So mid-May marked a milestone in our family. The first year of our daughter’s college experience was complete. There was a learning curve for all of us to adapt to her being away from home, but we survived and the time came for us to pick her up from the dorms and bring her …and all her accumulated stuff back home. One problem. We don’t own a vehicle large enough to do that. Thanks to the good folks at GMC and their fleet of vehicles, we were able to borrow a 2015 GMC Acadia Denali crossover SUV for a week, allowing us to do the move in just one vehicle load transport run, instead of what likely would have been two or three!I was awed when they dropped it off at our home. The White Diamond Tricoat exterior and the unique body-side moldings with chrome accents made me wish it were mine to keep 😉 By the comments I got on my Facebook picture when I showed it off, my opinion on its looks was shared by many others. I won’t lie, I was also a bit scared at the size. Notice I said we had small vehicles? This kind of seemed as large as a monster truck to me! My husband being the man that he is, was taken by the twenty-inch aluminum wheel design. Yeah, I don’t get what guys see in tires and rims either, but whatever, let’s move on.
The GMC Acadia Denali features three rows of seating, fitting seven people comfortably. The front seats are equipped with both heating and cooling. The driver’s seat also features a memory function which stores the position of two drivers.That’s a standard feature on the 2015 GMC 2015 Acadia FWD Denali, and might I say all vehicles should come equipped with this 😉 Since my husband is 6 feet and I’m only 4’9″, adjusting the mirrors and seat each time we drive gets old, this may just have been the feature I appreciated the most on this crossover SUV! The second set of seats are captain’s chairs just like the front ones. Both the first and second rows are leather seats. The SmartSlide feature for the second-row allows unobstructed access to the third-row bench seat with one hand.
Reconfiguring the seating in order to fill the Acadia Denali up with our daughter’s dorm room items was very easy. The vehicle had more than enough space for us to get everything back home and still have one of the second-row seats available for her to sit in.Coming in at a close second in my favorite features is the standard power liftgate. That is so convenient for loading up the rear.
I thought the visibility in this vehicle was great. Being very petite, I generally have a problem seeing out the rear side windows, but I didn’t have a problem with that in the GMC Acadia Denali at all. My husband thought the windshield distorted his view in a convex way, but I think that was just his imagination and getting used to a new vehicle, because I didn’t think it did that at all. Unfortunately it was a VERY wet week here in North Texas when we were loaned the Acadia Denali and we weren’t able to use the dual skyscape sunroof, but even when they aren’t open to the outside, just being there makes the vehicle seem much more open and large.The GMC Acadia Denali is loaded with luxury features!
The GMC IntelliLink includes a 6.5-inch color touch screen. This is where you’ll access your radio settings, and the navigation if the vehicle is equipped with that. And while all new vehicles must now be equipped with a rear view camera, being able to see your reverse movements on the 6.5-inch screen is pretty nice. The ‘basic’ screen on the models that don’t offer a system like IntelliLink or navigation are quite small.
The front seats have one USB port and the second row of seats has a dual USB plug to make sure that the devices can stay charged. There is also a DVD system in the vehicle with a drop down screen for the rear seats, with audio controls for that area as well. The audio system is a Bose Premium one.The Blind Spot Assist is extremely helpful to keep you aware of other vehicles in your proximity. The side mirrors have a little icon that lights up when a car is in your blind spot so you know not to change lanes (although it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still shoulder check!).Might I say for myself, the most unique feature of the interior is the Head-Up Display. I loved being able to see my speed, temperature and other dashboard information, projected onto the windshield in front of me. Kind of Star Trek futuristic for the woman who drives a 17 year old vehicle 😉 .It’s also equipped with OnStar which would be really handy if you found yourself in a jam at the side of the road, in an accident, or even if you just want diagnostics on your vehicle.
Downsides? Well a vehicle of this size isn’t being bought for fuel economy. The FWD (which is the model we were driving), has an average of 22 mpg (17 city/24 hwy). We also didn’t really care for the wood accents in the interior. Maybe it reminded me too much of the 70’s and 80’s, whatever the reason it just didn’t float my boat. I would have preferred that aesthetically the leather accents that were also present would have been extended throughout.
Surprisingly enough, it only really took me one day to get comfortable driving the 2015 GMC Acadia Denali. I compare it to a gentle giant. The Acadia Denali is manufactured with an exclusive interior acoustic package making it the quietest model in the Acadia line up. And after I had to climb back into my dinosaur 17 year old vehicle I really noticed just how quiet the previous week had been while driving the Acadia Denali! Sharp turns are no trouble with the crossover SUV either, it performed them smoothly without a hint of drag. Accelerating in this vehicle is quick and truth be told it’s kind of hard to keep to 35 or 40 mph when you’re driving it because it actually seems you’re going quite slow at that speed in it!
So would I buy this vehicle? I likely wouldn’t, but not for performance reasons. We just don’t need a vehicle this big for our everyday lifestyle. The one off times we would need to haul around four other people or need that much cargo space isn’t enough reason for us to get a crossover SUV this big. But the design and our week long test-drive definitely won me over on GMC which is something I was not expecting going into the loan.The GMC 2015 ACADIA FWD DENALI in the package that we drove (all the features except for the navigation & rear seat entertainment, White Diamond Tricoat and roof rack cross rails, are standard equipment) has a retail price of $51,215.00. Of course there is much more to this vehicle that I didn’t even touch on including mechanical and safety & security features. For more information and precise specifications of the GMC 2015 ACADIA DENALI crossover visit http://www.gmc.com/acadia-denali-luxury-crossover-vehicle.html.