horsepower: 181
  • Torque: 151 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 7.0 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 15.4 seconds at 92 mph
  • 60-0 Braking: 118 feet (avg)
  • EPA: 26 City | 34 Highway | 29 Combined