GM will split its triplet crossovers; Traverse and Enclave will keep larger sizes.

The GMC Acadia broke new ground at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show with an all-new chassis that drops 700 pounds and seven inches over the old Lambda platform. The 2017 Acadia is still a three-row crossover, but its new size is more in line with the Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander. That move left the auto industry wondering if the Acadia’s siblings would follow the lead.

According to GM’s Global product chief Mark Reuss, the answer is no. Automotive News was able to snag a telling statement from Reuss, saying, “The brand separation in size and mission and the positioning of these vehicles has never been more differentiated.” It might be vague, but it’s still telling.

This “separation in size and mission” suggests the Traverse and Enclave will likely remain larger, closer to their current size, once they make the generational jump. GM hasn’t provided any solid words, but we’re expecting the Chevy and Buick twins to adopt a long-wheelbase and widened version of the GMC Acadia’s C1 platform, itself shared with the 2017 Cadillac XT5. This would allow the Chevy and Buick to lose some weight, keep their relative size, and gain new technologies and possible powertrains.

It’s doubtful Chevy and Buick will adopt GMC’s new 2.5-liter four-cylinder, due to their larger sizes, but stranger things have happened. Expect the updated 3.6-liter V-6 to be the volume engine. Weight loss will be somewhat limited, coming in well under the 2017 Acadia’s 700-pound trim.

Continue reading for more news and speculation on GM’s large crossovers

Why It Matters

With the GMC Acadia now smaller and news that the Chevy Traverse and Buick Enclave will remain larger, this creates holes in the overall GM crossover lineup. It’s expected that an Acadia-sized crossover will soon debut for Chevy, splitting the difference between the Traverse and Equinox. GMC now has a missing gap where the Lambda-based Acadia sat, now between the 2017 Acadia and full-size Yukon SUV. Buick, on the other hand, recently debuted its midsize crossover at Detroit, the Chinese-built Envision. The Envision splits the difference between the compact Encore and Enclave, completing the Buick lineup. (Buick doesn’t offer a full-size SUV based on the Tahoe and Yukon.)

So what does this mean?

We can expect Chevy and GMC to debut two new models, with Chevy needing a midsize crossover and GMC a full-size, three-row the size of the Traverse and Enclave. It’s hard to understand why GMC moved the Acadia name to a smaller vehicle if it plans to fill the missing gap with a Lambda-sized vehicle with a new name. However, Chevy’s gap is more manageable. It already has an unused name floating around it could attach to the midsized crossover: Trailblazer. Whether that happens or not is pure speculation on my part.

Regardless of all this, GM is shaking things up within is crossover ranks and it will be an interesting story to follow. Keep up with all the new here at TopSpeed.com.

2017 GMC Acadia

2017 GMC Acadia
- image 661731

Read our full review on the GMC Acadia here.

Source: Automotive News

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