Bigger apparently is better, after all.
When GMC launched the second-generation Acadia for 2017 it took the unusual step of downsizing the SUV. That was a surprising move in an era when most products grow larger with each new iteration.
The automaker has given that move another “think,” and it’s reversing course with the launch of an all-new, Gen-3 Acadia rolling into showrooms for the 2024 model year.
It’s not that the outgoing model didn’t click with consumers. It actually scored quite well, but GMC is betting it can now build even more momentum. “We’re delighted to go back to a bigger size, a large midsize SUV,” said Duncan Aldred, the truck brand’s vice president, during a media sneak peek.
Room for up to eight passengers – and plenty of cargo
Making its debut at the North American International Auto Show, the 2024 GMC Acadia grows 10.6 inches in total length, and 4 inches in height. The wheelbase, meanwhile, is stretched by 8.4 inches.
And perhaps most importantly, it gets a roomy back row providing space for seven or eight passengers, depending upon a buyer’s choice for second-row seating. There’s also 80% more cargo space than the outgoing Acadia behind that third row.
“For this next generation, our mission was to reimagine the design and the proportions of the Acadia to create a bolder, more commanding presence, firmly in the vein of the evolving GMC portfolio,” said Ben Zavala, design lead, GMC Acadia. “With its assertive, powerful stance, the 2024 Acadia evokes a truck-inspired persona, infused with the brand’s signature premium feel.”
AT4 and Denali options
In keeping with GMC’s brand-within-a-brand strategy, the plain vanilla Acadia will have company on the showroom floor. The automaker also will offer the off-road-oriented Acadia AT4, as well as the more luxurious Acadia Denali edition.
The AT4 package gets a 1-inch boost to ride height, as well as an off-road-tuned suspension and hydraulic rebound control. There are red tow hooks and integrated skid plates. The truck also adds terrain control modes, as well as Hill Descent Control. Eighteen-inch all-terrain tires are standard.
As for the Denali, it rides on 22-inch machined aluminum wheels and features distinctive exterior details, including a unique front fascia. The cabin gets one-touch folding second row and power third-row seats. There’s a pillar-to-pillar sunroof, laser-etched wood décor and perforated vented and heated front seats. It also features a Bose premium sound system with active noise cancellation.
All versions share the same, 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-four. It delivers improved power over the outgoing drivetrain, at 328 horsepower and 326 pound-feet of torque – enough to let the Acadia tow up to 5,000 pounds.
The engine is paired with an 8-speed automatic and, in base trim sends power to the front wheels. An all-wheel-drive package is available – with the Acadia AT4 using an “off-road capable” Active Torque Control AWD system.
Loading up the tech
As has become the norm in today’s auto industry, the new Acadia loads up on high-tech hardware and software. Among other things, it now is available with parent General Motors’ semi-autonomous Super Cruise system – which can be used, hands-free, on up to 400,000 miles of U.S. and Canadian roadways. The latest iteration of that technology allows trailering assist and automatic lane-change capabilities.
An upgraded electrical architecture comes with the new Google built-in operating system that, among other features, allows for the use of Google maps with real-time traffic on models equipped with navigation.
The infotainment system in all models operates a standard-equipment 15-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen. The screen can display views from as many as nine cameras. That optional feature can provide hitch, rear and side views, among other angles.
Safety, pricing and availability
For 2024, Denali ups its safety game with an array of airbags and other conventional features, as well as more than a dozen advanced driver assistance systems. These include front pedestrian and bicycle braking, rear cross traffic braking, active cruise control and more.
Look for the 2024 GMC Denali to roll into U.S. showrooms “in early 2024,” according to the automaker. Pricing will be revealed closer to that on-sale date.