2011 GMC Acadia Denali at 2010 Detroit Auto Show

By David Thomas  on December 17, 2009


  • Competes with: Lincoln MKT, Buick Enclave, Acura MDX
  • Looks like: GMC can dress up crossovers, too
  • Drivetrain: 288-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 with six-speed automatic transmission
  • Hits dealerships: Fall 2010
During GM’s rocky lead up to bankruptcy, many pundits with little knowledge of the auto industry pointed to GMC as a brand that the company could afford to let go of. What they didn’t understand is that GMC's lineup actually makes a lot of money, even if the trucks and SUVs it sells are subtle, upscale variations of Chevy products.

The epitome of GMC’s success is its Denali trim level, an upgrade to its SUVs and trucks; the company says half of all Yukons sold are of the more expensive Denali version. That’s why debuting the Acadia Denali makes so much sense. For slightly more money than a fully loaded $40,185 Acadia SLT-2, you get a Denali with unique 20-inch chrome wheels, new lower bumper, honeycomb chrome grille, panoramic moonroof, heated and cooled leather seats, and numerous trim upgrades inside and out including a mahogany wood trim. GM hasn’t announced official pricing but did share that the price difference between the Acadia SLT and Denali will be less than the difference in Yukon trims, which is nearly $9,000.

Cars.com’s Mike Hanley got an early look at the Acadia Denali and thought it was nice, but didn’t see any real improvement in interior feel to a regular Acadia with a black interior. He did say it was “certainly flashy.”

Will the Acadia Denali continue GMC’s winning ways of repackaging refinement? Check out more photos below along with GM’s list of upgrades, and let us know what you think in the comment section.

GMC Acadia Denali Features List (provided by GM)

    * Premium acoustics - laminated glass, triple door seals, and liquid applied sound deadeners
    * Perforated leather seats with matching leather door panel trim
    * Heated and cooled driver and passenger seats
    * Leather-wrapped steering wheel with mahogany wood inserts
    * Complementary wood grain finish on the instrument panel and center stack
    * Enhanced accent lighting in the footwells
    * Chrome, lighted sill plates with the Denali logo
    * Dual SkyScape sunroof system, with sliding front sunroof and fixed rear section
    * Head-up display (HUD)
    * Tri-zone automatic climate control
    * Navigation system including XM NavTraffic (available)
    * Bluetooth connectivity
    * OnStar
    * Rear-seat DVD entertainment system, with roof-mounted flip-down screen (available)
    * Premium audio system with USB port and Bose 10-speaker sound system
    * XM Satellite Radio
    * Rearview camera system
    * Eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory
    * Remote vehicle start




GMC Acadia GMC 2010 Detroit Auto Show

Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon.  Email David