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Review: 2017 GMC Acadia SLT All Terrain Offers Value Over Denali


Review: 2017 GMC Acadia SLT All Terrain Offers Value Over DenaliWhile the 2017 GMC Acadia SLT plays second-fiddle to the attention-grabbing Denali trim level, it is actually the trim I prefer in the small SUV. Simply put, it has all the features you really need for a cheaper price. Here are 5 things you need to know about this SUV before you buy it.

2017 GMC Acadia Trims and Price

Officially, the 2017 GMC Acadia comes in several different trims level. Starting with the base 3-row SUV, it is offered in  SLE-1, SLT-1 and SLT-2. It starts at $29,070

Opting for the more off-road version, the All Terrain opens the door to the SLE-2 version. The All Terrain also comes with the SLT-1 trim. These trims start at $39,510.

Finally, the Denali trim sits on top with all the features and the starting price of $45,070 to go with it.

As you move up in trims you add leather, larger wheels, AWD, safety features and technology as well as a considerable price difference of about $15k from the base to the Denali. Choosing the right trim makes a big difference.

Review: 2017 GMC Acadia SLT All Terrain Offers Value Over DenaliNew Exterior Styling

The 2017 GMC Acadia showcases a new front-end tying its styling with the rest of the GMC brand. This new look features a more sculptured front end, a dimensional grille, wraparound halogen headlamps and standard LED lighting.

While looks are subjective, the new styling does create a bolder looking SUV.

For distinction, additional chrome accents are added to the Denali and body-color grille surround, black chrome trim and unique wheels denote the All Terrain models.

Review: 2017 GMC Acadia SLT All Terrain Offers Value Over DenaliInside the Cabin

Climbing into the cabin, the GMC Acadia has a feeling of roominess throughout likely attributed to the fact the windows and exterior steel feels pushed away. It simply has a cavern feel to it from the driver’s seat.

This feeling doesn’t transcend to the controls and knobs which are all within easy reach. The driver’s position allows for decent visibility with the recessed seating position and the available safety technology of blind-spot monitoring and surround vision camera help out immensely.

The third-row is adequate for children and adults on short journeys. A new feature is the inclusion of USB charging ports into the 3rd row.  Folding down the seats provides a lot of cargo space and makes the SUV pretty versatile.

Review: 2017 GMC Acadia SLT All Terrain Offers Value Over DenaliOn the Road

Powering the now 700 lbs lighter, 3-row SUV is either a 2.5L four-cylinder or a 3.6L V6 engine mated a 6-speed automatic transmission. The larger 3.6L V6 produces 310 HP and 271 lb-ft of torque which is quite an improvement over the 193 HP and 188 lb-ft of torque the smaller four-cylinder engine cranks out.

However, this larger engine isn’t necessarily quick off the line, it is just more powerful. The lack of off-the-line speed and quickness is unfortunate and diminishes the appeal of the SUV.

Also, the fuel economy of an EPA estimated 21/26/23 city/highway/combined MPG puts it middle of the pack.

Review: 2017 GMC Acadia SLT All Terrain Offers Value Over DenaliFinal Word

The 2017 GMC Acadia SLT with the technology feature upgrades offers all the items we need from a three-row, family SUV versus a Denali trim. Stepping down into the cheaper trim removes many of the safety and technology features and consumers really need to weight this decision. Ultimately, the $6,000 price difference on paper is enough to get us in the SLT trim, however, if there are good rebates and sale prices going on, it is hard to beat the Denali trim.

Tim Esterdahl

Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.

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