Cars and Concepts

Next Chevy Traverse, Buick Enclave won't follow GMC Acadia diet

The 2017 GMC Acadia is about 7 inches shorter, 700 pounds lighter and loses about 40 cubic feet of storage vs. the outgoing model.

DETROIT -- After GMC unwrapped a shrunken 2017 Acadia at the auto show here last week, a big question was left hanging in the air: What does the redesign mean for its crossover cousins, the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse?

On sale this spring, the ’17 Acadia is about 7 inches shorter, 700 pounds lighter and loses about 40 cubic feet of storage vs. the outgoing model.

It’s a downsizing that General Motors executives say was needed to meet consumer demands for better fuel economy in a more efficient package.

But they were mum on whether the same approach would go for the Enclave and Traverse, both slated for their own redesigns sometime in 2017. Well, mostly mum.

Unlike the Acadia, the Chevrolet Traverse is not expected to undergo a big change in dimensions when it is redesigned in 2017.

Global product chief Mark Reuss offered this hint when asked what to expect on the next-generation Enclave and Traverse: “The brand separation in size and mission and the positioning of these vehicles,” he said, “has never been more differentiated.”

Industry analysts expect the Enclave and Traverse to be built on a long-wheelbase version of the ’17 Acadia, leaving them closer in size to that of the current crossovers. That should leave room for Chevy to slot a new, midsize crossover in between the Traverse and the compact Equinox, three sources told Automotive News in July.

The Acadia, Enclave and Traverse, all built on GM’s Lambda large-crossover platform, have carved a niche as stylish family haulers since hitting the market nearly a decade ago. They’ve had strong staying power despite their age: The Acadia and Traverse each notched its best-ever U.S. sales in 2015, while the Enclave fell just short of a record.

You can reach Mike Colias at mcolias@crain.com

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