2016 GMC Acadia Review

Pros & Cons

  • Ride quality is smooth and compliant over most road surfaces
  • plenty of cargo capacity, even behind the third row
  • seating for up to eight passengers
  • earned top crash test scores.
  • Can feel slow and cumbersome from behind the wheel
  • infotainment and climate controls are small and out of date and sometimes finicky.
List Price Range
$15,927 - $31,500

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Three-row SUVs have become the family vehicle of choice, and for good reason. Vehicles like the 2016 GMC Acadia can handle everything your family throws at it and then some. From its surprisingly spacious interior to its smooth ride on the highway, the Acadia is a class-leading SUV in nearly every category. Ready for a closer look? The Acadia remains a great SUV for a family on the move. We give it high marks for passenger and cargo space, as well as its comfortable ride. Keep reading to see why we rank the Acadia as one of the top three-row crossovers.

Vehicle overview

It's rare when a car goes longer than six years between full redesigns, yet the GMC Acadia is soldiering into its ninth year since it was first introduced way back in the latter half of the Bush administration. Now, there are ways in which it is metaphorically graying at the temples. But even in the face of all-new and thoroughly impressive competitors, the old lady Acadia remains a highly desirable three-row family crossover.

Chiefly, the 2016 GMC Acadia continues to be the most spacious vehicle in its segment (along with its Buick Enclave and Chevy Traverse siblings). It has seatbelts for eight occupants, and even full-size adults can fit comfortably in its third row, a feat that only a few rivals can match. It also boasts more cargo space than everything short of a minivan or Suburban-like jumbo SUV.

Its blockier styling gives the GMC Acadia a more commanding road presence than its Enclave and Traverse siblings.

Riding in the Acadia also remains quite pleasurable, as the compliant ride quality and quiet cabin make for relatively serene road trips. Driving an Acadia, however, isn't so great. It's true that the Acadia isn't as cumbersome to drive as a traditional SUV like GMC's own Yukon. But compared to some rival three-row crossovers, however, the big and heavy Acadia is harder to maneuver in tight spaces and its acceleration isn't as quick. Some of its dashboard controls are also behind the times.

As such, we recommend checking out the newer Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander. The Dodge Durango, Ford Explorer and Hyundai Santa Fe are also worth a look, as are the Buick Enclave and Chevy Traverse for their variations on styling and interior ambience. However, the elder statesman 2016 GMC Acadia is still a solid pick, particularly if interior room is a priority.

2016 GMC Acadia models

The 2016 GMC Acadia is a three-row crossover SUV offered in three basic trim levels: SLE, SLT and Denali. The SLE and SLT are further subdivided into SLE-1, SLE-2, 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 Acadia SLE-1 comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, rear parking sensors, rear privacy glass, roof rails, cruise control, cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth phone connectivity, OnStar telematics services (see Safety section for details), a 4G LTE built-in WiFi hotspot, a rearview camera, a touchscreen electronics interface and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, USB/iPod interface, an auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio.

The SLE-2 adds a power liftgate, remote ignition, an additional front-middle airbag, an eight-way power driver seat, two-way power passenger seat (manual recline), an auto-dimming rearview mirror and GMC's upgraded IntelliLink electronics interface.

The SLT-1 adds 19-inch wheels, upgraded steering, heated mirrors, tri-zone automatic climate control, leather first- and second-row seats (third row simulated leather), heated front seats, an eight-way power passenger seat, a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system and rear headphone jacks. The SLT-1's Open Road package adds a dual-pane sunroof (stand-alone option on SLE-2 and both SLT trims), towing equipment, forward collision warning, lane-departure warning and a navigation system. The Premium Edition essentially adds 20-inch wheels to the Open Road package.

The SLT-2 adds power-folding mirrors, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, driver memory functions and a heated steering wheel. The optional Technology package adds xenon headlights, a head-up display and cargo area audio controls. The SLT-2's Open Road Package includes forward collision warning, lane departure warning, heated and cooled front seats, the Technology package items and a navigation system.

The Denali includes the Technology and SLT-2 Open Road packages, plus it adds 20-inch wheels, special exterior styling, extra sound-deadening materials, the dual-pane sunroof and a power-adjustable wood-trimmed steering wheel.

Although well-appointed, the 2016 GMC Acadia's console design is starting to show its age.

2016 Highlights

The GMC Acadia's OnStar system gets standard 4G LTE WiFi hotspot capability for 2016.

Performance & mpg

The 2016 GMC Acadia is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. Output on most trims is 281 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque, but the Denali produces 288 hp and 270 lb-ft thanks to an extra exhaust. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional on all trims.

In Edmunds performance testing of the related Chevrolet Traverse, we measured a 0-60-mph time of 8.1 seconds with all-wheel drive, which is a bit slow for a large crossover. A Buick Enclave, which shares the Denali's more powerful engine, was actually a half-second slower. Properly equipped, the Acadia can tow up to 5,200 pounds.

EPA-estimated fuel economy is 18 mpg combined (15 city/22 highway) for the front-drive Acadia. The all-wheel-drive model drops slightly to 17 mpg combined (15/22). These figures are average for the class.

Safety

Standard safety equipment on the Acadia includes antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front seat side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags, a rearview camera and rear parking sensors. 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 assistance button, stolen vehicle locator and active intervention, and remote door unlock.

Forward-collision and lane-departure warning systems are included with the Open Road packages available on the SLT trims. They are standard on the Denali. Blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert are standard on the SLT-2 and Denali; they are optional on the SLT-1.

In government crash testing, the 2016 Acadia received a top five-star rating for overall performance, with five stars for total frontal impact safety and five stars for total side impact safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Acadia the highest possible rating of "Good" in the moderate front overlap, side and roof strength tests. Its seat/head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.

Driving

The 2016 GMC Acadia is the quintessential American family cruiser, with a comfortable, isolating ride and a quiet cabin that makes summer road trips relatively serene (bickering siblings notwithstanding). At the same time, though, there's no hiding the Acadia's immense dimensions and ample weight. The V6 engine has enough power to get it up to speed on the highway, but it lacks punch and can feel strained during passing maneuvers, especially when full of luggage and passengers. The Acadia can also feel comparatively cumbersome when maneuvering it on tight city streets and in parking lots.

Interior

The Acadia features an attractive interior, with most of the surfaces you're likely to touch or lean an elbow on padded and of a solid quality. Most three-row vehicles have limited rearward visibility, and the Acadia is no exception. As such, the standard rearview camera is a huge help.

Every Acadia comes with a touchscreen electronics interface, which is upgraded with GMC's IntelliLink smartphone integration functions on upper trims. It has a fairly intuitive menu structure, but it can be slow to respond to inputs, and the screen itself is small by current standards. It's also mounted quite low on the dash and its surrounding touch-operated buttons are there to create a high-tech appearance rather than serve an actual functional purpose. In this way, the Acadia's advanced age compared to its rivals is obvious.

Front occupants will enjoy abundant head- and legroom, as will most 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. Getting to the third row is reasonably easy, with a mechanism that allows the second row to slide farther forward than those of most rivals. The third row is actually roomy enough for two larger adults to fit comfortably (a feat not shared by many competitors or GMC's own Yukon), though it's realistically best suited for those of smaller stature or children. This is especially true if you want to fit three across.

As with many three-row crossovers, average-sized adults may have a difficult time sitting in the third row for extended amounts of time.

When it comes to cargo space, the Acadia offers more than any crossover apart from its Buick and Chevrolet siblings. There's even a comparatively useful amount of space behind the third row. Really, if this doesn't provide enough cargo room for you, a minivan is your only other choice.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2016 GMC Acadia.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

GMC Acadia 4WD Great for Towing
Robert Waltermyer,09/21/2016
SLT-1 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
We've had our new Acadia for about 6 months and we LOVE it! I'd been looking for something to replace our dying 2007 Chevy Avalanche and my biggest concern was towing our camper. I stumbled on the Acadia quite by accident and we're so glad I did. It's a great looking car, has a very comfortable and roomy interior, plenty of power, steers and handles well and this mighty 6-cylinder tows our camper better than the 8-cylinder Avalanche, thanks to the smooth 6-speed automatic transmission! The gas mileage is a combined 17 mpg, which could be better. The biggest thing I don't like is the rear mud guards. They are hard plastic and hang low enough to scrape on those cement blocks in parking lots. I suspect they will eventually need to be replaced with flexible ones. We've been on long trips with it and love the ride and comfort.
Too many service visits.
Bill Branzell,08/26/2016
Denali 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
I like my 2016 Acadia Denali, but I have spent way too much time at the dealers service dept. Yes it is all covered under warranty, but it is a hassle to make time to get to the dealer..... 3000 miles in 7 weeks and I have had it into the service dept. 5 times. 1) & 2) Parked my new $50,000 SUV in my garage and noticed window washer fluid leaking out onto the floor. Took it to the dealer they couldn't find it. Rose hell and took it to the dealer again. they found the leak and fixed it. 3) check engine light, new gas cap, problem solved. 4) one week later check engine light again. Replaced some pressure sensor (emissions related), problem solved. 5) Side mouldings on both drivers doors is falling off. To the dealer again. So at 12,000 miles the drivers seat is rocking back and forth plus the side mouldings on the passenger side are coming off. To the dealer for trip #6. They ordered the wrong part so I have to come back next week and they tell me the rocking of the drivers seat is "normal OEM operation". Back to the dealer for trip #7, and they put the correct side moulding on but tell me again that the rocking is normal....I call bulls...t. I make a formal complaint to GM Customer Service. That was a communication nightmare, but eventually they hook me up with another dealer. Off to that dealer I go for dealer trip #8. They correctly diagnose the rocking as bad seat tracks, but they don't have the parts in stock so I need to go back the following week (dealer trip #9.). So after 9 trips to the dealer and having challenging conversations with GM Customer Service, my Acadia is OK for the moment, but I'm ready to trade it. Update: no problems since then, now 26000 miles.
The 2016 GMC Acadia Denali is my favorite vehicle
SUVoowwnner,01/21/2016
Denali 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
I've read the other reviews and don't share their opinions, so I wanted to add mine. The 2016 GMC Acadia Denali is my favorite vehicle I've ever owned. I've had infiniti, honda, acura, pontiac, jeep, toyota, and now the GMC. It's the most solid, luxurious vehicle I've owned. It isn't perfect and may not be what you are looking for, but for me, I traded my Toyota Sienna XLE minivan to go to this and got a luxury SUV while only losing a small amount of cargo space. My family and I love it. The heads up display is fantastic. I can remote start my car from my android app from anywhere on the planet and the car, based on outside temperatures, automatically turns on seat heaters and defrosters in the cold to warm it up. The towing rating is solid and the tow button works very well to control a heavy load. The seats are comfortable and I don't have back fat. I'm 6', 168 pounds and wear a size 38 sport coat. I have no idea why someone would think you need to be fat to be comfortable in these seats. It escapes me. Also, the headrests do stick forward slightly for safety, but they are adjustable front to back in addition to up and down. Perhaps the other reviewer may be more comfortable by adjusting the headrests backward. The engine is also more than adequate to get 6 people around town and up a WV mountain with no issues at all. Now, my 0-60 time is not competitive with my 370z, but that's why I bought the 370z - not the Acadia. In my opinion, the generous cargo space, high towing capacity, plenty of seating and the level of luxury makes this my favorite SUV at the moment and my favorite car of all time. Hope you try it out and determine whether it works for you.
2016 GMC Acadia Denali FWD
Shelly Bean,04/10/2016
Denali 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
Total comfort in a classy looking SUV! Though the Denali is on the high end of the price tag, it makes up for it in style, comfort, and beauty. The options in the open road package make it worth the money if you enjoy all the technology upgrades as well as the extra comfort perks. Update: Still in love! Absolutely no complaints a year later. Total comfort in awesome style! Over 18,000 miles & still riding like it just rolled out of the showroom.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2016 GMC Acadia features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover16.9%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2016 GMC Acadia

Used 2016 GMC Acadia Overview

The Used 2016 GMC Acadia is offered in the following submodels: Acadia SUV. Available styles include Denali 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A), SLT-1 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A), SLT-1 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A), SLE-2 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A), SLE-2 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A), Denali 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A), SLE-1 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A), SLE-1 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A), SLT-2 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A), SLT-2 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A), and SL 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2016 GMC Acadia?

Price comparisons for Used 2016 GMC Acadia trim styles:

  • The Used 2016 GMC Acadia SLT-1 is priced between $17,496 and$22,998 with odometer readings between 41710 and88125 miles.
  • The Used 2016 GMC Acadia Denali is priced between $23,000 and$31,500 with odometer readings between 17881 and75401 miles.
  • The Used 2016 GMC Acadia SLE-2 is priced between $17,999 and$19,450 with odometer readings between 26993 and109224 miles.
  • The Used 2016 GMC Acadia SLE-1 is priced between $15,927 and$17,290 with odometer readings between 55760 and101361 miles.
  • The Used 2016 GMC Acadia SLT-2 is priced between $18,444 and$24,526 with odometer readings between 39365 and128993 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 2016 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) 2016 GMC Acadia for sale near. There are currently 25 used and CPO 2016 Acadias listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $15,927 and mileage as low as 17881 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 2016 GMC Acadia.

Can't find a used 2016 GMC Acadias you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used GMC Acadia for sale - 1 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $21,761.

Find a used GMC for sale - 9 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $19,933.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC Acadia for sale - 3 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $9,911.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC for sale - 6 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $10,139.

Should I lease or buy a 2016 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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