General Motors pumped up the bling at the opening press conference of the 2012 Chicago Auto Show when Tony DiSalle, vice president of marketing for GMC, took the wraps off of the two new versions of the 2013 GMC Acadia and 2013 Acadia Denali. Both sport new, more-upright exterior design, punctuated by gargantuan, squared-off grilles, more pronounced fender flares, new wheels, and signature LED running lamp illumination; the back end gets wrap-around glass, a new rear spoiler and a standard rear vision camera. Interior enhancements include upgraded materials, Internet connectivity, and an available industry-exclusive front center airbag, that adds protection for drivers and front passengers. Engineers also upgraded Acadia’s transmission and suspension.
Launched in 2007 as GMC’s first crossover, Acadia achieved its top sales in 2011; the Acadia Denali model joined on as a luxury stablemate in 2010, differentiated by more sumptuous trim and added functionality. The premium version represents about 30 percent of Acadia sales. This large crossover’s family-pleasing cockpit can be configured for 7 or 8, with a SmartSlide seating system that gives ease to the third-row. Also created with a work persona, both second- and third-row seats fold flat and can carry 48-inch-wide sheet goods, like drywall and plywood.
The 2013 GMC Acadia’s cabin sports updated soft-touch materials, beset by tailored French stitching and red ambient light. GMC’s innovative Color Touch Radio is now optional, while IntelliLink allows integration of smartphones for hands-free calling; Bluetooth streaming of Internet radio favorites such as Pandora and Stitcher; and allows voice control of USB-connected iPods to access stored music. Acadia comes standard with six months of OnStar’s Directions and Connections service. New available safety features are radar-activated Side Blind Alert and Cross Traffic Alert that provide visible and audible warnings to help avoid a collision.
All 2013 GMC Acadia models are powered by a fuel-efficient, 3.6-liter, direct injection V-6 with variable valve timing that gets 288 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard on all trim levels; all-wheel drive is available. Maximum towing capacity is 5,000 pounds. The new models will go on sale later this year.