Performance

One reason the Acadia gets better gas mileage than traditional SUVs is its V-6 engine. Many full-size SUVs are offered with thirsty V-8s, but the Acadia only comes with a 3.6-liter V-6 that produces 275 horsepower, which is quite good for a six-cylinder. The engine is still charged with moving a considerable amount of metal around suburbia, but you barely notice the weight when traveling without a full load. The transmission was relatively smooth, and accelerating on the highway wasn't any more difficult than in a large SUV with a V-8.

What the Acadia does exceptionally well for such a large vehicle is corner. There is very little body roll, even when taking tight off-ramps at speed. This adds to the Acadia's reassuring nature as an SUV alternative. Large SUVs, with their higher centers of gravity, often feel tippy in similar situations.

The steering is intuitive and rather light, which allows the driver to feel more in command. Braking is solid; after slamming on the brake pedal a few times you can really tell this vehicle is not truck-based. The feedback comes in a more linear, carlike manner.

After a week of commuting and errand-running in the Acadia, I felt completely comfortable behind the wheel, as if I had been driving it for years. It didn't offer any driving thrills, but its reassuring atmosphere should be a stronger selling point in this class.

    See also:

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