2011 GMC Acadia Denali

Matt Tierney
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Matt Tierney

The Acadia (and its Buick Enclave and Chevy Traverse siblings -- R.I.P. Saturn Outlook) is still a great large crossover that's an excellent alternative to heavier-duty body-on-frame SUVs. This big dog offers lots of space for the family (seven or eight seats), towing capability for most users' needs (rated at 5200 pounds), and acceptable fuel mileage (17/24 mpg EPA city highway in front-wheel-drive form) at a good price ($32,615 base).

I was pleased with the performance from the 3.6-liter V-6, which has been updated with direct injection since we tested a 2007 Acadia for twelve months. I was less happy, however, with the levels of wind noise that penetrated the Acadia's cabin at about 60 mph.

The new-for-2011 Denali package is mostly cosmetic. I'm not a big fan of the air-dam in the front, but I kind of like the graphite-colored wheels and illuminated doorsills, even though they may look like J.C. Whitney add-ons.
- Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor

The big GM crossovers have aged reasonably well. Four years in, my only requests would be an updated navigation system and a little more oomph to keep up with the Ford Flex Ecoboost. The latter might be a tall order, as the direct injected 3.6-liter is currently the top dog in GM's six-cylinder lineup, but that should change soon enough if the rumors that the General is readying a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 prove to be true.

The Acadia still wins points for its well-executed and well-packaged interior. And its tough-truck exterior is probably the most convincing you'll find on a crossover. Behind the wheel, it feels like any big crossover, which is to say like a minivan with a higher hood. And though I would like to see a more powerful engine, 288 hp is hardly inadequate.
- David Zenlea, Assistant Editor

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