This morning at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, General Motors unveiled an updated GMC Acadia for 2013. The freshened full-sized crossover will get revised styling and some additional features, though it otherwise remains a carry-over model.
Perhaps the most notable improvement to the Acadia is the addition of a center front air bag that deploys from the inside edge of the drivers’ seat to protect front occupants from so-called far-side impacts, those on the side of the car away from where they’re sitting.
The more upright front end gets new LED running lamps, in conjunction with either halogen or Xenon HID headlamps, LED tail lights, and a wrap-around rear window. GM says the new Acadia will get updated soft-touch interior materials and “French stitching” on the upholstery.
We’re encouraged to hear that the transmission will be upgraded “for better shift response and improved driveability,” one of our major gripes we had with the old Acadia siblings. Beyond that, and the styling, GMC isn’t messing with its successful formula. Curiously, towing capacity is down 200 pounds to 5,000 maximum - on par with the Ford Explorer but 1,200 pounds shy of a Dodge Durango V6.
The Acadia still comes with seven- or eight-passenger seating, and the uplevel Denali model will continue.
Our reaction to this update is mixed. This refresh probably is short-lived, with more extensive changes on the horizon. For now though, these SUVs are pleasant and well-rounded, so there wasn’t much to really fix. But fresh competition from Dodge, Ford, and now Nissan gives the Acadia (and Enclave and Traverse) the perception of being dated. Given that the Explorer and Durango also get better fuel economy than the GM triplets, we’re surprised there aren’t some improvements there.