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2009 GMC Acadia

As high fuel prices have prompted folks to be more realistic about their vehicle purchases, the sales of large truck-based SUVs have dropped while those of more space- and fuel-efficient crossovers, such as the 2009 GMC Acadia, have risen. Crazy as it sounds, Americans are finally realizing that perhaps they don't need something that can pull a house and handle the Rubicon trail. For the more common tasks of shuttling the kids around, hauling 48-count toilet paper boxes from Costco and negotiating winter driving conditions, the Acadia is just about perfect.

2009 GMC AcadiaAlong with its corporate cousins, the Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and Saturn Outlook, the GMC Acadia has a unibody architecture (as opposed to heavier body-on-frame) which allows better handling, interior packaging and crashworthiness. The Acadia also has a powerful V6 engine and can be had in either front- or all-wheel-drive versions.

What makes the Acadia especially attractive is its optimal use of space. Yes, it's large, about the same size as a Yukon, but it provides a more accommodating third-row seat along with a serious amount of cargo space. And yet, in spite of the Acadia's generous proportions and the fact that it gets a more powerful (288 horsepower) engine this year, this big SUV (in front-drive form) posts respectable fuel mileage figures of 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined.

The 2009 GMC Acadia can be had with either front-wheel drive or AWD. This year brings a new 3.6-liter V6 with direct injection that makes 288 hp and 270 pound-feet of torque, spread over a broad rpm range. It's matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. Though GMC has built its image around tough trucks, the AWD version of the Acadia is geared more for foul-weather driving than boulder-bashing. The system automatically varies the torque split from 90 percent front/10 percent rear to 35/65, respectively, as available traction dictates.

The front-drive 2009 Acadia has an EPA fuel economy estimate of 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined. The AWD version rates just one mpg less. The Acadia's towing capacity, at 4,500 pounds when properly equipped, should be enough for most folks.

© Source: edmunds
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