If you’ve got chaotic kids, messy pets, or goofy relatives, you might hate the idea of long car rides. The concept of road trips might fill you with existential dread, and you may have recurring nightmares about National Lampoon’s classic film, Vacation. (The original, not the remake, though it wasn’t half bad.) If that’s the case, you may just not be driving the right car. Maybe Chevy Chase should have realized that packing his whole family into a station wagon and driving cross-country to Wally World wasn’t such a great idea, and maybe that trip would have been a far easier and more rewarding experience in a vehicle that could have handled it. If he had gone to a GMC dealer to buy his new vehicle at the beginning of the movie instead of dealing with the jerk at Lou Glutz Motors, I am willing to bet that the Griswold family vacation would have been a much safer, more comfortable trip.
Luckily, we’re not in a zany 80’s comedy, so we don’t have to make the same mistakes the Griswolds did. We can make better decisions, like driving across the country in a spacious and comfortable SUV instead of a fictional station wagon with no room for suitcases. Whether you’re interested in a road trip or just driving carpools, you can never go wrong with a solid SUV, and the 2018 GMC Acadia is at the top of my list.
When it comes to performance, the GMC Acadia provides multiple engine options, so you can tailor your SUV to deliver more power if you need it. The 2.5L DOHC four-cylinder SIDI engine that comes standard with the vehicle yields 193 horsepower, and 188 lbs-foot of torque. If that isn’t enough, you’ve got the 3.6L six-cylinder engine as an option, offering 310 horsepower and 271 lbs-foot of torque. The more power six-cylinder engine has the strength to tow up to 4,000 lbs, but also a slightly reduced fuel economy, with 25 MPG on highways as opposed to the 26 MPG provided by the four-cylinder.
There are thousands of things to do on the internet, be it work or play. With an available 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, long rides can be both productive and fun. Kids can play on their phones or tablets, significant others can do their work, the normal stresses from extended drives are significantly diluted when everyone has something to focus on, and the internet is perfect for that. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility mean that you’re always connected, able to answer calls or texts without taking your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road. With your playlists, audiobooks, and podcasts all seamlessly streamed to your car stereo, you’ll always have something to keep you entertained when you’re stuck in traffic.
If you’re ever stuck without your phone, available built-in navigation will keep you on track, and the GMC Infotainment system has its own apps to keep you entertained and informed about the areas you’re driving through. If one of your devices dies, USB ports scattered around the cabin help to make sure you don’t have to go without it for too long.
The Acadia has a few great features to maximize storage space, so packing up the car for any reason should be a much smoother experience. The rear storage area has two covered compartments the perfect size for smaller bags or miscellaneous items, great for tools or other things that would otherwise end up rattling around on the floor of the vehicle.
Every seat in the second and third row can be folded individually, giving you complete freedom to organize your SUV in the ways that suit your needs. If you’ve got two kids sitting in the back, but a pile of long skis and snowboards to pack away, fold down the seats on the left side and have the kids sit on the right. If you’ve got three passengers and a bunch of luggage, fold down one seat in the third row and then whoever is sitting next to all the bags can grab the snacks later on. With every seat folded down the Acadia delivers 79 cubic feet of cargo space, so you should have no problem moving most types of furniture if you ever need to.
The 2018 Acadia has all the bells and whistles when it comes to vehicle safety, which is probably one of the reasons why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it a five-star overall safety rating, but there’s no way to know for sure. All we can say with certainty is that all the modern driver assistance and safety features are available to keep you and your family safe and sound.
Blind spot and lane change alerts help to ensure that you’re fully aware of your surroundings, keeping you from mistakes that are all too easy to make when your focus is split. Rear Cross Traffic Alert is great in parking lots, notifying you if a car is approaching while you try to back out of a parking space, and Rear Park Assist gives you warnings as your car comes close to stationary objects. The Rear Vision Camera that comes standard is also a huge help when trying to park, giving you a clear view of exactly what’s behind you when you’re in reverse. If you’ve got kids, you might appreciate the Teen Driver system built into the Acadia. With it you can set specific safety settings for when your kid is driving, and even monitor certain driving behaviors through the use of the Teen Driver Report Card feature. Pretty nifty.
While driving a 2018 Acadia would not have prevented the tragic twist of fate that befell the Griswold family once they reached their destination (don’t worry, I won’t spoil this 35 year old movie for you), I can say with some certainty that a measurable portion of the movie’s shenanigans could be removed were it the case. In comedies, shenanigans are great, but I think we can all agree that when it comes to reality, minimizing shenanigans is a safer and healthier way to live. Though it is fun to say shenanigans.