GM's big crossovers carry a big burden. We'll see how they handle it.The new, seven-seat crossover utility vehicles from General Motors are arguably even more important than the company's recent crop of full-size SUVs, which made their debut last year. After all, sales of traditional SUVs are declining, while the crossover segment is booming. The GMC Acadia, the Saturn Outlook, and the Buick Enclave must not only net people defecting from big SUVs, they also must pick up shoppers looking for a mid-size three-row utility vehicle, and, once the company drops its minivans, they'll need to capture those buyers as well. With so much riding on this trio, we had to get one in our fleet for a closer look. We went for the GMC, currently the top offering (the Buick won't be out until this summer). Our Acadia SL2 AWD is loaded with $7460 worth of options, including dual sunroofs, a DVD player, navigation, HID headlamps, nineteen-inch wheels, a towing package, and a head-up display. All those options are nice, but when the Acadia landed on our doorstep in the midst of a midwinter deep freeze, we were most grateful for two of its standard features: heated seats and remote start.
Price: $44,965Engine: 3.6L V-6Power: 275 hpTorque: 251 lb-ft
956 miles Senior editor Joe Lorio: "According to its trip computer, the Acadia averaged only 17.5 mpg on our four-hour, traffic-free sprint to Chicago. The V-6 often needed a downshift from the six-speed automatic to maintain between 80 and 85 mph. This is a big bus, but the upside is adult-rated seating in all three rows."1288 Lorio again: "I had a Lexus RX300 owner in the car and he was impressed with the interior. I am, too. It's tasteful, comfortable, and well-executed--but for one ill-fitting piece of trim above the right rear door. A more relaxed pace on the way home (just under 80 mph) produced much better mileage: 21.0 mpg."