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2017 GMC Acadia Shrinks, Loses Weight at Detroit

Now a true midsizer, with two- or three-row models.

DETROIT -- When you have the Yukon and Yukon XL, who needs the large GMC Acadia? Though the Acadia has been a big seller for GMC for nearly a decade, the new model has been shrunk to a true midsize CUV, losing a full 7.2 inches in overall length, and about 700 pounds. It shares its 112.5-inch wheelbase (and thus its basic platform) with the new Cadillac XT5.

The Acadia becomes a true midsize crossover, at 193.6 inches in overall length, and portends the near future of the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse, plus, potentially, a stretched three-row version of the new Cadillac XT5. The Acadia is 4.1 inches longer than the new Caddy, allowing it to be available in three-row and two-row versions, with seating for five, six or seven passengers depending on configuration. This means that the next-generation GMC Terrain also expected for the 2017 model year will shrink somewhat, to become a true compact crossover. The new Acadia rides on GM's Chi platform and the Terrain moves to the Delta platform.

The 2016 Acadia has a curb weight of 4,656 pounds when equipped with front-wheel-drive, whereas the equivalent 2017 GMC Acadia drops below two tons, to 3,956 pounds. It also loses 3.9 inches in height, to 68.7 inches, and all this makes it possible to equip the new Acadia with a 2.5-liter four from GM's new engine family that makes 194 hp and 190 lb-ft of-torque. It comes with a six-speed automatic transmission, and GMC estimates fuel mileage of 22 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, for the FWD model.

GM's new 3.6-liter V-6 remains available, also with a six-speed automatic, and is rated at 310 hp and 271 lb-ft. GMC expects a 17/25-mpg rating with FWD. The new Acadia also becomes GMC's first model with stop-start technology.

A new drive mode selector includes Normal, Snow, Sport and Trailer/Tow modes for FWD Acadias, and 2x4 AWD disconnect, 4x4, Sport, Off Road and Trailer/Tow modes for AWD models.

The design of the 2017 GMC Acadia evolves with squared-off wheel arches like the Terrain and the pickup trucks, wraparound rear side windows with dark D-pillars and a chrome-trimmed grille. The Denali version comes with HID headlamps, while other Acadias get halogen projectors. The Acadia Denali also comes with a chrome grille, integrated chrome side trim, chrome-accented door handles, a chrome lower fascia, and special six-spoke wheels.

As for its utility, the 2017 GMC Acadia will come with a split-folding second row that allows the curbside seat to slide and tilt forward, even with a forward-facing child seat in place, and a driver-side section that tips and slides forward for easy third-row entry. The optional split third row folds flat, and there are levers in the cargo area to make it easy to fold both the second and third rows from inside the tailgate. GMC says cargo volume is 79 cubic feet with both rows folded flat.

Other features to entice customers to trade in minivans include a standard rear-seat alert to remind drivers when an item has been left behind in the second- or third row, and USB charge ports for all three rows.

Active safety features include forward pedestrian detection and braking, low-speed forward automatic braking standard on SLT-2 and Denali trim levels, forward automatic braking available on Denali, a Surround-Vision camera, forward collision alert, lane-keep assist with lane departure warning, blind spot warnings, and front- and rear parking sensors.

There's also optional IntelliLink infotainment system, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. An optional Tow Vision Trailering system uses a rear-vision camera to line up the hitch with a trailer, and to show a view of the trailer while driving.

The 2017 GMC Acadia goes on sale this spring.