2015 GMC Acadia: Made for Road Trips with Teens

Gmc Acadia
Credit: gmc.com

Keeping everyone happy in a huge SUV.

I make my teenagers take roadtrips with me. There is lots of moaning and groaning during the days preceding but we always have great stories to tell at the end.  For our spring break, we spent a week in a GMC Acadia Denali on the Florida freeways, and from West Palm Beach to Orlando visiting friends and checking out potential colleges for my daughter.

When you spend several hours at a time in a vehicle, it has to be comfortable and spacious not only for the driver but for the backseat passengers, especially if they are teens.

The 2015 GMC Acadia: a beast of a vehicle with the style and looks of a model

Gmc Acadia

Beasty but supermodel good looking. Credit: Kim Orlando for AGirlsGuidetoCars

I have owned a large SUV for years and it drives like a truck. It’s got a rougher ride and feel and isn’t horrible on gas. The GMC Denali is a pretty car with a luxurious look and feel, even though it is really big. My GMC had a pretty cream color (technically it’s called white diamond tricoat) that was great for the hot, humid Florida weather (think sun reflection) and not too feminine for my husband to drive.

The driver’s area has plenty of leg and arm room and all of the important technology is within arm’s reach.  The second row offered two captain’s chairs with smartslide seating which reduced arguments among the teens who would normally not want to climb back to the 3rd row. The trunk was large enough for all of the suitcases and travel gear for our four passengers and had room to spare.

Gmc Acadia

Cup holders in the 2015 GMC Acadia don’t accommodate standard size water bottles. Credt: Kim Orlando for AGirlsGuidetoCars

Watching the sunset without taking your eyes off the dashboard

No need to miss a Florida sunset just because you are watching the road.  The 2015 GMC Acadia Denali offers a smart head-up display on the driver’s side that shows speed, navigation,  and temperature in the windshield.

And if you miss a sunset you can check out the moon through the skyscape sunroof – it was large enough to see the stars and sky from the backseat at night and shaded for the day so the hot Florida temps stayed outside instead of in.

Thumbs up for comfort from a 14-year old

Gmc Acadia

If a 14-year old teen tells you he’s willing to road trip 12 hour days, you know the back seats are comfortable. Credit: Kim Orlando for AGirlsGuidetoCars

The real test for any vehicle is how far the kids can travel in  it. My 14 year-old son told me he’d be happy to drive in it for 12 hours at a time, no problem. He especially liked the back seat creature comforts: rear controls including a 120V outlet, USB ports, climate control and radio.

Easy to drive but difficult to navigate

Gmc Acadia

Pretty on the eyes but hard to figure out. Credit: Kim Orlando for AGirlsGuidetoCars

Driving the 2015 GMC Acadia was a snap. It seriously handled like a car. Turning and maneuvering was no problem at all, even when driving down the busy streets and highways in Miami and Orlando. The rear vision camera was your standard type and style, and I appreciated having it in such a large car.

The navigation system, however, was a challenge. There was a continuous delay in its directives so I ended up keeping an app on my smartphone open to get us safely to our destination. As a stranger in a big city, I want the nav system to be dependable and intuitive, and it just wasn’t. I used OnStar a lot, and I learned to provide more information than just an address in order to get the proper directions. Otherwise, OnStar would have merely synched the directions to the frustrating navigation system. For me, this navigation system could be a deal breaker.  On the other hand, I was driving in large cities with giant skyscrapers and I know that GPS systems can go wonky in this type of situation so I cannot be sure if it was the navigation system or bad connections that were causing the issue.

Gmc Acadia

All the bells and whistles that teens need at the touch of a finger. Credit: Kim Orlando for AGirlsGuidetoCars

What We Loved:

  • 7 Passenger Seating
  • Captain’s chairs in middle row with smartslide seating
  • 3rd row
  • Spacious trunk
  • Easy maneuverability
  • Good- looking xxterior
  • Skyscrape sunroof
  • Rear vision camera
  • Heads up display on windshield


What You Need to Know:

  • Base price: $47,690 The model I test drove came in at $51,215
  • Fuel Economy: 24 Highway, 17 City for an average of 19 MPG
  • Greenhouse rating: 4/10
  • Regular gas Rrcommended
  • 5 year/ 100,000 powertrain limited warranty
  • Overall government 5-Star safety rating

2015 Denali Monroney