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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My grandparents wanted to take the Acadia for a trip and we had a week to do it, so I offered to drive them to Yellowstone and around Wyoming and Colorado. This is an outline of the trip mixed with our observations of the Acadia.



Entering Montana on the Beartooth Highway

As I frantically installed the splash guards I recieved a couple of weeks prior, it poured down rain like I haven't seen in quite some time. Just the day before it had rained on my day in South Padre Island and I was glad to be leaving the next day to get away from the rain, heat and humidity of the Texas coast. That night I packed my grandparents' and my bags and got some sleep so I could make it to New Mexico the following day.

We started off bright and humid on Sunday morning, May 27th. with 938 miles on the clock, fully cleared trip computer and a full tank of gas. It rained for hours until we hit the other side of North Central Texas. As the rain came down in varying degrees and spots I was left wondering why the Acadia lacks Rainsense wipers. The GMT-900 SUVs offer Rainsense, why not the Lambdas? I also noticed that the transmission downshifts from sixth to fourth on basically any incline bringing the engine speed up too high and burning more fuel than necessary as fifth would be more appropriate. It also likes to upshift too soon and falls flat on it's face when slowly accelerating. Witchita Falls was gas stop number one and I calculated the first tank of the trip at 22.4mpg.

We hit the Texas Panhandle and the weather was clear and sunny. We stopped in Amarillo to get a bite at the Big Texan. Before leaving Amarillo I set the navigation for Raton, New Mexico, via Highway 87. A couple of hours out of Amarillo the weather started to look bad, so we stopped for gas again in Dalhart, TX, with a return of 21.6mpg. out of the third tank. It was getting late in the day but not quite dark as we crossed into New Mexico, but by the time we got to Raton it would be after 10:00PM due to New Mexico's fantastic construction zones that seem to go on for a thousand miles at 45mph. It was along this stretch of 87 that we got our first interactive show of Kamikaze Truckers.

We found a couple of a few rooms left in Raton and hit the hay, or what felt like hay. Early the next morning while going over the Acadia for the day's driving I get the first "Low Tire Pressure" warning of the trip for the front-right tire. I hit the Shell station for some air and we hit the road. Not far into Colorado we made stop number three for gas. This tank returned 19.8mpg. After a couple hundred miles my grandmother wanted to drive a while so I hit the back seat and relaxed listening to my CDs as they enjoyed XM. They were cold and I was warm, so I thought I'd hit the rear climate control and run a lower tempurature than they wanted, but the rear climate control isn't a true, independent zone. The rear climate control only runs at the same temperature or higher than the driver with independent fan controls. It was quite dissapointing as this is a feature their 2001 Suburban has and is available on the GMT-900 SUVs but was omitted on Lambda.

I returned to the driver's seat after a couple hundred miles and set the navigation for Casper, WY. We pulled into Casper around six o'clock and I used the Point Of Interest fuction on the navigation to find and book rooms at the Holiday Inn Express. After we got our rooms and unpacked, I used the POI function again to find a place to eat. It was in Casper that I had a chance to really show the benefit of the navigation system to my grandparents. After this display of the system's capabilities we used the navigation system to find just about everything and to guage our distance from the places we were going.

Early the next morning I again got the "Low Tire Pressure" warning for the front-right tire. "Great," I thought. So the tire was losing about 5psi./day, not enough to put on the spare or waste time at a tire shop. I filled the tire and the tank back up, drove around and found a do-it-yourself car wash and washed the sheet of dead bugs from the less aerodynamic parts of the truck. The calculated fuel economy for the previous day was 23.7mpg. After re-loading we hit the road again to cover some of the most beautiful country I've ever seen. We stopped in Cody to fill back up and got 22.7mpg. for the first half of day three. We headed up to Red Lodge, Montana via 296 and Highway 212, the Beartooth Highway. This is where I really started to get frustrated with the 6T75. It doesn't want to stay where you put it in manual mode and it has no idea what ratio to select for ascending and descending the mountains, but with a little modification to my throttle input and playing the manual mode's games, I got used to it.

From Red Lodge we took 72/120 back down to Cody, Wyoming where we stayed the night and ate "Mexican" food at a popular local restaurant seemingly run by High Schoolers. After a hard night's rest I once again hit a Shell station to fill-up both the fuel tank and the low tire before another full day of driving. 18.8mpg. was the result from the second half of the previous day. After packing the truck up with half of my grandparents' personal belongings and my single piece of luggage we headed off to Yellowstone. Yellowstone is an incredible place and our few short hours there were simply amazing. The terrain, the wildlife and the feeling you get standing on top of one of the world's largest volcanoes and geological hot spots is impossible to convey. We left the park and headed South past the beautiful Grand Tetons and through Jackson on to Rock Springs, Wyoming. We got to Rock Springs and started calling hotels we found using the navigation system, but to our suprise there were no rooms to be had anywhere due to huge gas and oil exploration projects. So, another tank of gas, this time recording 24.3mpg. and onward to the East into the dark.

After driving a few too many hours we stumbled upon the town of Rawlins, Wyoming. Luckily, after being told by the local Holiday Inn Express Manager that the town was pretty full due to a graduation, we found one room to share with two double beds and decor from 1978. That was a pretty rough night, especially since there were only two or three street lights in the town and we were given bad directions by the navigation to the local McDonalds, but since we had a long day we were glad to eat and sleep.

The next morning we hit the road back towards the West so we could hit 789 and head to Craig, Colorado and then go on to Steamboat Springs. It was cold enough that morning that I had to try to explain why the second row seats had no heaters like the GMT-900 SUVs. We drove through the Northern Colorado countryside down to I-70 through Vail and into Frisco where we ate at the nicest, cleanest Taco Bell I've ever seen, gassed-up and ogled a brand-new Crew Cab Silverado 2500 LTZ 4X4 with a Duramax in Desert Brown. This tank returned 24.7mpg. We left Frisco for Denver and then went on to Colorado Springs. This is where I really got to test the Acadia's handling because the speed limit on much of this stretch of I-70 is 75mph. and it's about as curvy and steep as Anna Nicole, making it feel closer to 100mph. The handling is great for a vehicle of it's size and capacity, but again I was left wanting for a smarter and truly manually-shiftable transmission.

Pulling into the Holiday Inn Express that the navigation system led us to in Colorado Springs, we were ready for an early evening in and a good night's rest. Luckily we found it in suites with a view of Pikes Peak. We ordered in pizza from Louie's (awesome pizza!) and got to bed early. The next day we slept in and decided to get the truck washed, drive out to the Garden of the Gods and then drive around Colorado Springs since we had a nice map of every street with the navigation system. After getting mixed up a few times due to construction since the maps were updated and a post office that closed long ago but was still in the system, we got some dinner, filled up and hit the hotel again to get ready for the drive home. The hard drive on I-70 and the around-town driving in Colorado Springs brought the economy down to 20mpg. for the previous tank.

On our last day of the trip we left Colorado Springs early and headed to Lamar, Colorado to avoid New Mexico's construction. Just South of Lamar is the Emick Ranch, home of Colorado's largest wind farm, and just before you get to the Oklahoma border was a nice, long construction zone with alternating one-way traffic. The construction zone wasn't bad as we only had to wait about ten minutes before moving along at a decent speed, but soon after passing the construction we involutarily joined the second interactive Kamikaze Trucker show of the trip. These guys were crazy, passing several vehicles at a time and running over 90mph. In these situations when you have Class-8 tractors inspecting your tailpipes you need to look tough and keep up, kind of like arriving at prison. Fortunately, the Acadia had the power to do so and didn't "drop the soap," so to speak.

After an uneventful and long, boring drive through the Oklahoma Pandhandle and across Texas, stopping for gas and food in Dumas, Texas ( 22.8mpg. ) and Forth Worth ( 24mpg. ), we arrived back home about 1:00AM on Sunday, June 3rd. We drove a total of 3,730.4 miles with an overall average of 22.6mpg. It was a great trip through some of America's most beautiful country and it gave us a chance to really get to know the Acadia, both it's merits and it's shortcomings. My grandparents are truly happy with their purchase and I am truly hopeful for GM's future if every new product is as good as the Acadia.

Things we really like about the Acadia:
Ride
Handling
Brakes
Styling
Fuel Economy
Navigation System
Skyview Sunroof Setup
Front Seat Comfort
Build Quality
Heads-Up Display
HID Headlamps

Things we don't really like:
Rear Seat Comfort
Transmission Programming
Lack of Heated Second Row Seats
Lack of Third Climate Control Zone
Accessory Floor Mat Design

Here are a few pictures of the Acadia in the various places it took us.


On Highway 20 North of Shoshoni, Wyoming



On Highway 120 South of Cody, Wyoming



On Beartooth Pass



On Highway 14 West of Cody, Wyoming



Off Highway 14 East of Yellowstone



On Highway 14 Inside Yellowstone



On the North Shore of Yellowstone Lake



Inside the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs
 

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The white diamond tri-coat looks GREAT! It is my favorite color but I could not justify the extra expense.

BEAUTIFYL pictures!
 

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Not too shabby fuel economy. Especially for a heavy truck.

Beautiful trip. Sounds like it was a great drive.
 

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Great write up, love the pictures. Done most of the trip in Montana and Wyoming :thumb: but not in an Acadia :(. I see that the 10 foot poles are still up along the side of the Bear Tooth Highway (height of snowfall during the winter) and the snow is still melting. I was there once in mid to late June and there was still snow on the side of that highway. That must have been a great test of the tranny and handling. My wife is from Montana and her step dad used to run a race every year up and down that highway, this was in his 60's :eek:. Is the GMT900 SUVs the 2007 Tahoe/Suburban/Escalades??? I feel some of the features you mention are missing should be on this level vehicle too, but you would not have gotten the MPG in those that you got in the Acadia.
 

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yes the 900's are the suburban/yukon/ esclade, but keep in mind that even though the new design is new they have had the name since 1935, That's a long time to develop a truck, the acadia's name for a truck has been around since 2007, I am lucky to have both an Acadia and a Yukon xl They both have the pro's and con's but i think that when ever i travel i will always take the yukon xl because it has more space, and comfort, plus it has true tri-zone, and heated rear seats, also the Seats are cushey and bigger, they support my butt better. Also i feel better in a four speed when going through west virginia and their mountains and also having a v-8. I would rather have power over fuel- economy.
 

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I want that camera. Beautiful pictures. What camera do you have?
 

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I think most cameras in the 5 megapixels and above should do a decent job in places that have good contrast.
Now, it gets better when an Acadia is in the foreground ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
newz54 said:
I want that camera. Beautiful pictures. What camera do you have?
It's just a Kodak Z650. If you like these pictures check out this folder of mine on MySpace.
 

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With those great pics and the detailed/interesting write up you should consider writing for a travel magazine. I feel like i took the trip myself!

Terrific stuff!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the compliments, everyone.
 
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