It is time to wave farewell to our long-term Acadia and relinquishing the key is proving pretty hard because over the past six weeks it has been nothing but a joy.

We had the opportunity to test its ability off the beaten track in our last report and it scored very favourably indeed what with its all-wheel drive capability and huge drop in weight when it was redesigned last year. It isn’t a serious off-roader but you could have fooled us; just a mere twist of the Traction Select system transformed its character with it going from a suave family hauler to a mud-slinging terrier. Granted, you won’t be calling on every one of those 310 horses from the 3.6-litre when you’re in the midst of the school run but it’s good to know that when you fancy a bit of off-roading it has the power and traction to make light work of it. Incidentally, the potent V6 is capable of running on four cylinders during light load conditions which works wonders for your fuel efficiency. Even though in an age of eight and ten-speed autos it is mated to a six-speed unit, it shifts effortlessly, is always in the right gear and can handle the 367Nm of torque without a fuss. We also put its practicality to the test by proving it can easily accommodate several large size adults in the roomy sevenseat cabin and enjoyed the smooth ride that it affords which made highway drives a real pleasure. And with real wood and chrome accents, supple leather upholstery, and bolstering on the very comfortable front seats, the interior sure isn’t lacking. It is properly loaded with tech and kit too from an 8.0in infotainment touchscreen, five USB ports and even adaptive cruise-control system that also incorporates automated braking.

Barring a minor rattle emanating from the sunroof cover, there has been nothing at all to complain about, and that is impressive considering that our tester wasn’t fresh out of the box. It had been driven by all sorts of motoring media outlets comprising various driving styles of the journalists who took to the driver’s seat and so when it arrived to wheels HQ over a month and a half ago, the odometer read in excess of 20,000km.

Usually when we get a long-term car to test it has had less than half of that, but it speaks volumes about the GMC that it is still running like new in spite of it being most likely being manhandled. Indeed, during its stay with us, it was due for its 20,000km service and we got a taste of not only the professionalism of the staff at the Al Ghandi service centre but the speed in which they

operate. The GMC was back in our hands in just one hour and in that short space of time the technicians had completed a  hecklist the length of your arm ensuring it was running like new.

Now, GMC has been in the SUV business since 1937 when the Suburban was launched, and it has had years to refine its models before serious competition showed up.

Sure, the brands expertise lies in making trucks however the Acadia is the least truck like SUV in its ranks. It runs on General Motors’ new C1 platform which is designed specifically to underpin mid-size and fullsize crossovers. Its front suspension is by struts, the rear features a new multilink independent system and the steering is handled by an electrically assisted rackand-pinion system. It’s light and makes the Acadia easy to manoeuvre in tight spots.

The reversing camera sure comes in handy too (it’s great that once your select Drive,the image on the touchscreen doesn’t immediately disappear; it remains for a few seconds which allows you time to check your surroundings before you move off ).

Overall, we would say that the Acadia with its slimmer physique, sharper looks, and suspension upgrades is the ideal family hauler. We recommend those in the hunt for a vehicle that is roomy, good to drive, loaded with tech and blessed with impressive offroad ability to give it serious consideration.