GM’s latest round of crossovers represent a new approach for the company, according to Automotive News
. The launch of the GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave and Saturn Outlook represent an evolution from the days of the minivan-based Pontiac Aztek and Buick Rendezvous, showing that GM is looking outdo the competition in the crossover arena.
With the second and third rows folded flat, the Acadia’s cargo capacity of 117 cubic feet exceeds that of the crossover competition. Even with the third row in use, the Acadia still offers nearly 20 cubic feet of cargo room behind the third row (the Acura MDX provides 14.8 cubic feet behind the third row; the Lexus RX 330 doesn’t offer third-row seating).
In addition, the Acadia’s chassis is built specifically for crossovers. Dubbed "BFI" for "body-frame integral," the structure offers a low center of gravity, four-wheel independent suspension and rack-and-pinion steering, which GM promises will provide a smooth ride with responsive handling, Automotive News
The Acadia's power comes from a 3.6-liter V-6, rated at 267 horsepower and 247 pounds-feet of torque with variable valve timing. That’s enough horsepower to surpass the 2006 Acura MDX and Lexus RX 330. However, the 2007 RX 350 boosts its own horsepower to 270 hp.
The GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook go on sale late this year as 2007 models. The Buick Enclave completes the trio in spring 2007 as a 2008 model.