Owned an 05 Honda Pilot AWD EX before this one. Test drove the new pilot, traverse, acadia, enclave, 4runner, highlander, cx9. The Acadia out-performed all these. Great interior space, great features if you like the additional XM radio and ONstar services. No lag on the throttle... immediate response, steady cornering and level steering. Superb traction control system; disengages acceleration when slipping on ice or when lack of traction, stops engine RPM shootups. ABS system works great. It does weigh nearly 7,000 lbs so braking is a bit more noticable at higher speeds (nose dive). After 5,000+ miles I am averaging 16.3mpg / city and 20.2mpg hwy cruising at 70-75mph...23 or 24mpg as stated??? yeah right! Overall safety specs are sufficient; airbags all around, great framework. well thought out interior heating and cooling system, is loud enough to overpower a bluetooth phonecall when turned all the way up. remote start, auto liftgate great features except when parked too close to something. bad side depth perception on back up cam. low road noise, good stock tires (goodyear fortera comfort tread); bad for rain, snow and ice... will hydroplane or loose traction at 45mph+ on standing water. upgrade tires to fortera triple tread (my opinion). steering wheel controls are oddly placed. front wipers on left stick, rear wipers on center console below a/c system controls, why? volume and radio controls in a good consolidated location on steering wheel. good location for cruise control buttons. three locations for liftgate operations (key, on liftgate, and next to rear wipers.. why?) auto dimming rear view mirror great, black lower trim around Acadia difficult to clean need special cleaner from autoparts store. a little above average accessory selection, great audio even without BOSE, radio buttons can be confusing, double vanity lighted shades, dual exhaust great feature. battery location inconvenient (center of car between 2nd row captain seats), deep lubricated slide rails for 2nd row captain seats, much debris can be lodged or stuck in there, not good. inside material "plastic" poor choice of material, easily scuffed, marked up and just unsightly. Maintenance costs are average for this type of vehicle. Great interior storage capacity (glovebox, center console armrest area and rear liftgate area.
Over all my experience has been fine. I have only owned my car for 3 weeks, however I did previously own a 2009 so I do have prior Acadia experience. The car seems to idle rough and doesn't switch smoothly into gears, as my 2009 did. I have many blind spots such as the second row headrests. You cannot see over them if you turn to look over your shoulder to check for cars. Your two back side windows are of no use to you with those headrests in the way. The seats themselves don't seem as comfortable as before and the car just seems to be bulkier and louder. I used to drive the 2009 like it was a car. This one I feel nervous, worrying that I'm going to hit someone because of the blindspots.
Purchased 2011 in 11/10 Acadia after much research of crossovers. Were leaning to the Pilot, but the ride and styling of the Acadia are a step above. After purchase, noticed blue and black smoke emission on cold starts for 30-45seconds. First thought was car was passing oil. Brought car to dealer. Dealer did not see any abnormal emissions. Met with GM DSM to review smoke issue. He observed cold start smoke on my Acadia. Started three new Acadias, all emitted blue and black smoke. DSM was puzzled. GM quality manager in Detroit explained fuel is pulsed to cat convrtr to accelerate heat up to prevent emissions. Condition on 10 and 11's. GM needs to eliminate smoke on cold start.
Great car overall. I wasn't planning on getting the 'Diamond Tri-Coat White', i.e. pearl, color, but glad that is what I wound up with. I have gotten several compliments on the color, it really looks good in the sun. The leather seats are wonderful, but the headrest is driving me crazy. It is tilted forward to help with crash stability, but it's hard trying to get comfortable. The sliver around the cup holder can be distracting in the bright sun. Good room for the family, will probably get an after market rear console and maybe running boards for the kids, GM seems pretty proud of those accessories list price.
The frequency and exorbitant cost of maintenance has made the Acadia our worst car purchase to date. After a couple domestic vehicles in high school and college, my wife and I have both owned only imports since (Toyota, Acura, Nissan, two Audis). But we were happy to buy domestic once again. Detroit, we thought, was back. Or so people said. The Acadia shined during our test drives. The configuration of the seats (2nd-row buckets & 3-seat third row) was a big selling point for our growing family. We liked the vehicle's size and styling. It seemed comfortable. So, we bought it. It's my wife's vehicle. It was a huge financial mistake. For comparison's sake: I drive an Audi that has almost identical mileage (about 70k) and is one year older. The Acadia is in the shop about 3x as often for repairs big and small. The cumulative cost of the Acadia repairs has been about 4x that of the Audi. Seemingly routine repairs on the Acadia are overly involved. For example, replacing a headlamp requires you remove the wheel well liner, loosen the bumper and loosen the grill. There are a couple dozen bolts to remove or loosen just to get to the bulb. The A/C condenser was leaking, and it required two days in the shop, as they had to disassemble the dash to get to the condenser. Almost $2k. The timing chain is now failing. That will be more than $2k. Going in, I would have assumed maintenance on a German import would outstrip that of a domestic, but it isn't even close. Detroit is not back. GMC is not back. In fact, I hate GMC with every fiber of my being. We'll be reluctant to trade in this car sooner much than anticipated, but we'll be relieved to be back into a less costly, more reliable import.