2012 GMC Acadia Denali – A Frugal Review

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A few weeks ago, the GM Northeast Team contacted me about reviewing one of their vehicles. Because i’m not a dummy, I gladly jumped at the chance. We were given the 2012 GMC Acadia Denali to test out. The interesting part is that we had been seriously discussing finding a new car. Our family is bigger now, and the kids are growing by the minute. We need to upgrade.

While I was pleased to be able to review this brand-spanking-new GMC vehicle, I still kept my same mentality throughout: Go used whenever possible. We’ve always been a used car family and have researched the heck out of every vehicle we’ve purchased. I decided to treat this week long review with the same respect. So I got to researching.

The GMC Acadia Denali gets 23 miles to the gallon (MPG) on the highway. This immediately caught my attention, as our GMC Jimmy gets much less than that. We decided to fill up the tank from half on the Acadia and only spent around 38 dollars. I have to also mention that this was after having the car for 6 days, doing all of my weekly errands, and taking a road trip (in which we got lost) down to Princeton for pumpkin picking. So we were able to do all of that on just a half a tank. Amazing. The husband calculated that if we had the Acadia for our frequent trips to Ohio, we would be able to drive 2/3 of the trip without stoping for gas. By the first third of our trips, we always have to stop to fill up the Jimmy.

I also researched who their key competitors were. Like I said, we’d been researching cars for a few months, and had our eye on a small list. The GMC Acadia’s key competitors are the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, and Mazda CX-9. The Pilot had been at the top of our list, so this really peaked my interest in the car. I also love that the GMC is a crossover vehicle, which meant that it’s big enough for my Paul Bunyan hubby to comfortably drive and also easy enough for little old me to drive.

Once I had all the specs in my head, I started to look at the car from a Mom’s point of view. First on the list: the amount of room in the car. We enjoyed having 2 rows of seats for the kids; Duchess and her car seat were a perfect fit for the captains seats in the second row, and my son enjoyed being able to sit in the 3rd row bench seat. They also enjoyed having their own space.

I got to experience the comfort of both rows when we lost power during Hurricane Sandy and we camped out in the car during the day. While I worked on the computer, the kids were able to watch a movie on the entertainment system. This system is an “option” on the Acadia, but since we travel so much, it would be beneficial for us to get this in our car. The kids can also plug in headsets, if the driver and passenger don’t want to hear the movie.

I also enjoyed the cargo space. There is an ample amount of space in the Acadia Denali(68.8 ft with third row folded), which is perfect for taking a long trip, or transporting a red wagon to go pumpkin and apple picking.

You can see that the wagon fit perfectly, and we put it long ways, so part of the bench could stay up as an extra seat. So, if we were a family of 5 going on a road trip, we’d have no problem with packing suitcases and kids.

There were so many other great aspects of the car, so I decided to make a video highlighting the rest of them. Check it out below:

Final thoughts: We thoroughly enjoyed this vehicle. It’s definitely made for the family on-the-go and if you are realistic about what is needed in your car and what is not, it is very affordable. The gas milege, space, and ease of ride really caught my attention and placed the Acadia at the top of our list. If you are in the market for a new car this coming year, I’d say give the car a test drive and see if it would be a good fit for your budget.

Disclosure: I was not paid for this review. I was offered a week-long test drive and decided to post a review. All opinions are my own.

About Amiyrah

My name is Amiyrah and I'm an an African American fashion & lifestyle blogger based in Ohio.

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  1. 11.17.12
    Evelyn D. said:

    Beautiful car!

  2. 11.18.12

    I’ve never driven a GMC but love the look and features of this one!

  3. 11.18.12

    Definitely looks roomy! My family has always been a GMC family. Their vehicles are beautiful and can compete with any of those other brands!

  4. 11.18.12
    Ellen said:

    Wow that is a really gorgeous car!

  5. 11.18.12

    Very informative. I’ve been putting off a new/used car purchase for awhile now but know it’s inevitable. Thanks for some great information and a starting point on research.

  6. 11.19.12

    We love GMC! Especially like the space in the back of this one would so great for vacation!