2008 GMC Acadia SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2008 GMC Acadia SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
GMC Acadia Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.6 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 275 hp @ 6600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/22 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 GMC Acadia

  • With ample room for up to eight passengers, a comfortable ride, respectable performance and decent fuel economy, the 2008 GMC Acadia ranks as one of the best family-oriented crossovers available.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Plenty of passenger and cargo space, smooth ride, above-average tow capacity for a crossover.

  • Cons

    Some subpar interior trim, transmission can be slow to downshift.

  • What's New for 2008

    For the 2008 GMC Acadia, eight-passenger seating and satellite radio become standard on the base SLE-1 model, while a rearview camera and a second-row console become available on upper trim levels.

Full 2008 GMC Acadia Review

What's New for 2008

For the 2008 GMC Acadia, eight-passenger seating and satellite radio become standard on the base SLE-1 model, while a rearview camera and a second-row console become available on upper trim levels.


In the past few years, sales of traditional SUVs and minivans have been dropping as consumers gravitate toward crossover SUVs. And it makes sense. Why buy a 6,000-pound truck-based SUV that can pull a tank and tackle the Baja 1,000 when all you really need is something to shuttle the kids around and deal with wintertime driving conditions? With the 2008 GMC Acadia crossover SUV, a more reasonable alternative is offered, and it just happens to be the best all-around family vehicle GMC sells.

The Acadia was introduced last year and is closely related to its corporate siblings, the Saturn Outlook and Buick Enclave. Like other popular crossovers, the Acadia has a unibody structure for better handling, interior packaging and crashworthiness. It also has a V6 engine and available all-wheel drive. Helping the Acadia stand out, however, is its size. We consider it to be a large crossover, and indeed, it's about the same size as a Yukon. As such, the Acadia can seat up to eight people and its third-row seat can accommodate adults with ease. Folding those seats down also provides a serious amount of cargo space.

Everything factored in, the 2008 GMC Acadia has a lot in its favor. It's even proven to be the best-selling model of the Acadia/Enclave/Outlook group thus far, thanks to its just-right approach to style and design. We give it a strong recommendation, especially for buyers with large families. But if you don't find it to your liking, there are other models to consider, including the recently introduced Mazda CX-9, redesigned Toyota Highlander and well-regarded Honda Pilot.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

A full-size crossover SUV, the 2008 GMC Acadia is offered in three trims: base SLE-1 and uplevel SLT-1 and SLT-2. The SLE comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, eight-passenger seating, front and rear air-conditioning, full power accessories, cruise control, OnStar telematics and a six-speaker CD/MP3 stereo system with satellite radio.

The SLT-1 package adds heated mirrors with integral turn signals, leather seating with heated/power front seats, second-row captain's chairs, triple-zone automatic climate control and a Bose 10-speaker audio system with steering-wheel audio controls and six-disc CD changer. The line-topping SLT-2 adds remote vehicle starting, rear park assist, a power rear liftgate, power lumbar supports for the front seats, a 115-volt power outlet and a rear cargo shade.

Both SLT models can also be had with eight-passenger seating, and many of the SLT-2's features are available on lesser models, too. Option highlights include a DVD entertainment system, a rearview camera, a second-row console, a two-panel sunroof, 19-inch wheels, a head-up windshield instrument display, a navigation system, Dolby 5.1 surround sound and third-row audio controls.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2008 GMC Acadia can be had with either front- or all-wheel drive. A 3.6-liter V6 makes 275 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque spread over a broad rpm range. The front-drive 2008 Acadia rates 16 mpg city/24 mpg highway, and the AWD version stands at 16/22. Towing capacity, at 4,500 pounds properly equipped, should be enough for most folks.

Though GMC has built its image around tough trucks, the all-wheel-drive Acadia is geared more for foul-weather driving than boulder-bashing. The AWD system is active and requires no driver intervention. The system automatically varies the torque split from 90 percent front/10 percent rear to 35/65, respectively, as available traction dictates.


Standard safety features are generous and include antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side-curtain airbags and the OnStar communications system. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash test scores are impressive, with the Acadia scoring five stars (out of five) in all frontal- and side-impact tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Thanks to its space-efficient design, the GMC Acadia provides sedanlike comfort for all passengers. A third-row seat is standard, and one may choose between seven- and eight-passenger configurations. The 60/40-split second-row bench allows eight to ride, while second-row captain's chairs reduce capacity to seven. Additionally, access to that third row is eased by wide rear doors and a sliding second-row seat. Although taller folks in the way back may wish for more thigh support, the accommodations back there are much better than most crossovers or traditional SUVs. Cargo capacity is abundant, with nearly 117 cubic feet available with all seats down and a still very respectable 19 cubic feet behind the third-row seat.

Driving Impressions

While the 2008 GMC Acadia doesn't fall anywhere near the fun-to-drive camp, it's easy and pleasant to drive, especially considering the vehicle's size and 4,700-pound curb weight. Those planning on towing a trailer will want to consider the SLT versions that feature variable-effort power steering to make quick work of maneuvering. On the road, we've found that the optional 19-inch wheels increase the crossover's bling factor, but they also compromise the Acadia's otherwise comfortable ride quality, turning it into a somewhat jarring experience that many target buyers won't enjoy. Our only other complaint regards the programming of the six-speed automatic, as downshifts can be a bit lethargic unless prodded by a sharp throttle boot.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Scared to own the acadia

by on
Vehicle: 2008 GMC Acadia SLT-2 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

Got abt 60K on my Acadia 2008, then I sold. During ownership, I liked Acadia, and so did my family, space, comfort, features were irresistible.Never the less, my family did not know how much care and scare this vehicle consumes.It started with sunroof leak, no good fix at the dealer. strange messages like (Check gauges) when hit parking brakes or open glove box! (Service traction) for unknown reason. Engine mounts & front suspension can go easily and quickly on slightly rough roads, I heard many complaints from Acadia owners & seen many on the repair shops but when trany started to hunt for gears on cruze control & AC started to consume more power. I gave up and sold it

I will never buy a

by on
Vehicle: 2008 GMC Acadia SLE-1 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

I bought my 2008 GMC Acadia brand new. I have serviced my vehicle at the GMC dealership by the book. I always take it in for service when it is needed and always complete any service or repair the dealership has suggested. I have ONLY 58,000 miles on my vehicle and my 3-5-Reverse wave plate broke (which is a $10 part) and now the dealership is telling me I need a whole new transmission and it is going to cost me $4,000. It took the dealership 3 days to even look at my vehicle. I have researched this issue online to find out that a large number of other 2008 GMC Acadia owners have experienced this exact same problem and GM is doing nothing about it. I will NEVER buy another GM vehicle.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Had to give it up

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Vehicle: 2008 GMC Acadia SLT-2 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

Purchased it used as a family car in 2011. Loved it. The look, it's features. It fit my family of six well. I have performed all routine maintenance. But after a little less than three years of ownership and over a dozen trips to the dealership for repairs not under warranty and thousands of dollars spent and four major repairs in a matter of two months this year, could not justify keeping it and loosing another dime. It's a shame. It's like a good looking person with an ugly attitude. Who wants that?! I will never own a GMC vehicle ever again.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Never again

by on
Vehicle: 2008 GMC Acadia SLT-2 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

I'm sorry to say the 2008 Acadia will be my last GMC. I now have 90,000 miles on the car and have taken extremely good care of it. AC problems, transmission problems, daylight headlamp problems, NAV problems are just a few of the continuing problems with this car. I don't trust the car anymore to get me out of town as it has broke down twice and had to be towed. When you get a warning light on this car you had better be close to a GMC dealer because it will just quit in the middle of the street. Last week I received a recall notice from my GMC dealer. I just check GM's website and they say NO recall on my car. That's how messed up they are. Very sad.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

Would not buy this car

by on
Vehicle: 2008 GMC Acadia SLT-1 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

There are obvious defects with the 2008 Acadia. The steering, transmission and airbag issues need to be corrected by GMC. They need to honor promises of delivering good cars, which they have not done here.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Terrible dependability

by on
Vehicle: 2008 GMC Acadia SLT-1 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

my family and i love the vehichle and the ride. however, the dependability is not existant. the vehicle currently has 87k miles and is the family event car. it is well maintained and we have owned it for 2 yrs and 20k miles. the following has broken while we have owned the vehicle: a/c compressor, brake caliper, cam cover seals, power steering pump, timing cover seals, breather valve, valve cover seals, a/c line, hood lift mech, front axle, speed sensor, all 4 brake rotors, front suspension, control arm, both taillights seals, headlight seals, power mirror control, power window control, door trim, etc. only owned vehicle this long due to warranty. we are selling. !

Talk About The 2008 Acadia

2008 GMC Acadia Discussions See all Started By

At 40-50 mph, my 2008 Acadia has a rough/vibrating type noise when lightly accelerating. I took the vehicle into a local GM dealership and they thoroughly checked it and could not find the problem. ...

We leased a 2015 Acadia Denali through a nearby GM dealer in northern Wisconsin. We previously owned a 2008 Yukon, had it for three years and it was fantastic. 40k miles and not so much as a squeak ...

In addition to numerous recalls, my 08 Acadia is having additional failures; instrument cluster shorting out, power steering leaks, water pump failure, etc. How does one declare that a car is a lemon?...

Read more about the 2008 GMC Acadia

Gas Mileage


  • 16
  • cty
  • 22
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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