General Motors unveils at the Chicago Auto Show today the ’13 GMC Acadia large cross/utility vehicle featuring fresh exterior and interior styling, as well as upgrades to technology and safety items.

“With an award-winning combination of space, capability and fuel-efficiency, Acadia epitomizes GMC’s never-say-never attitude,” says Tony DiSalle, vice president-marketing at GMC.

“For 2013, our engineers and designers applied that same attitude to developing the new Acadia,” he says in a statement ahead of the unveiling.

GM entered the 7- and 8-passenger CUV segment early, with the Acadia hitting U.S. dealer showrooms in 2007. The Buick Enclave and the now-defunct Saturn Outlook followed, with the Chevrolet Traverse arriving in 2008.

The Acadia, Enclave and Traverse have received only modest tweaks in the years since their arrival, but in 2011 they commanded a combined 79.8% share of the segment on sales of 244,811 units, according to WardsAuto data.

The Acadia took 25.9% of the large CUV segment on deliveries of 79,288 units, second only to the Traverse’s 107,131.

The new Acadia bows at the show with few mechanical changes to its Lambda architecture and retains its 288-hp direct-injection V-6 engine. However, the powertrain receives a new 6-speed automatic transmission that promises better shift response and drivability, GM says.

Some of the more prominent exterior changes include a more upright design to the Acadia’s 3-bar grille, diffused LED running lamps as standard equipment and new taillamp details to bookend the changes up front.

Wrap-around rear glass, a new rear spoiler and fresh 18- and 19-in. wheel designs round out the exterior updates.

The interior of the new Acadia boasts GM’s revolutionary center airbag system to better protect occupants, as well as greater use of soft-touch materials, accent stitching and ambient lighting.

Top trim-level models receive aluminum accents on the center console, doors and dash.

The Acadia also adds IntelliLink, which allows drivers to seamlessly integrate their smartphone for hands-free calling, and Bluetooth streaming of Internet radio such as Pandora and Stitcher.

Other electronic features include a high-definition radio, photo viewer and standard rear-vision camera with dynamic guidelines on an HD screen.

Pricing for the new Acadia has not been announced. The ’12 Acadia starts at $32,685. The ’13 model arrives at dealers from its Delta Twp., MI, assembly plant in late 2012.

jamend@wardsauto.com