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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few months ago I saw an Acadia for the first time in a parking lot and I just fell in love with the looks of it, so I walked over to it, looked in the windows and was smitten when I saw a third row of seats. I like my current 4 door sedan (2003 Chrysler 300M) but I would really like something that can fit more people and is better in snow.

Even though I have not test driven an Acadia, it is in the number one spot for my desired next vehicle. BUT with the price of gas lately I am little hesitant to get a vehicle that gets worse gas mileage than what I get now (around 19-20 in a mix of in-town and highway driving).

Has anyone considered a Hybrid (example: Toyota Highlander)? If so, what made you decide to go with the Acadia instead?
 

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I'm in a similar boat. We have an '03 Range Rover that is no longer very reliable. We want to get something with 3 row seating with AWD but would like to significantly better the 16 mpg average we get in the Range Rover. I like the styling and size of the Acadia but the real world mileage reports I am reading are not much better than what I currently get. There's not much else that competes size wise with the Acadia but the Highlander is not that far off. If the Highlander Hybrid had a real AWD system, or if the Yukon Hybrid had a third row seat that actually folded down those would be my choices.
Right now, for me at least, there are no good options. I'm hoping at the very least, the new engine for the 2009 Acadia will offer some mileage improvement. There's also word of a Toyota Sequoia Hybrid coming too...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thrumcap - What do you mean by "if the Highlander Hybrid had a real AWD system"? I haven't researched this vehicle much at all because I have been so in love with the Acadia. I did read a few reviews of the Highlander Hybrid and a couple of people mentioned that the gas mileage wasn't anywhere near what it is touted to me.

I am also concerned about functionality of Hybrids. My neighbor just got a Prius Hybrid and she told me that the engine shuts off at stop lights, etc. That seems like it would bother me.
 

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All I can say is with all the electrical problems with the Acadia, the thought of getting anything even more sophisticated electronically (Yukon Hybrid) from GM would probably require an overdose of LSD, or complete surrender of what remaining mental capacity I have. :banghead:
 

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Theresa said:
Thrumcap - What do you mean by "if the Highlander Hybrid had a real AWD system"? I haven't researched this vehicle much at all because I have been so in love with the Acadia. I did read a few reviews of the Highlander Hybrid and a couple of people mentioned that the gas mileage wasn't anywhere near what it is touted to me.
The Highlander Hybrid AWD system is FWD until it senses wheel slippage and then an electric motor powers the rear wheels. In my research, it seems the problem with it is that in very slippery conditions or deeper snow, the electric motors can shut down to prevent overheating leaving you stuck.
As for the mileage, the reviews I've read state that it takes some technique to fully realize the mileage savings in the Highlander Hybrid. The lowest combined mileage I've seen reported on the Highlander Hybrid is 23 mpg which would be enough for me.
 

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Theresa said:
A few months ago I saw an Acadia for the first time in a parking lot and I just fell in love with the looks of it, so I walked over to it, looked in the windows and was smitten when I saw a third row of seats. I like my current 4 door sedan (2003 Chrysler 300M) but I would really like something that can fit more people and is better in snow.

Even though I have not test driven an Acadia, it is in the number one spot for my desired next vehicle. BUT with the price of gas lately I am little hesitant to get a vehicle that gets worse gas mileage than what I get now (around 19-20 in a mix of in-town and highway driving).

Has anyone considered a Hybrid (example: Toyota Highlander)? If so, what made you decide to go with the Acadia instead?
Theresa,

The large amount of "tumblehome" in the Lambda design does make them look very attractive and smaller than they actually are.

You seem to be asking two different things in your post:

  • Does the Acadia FWD/AWD offer improved handling to the 300M in the ice & snow?

and,

  • How will the Acadia avg mpg compare to your present vehicle and to hybrid versions currently available?

With regard to the first question, both versions do well in the snow and rain, with the higher clearance an asset. The AWD version offers a degree of increased safety/handling in all conditions, especially ice and rain. I chose AWD for this reason. Bear in mind that in black or sheet ice conditions you're still at the mercy of your greatly limited traction and the wisdom of your fellow travelers.

An answer to your second question is a little more convoluted. If you select AWD, I doubt that you'll get an avg of 19 mpg. I average 17 in 50/50 city/highway. The Acadia will do as well as a smaller non-hybrid Highlander/Pilot.

I've heard on GM forums that the 3.6l V6 two-mode hybrid system does not fit in the Lambdas. It will be offered in the Saturn Vue, new Chevy Equinox, and new GMC Terrain...all Theta II platform mates. You'll have to do the calculations to determine if the higher up front cost of a hybrid is worth it over your ownership period. Good luck with that guestimate as the ceiling of gasoline is unknown.

Errata

The Highlander Synergy drive does have the quirk mentioned above that could leave you stuck in the snow.

The hybrid Tahoe/Yukon, with the 6.2l V8 two-mode system could well very average 21 mpg, but they're clumsier handling, dicier on the ice, and have the same room as the Acadia.

Good luck on your choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks to everyone that responded.

Tekwarrior- I wasn't really questioning whether the Acadia would do better in ice and snow than my current vehicle, because just about anything would do better than my 300M. It is a "Special" with performance tires and does absolutely terrible in the snow and ice. There has been one time that I have driven it in snowy conditions and it is the one and only time I ever will. I live in the Seattle area, so I don't have to deal with snow and ice too much except the few times a year that it snows at my house and when I go up to the mountains. Therefore, I have been torn on whether to get FWD or AWD if I get an Acadia. I am not sure that it makes sense to get AWD for the few times a year that I would need it. Does AWD help in rain?

You also bring up a great point about the higher up front cost of Hybrids. Sometimes it pencils out better to just pay more for gas over the long run than to pay the up front costs of the Hybrid.

I plan to keep my next vehicle for at least 6 years (or more), so I want to make sure I make the right decision.

Decisions, decisions.
 

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We just went through the same decision making process.. and we ended up w/ the FWD Acadia of course. Looked at everything else out there... and even smaller SUV/CUVs all get the same or worse gas milage than the Acadia. The Acadia has more 3rd row room than my cousin's '07 Tahoe. We tried to find a vehicle that better suited us.. and kept coming back to the Acadia to replace our worn out '97 Dodge Grand Caravan.

We live in Indiana and originally were leaning towards the AWD.. but ended up w/ the FWD for the better fuel savings.. and a FWD vehicle this size will do just fine in amount of snow we get every winter. The Caravan did OK in the snow.. Only had the Acadia a bit over a week now.. but it rained most of that time... w/ some torrential downpours at times and the FWD Acadia performed flawlessly. So far we love our Acadia!!! :blob: :cheers: :blob:
 

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I too had hybrid fever when I was shopping for a new car at the beginning of 2007. There were reports of the "Tahoe Hybrid" due out shortly, so I test drove a Tahoe. I wasn't impressed with ride or the interior finish. Drove the highlander hybrid, which felt too small to me. Checked out every other SUV/CUV available at the time. None had the balance of features, fit and finish, interior size, and price like the Acadia did.
Almost every other car fell into one of these two categories: Cramped and cheap looking or Large and box-like with the interior aesthetics of a pickup truck.

At the end of the day I wanted a car I was happy with and could live with for years, rather than settling on something I wasn't crazy about which could squeeze out an extra 3 MPG.
 

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Theresa said:
I am also concerned about functionality of Hybrids. My neighbor just got a Prius Hybrid and she told me that the engine shuts off at stop lights, etc. That seems like it would bother me.
Why should that bother you? I am considering an Acadia to replace an aging minivan, but my second car is a Prius. It is nice when at an intersection or at speed you don't have the engine running. It is extremely quiet - not to mention fuel saving, obviously. The characteristics that make it hybrid are largely seamless to the driver -- i.e., it pretty much drives like any other car, only more quietly and efficiently. I'm getting 52 mpg so even if the silence bothered me, it'd be a small sacrifice.
 

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Theresa said:
You also bring up a great point about the higher up front cost of Hybrids. Sometimes it pencils out better to just pay more for gas over the long run than to pay the up front costs of the Hybrid.
I don't mean to be argumentative, but I really don't understand this logic. Without batting an eye people will pay thousands extra for leather, chrome wheels, etc. that will never "pencil out".

But all of a sudden the extra cost has to be justified when it comes to a hybrid drive train that actually does "pay back"???

FYI, I have a "loaded" 2 1/2 year old Prius that cost $23,000 after a hybrid tax credit. With gas at $4/gallon and going nowhere but up, I could sell it today for around $20,500. That means it's cost me less than $100 / month in depreciation plus about $55 / month in gas to drive.

As long as GM doesn't link an Acadia/Outlook/Traverse hybrid package with a bunch of other unrelated "premium" items, it should "pencil out" just fine. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
MtnBiker- I didn't take your responses as argumentative. The points you bring up are exactly why I posted this post. I wanted to get input from others. I have only ridden in a Hybrid once in my life and I really don't know anything about them. I have done zero research and hadn't really considered getting one until I found out they are coming out with SUV/CUV's with Hybrid engines. Of course, the price of gas these days makes me think more about getting a Hybrid as well. I was surprised that the engine shuts off on it's own and I wondered if there are delays getting it to go again once the light turns green. I also wasn't sure if there are any other dissadvantages of a Hybrid. I mean, if they are so great, why aren't all new vehicles Hybrids? The only analogy I can give is that when my husband was looking for a truck and wanted to get a Diesel I wasn't crazy about the noise level and smell of a Diesel. Sure he gets better MPGs in the Diesel truck that he bought, but it also cost much more to buy than its' gasoline counterpart and maintenance is more. Oh, and Diesel has jumped from $3.00 to $4.50 since he bought it. At this point, I think it would have penciled out better to get the gasoline truck. However, my husband would argue that point because he is able to pull a trailer up mountain passes much better with the Diesel and the engine is supposed to last much longer than a gasoline one.

The reason I wonder if buying a Hybrid SUV/CUV will pencil out is because I believe the SUV/CUV Hybrids cost more to purchase than the Acadia. Let's just say that it costs $6000 more. Would I be able to re-coupe that $6000 over 6 years? I also am concerned about they resale value. Will a gasoline Acadia be hard to sell in 6 years when there are all kinds of Hybrids around?
 

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Theresa said:
MtnBiker- I didn't take your responses as argumentative. The points you bring up are exactly why I posted this post. I wanted to get input from others. I have only ridden in a Hybrid once in my life and I really don't know anything about them. I have done zero research and hadn't really considered getting one until I found out they are coming out with SUV/CUV's with Hybrid engines. Of course, the price of gas these days makes me think more about getting a Hybrid as well. I was surprised that the engine shuts off on it's own and I wondered if there are delays getting it to go again once the light turns green. I also wasn't sure if there are any other dissadvantages of a Hybrid. I mean, if they are so great, why aren't all new vehicles Hybrids? The only analogy I can give is that when my husband was looking for a truck and wanted to get a Diesel I wasn't crazy about the noise level and smell of a Diesel. Sure he gets better MPGs in the Diesel truck that he bought, but it also cost much more to buy than its' gasoline counterpart and maintenance is more. Oh, and Diesel has jumped from $3.00 to $4.50 since he bought it. At this point, I think it would have penciled out better to get the gasoline truck. However, my husband would argue that point because he is able to pull a trailer up mountain passes much better with the Diesel and the engine is supposed to last much longer than a gasoline one.

The reason I wonder if buying a Hybrid SUV/CUV will pencil out is because I believe the SUV/CUV Hybrids cost more to purchase than the Acadia. Let's just say that it costs $6000 more. Would I be able to re-coupe that $6000 over 6 years? I also am concerned about they resale value. Will a gasoline Acadia be hard to sell in 6 years when there are all kinds of Hybrids around?
You raise some very good questions. First, with regard to the Prius engine shutoff, it is completely seamless. It restarts without any problem. In fact, it frequently shuts off when not needed, not just at a stop. On the freeway at 70 mph it will shut off if you are coasting or on a slight downhill, where battery power to the electric drive is sufficient. I don't know that all hybrids will perform this way, but that is how the Prius is and it is not at all an issue. It restarts immediately when needed.

With regard to diesel, it kind of depends on your intended use. There are some pros, but for me, they are outweighed the cons (noisier, higher fuel costs, more limited re-fueling station availability, etc.). Those were issues for me in contemplating a diesel but may not be for everyone.

Regarding the hybrid SUV/CUV, it will depend on the model as to whether it is "worth it" in purely financial terms. Because of the way some of the vehicles package the hybrid drive train with other options, the incremental cost may be significant. But remember, those add ons are not the "hybrid cost" -- so if you want the other options, then it is worth it. If not, it isn't. But the "hybrid premium" as some call it is typically only a few thousand dollars.

If GM does offer the BAS hybrid option on an Acadia, it should by itself only run about $1500 (the two-mode hybrid like on the Tahoe would be more). If it takes you from say an average of 20 mpg to 25 mpg, that's 120 gallons saved if you are driving 12,000 miles / year. At $4/gallon here in CA, that's $480/year. So in 3 years time, the cost of the hybrid system "pays back".

Now take those leather seats - let's say leather costs you $1500. How long does that take to pay back? Answer: never. So dollar for dollar, upgrading to a hybrid drivetrain is the only money you could spend on your car that actually will have a positive return on investment.

Plus, with rising gas prices, your depreciation is likely to be far less on a more fuel efficient vehicle. And, lastly, I believe GM vehicles still qualify for the hybrid tax credit, which for a 2007 Saturn Vue Greenline was $650, for example. So your "payback period" would be even shorter than the 3 years calculated above.
 
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