I recently had the chance to test out the 2015 GMC Acadia Denali and it did not disappoint. Although I’m more of a sport sedan person by nature, the family vehicle for the past few years has been a crossover SUV. As such, I’ve grown to appreciate both the versatility of the crossover and the power under the hood.
With the Acadia Denali , you get a crossover that has the looks of a mid-priced luxury SUV, the towing capacity of a decent mid-size pickup and enough seating to take the neighbourhood kids to school while still having room to put a load of groceries in the back.
While the GMC brand has become synonymous with pickup trucks, the 2015 Acadia Denali proves that GMC is still very aware of consumer needs and that it is willing to continue to produce safe, large family wagons for those of us who don’t need to haul loads of gravel or construction materials back and forth each day. The 2015 Acadia is built to transport far more precious cargo, in comfort and affordable luxury.
Since the Acadia line was launched it has prided itself on being one of the safest crossovers on the market. On the 2015 Acadia GMC you’ll find front-centre airbags to better protect front-seat occupants in the event of a side-on collision, ABS brakes, (optional) AWD, a back-up camera with parking aid and traction control. In an effort to keep your eyes on the road, the Acadia Denali also has a head’s-up display (HUD) which can be customized to show your speed, revs, gear, exterior temperature and more. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) almost gave the Acadia a full 5-star rating across all tests. Scoring 5 stars in both frontal and side impact tests, the Acadia is almost perfectly safe in the event of a collision. While the Acadia only scored 4 stars in the rollover-resistance test, that shouldn’t be a source of concern. Weighing in at over 4600 pounds and with a low centre of gravity, you’d really have to work to get the Acadia on its side.
With the safety of your passengers assured, the 2015 Acadia Denali will comfortably seat either 7 or 8, depending on your build order. The centre row can either be ordered as two captain’s chairs with room for storage in between or as a standard bench seat. With the rear seats folded down, you’ve got 116.1 ft3 of rear storage, if you fold down only the third row, you’ve got 70.1 ft3. With all of the seats upright, the cargo space is still a respectable 24.1 ft3. These numbers put the Acadia Denali in line with the Chevy Traverse for cargo space, slightly edge out the Buick Enclave and, with all seats down more than doubles the cargo room of the GMC Terrain. As a grocery-getter and child transporter, the Acadia has all the room you need.
To test out the model that GM lent us we drove up to Muskoka for the weekend. While the road trip isn’t particularly long, coming in at about 3.5 hours from our home, it gave us a chance to use some of the tech features of the Acadia Denali in order to keep the children entertained and keep the “are we there yets??” to a minimum. The Acadia Denali includes a read entertainment system with overhead centre screen. Remote control, wireless headphones and A/V jacks in case you want to hook up a game system. You’ve also got SiriusXM satellite radio available through the forward 6.5“ touch screen which also houses the Navigation system, Bluetooth connections, environmental controls and more. Once you’ve arrived at your destination, open the rear door and there is another panel for the radio controls in the rear cargo area which is perfect for tailgating or some relaxing music while you get your gear and passengers out. The rear radio controls also come in handy if you’re a trailer camper. With a towing capacity of 6200 lbs. you can haul the family trailer to your favorite campsite, open up the rear hatch and listen to some tunes while you get the trailer set up.
With all of these features, it’s easy to see why the 2015 Acadia Denali is the choice for busy families who want to find the happy medium between a luxury sedan and a mid-size truck for transporting their children and groceries while also lending itself to weekends away in nature. If you’ve got a growing family and are in the market for a well-priced, well-equipped and well-designed family SUV, the 2015 Acadia Denali should be on your “must-drive list”.