Chicago 2012: Facelifted 2013 GMC Acadia and Acadia Denali

As the adage goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And since sales of the GMC Acadia climbed to a new high in 2011, it’s not surprising the revised 2013 GMC Acadia — which debuted this morning at the Chicago Auto Show — doesn’t attempt to reinvent what seems to be a successful formula.

GMC did, however, treat the Acadia to a fairly significant facelift. The front clip is all-new, and borrows more than its fair share of cues from the funky little Granite concept of 2010. Trapezoidal projector headlamps — which also boast LED running lamps — point towards a prominent grille opening, which boasts a three-bar insert first launched with the small Terrain crossover. A new rear diffuser and tail lamp lenses dress up the rear end, as do D-pillars that are flush with the quarter and rear window glass.

The overall shape and design of the 2013 GMC Acadia’s interior isn’t far removed from its predecessor, but it does boast far more soft-touch materials than ever before. A touchscreen-based audio system is standard equipment, and integrates Bluetooth phone connectivity, along with access to Web-based audio services like Pandora and Stitcher.

Seeing as the upmarket Acadia Denali accounted for 30 percent of all GMC Acadia sales last year, it’s not surprising to see the model return for the 2013 model year. 2013 Acadia Denali models differ from their lesser siblings by way of a unique polished grille insert, bespoke front and rear bumper fascias (the latter sporting integrated dual exhausts), body-color cladding and fender flares, and 20-inch wheels.  Acadia Denali models also receive perforated leather seating (and a unique cocoa dune color), navigation, panoramic sunroof, blind-spot detection, and all-wheel-drive as standard equipment. Exterior badges also distinguish the Acadia Denali from lesser models.

Don’t look for much change underhood. Power still comes from GM’s direct-injection, 3.6-liter V-6, which is rated at 288 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. The 6T75 six-speed automatic remains the only transmission choice, but GM claims it’s tweaked both calibration and hardware to improve shift quality. Contrary to popular rumors — or competitors like Ford’s EcoBoosted Explorer — a smaller, thriftier engine option doesn’t appear to be under consideration at this stage. Officials are fairly happy with the 3.6-liter V-6’s fuel economy: 2013 GMC Acadia figures are unavailable, but they should remain close to the 17/24 mpg (city/highway) and 16/23 mpg EPA figures assigned to 2012  GMC Acadia front- and all-wheel-drive 16/23 awd models, respectively.

Pricing is unavailable at this point, but expect finalized figures to emerge this fall, as 2013 Acadias are slated to roll into GMC showrooms across the nation in the fourth quarter of 2012.

For more on the 2013 GMC Acadia, check out our First Look here. For more on the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, including videos, the latest photos, and more information, click here to visit our Chicago Show homepage.

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