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The off-road ready AT4 trim for the 2024 GMC Acadia in front of the more luxurious Denali trim at the reveal in Sterling Heights, Mich., ahead of the 2023 Detroit auto show.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

General Motors Co. aims to bring 30 new electric vehicles to market by 2025, but not all vehicles are being electrified, yet. The all-new 2024 GMC Acadia SUV gets a major design overhaul, more advanced technology and a new powertrain, but no electric or hybrid option.

“We’re listening to our customers and they still really like to have the [option of buying gas-powered] vehicles now,” Stephanie Ernster, vehicle performance manager of crossovers at General Motors, said during the reveal of the Acadia in Sterling Heights, Mich., ahead of its global debut at the 2023 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. As a result, “the GMC Acadia is going to stay [gas-powered] for a little bit.”

For 2024, GMC has replaced the Acadia’s V6 engine with a new 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The new turbo generates more power with less fuel consumption and can tow more – up to 5,000 pounds.

“It is more powerful and has more torque than the [outgoing] naturally aspirated V6,” Ernster said. The new turbo delivers 328 horsepower and 326 lb-ft of torque. That’s more than the previous 3.6-litre V6′s 310 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque, which towed up to 4,000 pounds.

The Acadia will come in four trims, including an off-road-ready AT4 and a decked-out Denali trim, which were both on display at the reveal.

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The 2024 GMC Acadia Denali trim has a 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 328 horsepower and 326 lb-ft of torque.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

This third-generation Acadia is larger than the second-generation; in fact, it returns to its first-generation roots with its massive full-size proportions. Compared with the 2023 Acadia, the new SUV has grown in every dimension: It is 8.1 centimetres (3.2 inches) taller and 27 centimetres (10.6 inches) longer with an 21.3-centimetre-wider (8.4-inch) wheelbase. As a result, there’s more cabin space and room for seven or eight passengers, depending on the trim. There’s about 36 per cent more space in the third-row seats and nearly 80 per cent more cargo room.

“With this architecture, we were able to bring in a lot of different things for the customer,” Ernster said. “We’ve got the third-row back [seat], which is a big player that customers wanted, and we answered.”

The third-row seats are spacious and surprisingly comfortable. At 5 foot 5, I had excellent headroom and shoulder room. Legroom wasn’t too bad, either. It didn’t feel claustrophobic, owing to a large panoramic sunroof and large rear windows.

The top Denali trim also had one-touch, power-operated second-row seats that made it easier to enter the third row as well as power-operated third-row seats that drop flat with the touch of a button in the cargo area. The other trims have manually operated seats, which require some strength to move.

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The front seats and dash of the 2024 GMC Acadia.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

On the outside, the Acadia reflects GMC’s new design language, with bigger and bolder features including C-shaped LED headlights and funky, quad exhaust tips. The AT4 gets a rugged, athletic look to reflect its off-roading heritage. It has a distinct front grille with AT4′s signature red tow hooks, an aluminum skid plate and 18-inch, all-terrain black tires. For off-roading adventures, it is equipped with a one-inch-taller ride height and selectable drive modes including a new Terrain mode as well as hill descent control, off-road suspension tuning, and an active torque control all-wheel-drive system with twin-clutch rear differential.

The Denali, meanwhile, adds luxurious appointments such as heated and ventilated front-row seats, heated second-row seats, 22-inch machined aluminum wheels, an available panoramic sunroof, laser-etched interior wood, and Galvano chrome accents to give the cabin a sophisticated feel.

The interior is all new; a 15-inch portrait-style infotainment screen, similar to that in a Tesla, takes centre stage. Thankfully, there are traditional and familiar buttons, including a volume knob and toggle switches for the heating and air conditioning system. There’s a smaller steering wheel with a gear shifter that has moved to the steering-wheel column, creating more space in the cabin.

Technology includes Amazon Alexa, Google Built-In, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hot spot that enables seven devices to be connected on the road. There are nine camera views, which will likely come in handy when parking this massive vehicle in a crowded shopping mall lot.

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The trunk of the 2024 GMC Acadia with the third row up.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

It will also have more than 15 standard and available safety features, including front pedestrian and bicycle braking, and forward-collision alert. For the first time, all trims will offer GM’s Super Cruise hands-free driver assistance system, too, which GM says works on more than 640,000 kilometres of mapped roads in Canada and the United States. If the road has not been mapped by GM, Super Cruise won’t engage even if the driver tries to activate it. In Canada, GM says, that mostly means highways and not residential streets. (Of course, even if the car is steering, braking and changing lanes, the human driver is still considered responsible and in charge.)

Production of the 2024 GMC Acadia starts in early 2024 at GM’s Lansing Delta Assembly plant in Michigan. Prices aren’t available, yet.

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The 2024 GMC Acadia with the Denali trim on the left and off-road AT4 trim on the right.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

Tech specs

2024 GMC Acadia

  • Base price: To be announced
  • Engine: 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with 328 horsepower and 326 lb-ft of torque
  • Transmission/Drive: Eight-speed automatic transmission / All-wheel drive
  • Fuel consumption: To be announced
  • Alternatives: Volkswagen Atlas, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Pathfinder, Honda Pilot

The writer was a guest of the automaker. Content was not subject to approval.

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