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2007 GMC Acadia SLE Base Model

How much Acadia do you get for under $30,000?

Another GMInsideNews review from ByTheLake



We all know somebody like my neighbor Bill … a person who is kind, generous, helpful … and cheap. In my neighborhood, Bill’s frugality is legendary, so imagine my utter shock when I heard that he had ordered a new GMC Acadia for his wife. From what I’ve read, Acadias were fine but expensive vehicles, unsuitable for thrifty folk like Bill. When he recently asked to swap vehicles with me for a week, I was excited at the thought of getting acquainted with GMC’s new crossover. While poking around the Acadia’s interior, I found its window sticker, which solved the mystery. Bill ordered a base Acadia, with absolutely no options. Including the destination charge, his Acadia was priced at $29,990.

Bill’s Acadia SLE, however, is no stripped rental-fleet vehicle. Standard equipment includes a 3.6L V6 producing 275 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque, the only engine offered in the Acadia. GM’s new 6-speed automatic is also standard, including a manual shift feature. Dual exhaust, anti-lock brakes, stability control and traction control are also included. Airbags abound, with head side curtain and side impact airbags for the front passengers. Heated outside mirrors are also included. The standard 18 inch aluminum wheels include a tire pressure monitoring system. For those wishing to cram 250 songs on a disc, the CD player can play MP3 CDs. The steering wheel is both tilting and telescoping. The 7-passenger seating includes two captain’s chairs in the middle row that slide on tracks to increase leg room, or tumble forward to provide easy access to the roomy third row bench.



Bill opted for the carbon metallic paint, marketing-speak for metallic black, which provides an elegant contrast to the chrome accents. The base package doesn’t include the power rear hatch, but opening the Acadia’s hatch required little effort. The Acadia has a noticeably wide stance, giving it an agile appearance. The taillights, however, have an odd star-shaped chrome bezel within, reminiscent of tacky after-market taillights that seem to clutter an otherwise clean exterior design.

I found the standard cloth seats to be quite comfortable, even after 4 hours on the road. There are no power features in these seats, but the manual adjustment rod under the front of the seat was easy to find and operate. One interesting feature is the center console armrest, which slides fore and aft to provide access to a deep storage bin underneath or hinges upward to reveal additional storage. Atop the dashboard is a padded center storage bin, perfect for door openers or other small items. Speaking of storage, the rear floor provides three storage bins, including one large center bin that would be perfect for holding jumper cables or similar items.



With all seats in their upright positions, there is plenty of storage space behind the third row bench seat for groceries. This time, the fold-flat seats actually fold flat, not at an odd angle as with the Envoy’s seats. The third row bench is split 60/40, each section dropping easily by flipping a rear lever. Pulling the section back upright is equally easy using the attached strap. The middle row captain’s chairs also collapse flat with the tug of a strap. The flat floor is truly useful, allowing a 4-foot wide sheet of plywood to easily slide into the Acadia, but with a 7-foot depth, a full 4x8 sheet would require the hatch to be tied down for transporting.

The instruments are illuminated with a combination red and white graphics, which appeal to me much more than Pontiac’s festival-of-orange illumination and are easy to read day and night. The speedometer is graduated in only 20 mph increments, unfortunately forcing the driver to do quick math to assess speeds at a glance. The optional head-up display would eliminate that little issue. I found it funny that the fuel gauge had 20 increments from E to F. Why such precision? Do I really need to know that my fuel tank is 7/20ths full?

From the driver’s position, the Acadia is a joy to operate. All controls are easy to use with switchgear that has a nice feeling of quality. The windshield wiper control, however, forces the user to roll through all of the intermittent speed settings before reaching the fully operational setting. I’d prefer to adjust the intermittent wiper speed with a separate control. Also, using the rear wiper created a collective protest from passengers due to the constant clicking of the wiper’s motor, which emitted a distinct switch-like click whenever the wiper arm reached the bottom position. Even with the radio playing the rear wiper click was audible and annoying.

The base Acadia SLE offers the same manual climate controls found in other GM products, with easy to operate round dials for selecting the blower speed, temperature, and ventilation options. Below the climate controls are two rectangular storage bins, the larger of which was perfect for holding my charging cellular telephone. The two large cup holders worked quite well. Each has a set of rubbery bladders on the inside that grip cups of various sizes, preventing any side-to-side movement yet allowing the cups to be easily removed.

Driving the Acadia was a generally a pleasure. The ride is quiet and comfortable, even over broken pavement or dirt roads. The driver is aware of the Acadia’s heft, but the V6 moved the vehicle’s 4722 pounds with ease. The 6-speed automatic generally shifted without detection, but harder acceleration from a stop occasionally produced a ‘kick’. The cruise control has a nice feature of digitally displaying the set speed when it is first engaged or when speeds are incremented or decremented using the thumb controls on the steering wheel. Oddly, when resuming a previously set speed, the transmission appears completely confused, rapidly cycling through a series of up-shifts and down-shifts seemingly at random until the set speed is reached.

This base Acadia’s front wheel drive arrangement was clearly evident during hard acceleration, which produced mild torque steer. Still, this 2WD layout likely provides better traction than a RWD SUV. Overall, the Acadia was remarkably agile on the road, providing tighter handling than I had expected with no drifting or steering looseness. The transmission operates in standard D (drive) and L (low) modes, but when in L, the manual thumb shifter on the side of the shift knob provides manual gear selection. I’m not exactly sure when this would be appropriate, since the shifts occur much too slowly to be of use for sporty driving. Perhaps if towing a heavy load the manual settings would allow the use of 4th or 5th gear to aid in climbing hills.

I didn’t calculate fuel economy, but I’d estimate that I was getting approximately 18-20 MPG with mostly highway driving. The EPA estimate is 18 city/26 highway, but we all know those estimates don’t reflect reality.

My week with the base GMC Acadia SLE taught me two things. First, I learned that I don’t have to spend $45,000 to get a great, well-equipped 7-passenger cross-over. Second, I learned that my neighbor Bill is wise in his frugal ways. Nice job Bill and excellent work GMC. The Acadia, even in base form, is worth considering.

 

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Good review, but more importantly, good pictures! :yup: I'm glad the Acadia still looks good in base model form.

I have to ask, though...do you know if he considered the Outlook XE? It starts at $2k less and is virtually the same in equipment, minus fog lights, an exhaust outlet and a few hp, and that the Acadia has center captain's chairs standard (though the bench seat is a $495 credit option). He may have just preferred the Acadia's styling or there may not be a very close Saturn dealer, or the GMC dealer may have simply dealed to the price of the Outlook, nullifying the price difference. I'm just wondering, since the base no-options Outlook starts at $28k.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
cdp326 said:
Good review, but more importantly, good pictures! :yup: I'm glad the Acadia still looks good in base model form.

I have to ask, though...do you know if he considered the Outlook XE? It starts at $2k less and is virtually the same in equipment, minus fog lights, an exhaust outlet and a few hp, and that the Acadia has center captain's chairs standard (though the bench seat is a $495 credit option). He may have just preferred the Acadia's styling or there may not be a very close Saturn dealer, or the GMC dealer may have simply dealed to the price of the Outlook, nullifying the price difference. I'm just wondering, since the base no-options Outlook starts at $28k.
Honestly, I was wondering the same thing this morning. I'll have to ask him when I see him tomorrow.
 

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If your friend was that frugal...perhaps he had a GM Credit Card and could only use his earnings on a GMC...not a Saturn.

Regardless, thank you for the great review and pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
fenwah said:
If your friend was that frugal...perhaps he had a GM Credit Card and could only use his earnings on a GMC...not a Saturn.

Regardless, thank you for the great review and pictures.
I spoke to him this morning ... he considered an Outlook but the lease deals favored the Acadia. The Acadia was about $2000 more, but the payments were identical, so he got the Acadia.
 

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ByTheLake said:
I spoke to him this morning ... he considered an Outlook but the lease deals favored the Acadia. The Acadia was about $2000 more, but the payments were identical, so he got the Acadia.
The MSRP rating of the Acadia is higher, but Saturn has "no haggle" buying and GMC does not. I bet real world selling prices of identically equipped Outlooks and Acadias are equal.
 

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Great review and great pictures. I wondered what a base Acadia would look like. Most of the Acadias I've seen at my local dealer are all over $34k.

It looks like you really do get alot for your money. Bill is a wise man.

I will have to show this article to my father. When he decides to get a new SUV to replace his FX35, I think the Acadia or Outlook would be perfect for him. He always lamented not having a ton of space in his Infiniti. The Acadia has plenty of space and style. He would probably want leather, AWD and the bose sound system which would bring the price close to what his FX cost, which is perfect. More car for the same money!
 

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Re: 2007 GMC Acadia SLE Base

Good review. How did you happen to get four hours of seat time?

Michael_S said:
The MSRP rating of the Acadia is higher, but Saturn has "no haggle" buying and GMC does not. I bet real world selling prices of identically equipped Outlooks and Acadias are equal.
Actually, a number of people have bought the Acadia because they could get it for less than the Outlook.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: 2007 GMC Acadia SLE Base

mkaresh said:
Good review. How did you happen to get four hours of seat time?
I drive about 700 miles a week, with 4 hour stretches twice weekly. Work/home are 255 miles apart, so I have a 2nd home near work, and commute back Friday night.
 

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Great writeup.

The only problem I have with the base SLE was that its fwd...and for a crossover I prefer to get AWD...pumping up the price even further.

I'm sure the GMC vehicle is well worth the money.

Its a big SUV crossover.

Not sure the fact its fwd instead of AWD is a good way to go here in the Northeast..(in the summer states I'm sure its a great way to go)

Thanks again for a great review.
 

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I enjoyed reading your review it was better written then some professionals I've read. The Acadia seems to be a very high quality built crossover that will appeal to a very diverse group of audience. I have to agree with you though I'm not really liking the taillight assembly either. I thought the clearer lens appearing at the top of the brakelights would have served as a turn signal, but it doesn't which is a little weird.
 

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JBsZ06 said:
Great writeup.

The only problem I have with the base SLE was that its fwd...and for a crossover I prefer to get AWD...pumping up the price even further.

I'm sure the GMC vehicle is well worth the money.

Its a big SUV crossover.

Not sure the fact its fwd instead of AWD is a good way to go here in the Northeast..(in the summer states I'm sure its a great way to go)

Thanks again for a great review.
In my experience, snow tires + FWD is extremely good on snowy and icy roads. My Impala with snow tires does much better than my wife's AWD Honda CRV with all season tires. We have a pretty strongly sloped driveway, and there were several storms this year that left her car stuck while mine had no problems. However, we do not often have 2+ feet of snow on the roads - I'm not sure which vehicle would be better in that (and I suspect they would both be useless).

The Acadia also has electronic traction control, which helps make sure that power is diverted to the wheel with better traction in slippery conditions. Since my Impala is over 1000 pounds lighter, lacks traction control, and still does fine with snow tires, I bet the Acadia would be terrific.

We may purchase an Acadia or Outlook later this year. We haven't ruled out AWD, but we're betting that FWD plus snow tires will probably be sufficient.
 

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I hear what your saying with regards to snow tires and fwd..I just don't think I would personally buy an SUV with fwd..

In my mind it tends to defeat the supposed purpose..

Again..its just my opinion and not a flame to what anyone else sees fit to do..
 

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Re: 2007 GMC Acadia SLE Base

ByTheLake said:
I drive about 700 miles a week, with 4 hour stretches twice weekly. Work/home are 255 miles apart, so I have a 2nd home near work, and commute back Friday night.
Last time I somehow missed the sentence about the offer to swap rides for a week.
 

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JBsZ06 said:
I hear what your saying with regards to snow tires and fwd..I just don't think I would personally buy an SUV with fwd..

In my mind it tends to defeat the supposed purpose..

Again..its just my opinion and not a flame to what anyone else sees fit to do..
Maybe it's not really an SUV...

I'd rather have FWD with snows than AWD with regular tires. Of course, AWD with snows is best of all.
 
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