By on February 8, 2012

2011 was the best sales year yet for the Acadia. No explanations were offered for this surprising statistic, but GMC was happy to talk about the “class-leading fuel economy”, center airbag, and LED headlamps…

The 288-hp direct-injection V6 which debuted in the Traverse continues here in the Acadia, matched to a revised transmission. The “ColorTouch” audio system is standard. The Denali, which reportedly accounts for about one in three Acadias sold, adds a full raft of luxury items to go with its eye-wateringly noveau appearance package

Photography courtesy Matt Fink

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34 Comments on “GMC Acadia Live On The Floor...”


  • avatar
    Rob Finfrock

    Looks like “old” GM is alive and well, judging by the dash/instrument cluster and steering wheel fit and finish on the Denali.

  • avatar
    TEXN3

    Looks better, but not much of a change from a vehicle that’s been on the market for 6 years now. But, you don’t fix what isn’t “broke” as their sales seem to show.

    I do like these as rentals, moreso than the Flex, as well as the Sierra pickup. Great for cruising across Montana in inclement weather.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    It’s an improvement over the older model’s interior. These photos were taken with a flash, which IMO makes all interiors look terrible, but at auto shows the interiors are so dark, it’s near impossible to get a good clear shot -without- a flash.

    I was expecting more of a complete design; a mid-cycle refresh to a six year old model seems a bit inadequate. This is still an “old GM” model, and it looks it. Still, considering how well the Acadia continues to sell, perhaps this is all that was needed for now.

    A major redesign of the Lambdas would have meant at least a billion dollars in development. This certainly cost less than that, freeing up cash to build a better Malibu and Impala which face tougher competition in their segments.

    I feel it prudent to temper my disappointment with the knowledge that GM must choose its battles carefully. A totally new Lambda -can- wait. Major redesigns to their mainstream sedans -can’t-.

    • 0 avatar
      Rob Finfrock

      Take a closer look at the corner of the instrument cluster in image 0880, and how exactly none of the angles meet up properly between the cluster, dashboard trim piece and main dash assembly.

      Look also in the same picture at the foam padding visible under the horn hub on the steering wheel; that’s because the pad is underflush at the top and overflush at the bottom.

      I wasn’t looking for flaws in these pictures, but it still took me all of maybe two seconds to spot those. That’s not due to flash photography; it’s due to typical GM inferior build quality. Details do matter.

      • 0 avatar

        These are most likely handbuilt prototypes, so I doubt they’re indicative of the quality of production units.

        I’m disappointed that the interior changes aren’t more extensive. Noticed the stitching on the IP, but if this is done with material that is clearly vinyl it’s not so impressive. The subpar seats of the current vehicle appear to have been carried over.

        One question: what are the round things on the sides of the headrests? Buttons for raising and lowering them?

      • 0 avatar
        FJ60LandCruiser

        For GMC, that’s epic quality. Sit down in a GMT800 truck or SUV and take a look.

        …as a GM owner, I have to say that you either get used to the crappy interiors, or you just forget about them until you sit in a better car.

        But even Toyota and Honda are now making crap interiors to save $.

      • 0 avatar
        Rob Finfrock

        True enough about Toyota and Honda, though from what I’ve seen those hits have come in materials quality and not fit. Panel fit is by far the hardest job to pull off correctly, and it’s one of those small things the Japanese still do better than any domestic brand I’ve seen.

        And even if these were handbuilt prototypes… these aren’t significant changes at all, and GM announced they were coming over a year ago. Seems GM should have had more than enough time (and, let’s not forget, taxpayer cash) to do the job right. And the steering wheel is carryover from the first generation.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        That foam is rough. Wow. Someone at their show prep company really dropped the ball.

        The foam may not be ‘GM’s fault.’ These are most likely PP or TT units with corresponding parts. There is still plenty of time for a design change that will make it to production. Most of these cars get prepped by vendors that specialize in polishing turds for shows. The OEM usually isn’t concerned with show prep, unless they corral a bunch of co-ops to save a buck.

        As for the corner of the dash, it’s a harder sell. I won’t take away your jump to conclusions mat, for now.

      • 0 avatar
        Tinn-Can

        Yes… for those 0.2 seconds I am in the correct position to see between that gap I would be very dismayed… If it follows suit with my past experience with GM truck products, you will be too distracted by the door handle falling off and that incessant rattling to care about some foam…

      • 0 avatar
        Rob Finfrock

        Touche, Tinn-Can!

      • 0 avatar
        TheHammer

        “typical GM inferior build quality” as you nitpick a photo. You seem a little delusional I must say. Yes, GM inferior build has resulted in such poor sales for the Acadia LOL

      • 0 avatar
        Rob Finfrock

        “You seem a little delusional I must say. Yes, GM inferior build has resulted in such poor sales for the Acadia LOL”

        I’m not arguing that there aren’t an awful lot of buyers out there with money to spend and laughably low standards for quality, hammer. Some of them even know how to construct sentences.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        Wow, Rob. Take the internet less seriously.
        Also, educate yourself on the APQP process. It will give you an idea of how much time you have between pre production builds to prove out designs and fix them.

        Also, with respect to your first comment, I doubt GM had a dedicated fit and finish group when the Epsilon platform debuted. It’s tough to improve upon those tolerances on a already existing platform (the further you go back on stack-up, the more $$ you’ll need). So the production prove outs become even more significant for correcting issues like the ones you arm chair quarterbacks have graciously pointed out.

      • 0 avatar
        Rob Finfrock

        Tresmonos, I happen to take the manner in which people present themselves very seriously, regardless of whether they are on the Internet or in person. One of the many problems in our society is that we’ve become too lax in this regard, both in written communication and physical speech.

        As for your “armchair quarterback” comment, I’ll point out that all you’re doing is making excuses for GM failing to meet a higher standard. How dare someone demand better than mediocre, right?

        Instead of forgiveness for its lax quality due to the Epsilon being an old platform, perhaps a better question would be why GM insisted on such a complicated design (I count five separate pieces of plastic meeting in the same area) when it was clear the company couldn’t pull off proper fit and finish on these parts. A simpler design would have been easier to accomplish, and looked better as well.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        My point remains that I would bet they have a fix inbound or already implemented. I at least know of a company that would ;) Hence my explanation(s). It takes time to re-release a part, modify tooling and verify the fix (usually in the next pre production build). That car you’re seeing was probably the first ‘on line’ prototype that rolled through Lansing’s plant. The blame should be placed on whoever prepped the car. You have a good eye, but your jump to conclusions-foo is strong.

        As for complexity, it’s not a design and release engineer’s job to decide what marketing and the design studio have already signed off on. Plus, if it were a simple design, you’d hear the arm chair quarterbacks complaining about ‘typical GM cheap plastic.’ I guess what I’m trying to say is that the design studio and marketing probably weighed their options out and picked brand homologous features over their worries of the platform. But I do agree, simplicity makes everything easier to execute.

        As for the fit and finish assessment as a whole (if it’s anywhere like where I work), fit and finish groups are a recent addition to the non EU based design teams for the big three. So the complaint about the platform is valid, but to say that GM will release that IP to the public like that is off base. Just trying to make the B&B a little more informed.

        Maybe I’m wrong and where I work is far that superior :) I highly doubt it, though. Usually there are hundreds of drivers that go over preproduction units with a fine tooth comb and look for fit/fininish, squeak/rattle, functional issues, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        Rob Finfrock

        I understand your point a bit better now, Tresmonos. We don’t necessarily agree, but I know where you’re coming from.

        This isn’t about jumping to conclusions; this is about seeing the same g-d flaws afflicting a $50,000 Denali as what I once pointed out on a new 1992 Cadillac my grandfather was purchasing: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/07/review-1976-cadillac-fleetwood-sixty-special-talisman/#comment-1767434

        This is about hearing about GM’s supposed commitment to quality – for real this time! – then visiting the local Chevy store and seeing the same misaligned body panels on the newest Daewoo Cruze as I once did on a 15 year-old Cavalier… that had been wrecked. And that was before the news of transmission problems, trunk leaks and ejectable steering wheels, and CR’s miserable reliability rating.

        The problems on this Denali aren’t random flaws. I’m certain I could spot several more on any of the models GM had on display in Chicago. I’m also reasonably sure I could go to a GMC dealer six months from now, and see the same poor fits on a randomly-selected production model.

        I understand GM all-too well. Poor quality and haphazard assembly is a viral epidemic GM continues to suffer from, even after all the gangrenous body parts were supposedly amputated three years ago. I simply see no evidence that GM is getting appreciably better, or that saving it was worth the billions spent. (Yes, it ultimately comes down to that — unless we all admit GM primarily functions not as an automaker but as a jobs program.)

        Want to have a shot at changing my mind? Start building the cars better, GM. Simple as that. Until then…

      • 0 avatar
        Steven02

        I am sure if you spent enough time, you could find a panel alignment on any vehicle, especially preproduction. Honestly, go and see the real thing.

        Also, I find it funny how you say you take someone’s presentation online seriously, yet you always call it a DaeWoo Cruze and now your avatar is of a Chevy Volt on fire.

        It makes is obvious that you take this real seriously.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Quite a few years ago my father showed me a statement released by GM to its shareholders with two Cadillacs pictured and the release proudly announced that Cadillac had won the Malcom-Baldrige Quality award. I asked my dad what was wrong with the photos. He didn’t see anything…I said “look at the headlights”…they were so far out of aim they did not fit properly into the grille opening…pathetic that people miss stuff like this. The foam in the wheel I missed until I enlarged the photo…

      • 0 avatar
        Rob Finfrock

        Steve-O, all that means is that I do not take the Volt or Cruze (which, in the interest of truth and fairness, I should actually call the Daewoo Lacetti) seriously.

  • avatar
    alf42

    Same crap from GM. Nothing new here. Somebody needs to tell GM that the altezza-style tail lights just aren’t really that cool anymore. Most of the Asian brands that made them cool have stopped using them on their newer models. Just another example on how GM is behind the times.

    • 0 avatar
      TheHammer

      I’m guessing there are a couple of folks here with an axe to grind vs GM for some reason. From what I can gather from the rants, I would say these haters are about 20 years behind the present. All data, customer feedback and most importantly sales indicate that GM vehicles are among the best in the world.

      • 0 avatar
        alf42

        A couple years of data doesn’t do squat to change perceptions that were many, many years in the making. In order to survive, GM has to make cars the younger generation wants. With the exception of maybe the Cruze, I don’t see that happening now. I view GM largely as a brand run by old people, for old people. No axe to grind, just an observation. Modernizing their dealerships would go a long way in helping this perception in my opinion.

      • 0 avatar
        TheHammer

        Every GM dealership is either undergoing renovation or scheduled to do so. Mandatory. As far as your dislike of “old people” is concerned…perhaps GM can mandate retirement at say 35?

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @ TheHammer…..Your “guess” is almost correct. Your just a little off with your “couple of folks” comment. This site has more than a couple of GM haters.

    • 0 avatar
      naterator

      And just as I was about to spring for “euro clears” on my Chevy, I learn they’re out of date! Thanks!

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    There is little to no reason to re-design the exterior which still looks best in class to my eyes other than some front and rear re-freshing. The bloated plain generic side views, squinty mailbox gangsta windows with high beltlines, massive oversized grilles and blingy rubber band wheels is really getting tiresome. I was wishing for the more powerful LFX 300 plus HP varient of this engine but as usual GM had to cut corners on that. The interior gets a revamp and looks more upscale even if they keep on using boring put you to sleep Toyota gray.

  • avatar
    cognoscenti

    I just miss the Outlook. It’s wraparound rear windows hid the D pillars and made the entire vehicle look more upscale.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    If I had a 6 year old Acadia, I don’t see anything that would want me trade it in for a new car payment.

  • avatar
    Russell

    Looks like my 08 SLT with a new front end, new brake lights, new rear bumper and very slightly revised interior. Even the steering wheel is the same. Heck, I think gm uses this same steering wheel on all their trucks and large SUVs. What a disappointment! I was thinking that for it’s 7th year it would be completely redone. Maybe GM spent big bucks to improve the reliability, but I doubt it. Ours has 46,000 miles and has had the engine out to replace oil seals, water pump, and camshafts. The transmission had new wave plates put in. Let’s see, steering pump, steering rack, sunroof leaks, steering rack again, and who knows what else I’m forgetting. The sad part is that the Acadia fits our family perfectly with plenty of room for the kids and luggage, and we really like it. However, I don’t see getting another one, especially after seeing the new one. Hopefully the Explorer will have the My Ford Touch stuff cleaned up when we replace the Acadia.

  • avatar
    RSF

    I wonder if they sprung for windows with auto up? Not even the drivers window is on ours.

  • avatar
    Ion

    Does the revised transmission make the car drive less like a boat now? The first time I drove one of these I had to step so hard on the gas I thought I was in L or the parking brake was engaged. The problem wasn’t model specific either the chevy the buick they all drive as if the’re made out of cement.

  • avatar
    jenkins190

    Exterior (and much of the interior) looks just like my 08 SLT except that HUGE snout. Holy s*** that looks awful. It’s way too long and I throws off the proportions of the whole front half. Perhaps most won’t notice and I hope not because I think it’s a great car. 55k on mine and no troubles.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    That center airbag looks like an angry Pillsbury Doughboy!


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