GMC Acadia Review

2013 GMC Acadia SLT-2 4dr SUV Exterior

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Building tough trucks for tough work has been the focus of GMC for years, but even GMC couldn't avoid the onslaught of the crossover SUV revolution. That's where the GMC Acadia comes in.

The Acadia is a large crossover SUV. Mechanically, it's very similar to its platform-mates -- the Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and now-discontinued Saturn Outlook. Thanks to its spacious interior, strong V6 engine and competitive price, the Acadia is one of the better crossover SUV choices. Although there were styling changes made for 2013, new and used shoppers should know that Acadias from any year share most of the same pros and cons.

Current GMC Acadia
The GMC Acadia crossover benefits from a new look in 2013, with a restyled front end that makes it look tougher. GMC has also upgraded the interior with higher-quality materials on the doors and dash panels and new functional enhancements to the infotainment controls.

Otherwise, the Acadia remains mechanically unchanged. There are five trims: SL, SLE, SLT-1, SLT-2 and Denali. Each comes with a 3.6-liter V6 engine capable of churning out 288 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard, but all-wheel drive is an option.

The GMC Acadia is one of the roomiest crossover utility vehicles in its class, with seating for up to eight passengers. The second-row seats are captain's chairs, but a 60/40-split-folding bench is available as an option. Those second-row seats also slide 4 inches fore and aft and easily flip up and out of the way for access to the third-row seats. There's room for adults in the back two rows, though leg support is a bit lacking. With both the second and third rows folded down, the Acadia's substantial cargo space is topped only by what's provided by minivans and extra-large SUVs like the Chevy Suburban.

Besides styling, the current Acadia differs from past models with its center console controls. The available touchscreen display not only features accompanying touch-sensitive buttons, but GM's IntelliLink system offers smartphone integration, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, and the incorporation of app-based services like Pandora. Large dials and buttons for the climate controls make them easy to use.

In our road tests we've found the Acadia's handling respectable, especially considering the vehicle's large size, and its buttoned-down and quiet ride is particularly impressive. The V6 won't blow you away with its power, but it moves the Acadia out with decent authority. Overall, our editors feel that the GMC Acadia represents a compelling combination of functionality, luxury and value.

Used GMC Acadia Models
The GMC Acadia debuted for the 2007 model year. Its 3.6-liter V6 lacked direct injection until 2009, and hence was rated at a slightly lower 275 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque for its first two years of production. The transmission was reprogrammed for 2010 to address previous complaints of sluggish downshift response. Acadias prior to 2009 could not be had with features like Bluetooth connectivity, real-time traffic updates for the navigation system, and available heated and ventilated seats. The Denali trim didn't debut until 2011.

Acadia models produced prior to 2013 also featured different styling inside and out, though the body style did not change, so you'll still be getting the same versatility and passenger capacity. The interior wasn't quite as nice as the current Acadia, but was still one of the nicer cabins in the large crossover segment. However, the buttons and knobs for the climate and entertainment systems were on the small side, and could be difficult to decipher at a glance or use while wearing gloves.

Read the most recent 2014 GMC Acadia review.

If you are looking for older years, visit our used GMC Acadia page.


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