There is a time when every auto enthusiast makes a sacrifice for his or her family. Somewhere around the first or second child, a sporty, fun, or tough vehicle gets traded in for something more pedestrian. Love for a child is absolute, but that does not mean the longing for a unique vehicle dies off. The little kid from the Toyota Highlander commercials may be a brat, but he does have a point: people want their family haulers to look cool.
GMC started going after these status seeking parents this year by allowing its suburban shuttle, the Acadia, to join the upscale Denali family. This takes the GMC's largest crossover vehicle and sends it out for a minor makeover. The Denali treatment is like taking this vehicle to the gym and a tailor, making this Acadia look beefier and more fashionable. The cost of this upgrade came to an as tested price of $47,525 (base $43,220).
No matter the appearance, the most off roading the Acadia Denali is likely to do is park on the soccer field. So to put it through more practical tests, we stuck to long trips over paved roads in our Acadia Denali tester to find out how much family hauling this could do.