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Old 01-23-2013, 01:10 PM   #1
Terracar
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Acadia is showing up the Ridgeline

Hi guys,

The wife and I just had our first child and plan to have at least another. We had an '08 Legacy and the '08 RL for drivers - Sadly both limit passenger hauling to 2 if you exclude the driver and childseat. The Subie was the wife's first brand new car and was a phenomenal car.

We have been looking at crossovers and minivans and were out Sunday test driving and checking every model out. We happened to negotiate a killer deal (we weren't wanting to buy yet, but the met all of our outlandish needs) and traded the Subie in for a GMC Acadia.

I was of the mindset that I would never own another GM product, but the wife used to work for GM and assured me that the GMCs were one of the quality benchmarks in the GM lineup. Well I have to say, so far I am impressed with the GM product and as I compare and contrast it to the RL, I am a bit disappointed in the RL. I am not getting rid of the RL anytime soon - it meets my needs perfectly at this time... well almost, but I was shocked that GM out did Honda.

I am speaking mainly towards engine/trans/towing. It has a 3.6L V6 mated to a 6spd auto. It tows roughly the same amount as the RL (5200lbs). The ride is smooth as glass, much better than the RL, which prior I thought was butter.

I think where it really shines over the RL is on inclines. The RL has a bit of a dramatic downshift when climbing a hill, almost to the tune of "whoa nelly calm down". The Aca downshifts as needed and is refined about it, no holy F I just stomped the gas pedal like a NASCAR driver downshift, just the oh I didn't even realize I just downshifted.

The interior is nice and comfortable. The materials for the seats are better quality at first blush than the RL. They do not appear to be as prone to staining. The comfort of the materials used and the seat itself is much better than the RL. The rest of the trim/dash materials are comparable.

I guess my biggest let down, is based on past experiences with Honda vs GM was GM was the rough around the edges, just get the job done type, while Honda was we can get the job done and provide superior comfort and refinement. That certainly does not seem the case.

Of course the comparisions are a bit unfair as two different vehicle segments, but the GMC is the utility platform as opposed to Buick which is the luxury platform.

I think I am becoming an old man without even realizing it.

-Terracar
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:27 PM   #2
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Re: Acadia is showing up the Ridgeline

Doesnt surprise me Honda needs to pull their head out of their a$$ and start making changes to this RL. I think many will jump ship in the next few years if they dont. Then again we might not have a choice if they kill it. I want mine gone before that happens cause it wont be worth much unless you keep it for another twenty years.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:32 PM   #3
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Re: Acadia is showing up the Ridgeline

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terracar View Post
I am speaking mainly towards engine/trans/towing. It has a 3.6L V6 mated to a 6spd auto. It tows roughly the same amount as the RL (5200lbs). The ride is smooth as glass, much better than the RL, which prior I thought was butter.
There are lots of vehicles that have about the same trailer weight rating. It means that the vehicle doesn't quickly suffer a mechanical failure upon towing that much. It does not mean that it is going to do a good job of controlling such a weight. While the Ridgeline's independent rear suspension give a comfort boost over comparable solid-axle vehicles, in general softer rides mean less trailer control. Also, pick-up trucks (Ridgeline included) typically have a rear-axle bias in the brakes under the assumption that it's necessary to prevent getting turned around by cargo or trailer weight under hard braking. SUV's may not have this braking bias.
Quote:
I think where it really shines over the RL is on inclines. The RL has a bit of a dramatic downshift when climbing a hill, almost to the tune of "whoa nelly calm down". The Aca downshifts as needed and is refined about it, no holy F I just stomped the gas pedal like a NASCAR driver downshift, just the oh I didn't even realize I just downshifted.
I have a 2009 Ridgeline with the updated engine and transmission. I don't get this symptom at all.

GM spent money on superficial things and Honda spent money on utility and reliability in this case. My policy on GM and other comparable brands is to mentally slash their prices in HALF, commensurate with the useful lifetime that I expect for the majority of cases (when owners are not tinkerers).

Last edited by Ian Brantford; 01-23-2013 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:50 PM   #4
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Re: Acadia is showing up the Ridgeline

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I have a 2009 Ridgeline with the updated engine and transmission.
Anyone can get these reprogramed otherwise no changes. I had mine done years ago.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:14 PM   #5
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Re: Acadia is showing up the Ridgeline

Apples and Oranges...why would they be comparable...
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:31 PM   #6
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Re: Acadia is showing up the Ridgeline

I rented an Acadia and drove it 3000 miles in 1 week and it was a very nice vehicle.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:49 PM   #7
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Re: Acadia is showing up the Ridgeline

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Originally Posted by northernlights View Post
Anyone can get these reprogramed otherwise no changes. I had mine done years ago.
Not quite. You're probably thinking about the update the resolved the gear-hanging issue. For '09, the transmission got revised gearing. The engine got a revised camshaft and a few other tweaks to lower the torque curve. These are hardware changes, not software.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:58 PM   #8
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Re: Acadia is showing up the Ridgeline

GMs (and most other domestics) are often impressive...at first. When new, they are nice and tight and deliver an initial "wow" factor with all the over-styled chrome plated and simulated wood plastic. Unfortunately, they start to loosen up after several thousand miles when the rattles begin. After a few tens of thousands of miles, the leaks and failures start creeping up. At least, this has been my experience over approximately a dozen domestics and a half-dozen Hondas.

Having said that, the Acadia would be high on my list if I were in the market for a GM vehicle. I've always liked the styling and the 3.6L SIDI engine is smooth, quiet, and powerful, but not necessarily frugal. It's no poster child for reliability, either. Fortunately, it's got a 5/100 powertrain warranty that will cover some of the major stuff.
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Last edited by zroger73; 01-24-2013 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:51 AM   #9
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Re: Acadia is showing up the Ridgeline

Whoa there guys. I know it is an apples to oranges comparison - as I said in my original post.

I am just surprised that the crossover really is showing the RL's short comings.

To reiterate, the RL is still the truck for me as it meets my needs at this time. I would like to have another 1k in towing, but that is neither here nor there and really at this rate a non-issue.

Also to clarify, it is an '09 Acadia with 44k, I would not have bought it if it was brand new based on my previous experience with GMs and the good for a few thousand miles then crap interior. The interior other than the fabric on the seats is identical to the RL - brush aluminum looking plastic, and plastic everywhere else. Then again, the steering wheel cover/coating isn't peeling off like the RL's either.


The RL is still the tow rig, not the Xover.

-Terracar
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:11 AM   #10
Terracar
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Re: Acadia is showing up the Ridgeline

You know, I thought I would update you guys and some recent occurences...

When I originally bought the Acadia, I thought it was great, but then we had an issue with it. Even though it was handled quickly and wasn't a big deal, the fact that it left my family and I on the side of the road has really left me with a sour taste in my mouth towards it.

One of the injectors stuck open and was fixed under warranty and we even got a few of the recall things looked at. Ever since then though, I really look at it with disdain. I avoid driving it especially since unless we are hauling more people, the RL does the same duty, with a much better experience.

It has really strengthened my faith in my RL. I prefer the RL over the GM anyday of the week and quite frankly, it is much more fun to drive.

In a nutshell, the RL is the favorite child while the GM is the red-headed step child.

-Terracar
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