2008 GMC Acadia Review

Pros & Cons

  • Plenty of passenger and cargo space, smooth ride, above-average tow capacity for a crossover.
  • Some subpar interior trim, transmission can be slow to downshift.
List Price Range
$7,495 - $7,995

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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.

Vehicle overview

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.

2008 GMC Acadia models

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.

2008 Highlights

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.

Performance & mpg

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.

Safety

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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2008 GMC Acadia.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Frustrated with My Acadia
dfoster22,08/30/2012
I want to love my Acadia but have grown extremely frustrated with it. The overall comfort in driving my Acadia has been great but I have run into several maintenance issues which just show a lack of quality in the vehicle. These issues include: water leaks (have caused issues with the front blower motor and various sensors), blown rear strut, power steering pump and gear, tailgate motor and supports, two bad batteries, master cylinder (breaks), blown headlamps, and rear window spray hose. There have been three recalls: heated windshield washer, passenger airbag sensor, and headlamps. Many of these issues occurred within first two years of ownership. Has been a maintenance headache.
Last GM product I will ever own.
Jesse Daniels,11/03/2015
SLT-1 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
GM discovered that many Acadias recieved a defective wave plate during assembly. The wave plate is a component in the transmission. Instead of recalling the Acadia and having the part replaced, GMC offered a special warranty up to 120,000 miles to reimburse the cost of transmission repairs. Of course, since I actually take care of my car and drive it gently, my wave plate lasted until 121,500 miles. The transmission repair cost $2700. The problem was a defective waveplate. GMC did not provide any assistance with the repair costs despite the fact it was barely beyond the warranty. I'm actually somewhat thankful though. Now I have a good excuse to buy a foreign car. For the past 20 years, I have always owned domestic vehicles...mostly GM vehicles because I have felt proud of supporting the domestic auto makers. But, with this latest issue, it is apparent that GM has no interest in supporting their customers. Now, if people give me a hard time about buying foreign, I can refer to this experience and people will understand. This will be the last GM product I own. I was going to buy a new Yukon in the Spring. That won't be happening now.
I will never buy a GM again
elh512,08/18/2014
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.
Would not buy this car again
kshannon,02/21/2014
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.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2008 GMC Acadia features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2008 GMC Acadia

Used 2008 GMC Acadia Overview

The Used 2008 GMC Acadia is offered in the following submodels: Acadia SUV. Available styles include SLT-2 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A), SLT-2 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A), SLE-1 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A), SLT-1 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A), SLT-1 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A), and SLE-1 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2008 GMC Acadia?

Price comparisons for Used 2008 GMC Acadia trim styles:

  • The Used 2008 GMC Acadia SLT-1 is priced between $7,950 and$7,995 with odometer readings between 120638 and145721 miles.
  • The Used 2008 GMC Acadia SLT-2 is priced between $7,495 and$7,495 with odometer readings between 148840 and148840 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2008 GMC Acadias are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2008 GMC Acadia for sale near. There are currently 3 used and CPO 2008 Acadias listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $7,495 and mileage as low as 120638 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2008 GMC Acadia.

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Find a used GMC Acadia for sale - 5 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $18,589.

Find a used GMC for sale - 10 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $18,334.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC Acadia for sale - 9 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $20,463.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC for sale - 7 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $8,295.

Should I lease or buy a 2008 GMC Acadia?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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Check out GMC Acadia lease specials