Several years back, General Motors decided to begin offering consumers an alternative to large, frame-based SUVs that while still being family-friendly they were geared more towards actual usage by their owners and delivered better fuel economy along, improved ride and handling, and ease of use.
This new family of large Crossover Utility Vehicles has proved popular with consumers and for 2013 GM has updated the Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, and GMC Acadia models.
The trio share common architecture with each brand giving unique styling cues to the individual vehicles. They are all powered by 3.6-liter direct-injection V-6 engines generating 288hp and 270 lb. ft. of torque and each utilized a six-speed automatic gearbox. Fuel economy figures are common across the board at 17 mpg city and 24 mpg highway and each model is offered in front- and all-wheel drive.
Aside from updated styling, each model line benefits from new front seat center airbag technology to further protect front seat occupants in the case of side impact accidents. Other new safety technology includes blind spot zone alert and rear cross traffic alert that even tells the driver from which direction the cross traffic is approaching.
Updated four-wheel independent suspension further improves what was already a very compliant ride and the onroad experience is a very quiet and comfortable one despite the amount of interior volume.
Three rows of seating are standard in each model and they all offer second row captains chairs and 20-inch wheels and tires are standard across the board.
GM provided top of the line models of each brand for us to test recently and while we enjoyed being treated to the crossovers at their finest, consumers need not purchase the most decked-out models as Buick, Chevy, and GMC each bring a full host of standard safety and comfort and convenience features to each even at the base level.
The Chevy Traverse features the lowest pricing of the trio followed by GMC and Buick. A base Traverse starts at $31,370, Acadia begins at $34,875, and Enclave has a base price of $39,270. Each of the models we tested arrived with stickers more than 40 grand ($44,410 for Traverse LTZ, $46,770 for Acadia Denali, and just over 50 grand for the Enclave Premium).
For those consumers who will never tow anything over 5,000 lbs. nor take their utility into serious off-pavement scenarios, the trio of GM family-sized crossovers will suit you just fine and might just exceed your expectations in some areas, one might even think of them as the “family truckster avant garde.”