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First Look: 2013 GMC Acadia and Acadia Denali

Aiming to maintain momentum in a tough segment.

by on Feb.09, 2012

The 2013 GMC Acadia Denali makes it Chicago debut.

Chicago Auto Show-goers will be the first to get a close-up look at the updated 2013 GMC Acadia, as well as the premium spin-off, the Acadia Denali.

The two new models will likely play a critical role for GMC, now the second best-selling brand in the General Motors portfolio.  Despite its age, the outgoing Acadia crossover had its best year yet in 2011, with demand surging 16% — and half of its sales coming from customers trading in non-GM products, according to Tony DiSalle, GMC’s vice president of marketing.

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“While (traditional) trucks and SUVs will be the foundation of the GMC brand,” DiSalle said during a Chicago Auto Show preview, “we’re expanding our appeal with bold crossovers like the Acadia.”

But the big CUV will have some tough competition, facing up against domestic products of comparable or slightly smaller size like the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ford Explorer, as well as imports ranging from the Toyota Highlander to more upscale models from European imports that also target what GMC calls the “professional grade” customer.

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