The 2018 GMC Acadia: Family Fun

The 2018 GMC Acadia

If you have a growing family, you may need three rows for your family, but you don’t have the heart to listen to the automatic slide door of a Honda Odyssey shut the book on your youth. Well, there are options for those who need more passenger (or cargo) space, but aren’t interested in minivans. The 2018 GMC Acadia midsize SUV is one of those options. And, frankly, it’s one the most attractive ones.

The 2018 GMC Acadia

What you’ll immediately notice is the style. The GMC Acadia does not look like it has three rows of seating. The exterior lines are sculpted and sharp, giving the impression of a much smaller vehicle. At the same time, the 2018 Acadia retains the rugged strength that has become GMC’s signature. The grille of the SLT model is the winner of the bunch with three sharply cut slats. Finally, any of the wheel options, beginning with the standard 17” painted aluminum wheels, portray the same degree of toughness and style.

Power

Usually, drivers of family-oriented vehicles usually aren’t interested in detailed engine specifications. They like to know that their vehicles can move quickly and quietly, while keeping up at highway speeds. And, under those criteria, the 2018 Acadia is won’t disappoint. The base engine is a 2.5L inline four with 193 horsepower. While that unit won’t set the world alight, it’s capable of pushing the Acadia along comfortably. Towing capacity is obviously limited, but you get great fuel economy (10.1 L/100km combined) considering the Acadia’s size. And,If you upgrade to the 3.6L V6, you get 4 times more towing capacity and 310 horsepower.

Interior

Comfort has been significantly improved over the previous year’s model. Passengers in any of the seats will have enough legroom and head clearance for substantial driving durations (but whoever ends up in the middle of the rear bench will probably still complain). As a welcome consequence of the enlarged center console, the driver gets a more stable rest for their arm (drive with two hands on the wheel or whatever).

The fit and finish, as drivers may have come to expect from GMC are exceptional. There is ample space for drivers and passengers and comfort is prevalent. However, the Denali trim is not as refined as in the brands other models. But we can expect this to improve as the Acadia enters the middle years of its model cycle.

Admittedly, the cargo space behind the third row of seating is minimal. So, if you need to move seven people and a mountain of gear, you might be out of luck. But that’s really the consequence of GMC making the Acadia trim and stylish. It doesn’t look like a minivan, so you can’t expect it to be as capacious as one. That being said, when you fold down the third row, you’ll have enough room for almost anything you need to haul. If you need gear for a weeklong camping expedition and four people, no problem.

Safety

As you probably expect from GMC, the 2018 Acadia has an impressive suite of safety technology. That’s especially reassuring when you’re driving a vehicle the size of the Acadia. No, it’s not as big as the Yukon, but when you’re driving with your family it’s nice to know that your vehicle has your back. Available safety technology includes:

  • Automatic Emergency Braking
  • Blind-Spot Monitoring
  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Lane-Departure Warning
  • Lane-Keeping Assist

While the Acadia is neither the ultimate stylish crossover, or shameless people-mover, it strikes a pleasant balance between the two. GMC really hit the right notes with the exterior styling. And the

Lessons From a Nearly Fatal Crash

2017 GMC Sierra Kodiak

On Friday, July 28th, Lindsay P. was driving west on a dirt road near Wadena and highway 5 leading to her home. She was behind the wheel of a 2017 GMC Sierra that her father had purchased only weeks earlier from Capital GMC. Luckily, Lindsay had left her own vehicle, a 2008 Pontiac Torrent at home. In front of her, a truck had been spreading gravel along the road while the RM was cutting grass in the adjacent ditch. Around 3 P.M., two vehicles passed Lindsay going the opposite direction, kicking up a cloud of dust. In the dust, Lindsay couldn’t see the gravel truck slowing to turn off the road.

The Crash

But Lindsay doesn’t actually remember the cars passing her. She doesn’t remember the cloud of dust. And she doesn’t remember seeing the brake lights of the gravel truck. That’s because Lindsay crashed into the back of it at full speed. Given the nature of the impact, and resulting injury to her head, her recollections are hazy. So, all of the details we have about the collision itself have been pieced together from the report of collision investigators and the accounts of witnesses. And, it’s very fortunate that those witnesses were on hand.

They were able to alert first responders who arrived shortly after the accident. By the time Lindsay regained consciousness in the ambulance, several hours had passed. When Lindsay finally arrived at the hospital in Saskatoon, doctors were able to assess the severity of her injuries. As it turned out, she had suffered a broken arm, burns from the airbag deployment, as well as countless cuts and abrasions. The wrist required a plate and some pins. But she considers herself lucky and avoided major surgery. Given the severity of the accident, testified by the compacted remains of her dad’s truck, a broken arm is far from the worst possible consequence.

The Aftermath

While the events surrounding Lindsay’s crash may be hazy, the result is certainly clear. The truck, a 2017 GMC Sierra, was destroyed. “The front end was pushed in so far that the engine was touching my knees,” says Lindsay. Additionally, the cab was pushed over the edge of the bed. The hood crumbled upward over the roof of the cab. Obviously, the damage was irreparable. Pictures of the wreckage are a grim reminder of the fact that things could have gone worse for Lindsay.

We asked her if she had any reservations about returning to the road. She replied that she had no memory of the accident, so she had no fear about getting back behind the wheel.

Back on the Road

But she did want to extend a message to her fellow drivers: “…beware of dry gravel roads. If your visibility is so bad that you can’t see anything due to dust, pull over and wait for it to settle. Also, I truly believe that I survived this accident because I was driving my dad’s Sierra and not my own SUV.”

There’s no doubt that full-sized pickups are one of the safest types of vehicle on the road. Their size, cabin heights, and reinforced steel frames make them stand out among other passenger vehicles in crash safety. And the Sierra is one of the finest members of the category. It has the highest rating in the moderate overlap front collision test from the IIHS, which is probably a good representation of the crash in which Lindsay was involved. And her limited injuries are the testament to the importance of those tests.

 

Capital GMC wishes Lindsay the best of luck in her recovery and encourages everyone to drive with caution and care.

 

Meet the 2018 GMC Sierra: Arriving This Fall

The 2018 GMC Sierra

The 2018 GMC Sierra is coming soon and it’s bound to shatter even the most optimistic expectations for the next generation of professional grade.

The chrome belt moulding makes a strong first impression. And that impression isn’t disappointed by the features that follow. An aggressive wheel lineup, bold grilles with top cutouts, and signature LEDs combine to create the most distinctive Sierra yet. And with practical features like the CornerStep rear bumper and integrated handholds, GMC flagship backs up its good looks.

Lighting

LED is more than the hot buzzword in automotive lighting. First off, LED lights can last over 20 years. LEDs also use more than 80% of the energy consumed toward generating light. Meanwhile, halogens waste 80% on producing heat. Finally the pure white light of LEDs penetrate fog and the dark much better than yellow halogens. The point is, you’ll be glad that GMC has is offering LED fog lamps, signatures, tail lamps, and box lights on the 2018 Sierra. Oh, and you can get IntelliBeam technology that automatically switches your high beams off when detecting oncoming traffic.

Interior

In spite of the power, the 2018 GMC Sierra cabin is remarkably quiet. The doors are triple sealed and both the engine and body are hydraulic mounted to reduce vibrations. Finally, the available Bose Active Noise Cancellation emits negative waves to shut out unwanted sounds from the road and engine. The combination of all these engineering feats is the quietest Sierra cabin ever – where you can focus on the rest of the interior improvements.

You’ll find premium materials on the seats, steering wheel, and available soft-touch instrument panel. You can get heated/ventilated seats and a heated steering wheel. There’s also an available aluminum trim accents for a first-class finish. Wireless charging pad and OnStar 4G LTE are also available. That means you can stay connected and be productive on the job site or the road.

Performance

People buy pickups to do work. That’s why, when it comes to buying one, performance is the most important factor. The base engine is a 4.3L EcoTec3 V6 with 285 horsepower and 305 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine provides the perfect balance of power and fuel savings for urban drivers. Plus, every engine comes with Active Fuel Management. AFM reduces the number of cylinders in use when performance demands are low in order to save you money on fuel.

New for the 2018 GMC Sierra is a 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 eAsssist. The engine is a small hybrid setup. A fuel cell delivers extra torque and acceleration while allowing the engine to run longer in four-cylinder mode. The battery recharges itself using regenerative braking and should increase fuel economy in general. While it’s a small first step, the hybrid powertrain could hint at what GMC has in store for the future.

All 2018 GMC Sierra Engines

  • 4.3L EcoTec3 V6 – 285 HP + 305 lb.-ft of torque
  • 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 – 355 HP + 383 lb.-ft of torque
  • 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 – 420 HP + 460 lb.-ft of torque
  • 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 eAssist – 355 HP + 383 lb.-ft of torque

Whichever engine you choose, you get the  confidence and peace of mind reserved only for professional grade drivers. Keep your eyes open for the 2018 GMC Sierra arriving at the beginning of fall, 2017.

 

Rebalancing the Cadillac Sedan Lineup

Rebalancing the Cadillac Sedan lineup

As you may not know, the sedan is an endangered species. Take a look on the average Canadian road (that’s any road with more definite potholes than lane markings). You’ll probably see more trucks and SUVs than cars. At the very least, fewer sedans, coupes, and hatchbacks are leaving new dealerships. The increasing fuel economy of larger, more rugged vehicles has made them attractive to many Canadians. Consequently, many automakers are adjusting their lineups to include more crossovers and SUVs – and fewer cars. The Cadillac sedan lineup is conspicuously packed. And right now the XT5 is its only crossover.

Cadillac Sedan Traffic Jam

For 2017, the Cadillac sedan lineup includes the cars ATS, XTS, CTS, and CT6. They also offer performance models, the ATS-V and CTS-V. Offering four commercial sedans these days is difficult, even for an automaker that has created some iconic models. And Cadillac knows it: “We have to rebalance our sedan portfolio,” says Johan de Nysschen, company president. As it turns out, “rebalance” is a pretty tame verb. In reality, CTS and ATS, two RWD sedans; as well as the FWD XTS will be discontinued. In their place, Cadillac will introduce the CT5. The new sedan will move into the price bracket vacated by the ATS. So, that would leave Cadillac with a affordable (luxury) RWD sedan and the ultra-premium CT6. That should give consumers a clearer understanding of vehicle’s niche and prevent them from stepping on each other’s toes.

However, that may not be the only change Cadillac has in the works. Some are also reporting that Cadillac has new small car currently in the works, as well as a flagship that isn’t a four-door sedan. The small car would, conceivably compete against the likes of the BMW-2 Series coupe. Intuitively, that would make some sense, as a small coupe wouldn’t be conflated with Cadillac’s XTS or proposed CT5. Plus, a smaller car with one of Cadillac’s turbocharged engines could be extremely fun to drive.

Cadillac Crossover

On the other side of things, don’t be surprised to see Cadillac’s SUV portfolio expand. No, it won’t release a pickup truck like Mercedes-Benz’s hideous X-Class. But the XT5 is Cadillac’s strongest selling vehicle, and the jump from it to the Escalade (regarding both size and price) is pretty substantial. Therefore, it would make sense for Cadillac to build an intermediate SUV between the two: “I would say we have clearly room to add new entries between the XT5 and where Escalade begins,” said de Nysschen.

By the end of next year, Cadillac will have introduced their newest SUV, the XT4. But it won’t slot in between the XT5 and Escalade. Instead, the XT4 will be smaller than the XT5 – as the number suggests. While it won’t be micro-SUV small, de Nysschen expressed an interesting in exploiting that market as well.

2018 & Beyond

It will be interesting to see what Cadillac’s lineup looks like in five years as they shed their sedans and integrate electric and hybrid powertrains. Hopefully they can also integrate a little stability and consistency. The constantly changing model names is just a bit baffling for consumers. Of course, we’ll have to hold on to see what Cadillac ultimately decides to do to their portfolio. But, the company already has a lineup of excellent vehicles. Now, it’s just a matter of refining their products to fit the market demand. And, if we somehow see the realization of the Cadillac Escala concept, I don’t think anyone would complain.

 

How To Use IntelliLink Voice Commands

GMC IntelliLink in the new 2017 Yukon Denali

The infotainment systems available in modern vehicles have become drastically more sophisticated over the past few years. But they’ve also become much more complicated. Which means they’re more dangerous to drivers. Yes, I concede that’s kind of a slippery slope argument. But the fact is this: you’re more likely to get distracted from the road swiping on a touch screen for the correct Bruno Mars song than you would by switching between radio presets. Admittedly, touch screens have been getting a little more responsive. That means drivers will spend less time concentrating on them. But the most important improvement to these systems, by far, is the introduction of voice commands. Being able to adjust the route of your navigation system without taking your eyes off the road is invaluable. But figuring out the right commands for your onboard assistant can be difficult. That’s why we’re going to run through some of the most important commands for your GM IntelliLink software.

IntelliLink Voice Commands

The first step is simple. To prepare your IntelliLink system for a voice command, press the voice command button on the steering wheel. Now you’re ready to use one of the command key

Audio

Say “audio” to bring up the audio controls menu. From there, you can cycle through options with manual controls, or continue with voice commands. The “play” command is very important. Saying “play” followed by an artist name, album name, song name, genre name, playlist name, audiobook name, or podcast name will launch the appropriate media from a USB or Bluetooth device compatible with IntelliLink. Of course, you can also use voice commands to control the radio. Say “Tune to (station frequency number) FM” to change the station.

Phone

The IntelliLink system can also control a Bluetooth-connected smartphone. To connect your phone, first say “Pair phone.” To change the connected phone, say “Change phone.” Once your phone is connected, you can use IntelliLink to make a phone call. Use commands “Call” or “Dial” followed by a contact name or the phone number in single digits: eg., “three, zero, six, five, five, five, one, two, three, four.”

Navigation

One of the most important applications of the IntelliLink system’s voice command is navigation. Fumbling with Google Maps or tapping at your touchscreen while trying to navigate is extremely dangerous. Touch the voice command button then say “Navigation” or “Destination” to begin. From there, you can say “Address,” followed by the complete address of your destination; “Contact,” for directions to a person’s address; or “Point of Interest,” to bring up options about interesting locations. Finally, you can say “Cancel Route” to… cancel the route.

Highlights

  • “Audio” – bring up the Audio menu
  • “Play” – followed by artist, album, song, genre, playlist, podcast, or audiobook
  • “Tune to” – followed by station number + “FM” or “AM”
  • “Call” or “Dial” – followed by contact name or phone digits
  • “Pair phone” – connect your phone via Bluetooth
  • “Change phone” – select a different phone to pair with Bluetooth
  • “Navigation” or “Destination” – followed address, contact name, or point of interest
  • “Cancel route” – stop navigating

Many new GM vehicles are equipped with IntelliLink functionality. However, many drivers don’t use it to its full potential. Mastering voice commands will help you stay focused on the road. That’s vitally important in a time when distracted driving is one our roadways’ greatest dangers. And, as a bonus, you get to feel a bit like Knight Rider.