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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I've had my Acadia about 4 days now and 250 miles so I thought I would put in writing some of my thoughts thus far.

Details
2008 Acadia SLE AWD (Nov 07 build date)
- Liquid Silver exterior
- Ebony cloth interior
- 7 Passenger Seating
- Trailering Package
- Convenience Package (Remote Start/Ultra-Sonic Rear Park Assist)
- Preferred Package (6-way power drivers seat & 2-way power passenger seat)
- 6-Disc CD Change package (Bose 10-speaker audio system and tri-zone automatic climate control)
- Heated Windshield Washer Nozzles
- Cargo Package

Purchase Decision
Before I get to the Acadia, let me start with the fact that I'm coming from a 95 Ford Ranger 4x4 w/ standard transmission. I think this is important so that when I make comments you'll realize that I'm not coming from an ultra luxurious Bentley or something like that. Instead I'm coming from quite the opposite direction. :) I hate losing the functionality of having a truck for the trips to the home & landscape stores and I hated the idea of having a payment again, but I've got 2 small children age 3 and under, so the Ranger just wasn't cutting it any longer and had to go.

I'm a geeky type of guy so I would love to have all the fancy gadgets in my vehicles, but when it boils down to having to cut a check, I'm really cheap. Also, I've never been terribly excited about leather (seems like its either freezing cold in the winter or making me sweat in the summer). So that's why I've got an SLE without too many of the features.

The 7-passenger vs. 8-passenger seating was a tough decision for us. We went back and forth on that one quite a bit. 98% of the time, 7 passenger seating will be fine. However, there is that 2% of the time I think we are likely going to wish we went with the 8 seats instead. Time will tell on this one....

We went for the trailering package because we'll need some extra cargo space when the grandparents go with us on some family trips, so we purchase a hitch cargo carrier to utilize that. I'm sure over the next 10 years I plan on keeping it, the random occasion will come up where it will be handy to have the hitch available.

I thought the base stereo was very tinny and didn't have any depth to it, so we were thinking about adding that. Then when we found it also came the tri-zone auto climate control we had to throw that option in.

We decided to add the Preferred Package in because I just couldn't picture paying in the neighborhood of $30K for a vehicle and not having power seats.

The other options we threw in were were just cheap things that hopefully will be nice to have in the future.

Review
So far I'm really happy with the Acadia. It isn't perfect, but as long I don't end up with some of the major problems that some others have had, I think I'll be quite happy with it for the long haul. The initial fit and finish is very good. Of course, we aren't talking ultra luxurious materials like an upper crust Mercedes or something like that, but quite good for a $30K vehicle. Looking at the dash, all of the seams where different pieces meet up, the gaps are extremely tight and consistent throughout the vehicle.

The ride quality thus far has been very good. My wife and mother-in-law (who has been in town staying with us for two weeks) have commented multiple times about how smooth the ride is. Handling thus far has been good. Of course I'm still well within the break-in period so I haven't been pushing it or anything, but it goes where you point it. So far it feels very tight and hasn't showed any signs of body roll that I've experienced in past SUV's I've driven and ridden in.

Again, I'm still in the break-in period so I'm still taking it easy, but so far it feels like it is reasonably powered for a family vehicle. You can tell it doesn't have the torque of a bigger V8, but so far it seems fairly good. Of course, more HP and torque would be a welcome addition to help with the fun factor on some occasions and to help get out of some sticky situations that tend to pop up here and there.

I think the tranny could still use some additional fine tuning. I find that there seems to be some dead spots where I find myself gradually feeding in a bit more throttle expecting it to just continue accelerating, but it just kind of lags there for a moment before it kicks down a gear and then goes. Overall, I just find myself thinking much more about throttle position and the shifting than I have been in any other automatic tranny vehicles I've driven. I don't know, maybe another 25 HP or FT/LBS of torque would solve the problem for future versions. In the meantime, I really hope GM continues to work on refining the software to help get it to a buttery smooth transmission that one doesn't have to think about on current versions.

As mentioned above, we have the upgraded (from the base SLE) automatic tri-zone climate controls. We haven't really played with the rear controls yet as my mother-in-law was afraid to touch anything. The front auto-controls are very easy to use and essentially work in the same sort of way as my wife's new 05 Toyota Avalon. However, it seems like it doesn't keep the temperature as steady the Avalon does. I found myself adjusting the temperature by a couple of degrees semi-frequently. Where in the Avalon, it rarely gets touched.

The remote start is a really cool feature. We've had temps in the high 20's / low 30's (F) here and it is nice to kick it on while walking from the store or restaurant and have it warming up as we get the boys situated into their car seats. The first couple of times I had to do a double take when I put the key in and turned it because the interior noise decreased dramatically when I turned the key. I thought it had actually turned the vehicle off. This was because when in remote start, it kicks the heat up really high along with all the interior fans at full blast. When I put the key in and turned it, the fans turned way down and thus ended up much quieter. This will be real nice when it gets even colder in a couple months. However, I was disappointed that it appeared to be out of range from inside our office building at work. I thought for sure it would be just in range, but it hasn't worked so far. Hopefully when GM finally releases the upgraded FOBs, it'll be in range so I can have a toasty vehicle when I leave the office at night.

The rear park assist so far has been useful to help get used to the shape and size of the vehicle. I'm still getting used to the view and being able to judge where the corners of the vehicle. Backing out of one parking spot, I thought for sure I was just a few inches away from the vehicles behind us, but the sensors were indicating I still had more room to maneuver. I didn't trust it, so I actually got out to have a look, and it was correct.

It rained all day today and the visibility out of the rear window was horrible. It seems like all the road grime and rain just swirls right up onto the back of the vehicle making it difficult to see out of. This is compounded by the fact that the rear wiper is a stubby short little thing and doesn't clear the area in the bottom center of the window where the cars behind you are likely to be at. Seems like maybe the rear wiper could be made to extend a little bit further into this area.

XM Radio is pretty cool. I may end up renewing the contract on that after the trial period ends if I can get the $77 deal everybody has mentioned in other threads.

OnStar is pretty cool too, but I don't see myself renewing this after it expires. It is fairly expensive and I just can't really justify the expense. I always have my cell phone (Blackberry) with me, so I don't really need OnStar for the phone service. The Turn-By-Turn directions are pretty cool and very easy to use (I've only used it once so far). However, I think the lower tech version of using a combination of pre-printing Google maps for known destinations and Google Maps on my BlackBerry for ad-hoc queries will serve us okay for now. We'll see how the year long trial goes. Maybe it'll get me hooked, but as of right now I don't think it will.

The one time that I've used the TBT directions, there were a couple of things I was a bit disappointed in. The first was that it seemed like it was just a little bit slow in telling me when I should be turning. In one instance, there were a couple of streets that were very close together. When I was at the first intersection, it was still saying to turn in about 100ft (i was only going 35mph), so I thought it was going to be the second light that we should turn at. However, it was really the first light that we should have turned at. The second thing is that we got slightly off of the path it was telling us to go and it told us we were off course and it was turning off until we got back on course. True to its word, it did just that. The screen went blank and it went silent (including muted radio). When we got 2 blocks up and hit the cross street we needed to turn at, it started talking to us again. I thought that was very weird. I didn't understand why it didn't just automatically recalc the directions and keep telling us where to go. Instead it just gave up. :-\

Summary
Over all, I really like my new vehicle. It isn't perfect, but it looks good, it is very comfortable, and it rides good. I'm just praying that I don't end up with some of the major issues that some of you have unfortunately ran into.

Has any of this been useful for anybody? If so, I'll try to remember update this thread in the future as time, experience, and miles add up.

p.s. I apologize for the horrible writing. I'll try to go back and re-read it myself and correct some spelling, grammar, and punctuation I'm sure I completely hosed. :beer:

p.p.s. I took a ton of pictures from about every angle I could think of the other day. I'll try to get them all posted up in the next few days as well.
 

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Seems like you like it!! Congratulations!!

I find on the OnStar when you get off course, it will ask you if you want to recalculate the directions. If you say yes, it recalculates, if you say no, it waits until you get back on course.
 

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Kloogee: I agree with you on the remote start having a short range. I have to be pretty darn close to my car. My husband has an aftermarket one on his police car and it starts his car from much farther away than my Acadia does. It frosts me :angryfire: that we have to pay extra for a remote start that starts the car from a decent range. I understand paying extra for the computer things that come on the fob, but the fobs, whether standard or upgraded should start the Acadia from the same range.
 

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Kloogee said:
The second thing is that we got slightly off of the path it was telling us to go and it told us we were off course and it was turning off until we got back on course. True to its word, it did just that. The screen went blank and it went silent (including muted radio). When we got 2 blocks up and hit the cross street we needed to turn at, it started talking to us again. I thought that was very weird. I didn't understand why it didn't just automatically recalc the directions and keep telling us where to go. Instead it just gave up.
That is kinda strange. If I miss a turn, mine automatically tells me where I should turn next to get me back on track. If I completely go off-course (like stopping for gas or food), then the chick comes back on and asks me if I want directions to get back on route or not.

Sounds like overall you're very happy with your Acadia! I have an SLE 7 passenger too. I'd like to say it's because I don't like leather seats (which I don't), but really it's because I couldn't afford an SLT. :-\ ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just to clarify on the OnStar TBT, there were two different situations.

The first was that it asked me to turn somewhere, but due to the fact that it still said I had 100 feet to go, I missed the turn and kept going straight. In that situation, it just automatically adjusted and then told me to turn a couple of streets up. This was good.

In the second situation, the main road took a slight left, but there was a smaller street that continued straight. The arrow on the screen showed straight ahead, so I continued straight onto the smaller street where I should have taken the slight left. This is where it stopped giving me directions. And now that you guys mention it (I had forgotten when I was writing the review above), I do think that it told me I was off course and asked me whether I wanted it to recalculate or not. It sounds like I probably hit the wrong button. So it sounds like it was just user error in this case.
 

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That sounds about right. The only thing that annoys me about the TBT is when I'm on a road trip and I'm simply stopping for food or gas and it goes through that whole schtick of giving me instructions on how to use it if I want to recalculate, or simply wait until I get back on course. There should be some sort of an option for seasoned TBT users where you can turn off that crap and get straight to the point. lol
 

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Your Acadia is almost exactly like mine. You have done an excellent job of describing your brief ownership. I have not had any mechanical problems with mine. My Acadia is a very early build model and has suffered from some poor assembly quality, but I have not heard of others complaining of this, so mine might be the odd one.

The Acadia is a good compromise of ride and handling. It is quiet on the road and comfortable. I think you're dead on about it needing 25 more pounds of torque, or even better a few hundred pounds less weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I forgot to mention the heated windshield washer nozzles and the cargo package.

So far I haven't really had a need for the heated washer nozzles. I fired them off once just to play, but haven't needed them yet. It's interesting how you push the button and it waits about 40 seconds to warm up, squirts a few times, waits another 20 secs, squirts a few times.... I'll be interested to see if it works when there is a layer of ice or frost on the window. Honestly, I'm a bit skeptical about it working well in cold weather. I'm guessing it'll just make it worse rather than helping the situation. I'll report back once I've really used them.

The cargo package comes with a net that goes across the back of the hatch. You can open it up to put in some loose items or some bags of groceries to help keep them from rolling all over the cargo area. One thing I was a bit disappointed with was that the bottom elastic cord for the net is not right on the floor of the cargo area. Instead it is about 2 or 3 inches off the floor (if i recall correctly) and if you had some small loose items, I could see them able to slide right underneath it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
bbc,
Have you posted any pics of the items where you feel the build quality isn't up to your expectations? I'd be curious to see if there is a difference in the quality as you describe or if I just have low expectations coming from an old Ford where all the gaps were about an inch wide and everything groaned and moaned.

Here are a few pics of some of the dash components in mine. Do yours look similar or are you referring to completely different areas?

Thanks,
K
 

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Kloogee said:
bbc,
Have you posted any pics of the items where you feel the build quality isn't up to your expectations? I'd be curious to see if there is a difference in the quality as you describe or if I just have low expectations coming from an old Ford where all the gaps were about an inch wide and everything groaned and moaned.

Here are a few pics of some of the dash components in mine. Do yours look similar or are you referring to completely different areas?

Thanks,
K
I don't think they would show up and I adjusted the doors and hood so that is no longer an issue. My dash panel (the part that covers the defroster vents) is off a 1/4 of an inch from one side to the other and is loose. I will have the dealer correct this at some point in the future.
 

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Kloogee said:
The cargo package comes with a net that goes across the back of the hatch. You can open it up to put in some loose items or some bags of groceries to help keep them from rolling all over the cargo area. One thing I was a bit disappointed with was that the bottom elastic cord for the net is not right on the floor of the cargo area. Instead it is about 2 or 3 inches off the floor (if i recall correctly) and if you had some small loose items, I could see them able to slide right underneath it.
Never gave it much thought about the cargo net and items going under and banging against door or stop items from rolling beyond that point. Guess always thought as putting small things inside netting to prevent them from banging around and not having to climb in and [email protected]#$%^&*()_+? only to have it roll past me, out the door and down the driveway. I really enjoyed your write up and nice to hear you are satisfied so far. Ours was built in April, bought in May and have had no issues. Car was probably built on a Wed or Thurs...:) Enjoy your new ride!!
 

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Kloogee said:
So far I haven't really had a need for the heated washer nozzles. I fired them off once just to play, but haven't needed them yet. It's interesting how you push the button and it waits about 40 seconds to warm up, squirts a few times, waits another 20 secs, squirts a few times.... I'll be interested to see if it works when there is a layer of ice or frost on the window. Honestly, I'm a bit skeptical about it working well in cold weather. I'm guessing it'll just make it worse rather than helping the situation. I'll report back once I've really used them.
I've used the heated washer fluid a few times, and it works fairly well. I was surprised how well it actually worked.
We'll see how well it works when it gets real cold here, as it hasn't got any colder than -20C (-4F) so far this year.
 

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I have the heated washer too. I wonder if there is danger of cracking the windshield if used before the defrost has warmed the window up. The manual says not to spray fluid on the windshield until the windshield is warm, so I bet that is to cover themselves against a cracked one. :)
 

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Kloogee said:
The cargo package comes with a net that goes across the back of the hatch. You can open it up to put in some loose items or some bags of groceries to help keep them from rolling all over the cargo area. One thing I was a bit disappointed with was that the bottom elastic cord for the net is not right on the floor of the cargo area. Instead it is about 2 or 3 inches off the floor (if i recall correctly) and if you had some small loose items, I could see them able to slide right underneath it.
I have the cargo net on my Outlook and I've used it to create kind of a wall... I took my nice big insulated Sam's Club bags and put them into the net and they're heavy enough to weigh it down to the ground. It's a perfect solution because I no longer have to worry about having those bags floating around the car taking up space (I usually have 2/3 of them in the car at any given time). I would be miserable without the net as things always fall out when the door opens.
 
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