Features

For most shoppers, the key feature will be the standard third-row seat. It has adequate room for children, but adults will not find it accommodating for more than a short trip. An optional second-row bench seat replaces the comfortable captain's chairs, which brings the price down by $495. If the kids are in the tween or older set, they'll probably prefer the space between the two captain's chairs, though.

Another must is the power liftgate, which unfortunately isn't available as an option on the base SLE; it can be had for $390 on the SLT 1 trim and is standard on the SLT 2. This is one of those modern-day conveniences that, once you've had it, you can't do without. Other options include a dual power sunroof ($1,300) and a rear DVD entertainment system ($1,295).

My front-wheel-drive SLT 1 tester was equipped with the DVD system, satellite radio, leather seats, a power liftgate and a head-up display; it came in under $36,000. I couldn't imagine adding anything else to that, and I didn't miss the sunroof. At that price, with those options, the Acadia offers a lot of value. All-wheel drive is available on all trim levels for $2,000.
Safety

The Acadia, like most new crossovers and SUVs, features a standard electronic stability system that includes rollover mitigation technology, often considered the most vital of today's safety features in SUVs. There are also front-seat mounted side airbags, and side curtain airbags for all three rows.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Acadia its top rating, five stars, in frontal and side-impact crash tests, and a four-star rollover rating, which is above average for crossovers and SUVs. The total score is actually higher than the Volvo XC90's.

As of publication, the more stringent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety had not tested the Acadia.

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