Used 2014 GMC Acadia SUV Review & Ratings | Edmunds
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Used 2014 GMC Acadia SUV Review

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2014 GMC Acadia SUV

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Summary

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2014 GMC Acadia SUV

  • Like its large crossover cousins from Buick and Chevy, the three-row 2014 GMC Acadia offers an effective combination of comfort, features and cargo space.

  • Pros

    Compliant ride; massive cargo area; seating for up to eight passengers; top crash test scores.

  • Cons

    Occasionally finicky touchscreen interface.

  • What's New for 2014

    For 2014, the GMC Acadia sees just a few changes. All Acadias gain an additional pair of charge-only USB ports, while the Denali trim picks up standard forward collision alert and lane departure warning systems.

Review

A vehicular jack-of-all-trades, the 2014 GMC Acadia can handle it all. GMC's family hauler is ideal for transporting your big brood to the lake or hauling a full load of provisions away from your local big box store. Large crossovers are good like that, combining much of the passenger- and cargo-hauling abilities of a minivan with the rugged good looks and (when equipped with all-wheel drive) the foul-weather capability of a traditional SUV. In this highly competitive segment, the Acadia stands as one of the best picks.

In addition to its spacious interior, the GMC Acadia earns high marks for its comfortable ride, easy-going driving demeanor and 288-horsepower V6, which provides ample thrust for daily commutes and long interstate runs alike. Of course, the Acadia is not exactly unique, as Buick's Enclave and Chevy's Traverse (http://www.edmunds.com/chevrolet/traverse/) share the same basic platform, engine and seating layout, and differ mainly in their styling and equipment details. The Chevy has the lowest starting price, while the luxury-themed Buick packs the most standard features. The Acadia offers an agreeable middle ground, along with ruggedly handsome styling that reflects the brand's truck heritage. Choosing one of the three will likely come down to your styling preference, pricing and your experience at the dealership.

Although the GMC Acadia and its cousins are tough to beat if you need lots of space (and don't really want a minivan), we'd also suggest considering the highly regarded Ford Flex and the more athletic handling and nearly as spacious Mazda CX-9. The Dodge Durango, Hyundai Santa Fe and Nissan Pathfinder are also solid picks in this price range, though they don't offer quite as much interior room as the aforementioned models. With so many choices out there for a three-row crossover, narrowing down your list of candidates can be tough. For families who need eight-passenger seating above all else, though, it's hard to go wrong with the 2014 GMC Acadia.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 GMC Acadia is a large crossover SUV offered in three basic trims: SLE, SLT and Denali. The SLE is further subdivided into SLE-1 and SLE-2, while the SLT is subdivided into SLT-1 and SLT-2 trims.

An eight-passenger seating configuration with a second-row bench seat is standard on the base SLE-1 and optional on the rest, which have a standard seven-passenger configuration with second-row captain's chairs.

The SLE-1 comes standard with 18-inch wheels, automatic headlights, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, rear privacy glass, keyless entry, cruise control, rear manual air-conditioning control, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, OnStar telematics, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a 6.5-inch touchscreen display and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, HD radio, a USB port and an auxiliary audio jack. There are also dual USB charge-only ports on the rear of the center console.

The SLE-2 adds remote vehicle start, a power liftgate, an eight-way power driver seat (with two-way lumbar), a two-way power passenger seat (manual recline), an auto-dimming rearview mirror and the Intellilink electronics interface that includes voice controls, Bluetooth audio connectivity and smartphone app integration.

The SLT-1 adds 19-inch wheels, foglamps, variable-effort steering, heated mirrors, tri-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery in the first and second rows (third row vinyl), heated front seats, an enhanced trip computer, rear-seat audio controls and a 10-speaker Bose sound system.

The SLT-2 includes power-folding mirrors, driver memory functions, an eight-way power passenger seat and access to additional options. These add-ons include ventilated front seats and the Technology package, which adds xenon headlights, a head-up display and cargo area audio controls.

The Denali includes all of the SLT-2's optional items, plus unique styling flourishes inside and out, 20-inch chrome-clad wheels, a panoramic sunroof, forward collision alert system, lane departure warning system, increased sound insulation and a wood-trimmed steering wheel.

That sunroof is optional on all other Acadia trims except the SLE-1. The same goes for the rear-seat entertainment system, which includes a Bose surround-sound audio system and a 110-volt power outlet. The SLT trims and the Denali can also be equipped with a navigation system.

Powertrains and Performance

Every 2014 GMC Acadia is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 288 hp and 270 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic and front-wheel drive are standard, but all-wheel drive is optional.

In Edmunds performance testing of the related Buick Enclave (with all-wheel drive), we measured a 0-60 mph time of 8.6 seconds, which is on par with other large crossovers with a base V6.

The EPA estimates a front-wheel-drive Acadia will return 19 mpg combined (17 mpg city/24 mpg highway). All-wheel-drive models drop to 18 mpg combined (16 mpg city/23 mpg highway).

Safety

Antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front seat side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags, a rearview camera and rear parking sensors are standard on every Acadia. All but the SLE-1 also have a front-center airbag that inflates between the driver and right front passenger for additional protection in a side-impact collision.

The standard OnStar system includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, an emergency button, stolen vehicle locator and active intervention, and remote door unlock.

The SLT-2 and Denali also feature standard side blind-spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert. The Denali comes standard with forward collision alert and lane departure warning systems, which are optional on the SLTs.

In government crash tests, the Acadia earned a top five-star rating for overall performance, with five out of five stars earned for total front-impact protection and five stars for total side-impact protection. The Acadia also fared well in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, where it got the highest rating of "Good" in moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2014 GMC Acadia features an attractive interior, as most of the surfaces you're likely to touch or lean an elbow on are padded and of solid quality. Typical for a three-row vehicle, the Acadia's rearward visibility is almost nonexistent when you have a full crew on board, so the standard rearview camera is a huge help.

In most models, entertainment, phone and navigation functions are controlled by a touchscreen interface in the dash called Intellilink. It provides smartphone radio app integration and features a clean layout and intuitive menu structure. Intellilink is sometimes slow to process touch inputs (and in a few instances, wholly unresponsive), however, which can make it frustrating to use.

Front occupants will enjoy abundant head- and legroom, as will second-row occupants, but the middle row seat cushions are mounted low, reducing comfort for adults. Sliding those seats all the way back alleviates this issue, but effectively kills third-row legroom. The slide release is also difficult to access. The narrow, flat-cushioned third-row seats are easily deployed and stowed, but are best suited to kids and smaller adults.

The Acadia scores points for generous cargo capacity. Even with the third-row seats in place, it can carry up to 24 cubic feet of luggage. That figure jumps to 70 cubes with the third-row seats folded flat and a cavernous 116 cubes with the second row stowed.

Driving Impressions

Like the other large crossovers from General Motors, the 2014 GMC Acadia delivers a nice balance between secure handling and a comfortable ride. Even so, you're always aware that this is a large, heavy vehicle (the Acadia weighs nearly 5,000 pounds with all-wheel drive), and it feels a little more cumbersome in the parking lot than other large crossovers.

The V6 engine provides adequate performance but lacks punch during authoritative passing maneuvers. It can also sound harsh and unrefined under hard acceleration. In addition, the automatic transmission can be slow to react when a quick downshift is needed, though its gearchanges are at least smooth. Most owners will get used to these characteristics, but if you want more in the way of performance, a CX-9 or Flex is probably more your speed.

Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2014 GMC Acadia SUV

What's New for 2014

For 2014, the GMC Acadia sees just a few changes. All Acadias gain an additional pair of charge-only USB ports, while the Denali trim picks up standard forward collision alert and lane departure warning systems.

Introduction

A vehicular jack-of-all-trades, the 2014 GMC Acadia can handle it all. GMC's family hauler is ideal for transporting your big brood to the lake or hauling a full load of provisions away from your local big box store. Large crossovers are good like that, combining much of the passenger- and cargo-hauling abilities of a minivan with the rugged good looks and (when equipped with all-wheel drive) the foul-weather capability of a traditional SUV. In this highly competitive segment, the Acadia stands as one of the best picks.

In addition to its spacious interior, the GMC Acadia earns high marks for its comfortable ride, easy-going driving demeanor and 288-horsepower V6, which provides ample thrust for daily commutes and long interstate runs alike. Of course, the Acadia is not exactly unique, as Buick's Enclave and Chevy's Traverse (http://www.edmunds.com/chevrolet/traverse/) share the same basic platform, engine and seating layout, and differ mainly in their styling and equipment details. The Chevy has the lowest starting price, while the luxury-themed Buick packs the most standard features. The Acadia offers an agreeable middle ground, along with ruggedly handsome styling that reflects the brand's truck heritage. Choosing one of the three will likely come down to your styling preference, pricing and your experience at the dealership.

Although the GMC Acadia and its cousins are tough to beat if you need lots of space (and don't really want a minivan), we'd also suggest considering the highly regarded Ford Flex and the more athletic handling and nearly as spacious Mazda CX-9. The Dodge Durango, Hyundai Santa Fe and Nissan Pathfinder are also solid picks in this price range, though they don't offer quite as much interior room as the aforementioned models. With so many choices out there for a three-row crossover, narrowing down your list of candidates can be tough. For families who need eight-passenger seating above all else, though, it's hard to go wrong with the 2014 GMC Acadia.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 GMC Acadia is a large crossover SUV offered in three basic trims: SLE, SLT and Denali. The SLE is further subdivided into SLE-1 and SLE-2, while the SLT is subdivided into SLT-1 and SLT-2 trims.

An eight-passenger seating configuration with a second-row bench seat is standard on the base SLE-1 and optional on the rest, which have a standard seven-passenger configuration with second-row captain's chairs.

The SLE-1 comes standard with 18-inch wheels, automatic headlights, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, rear privacy glass, keyless entry, cruise control, rear manual air-conditioning control, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, OnStar telematics, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a 6.5-inch touchscreen display and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, HD radio, a USB port and an auxiliary audio jack. There are also dual USB charge-only ports on the rear of the center console.

The SLE-2 adds remote vehicle start, a power liftgate, an eight-way power driver seat (with two-way lumbar), a two-way power passenger seat (manual recline), an auto-dimming rearview mirror and the Intellilink electronics interface that includes voice controls, Bluetooth audio connectivity and smartphone app integration.

The SLT-1 adds 19-inch wheels, foglamps, variable-effort steering, heated mirrors, tri-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery in the first and second rows (third row vinyl), heated front seats, an enhanced trip computer, rear-seat audio controls and a 10-speaker Bose sound system.

The SLT-2 includes power-folding mirrors, driver memory functions, an eight-way power passenger seat and access to additional options. These add-ons include ventilated front seats and the Technology package, which adds xenon headlights, a head-up display and cargo area audio controls.

The Denali includes all of the SLT-2's optional items, plus unique styling flourishes inside and out, 20-inch chrome-clad wheels, a panoramic sunroof, forward collision alert system, lane departure warning system, increased sound insulation and a wood-trimmed steering wheel.

That sunroof is optional on all other Acadia trims except the SLE-1. The same goes for the rear-seat entertainment system, which includes a Bose surround-sound audio system and a 110-volt power outlet. The SLT trims and the Denali can also be equipped with a navigation system.

Powertrains and Performance

Every 2014 GMC Acadia is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 288 hp and 270 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic and front-wheel drive are standard, but all-wheel drive is optional.

In Edmunds performance testing of the related Buick Enclave (with all-wheel drive), we measured a 0-60 mph time of 8.6 seconds, which is on par with other large crossovers with a base V6.

The EPA estimates a front-wheel-drive Acadia will return 19 mpg combined (17 mpg city/24 mpg highway). All-wheel-drive models drop to 18 mpg combined (16 mpg city/23 mpg highway).

Safety

Antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front seat side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags, a rearview camera and rear parking sensors are standard on every Acadia. All but the SLE-1 also have a front-center airbag that inflates between the driver and right front passenger for additional protection in a side-impact collision.

The standard OnStar system includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, an emergency button, stolen vehicle locator and active intervention, and remote door unlock.

The SLT-2 and Denali also feature standard side blind-spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert. The Denali comes standard with forward collision alert and lane departure warning systems, which are optional on the SLTs.

In government crash tests, the Acadia earned a top five-star rating for overall performance, with five out of five stars earned for total front-impact protection and five stars for total side-impact protection. The Acadia also fared well in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, where it got the highest rating of "Good" in moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2014 GMC Acadia features an attractive interior, as most of the surfaces you're likely to touch or lean an elbow on are padded and of solid quality. Typical for a three-row vehicle, the Acadia's rearward visibility is almost nonexistent when you have a full crew on board, so the standard rearview camera is a huge help.

In most models, entertainment, phone and navigation functions are controlled by a touchscreen interface in the dash called Intellilink. It provides smartphone radio app integration and features a clean layout and intuitive menu structure. Intellilink is sometimes slow to process touch inputs (and in a few instances, wholly unresponsive), however, which can make it frustrating to use.

Front occupants will enjoy abundant head- and legroom, as will second-row occupants, but the middle row seat cushions are mounted low, reducing comfort for adults. Sliding those seats all the way back alleviates this issue, but effectively kills third-row legroom. The slide release is also difficult to access. The narrow, flat-cushioned third-row seats are easily deployed and stowed, but are best suited to kids and smaller adults.

The Acadia scores points for generous cargo capacity. Even with the third-row seats in place, it can carry up to 24 cubic feet of luggage. That figure jumps to 70 cubes with the third-row seats folded flat and a cavernous 116 cubes with the second row stowed.

Driving Impressions

Like the other large crossovers from General Motors, the 2014 GMC Acadia delivers a nice balance between secure handling and a comfortable ride. Even so, you're always aware that this is a large, heavy vehicle (the Acadia weighs nearly 5,000 pounds with all-wheel drive), and it feels a little more cumbersome in the parking lot than other large crossovers.

The V6 engine provides adequate performance but lacks punch during authoritative passing maneuvers. It can also sound harsh and unrefined under hard acceleration. In addition, the automatic transmission can be slow to react when a quick downshift is needed, though its gearchanges are at least smooth. Most owners will get used to these characteristics, but if you want more in the way of performance, a CX-9 or Flex is probably more your speed.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 13 reviews) Write a Review


Gm forgot to include transmission

by on
Vehicle: 2014 GMC Acadia

What the hell is wrong with this "SUV"? Cheap and did I say cheap plastic interior! Looks pretty but feels like cheap plastic crap, with a shiny coat over top. I drove this vehicle as a rental for two days and was sorely disappointed. In fact this was a vehicle I was considering as my next purchase, not any longer. The transmission's response is seriously concerning. I'm not sure whether they skipped a step in assembling the vehicle's engine or if the ridiculous lazy lag is intended. I'm not surprised that so many consumers are forced to replace the transmission, as well as in the Acadia model. The transmission feels like it's going to break every time you accelerate past 40 MPH. Toyota here I come....



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

A car for all seasons

by on
Vehicle: 2014 GMC Acadia

Love this car!! That is why I am purchasing another one this week!! I especially like the mirrors showing vehicles in the blind spot, the speed you are going and other information on the windshield in front of the driver.




Ideal size for passenger comfort and cargo.

by on
Vehicle: 2014 GMC Acadia




Lots of little problems during first 40k miles

by on
Vehicle: 2014 GMC Acadia

Ride is quite firm, but not overly harsh. It's smoother on new Michelin Premier LTX tires than on original Goodyears. Handling is great, brakes just OK. AWD works well in rain snow. Vehicle feels very secure in all kinds of weather on all types of roads. NAV system was a waste of $750. Even my 7 year old TomTom works better. Had some creaks and squeaks in passenger side doors and windows. Our dealer fixed most of them. Drivers seat creaked and groaned when hitting bumps. Dealer replaced seat base. Rear windshield washer stopped working due to a hose that had pulled loose. Middle row bucket seats are very hard to pull forward for access to third row. No resolution here. Latest problem is camshaft position sensor and camshaft actuator. Position sensor is covered under 100K mile power train warranty. Actuator was not, even though it's an integral part of the engine. Go figure. Dealer service writer tells me power steering hose is showing signs of a minor leak. In my experience, these are usually good 100K miles or more. I'd suggest a potential owner buy an extended warranty or be ready to write checks after 36K miles. This vehicle is obviously not designed to be reliable any longer than that. I'm pretty much done with GM vehicles. Based on positive experiences I've had with 2011 and 2016 Fords, our next SUV will probably be a Ford.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Not reliable

by on
Vehicle: 2014 GMC Acadia

I am very disappointed in the service department and quality of the GMC. I traded in my car because I thought it was a smart idea to purchase a new GMC vehicle, since GMC is supposed to be a reliable car manufacturer, but I was sadly mistaken. I bought my current car a 2014 GMC Acadia SLT on 12/05/2015 while still under manufacturer's warranty. On 01/15/2016 I had to take it in to service - my major complaints were buzzing sound from dashboard (wiper cowl was deformed causing noise); A/C blowing smoke, noisy and causing a hissing sound - to this they stated nothing was wrong, when I expressed my concerns I was reassured that even if out of warranty it was recorded in the system and would still be covered; transmission shifting hard - did not find what was wrong and was again reassured I had a good warranty. On 01/29/2016 I brought car back in - I was concerned about knocking transmission; hard vibrations when accelerating (flex pipe was replaced); and mentioned about A/C issues once more, but was assured everything was fine with it and they mentioned once more that since it was in the system even if it was out of warranty it would be taken care of. On 02/12/2016 I was still not satisfied and brought car into service - again because of knocking/clanking engine/transmission (front engine mount was broken and replaced); A/C noisy (compressor replaced), the A/C hissing (Evaporator core leaking and was replaced) On 02/23/2016 I brought car in because of hard transmission shifts - I was assured this is normal Since temperatures had been cool I had not used the A/C until this day, when I got home I noticed the A/C leaking onto the driver's side carpet inside vehicle, I called to schedule service 02/23/2016 @ 12:44pm left a message and never got a call back (at this point we are close to the 36,000mi warranty) I called again 02/24/2016 @ 9:41am left message, still no call back. I had a pretty busy week afterwards with my kids getting sick with the flu, I called again on 3/1/2016 @9:41am, @10:24am, @10:29am, @12:57pm, @12:59pm no one called me back. Finally was able to reach and brought car in on 3/2/2016 they found A/C drain clogged and they unclogged I still noticed the leak which was worse and called on 03/03/2016 left message, no one returned my call I finally got a hold of someone on 03/07/2016, brought the car in and was told, sorry you are out of warranty you will have to pay for the repairs. I was shocked and very angry, especially since I have been bringing the car in with all these issues I was assured would be covered even if out of warranty since there is a record. I pay $569 per month for what is supposed to be a good, reliable car that would not give me trouble, and this car has been in the shop and had more problems in the 3 months I have owned it than my old Ford Expedition which I've had for years. I regret having traded in my old vehicle which was far more reliable than this new and shiny garbage truck. I really hope that my horrible experience will at least help someone not make the mistake of investing in this vehicle.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Dealer has had our car longer than we have

by on
Vehicle: 2014 GMC Acadia

We bought our car and we decided to take ownership even though the ground effects were installed wrong and the blind spot and FCA system were not working. Big mistake - the car is still not working right. Also I would have expected a bit more giddy up and go.... it's kind of a dog when it comes to off the line performance.



Talk About The 2014 Acadia

2014 GMC Acadia Discussions See all Started By

chad2014
chad2014
05-02-2014
Looking for Acadia fwd or awd slt2 residual and rate as well as lease cash for May when avail. 39/10k...


es4400ah
es4400ah
04-19-2016
I have a 2014 GMC Acadia with 26,850 miles on it. Since I purchased the vehicle I have had several issues. All of the exterior lights had to be replaced due to condensation inside the lights, oil leak...


miggz10
miggz10
04-16-2016
If anyone knows issue or resolution - it is GMC Acadia 2014 SLT-1.....



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/
  • 24
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