2013 GMC Acadia Takes a Bow

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Popular crossover benefits from a makeover.

when the GMC Acadia made its debut for the 2007 model year, it immediately sent a message to its full-size crossover competitors that it had arrived. The Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander were segment leaders, but GMC wasn’t about to play second fiddle to either model. With the addition of the Acadia Denali in 2011, GMC now had an in-room competitor with the Buick Enclave. Yet, both models continue to sell well and the internal competition hasn’t hurt (see the current model’s specs).

Times of Refreshing

After seven years, however, most any model needs to be updated and the Acadia will reflect those updates for the 2013 model year. Call these changes more evolutionary, rather than revolutionary — exterior changes and some safety updates including and industry first front center airbag are among “what’s new.”

The upcoming Acadia and Acadia Denali will continue with this model’s athletic stance. Notably, the GMC will include diffused LED running lamps across the model line, regardless of whether standard projector beam or optional HID headlamps are selected. This style gives the GMC a much more refined and elegant look; similar treatments have been applied to the new taillamps. New, wraparound rear glass and a new rear spoiler are also offered as are new 18-, 19- and 20-inch wheel patterns.

Interior Embellishments

Inside, the 2013 GMC Acadia receives upgraded soft-touch materials, including French stitching for a tailored look and red ambient light that sweeps across the dashboard. Aluminum accents on the center console, doors and dash are included with the SLT and Denali editions.

Safety is a big seller these days and GMC will be raising the bar by including a front center air bag system, an industry first. This system was developed to protect drivers and front passengers in far-side impact crashes where the affected occupant is on the opposite, non-struck side of the vehicle. GMC says that the new airbag deploys from the inboard side of the driver’s seat and positions itself between the driver and the front passenger.

Noted Gay Kent, GM executive director of Vehicle Safety and Crashworthiness, “While no restraint technology can address all body regions or all potential injuries, the front center air bag is designed to work with the vehicle’s other air bags and safety belts to collectively deliver an even more comprehensive occupant restraint system.” Nevertheless it appears that General Motors has taken the lead here and will likely lead to wider use of such airbags elsewhere.

Entertainment and Technology

A redesigned information and entertain or “infotainment” system features capacitive touch controls that use electrodes to sense the conductive properties of objects such as the touch of a finger. Also, the Acadia gets GMC’s Color Touch Radio that was first introduced with the 2012 Terrain. Available IntelliLink enables users to seamlessly integrate their smartphones for hands-free calling through the audio system. They’ll also be able to enjoy Bluetooth streaming via Pandora and Stitcher, Internet radio suppliers. With IntelliLink, you can voice control USB-connected iPods to access your stored music.

Pricing details for the 2013 GMC Acadia and Acadia Denali will be announced closer to this vehicle’s arrival late this year. These models will continue to be built at GM’s Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant in Michigan.

Photos: GM Corp.

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