- The Washington Times - Friday, January 30, 2009

GMC ACADIA

For 2009, Acadia receives an enhanced version of the 3.6-liter V-6 variable valve timing engine that uses gasoline direct-injection technology to help produce more power, greater fuel economy and increased towing capacity than the 2008 model.

Acadia seats up to eight. It is offered in SLE and SLT trims, available in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations. A comprehensive safety system includes six standard air bags and standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with traction control and rollover mitigation technology.

The Acadia is a sleek, athletic crossover with carefully executed details, such as tight tolerances, a tailored wheel-to-body relationship, and a range of upscale colors and select bright trim, creating a strong and confident presence.

GM’s exclusive Smart Slide feature is standard on all second-row configurations, allowing quick and easy access to the third-row seating area.

Acadia’s available Intelligent AWD system enhances dry-road handling and provides increased traction on wet and snow- and ice-covered roads. It actively manages the torque distribution between the front and rear axles based on factors such as wheel speed, throttle and surface conditions.

Base model estimated mpg: 17 city/24 highway

Estimated starting price: $31,685

GMC ENVOY

Changes to the 2009 GMC Envoy and Envoy Denali models are few, but customers will appreciate the new Bluetooth wireless capability for safer hands-free phone calls. It is available with Envoy’s OnStar 8.0 system. Also new for 2009 are three exterior colors: sand beige metallic, quicksilver metallic and silver-green metallic.

Envoy features include air conditioning, dual-zone climate control, XM Satellite Radio, power locks and windows, and remote keyless entry; leather seating is standard on SLT. Amenities such as adjustable pedals, assist steps, a sunroof, Bose premium sound, rear-seat DVD entertainment system and touchscreen navigation also are available.

Envoy Denali takes GMC’s midsize SUV platform to the pinnacle of comfort and style, with specific design cues, including the iconic chrome grille, standard 18-inch wheels and tires, and a host of standard amenities.

The flagship Envoy Denali has a powerful, all-aluminum Vortec 5.3-liter V-8. It delivers 300 horsepower and 321 foot-pounds of torque. The result is towing capability of up to 6,600 pounds with two-wheel-drive models.

The engine on Envoy is the 4.2-liter in-line six-cylinder engine. It is rated at 285 horsepower and 276 foot-pounds of torque.

The Envoy Denali has a standard air-adjustable load-leveling suspension system - including onboard air compressor and inflator kit - and locking rear differential.

Standard 17-inch wheels and tires come with the Envoy. Twenty-inch, six-spoke polished aluminum wheels are available.

Base model estimated mpg: 14 city/20 highway

Estimated starting price: $30,415

GMC YUKON

GMC’s Yukon and Yukon XL full-size SUVs deliver more power and better fuel economy than the competition. For 2009, a host of new features is designed to deliver segment-leading fuel economy and give customers more choices of helpful safety and convenience equipment.

The new features include a fuel-saving six-speed automatic transmission on models equipped with the 5.3-liter and 6.0-liter engines, Bluetooth wireless phone connectivity, XM Satellite Radio with new NavTraffic. New 20-inch chrome-clad wheels add to the Yukon lineup’s roster of stylish wheel options.

The new Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic enhances fuel economy on the highway via reduced engine speed. The engine requires less fuel to operate at a lower “cruising” speed. Also, quietness in the interior is enhanced with the lower-rpm cruising.

Yukon Denali and Yukon XL Denali are also back for 2009, packing the same helpful technologies as the Yukon models, as well as an enhanced 6.2-liter V-8 that is more powerful and E85 flex-fuel capable. Denali models also receive additional comfort and convenience features.

An iron-block Vortec 5.3-liter V-8 with 310 horsepower and 335 foot-pounds of torque offering active fuel management technology is standard, but a Vortec 4.8-liter V-8 is standard on the Yukon two-wheel-drive base model.

Base model estimated mpg: 14 city/19 highway

Estimated starting price: $37,405


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