A family vehicle has to meet all your people- and stuff-hauling needs while at the same time being powerful enough to inspire confidence, flexible enough to fill the quick-changing needs of a family, and safe enough to protect your brood, right? It wouldn’t hurt for that vehicle to be good to drive as well. That seemingly impossible list of requirements describes crossover vehicles pretty well, and two of the top players are the GMC Acadia and Honda Pilot. However, only the Acadia offers more of what buyers crave.
The GMC Acadia is a better choice, offering consumers more and carrying the accolades to back it up. Consumers Digest named the 2012 Acadia a “Best Buy,” and respected automotive research company ALG has given the Acadia its 2012 Residual Value Award, meaning the Acadia holds more of its value over time than many other competitors. Acadia also earned a five-star overall rating for safety in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash testing. Significantly, U.S. News and World Reports Rankings and Reviews also rated the 2012 Acadia seven spots higher than the Pilot in its “Affordable Midsize SUV” evaluations.
In this segment, it’s a game of inches, and the Pilot and Acadia each give a little here and take a little there from each other dimensionally. The Acadia offers the most interior space in its class, however, utilizes a longer wheelbase and also offers more front headroom and shoulder room. Both offer seating for up to eight and either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive configurations, but you’ll have to step up to a Pilot EX-L (MSRP $34,570) to get the foglamps, Bluetooth®
hands-free communication system and rear-view camera that the Acadia (MSRP $32,685) features as standard equipment.
In the confines of the engine compartment, the Acadia has more goods. Its sophisticated, direct-injected 3.6-liter V6 is more powerful than the 3.5-liter V6 in the Pilot. The Acadia has 288 hp, significantly more than the 250 hp the Pilot has on tap, and the Acadia has 270 lb/ft of torque, versus the 253 lb/ft you’ll find in the Pilot, too. All Acadia models feature a six-speed automatic transmission, which enhances performance and efficiency compared to the five-speed unit the Honda provides.
Standard 18-inch alloy wheels give the Acadia a handsome, well-finished appearance, especially when contrasted against the plain 17-inch steel wheels you’ll find on an entry-level Honda Pilot LX. The largest wheels you can put under a Pilot are 18-inch alloys, smaller than the array of 19-inch wheel options available to Acadia buyers.
The peace of mind of OnStar and its crash response, driver aids and turn-by-turn navigation capabilities is, of course, exclusively available in the Acadia in this segment. GMC covers the Acadia drivetrain with a five-year/100,000-mile warranty, too. That’s 40,000 more miles of coverage than you’ll get with the Pilot’s five-year/60,000-mile warranty.
The basic Acadia audio system is a six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 system that features an auxiliary input and a free three-month trial of SiriusXM™ Satellite Radio, far more entertaining than the basic AM/FM/CD system standard in the Pilot. Luxury seekers will find the sumptuous Acadia Denali trim both fully loaded and without a peer in the Honda showroom.
Given the number of people and the ever-changing load of stuff that accompanies many families, the Acadia’s significant cargo volume – 24.1 cubic feet – is welcome. The Pilot offers only 18 cubic feet, barely more than you’ll find in the trunk of a midsize sedan. The story is the same when talking about maximum cargo volume where the Acadia boasts 116.9 cubic feet to the 87 cubic feet the Pilot offers.
The 2012 GMC Acadia offers more space, more technology, more features and more available luxury, proving that the grass is indeed greenest right here, at your GMC dealer.