The fastest-growing vehicle segment is large cross-overs, which include the brand-new GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook and Buick Enclave. Combinations of SUVs and station wagons, these three roomy vehicles from different GM divisions share a powerful, fuel-efficient 3.6-liter 275-horsepower V-6 engine that gets approximately 18 city/26 highway miles per gallon. They also have a six-speed automatic transmission and seating for seven or eight.
The Acadia is the first crossover from GMC, which is known for its popular pickup trucks. Available as all-wheel or front-wheel drive, the Acadia has exceptional cargo capacity, including almost 120 cubic feet of space with the seats down, and a 60/40 split folding third row. The Acadia comes with stability and rollover control systems, six air bags, OnStar for one year and 18-inch wheels. Base price: $29,255.
The large utility Outlook is one of five new vehicles broadening Saturn's lineup. With a low step-in height, there's easy access to third-row seating via a second row that slides forward. When both rows are folded flat, the Outlook's cargo capacity is 117 cubic feet. A rollover sensing system, factory-installed GPS and anti-lock brakes are standard. Base price: $27,255.
The most luxurious of the three is the new 2008 Enclave, on sale this summer. The crossover is a first for Buick, incorporating the quality and hallmarks one expects from GM's upscale brand. The center console has a pullout tray, the second-row console folds down and the liftgate is power-operated. Cargo space behind the third row is about 19 cubic feet. Standard equipment includes roof-height air bags protecting all rows, backup cameras with audio and visual, and power mirrors that angle downward when reversing to show the curb. Options are headlights that turn in the direction of cornering, an all-wheel drive system with automatic traction and stability control, captain's chairs and bucket or bench seats. Base price: $32,790.
Jill Amadio is an award-winning automotive journalist and author.
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