AUTO

GMC Acadia gets a makeover

  • Feb. 8, 2012: GMC introduces the 2013 Acadia vehicle during the media preview of the Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place in Chicago.

    Feb. 8, 2012: GMC introduces the 2013 Acadia vehicle during the media preview of the Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place in Chicago.  (AP)

When it was introduced for the 2007 model year, the GMC Acadia marked the beginning of the end for both minivans and mid-sized body-on-frame SUVs in General Motors’ lineup.

The three-row crossover offered a combination of style, space, fuel efficiency, and bad-weather capability that made it a hit and spawned the equally popular Chevy Traverse and Buick Enclave the following year. For 2012 the Acadia is the first of the three to get a mild, but meaningful redesign.

On the outside, the Acadia now features a square, more prominent grille, bulging, boxy wheel wells, LED running lights and a wraparound rear window that make it look like a super-size version of the GMC Terrain. Inside, new trim, upgraded materials and ambient lighting dress up a cabin that also gets an industry first center-mounted airbag.

See: All the new cars from the 2012 Chicago Auto Show

Located in the driver’s seat, the airbag is designed to deploy during side-impact collisions and help keep front passengers from crashing into each other in the aftermath of the impact. A new blind-spot warning system and rear cross-traffic alert further aim to make the new Acadia safer than the model it replaces.

The only engine choice remains a 3.6-liter 288 hp V6, but it is connected to an upgraded 6-speed transmission and retains its 5,000-lb tow rating.

Pricing for the new Acadia has not been announced, but it goes on sale late this year.