There's an all-new 2017 GMC Acadia that's been completely redesigned, but this isn't it. No, this is the 2017 GMC Acadia Limited, which is a carryover of the first-generation model that debuted a decade ago.
The new model is aiming for a slightly different customer, so there are a few reasons to consider the older model over its more modern sibling. The most significant reason is space, as the Limited is quite a bit larger inside and out. It can seat up to eight passengers, with enough room in the third row to accommodate two adults, which is a rarity in the class. Cargo capacity is also very generous, approaching the space you'd find in a minivan. The newer Acadia maxes out at seven passengers, with much smaller rear seats and less cargo space.
Of course, you won't benefit from the latest technology and aforementioned traits of the redesigned Acadia, but you'd be hard-pressed to match the interior volume of the Acadia Limited. In addition to the all-new 2017 GMC Acadia, the strongest alternatives include the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander, both of which earned A ratings from Edmunds. B-rated competitors such as the Ford Explorer and Hyundai Santa Fe are also worth consideration.
Standard safety features for the 2017 GMC Acadia Limited include antilock brakes, stability/traction control, an airbag between the driver and front passenger, full-length side curtain airbags, a rearview camera, OnStar emergency telematics and rear parking sensors. Advanced warning systems such as frontal collision, lane departure, blind-zone and rear cross-traffic are also included.
In government crash tests, the 2017 Acadia Limited was awarded five out of five stars for overall, frontal and side protection and four stars for rollover protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the mechanically identical 2016 Acadia its highest rating of "Good" for moderate frontal-overlap and side-impact protection, roof strength and head restraints.
trim levels & features
The 2017 GMC Acadia Limited is a carryover of the first-generation Acadia that will be sold alongside the redesigned second-generation Acadia. This three-row seven-passenger Acadia Limited will be available in one well-appointed trim level with the choice of front- or all-wheel drive.
Standard features include 20-inch wheels, automatic xenon headlights, LED running lights, foglights, heated and power-folding mirrors, roof rails, a power liftgate, keyless entry with remote ignition, rear parking sensors and cruise control. Frontal collision, lane departure, blind-zone and rear cross-traffic alerts are also included.
Inside, standard features include a head-up display, tri-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview and driver-side mirror, a heated tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery, heated eight-way, power-adjustable front seats with driver-seat memory functions, sliding and reclining second-row captain's chairs, interior ambient lighting, OnStar telematics, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a universal garage door opener, a rearview camera, a 6.5-inch touchscreen with the IntelliLink infotainment system, a navigation system and a 10-speaker Bose audio system with satellite radio, three USB ports, and rear audio controls with headphone jacks.
Options are few and include a dual-pane sunroof, towing package, a 60/40-split folding second-row bench that increases passenger capacity to eight, a rear entertainment system with a 6.5-inch drop-down screen and a 120-volt household power outlet.
The 2017 GMC Acadia Limited is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 281 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission sends power to either the front wheels or all four wheels. Properly equipped, the Acadia Limited can tow up to 5,200 pounds.
In Edmunds testing, a mechanically similar all-wheel-drive Chevrolet Traverse accelerated to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds, which is slightly slower than average for the class. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 18 mpg combined (15 city/22 highway) for the front-drive Acadia Limited and 17 mpg combined for the all-wheel-drive model. These figures are about average for the class.
There's simply no way to get around the fact that the 2017 GMC Acadia Limited is a big SUV. That point is driven home in tight urban settings and when trying to maneuver into small parking spots — the Acadia Limited feels cumbersome. Power from the V6 engine is adequate when getting up to highway speeds, but it does feel labored when attempting to pass slower traffic, especially when loaded with people and cargo. As a people hauler, however, the Acadia Limited remains a strong choice for its smooth ride and quiet cabin.
As a carryover of the last-generation model, the 2017 GMC Acadia Limited doesn't benefit from the improvement found in the redesigned, albeit smaller, Acadia. Despite this, the Limited's interior remains attractive with decent materials and build quality. Thick roof pillars limit rear visibility, forcing heavy reliance on the standard rearview camera and parking sensors, but this is typical for most three-row SUVs.
Generally, in-car technology is quicker to show age than the rest of the vehicle, and the Acadia Limited makes this readily apparent. Compared to newer systems, the IntelliLink infotainment interface is small and responds slower, but its menus are intuitive. If you want more advanced features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, you'll have to go with the new Acadia.
Front and second-row passengers will enjoy an abundance of headroom, and the third row can accommodate two adults in relative comfort, though they're really intended for smaller folks. Accessing the rearmost seats is made easier thanks to second-row seats that slide farther forward than most competitors.
Cargo capacity also gets high marks, which gives the Acadia Limited an edge over its redesigned successor. Up to 24.1 cubic feet of luggage space is available behind the third-row seats, expanding to 70.1 cubic feet when stowed. With the second- and third-row seats folded, up to 116.1 cubic feet is available. If you need more than that, a minivan is the way to go.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.