2018 GMC Acadia Review

Pros & Cons

  • Refined ride quality makes it comfortable in any kind of driving situation
  • Quick acceleration from the optional V6 engine
  • Simple cabin layout means everything is usable at a glance
  • Modern onboard technology keeps you connected
  • Cabin isn't particularly luxurious, even in the priciest trim levels
  • Some rival crossovers have more cargo and third-row space
  • Not many places to store small items
List Price Range
$23,503 - $34,985

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Which Acadia does Edmunds recommend?

The SL is enticing, but it's a special-order-only model that you won't find at the dealership. Though you can find the SLE-1 on lots, it doesn't add much and costs thousands more. The SLE-2 is a better bang for your buck: It's reasonably priced and adds a power liftgate, power driver seat and heated front seats. Its available Driver Alert I package is the least expensive way to add blind-spot monitoring to the Acadia. Whichever trim you choose, we think it's worth checking the box for the V6. Its superior performance will be appreciated when you're carrying passengers or towing.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

7.4 / 10

With a carlike ride and lighter construction (which allows for downsized, more fuel-efficient engines), large crossovers have largely supplanted traditional sport-utility vehicles. It was only natural that GMC — then known for its pickups and truck-based SUVs — was swept up in the craze just over a decade ago. The 2018 Acadia is the newest version of GMC's first car-based utility vehicle.

This three-row crossover was fully redesigned last year, a transformation that made the 2017 Acadia smaller and lighter than the previous model. Handling and fuel economy were improved at the expense of passenger and cargo room, but you wouldn't notice the pinch unless you habitually filled the third row with little ones.

For those in the first and second rows, the Acadia is spacious all around, and both back rows fold flat at the pull of a strap for maximum carrying capacity. The rest of the cabin is airy and inviting, though the overall design is more focused on function than form. That said, if you think competitors' interiors look a bit busy, you'll probably enjoy the Acadia's more toned-down approach.

Though a four-cylinder engine is available, we think it's outmatched by the sheer weight it's asked to move. Better to upgrade to the optional V6, especially if you plan on frequently ferrying friends and family.

Overall, we think the 2018 GMC Acadia is a solid choice for a comfortable three-row crossover SUV. But it might also be worth your time to look at a few other rival models, especially if expansive third-row seat space and lots of cargo room are priorities for you.

2018 GMC Acadia models

The 2018 GMC Acadia is offered in SL, SLE, SLT and Denali trim levels. The SL model seems like a great deal, until you realize that it's a custom-order model and you'll have to wait for it to be built. There are two levels of the midgrade SLE trim: The SLE-1 is only a minor upgrade over the SL (but you'll actually find it at a dealership), while the SLE-2 adds a more substantial level of upgrades. A well-equipped SLT trim is the next step up, and it, too, is split between SLT-1 and SLT-2 levels. The Denali trim rounds out the lineup with several exclusive high-end features.

Depending on trim, the midsize Acadia is offered in a two-row, five-passenger configuration or a three-row configuration with seating for six (with second-row captain's chairs) or seven (with a second-row bench). A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (193 horsepower, 188 pound-feet of torque) is standard on SL, SLE and SLT-1 models. A 3.6-liter V6 (310 hp, 271 lb-ft) is standard on SLT-2 and Denali models and optional on SLE-1 (with all-wheel drive), SLE-2 and SLT-1 trims. Both engines are paired to a six-speed automatic.

Technically, GMC sells an Acadia in the SL trim, with a seven-passenger seating configuration and front-wheel drive. White and silver exterior paint are really the only options on this trim. Its features include17-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, tri-zone automatic climate control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, GMC's Teen Driver system, Bluetooth, a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone app integration, a rearview camera, OnStar (with 4G LTE and a Wi-Fi hotspot), and a six-speaker audio system with a USB port and auxiliary input.

It's a built-to-order trim, however, so you're most likely going to see the next level SLE-1 on dealer lots. The SLE-1 trim adds only LED running lights and satellite radio, while the SLE-2 steps it up with 18-inch wheels, foglights, a power liftgate with programmable height stops, roof rails, remote engine start, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat and heated front seats. The SLE-2 and above trims come standard with middle-row captain's chairs that reduce passenger capacity to six, but the second-row bench is available.

The SLE-2's available Driver Alert I package adds blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and rear parking sensors.

Opting for the SLT-1 trim adds the Driver Alert I package, an auto-dimming driver-side and rearview mirror, an upgraded driver information display, a household-style power outlet, leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats with lumbar adjustment, and an eight-speaker Bose audio system with a subwoofer.

The SLT-2 trim adds 20-inch wheels, the V6 engine, a trailering package, driver-seat memory functions and heated outboard middle-row seats. Also included is the Driver Alert II package that has all of the supporting Driver Alert I features plus lane departure warning and mitigation, forward collision warning (with pedestrian detection and automatic braking at low speeds), automatic high beams, front parking sensors, and a safety-alert driver seat that buzzes when alerts are triggered.

An 8-inch touchscreen is available on SLE-2, SLT-1 and SLT-2 models. It is paired with the Bose audio system and upgraded driver info display on the SLE-2, and it can be equipped with navigation on the SLT trims.

The top-of-the-line Denali rounds out the lineup with polished wheels, xenon headlights, a unique grille, a hands-free liftgate, the 8-inch touchscreen with navigation, a configurable virtual gauge display, ventilated front seats, and a heated and power-adjustable steering wheel. The Denali is also eligible for the optional Technology package that adds a 360-degree parking camera and adaptive cruise control.

You can get all-wheel drive on all Acadias except the base SL. A two-panel sunroof is available on SLE-2 trims and above. An All Terrain package is also available on SLE-2 and SLT-1 trims and adds the V6 engine, distinct exterior treatments, hill descent control, a more advanced all-wheel-drive system and a cargo management system (SLT-1 only). If five-passenger seating is specified, tri-zone climate control is replaced by dual-zone control with rear air vents. Finally, a special suspension with adaptive dampers is optional for AWD SLT-2 and Denali trims.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2017 GMC Acadia (3.6L V6 | 6-speed automatic | AWD).

Driving

8.0
A strong all-around performer, the Acadia is well suited to its mission as a comfortable, easy-to-drive family hauler. There is never a lack of power with the V6 engine, and the ride quality is well controlled over most roads. Strong, easy-to-modulate brakes round out its impressive capabilities.

Acceleration

9.0
When equipped with the V6 engine, the Acadia is never at a loss for power. It takes off from a stop quickly and pulls up hills with ease. We measured a zero-to-60-mph time of 6.3 seconds, which is impressive for a vehicle of this size.

Braking

8.0
The Acadia has a well-tuned braking system that drivers of all types will find accommodating. An easy-to-modulate pedal and plenty of stopping power. Our testing showed that, even after multiple aggressive stops, there was no loss of stopping power.

Steering

8.0
Lightly weighted steering makes it easy to maneuver in parking lots and at speed on the highway. The drawback, however, is limited road feel when you're driving around turns.

Handling

8.0
The Acadia tends to want to push wide in turns, which is typical in a vehicle like this, but overall it handles its considerable weight quite well.

Drivability

9.0
Overall feel from the steering, the brakes, the pedal and suspension is excellent. It's very well tuned for this kind of vehicle. The V6 is strong at all speeds, and the transmission is responsive to your gas pedal inputs.

Off-road

6.0
The optional All Terrain package adds hill descent control and a more sophisticated all-wheel-drive system. Both items are helpful off-road, but with only 7.2 inches of ground clearance and 20-inch all-season tires, the Acadia is better suited to snow-covered roads, not rocky trails.

Comfort

8.5
The Acadia is a very comfortable vehicle for road trips or daily errands. The Acadia has soft, forgiving seats and a compliant suspension that smooths out most road imperfections. Road noise and wind noise are also kept well in check.

Seat comfort

7.5
The front seats don't have aggressive bolstering but are comfortable over several hours. The rear seats have short cushions but are well contoured. The third row is tighter than in the previous Acadia. There's enough room for carpool duty, but longer trips would be uncomfortable even for kids.

Ride comfort

9.0
The Acadia gets high marks. It soaks up rough roads very well and with very little cabin noise intrusion. It's not too soft and always feels in control. The All Terrain model is surprisingly supple for a vehicle with 20-inch wheels and tires.

Noise & vibration

9.0
Very quiet on the road. There's minimal wind or road noise when you're driving on the highway, and engine noise rarely intrudes. High marks.

Climate control

8.0
There's a dual automatic climate control up front along with additional controls for the rear. The layout is simple with minimal buttons. There are eight fan speeds, and the lowest speed is acceptably low. Dual seat heaters (back and cushion) and ventilation are available depending on trim.

Interior

7.0
The overall design of the interior is straightforward with easy-to-use controls. It feels more like a car from behind the wheel compared to some of its competitors, but outward visibility is about the same. Shorter drivers will appreciate its relatively low step-in height.

Ease of use

7.5
The Acadia uses the same overall layout as the GMC Sierra pickup, which is good. A minimal number of knobs and buttons make it easy to figure things out. But it's not very luxurious-looking.

Getting in/getting out

7.5
A low step-in height makes it very easy to get in and out. An average-size adult will drop down slightly when getting in, so there's no climbing up into the Acadia. The doors are light, and they open wide. But we're not fans of the door handle design because the handles can pinch fingers easily.

Driving position

7.5
It feels more carlike than the Honda Pilot. The windshield angle is steep, but the base of the windshield sits low. You can rest your elbows easily on the door and the center console.

Roominess

7.0
With the seat all the way back, you can barely reach the pedals. And your head is nowhere near the ceiling. The high console makes it feel a little tight up front. The second row is about average, but the third row is very tight.

Visibility

7.0
The steep windshield angle reduces the overall view forward. The windshield pillars are average-size. The rearmost pillars are thick with smallish back windows. The mirrors are average size. The rearview camera has good coverage but not the clearest picture.

Quality

6.5
Inside, the parking button is off-center. The quarter panels at the front roof pillar don't line up on the inside or outside. Other interior areas look and feel fine.

Utility

7.0
There's a decent amount of space with the second row folded, but the Acadia isn't outstanding in any other areas. There's not an abundance of storage space up front, and the limited area behind the third row means you need to pack light.

Small-item storage

6.0
The center console is deep but square, so it doesn't fit anything longer than a pen. There is a small bin in front of the shifter for things such as keys. The shallow door bins don't hold anything very sizable. There's an average-size glovebox and a place for sunglasses in the overhead console.

Cargo space

8.0
Open the liftgate and you've got a wide, unobstructed cargo floor (with the third-row seat folded) to work with. Remote-release handles make it easy to fold the second row. Note, however, that with the optional third row in place, there's only enough space for a couple duffle bags.

Child safety seat accommodation

7.0
We like the easy-to-find LATCH attachment anchor points. The raised center seat on models with the second-row bench makes it more awkward to fit a child seat in the middle.

Towing

6.0
Towing capacity is 4,000 pounds, which is 1,000 pounds less than that of most competitors.

Hauling

8.0
The All Terrain package forgoes a third-row seat in favor of a more flexible cargo bay. This means adjustable tie-down rails, additional attachment hooks and a usable underfloor storage system. The cargo area itself is wide and flat, making it well suited to accommodating cargo.

Technology

8.5
The touchscreen technology interface used in the Acadia is one of the easier systems to use at a glance. It favors the features you use most often, which is a plus. Bluetooth pairing is quick and easy.

Audio & navigation

8.0
The standard GM touchscreen interface is generally good thanks to simple menus and large, easy-to-read icons. There are knobs for tuning and volume, which are always a plus. The rest of the controls are kept to a minimum to reduce clutter.

Smartphone integration

9.0
Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available. Bluetooth pairing is simple and quick.

EdmundsScorecard

Overall7.4 / 10
Driving8.0
Comfort8.5
Interior7.0
Utility7.0
Technology8.5

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 GMC Acadia.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Transmission!! same as everyone else
McKenzie,12/15/2018
SLT-2 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
My transmission has been having issues when shifting from 2nd to 3rd. I took it to the dealership immediately after noticing. They say it’s not throwing codes so they have no idea what is wrong with it. The vehicle has been to the dealership six times so far and it will be going back again tomorrow. They can’t seem to fix the problem. They say they don’t know what is wrong with it. The last time they had it they said they replaced the transmission module and found a bad motor mount. They said the transmission fluid was dark so they realized they did have a problem, just as I have been saying for a month now. Well I got the car back yesterday and noticed it is doing the same exact thing but a little worse now. A lot worse. I called GMC and opened up a case with them a couple of weeks ago when the dealership was unable to fix my car. Well gmc will NOT return my calls. I have called then numerous times with no response. Clearly they don’t care either. And it’s pretty evident that the dealership shop doesn’t seem to care either. I’m not sure what else I’m supposed to do at this point. I thought that I was following the correct chain of commands, but I guess not. Oh and my car is not even paid off yet and the transmission is still under warranty. I still have 2 years left to pay on it and this is how I get treated. I may have to trade this piece of junk in and get a different car however I will not buy GMC this time. Not just because of what happened to my car but also How gmc treats their customers. It’s one thing for the dealership garage to not care but I called GMC and they are showing no interest in helping at all. So I will be reading reviews for other cars such as Ford or Toyota etc. based on my experience with the Acadia and GMC, I do not recommend this car or GMC at all. My car is a 2015 Acadia SLT 2, 6 cylinder
TOTAL NIGHTMARE
Maddy E.,01/17/2019
SLT-2 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
We purchased a 2018 GMC Acadia, leather, captain's chairs, Nov 30th 2018. It is now January 17th, 2019 and we are at the dealership for repairs for the 3rd time! The ceiling started to sag on the passenger side, the brakes shutter and prevent me from stopping, the chrome wheels are bubbling and peeling, AND the check engine light just came on. Total nightmare! Who has time for this nonsense?!?!
2nd update of Could be better....
Blob,10/20/2017
SLT-2 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
2nd Update- I now have about 13000 miles on the vehicle & owned it for ~15 months. The big news is the transmission shifter on the console broke. The service guy said GM was having some issues with these. The broken shifter set a code but did not set a light on the IP. It took about 3 weeks to get a shifter. After installing the new shifter, the Acadia was almost transformed. The transmission was much better & the performance was improved. I know this makes no sense as the code was a low level code that should not have affected driveability in any way. Prior to retiring from GM, I evaluated vehicles at the proving grounds, on ride trips & as a PEP car driver. So I know how to assess a vehicle & this transformation is a real & a mystery to me. Overall, it is now a joy to drive. I am quite happy with the vehicle. One area I am having trouble with are the lower black panels that cover the vehicle all the way around just below the beltline. They are very difficult to clean. I still hand wash my car. In fact it was 34 degrees here today & I washed my car in my driveway. I try to keep it clean & looking nice. But so far, I am defeated by these black panels. I have scrubbed them, treated them with various products to no avail. They look dirty even after a good washing. I think these plastic panels will always be a problem and add extra work to those wanting their vehicle to look nice. GM needs to change the texture/material to make them easier to clean. PEP car drivers take note & complain about this on your evaluations. I recently changed out the 2 bulbs that illuminate the license plate in the back. I installed LED's in place of the incandescent. I was disappointed to find some corrosion on the bulb leads & in the lamp socket. GM needs to add some Noalox or similar compound to the socket & bulb to help prevent this. With only 13,000 miles, those sockets & bulbs should be pristine. I have no issues with the rest of the vehicle and have started to really like it. Initial review.... My 3.6L/6T70 SLT2 FWD Acadia handles better than I expected. I just came out of a 2008 Pontiac Torrent GXP which handled pretty good for a non sports car. I wanted to buy another Pontiac, but we all know that is not possible. So I ended up buying the Acadia. I have only driven GM vehicles for 40 years and considered the new Volvo XC60 & the BMW X3. The worst thing about the 2018 GMC Acadia is the 6T70 transmission. After 1500 miles, it still doesn't know how to shift consistently. My 2008 GXP was very good, so how did GM screw up a 10 year old design? Some 2-3 shifts have a triple feel to them (Initial feel, sag & an end bump). Terrible. Then there is a " bad shift in a turn" phenomenon. The 2-3 is really saggy. GMC Should fix this. I also found the seats to be narrower in the Acadia as compared to the buckets in the Pontiac which had a narrower chassis. I was shocked to learn that the Acadia had few & less small places to put things than my smaller Pontiac Torrent. Where is the technical memory for these kinds of things? And that damn chime is so loud with the Bose entertainment system. I have the chime volume turned all the way down & it still assaults my deaf old man ears. Give me the option to use a different sound like the tinkle used for the "check back seat" warning and to turn it down some more. It had 2 body fit issues. First, the tailgate fit very badly. Down at the driver side bottom edge, it stood very proud of the tail light. I don't know how it got out of the factory that way & wonder why it was delivered to me that way. I loosened the 2 bolts on the roof hinge & was able to correct it. The hood also fit badly. I played with the rubber snubbers on both sides to get it to look more symmetrical. Inside, the drawer that pulls open from the rear of the armrest wouldn't open because it runs into the raised lip of the optional GMC floormats I ordered. Doesn't any GM engineer check this stuff? I removed the drawer & took a hacksaw to the bottom lip on the drawer. Since it is at the bottom, no one can see what I did. It now clears the floormat. Lastly, I have to mention the GMC dealer in Western Ann Arbor on Jackson Rd. They were terrible. They forgot my deposit, screwed up the registration and failed to give me the proof of insurance after talking to my insurance company. Then they charged $210 for paper work! And no one would call me back after leaving messages. I guess they figured they had my money. I even called their Corporate Experience Mngr., and she promised to call me back that day & never did. 4 days later, I emailed her only to get more promises but no action. I'll never go to that dealer again. Being a "GM" guy that worked at the company for 34 years, this was a difficult review to write.
1st Special Order to Replace 2012 Acadia
Scott Genrich,02/09/2018
Denali 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
My wife fell in love with the new model before I did. I miss the heads up display and rear cargo room. She likes the better visibilty and handling which I came around to quickly. I wanted the rare black with tan interior so I ordered it. We picked up on thrs and drove to FL on friday. Mileage is awesome compared to old model b/c you can select various modes 2wd vs AWD. The old was permanent AWD. I got 13mpg on my 2012 and I am getting 18mpg in AWD but hey its winter in IN. 2wd will get you 26-28 depends ob weight, speed, etc. but you trade a little wheel spin up front and understeer. I ordered it loaded with every option so I recommend the weathertech mats which do not interfere with anything like others mentioned. The front rear and satellite cameras are awesome for backing up blindly. This 3.6 has more power and it stops better than you would think. It handles like a dream with stabilitrack lane mgt, crash avoidance, and load leveling. I like it alot and so does the wife. I plan to keep this one for a long time. One small nuissance is an occasional shift delay like others have mentioned but I drive hard and apply more fuel so this rarely happens.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2018 GMC Acadia features & specs

Safety

Our experts like the Acadia models:

Side Blind Zone Alert
Gives the driver a visual indicator when a car is in your blind spot. Also sounds an audio warning if you signal in that direction.
Forward Collision Alert
Warns the driver of an impending front collision with both an audible and visual alarm.
Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
Sounds an alarm when there is traffic approaching from either side of the vehicle while in reverse.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 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 Rollover16.4%
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 2018 GMC Acadia

Used 2018 GMC Acadia Overview

The Used 2018 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 (2.5L 4cyl 6A), SLT-1 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A), SLE-1 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Denali 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A), SLE-2 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A), SLE-2 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), SLT-2 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A), SLT-2 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A), SLE-1 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), and SL 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2018 GMC Acadia?

Price comparisons for Used 2018 GMC Acadia trim styles:

  • The Used 2018 GMC Acadia SLT-1 is priced between $25,388 and$29,327 with odometer readings between 28633 and50615 miles.
  • The Used 2018 GMC Acadia Denali is priced between $32,500 and$34,985 with odometer readings between 23452 and47773 miles.
  • The Used 2018 GMC Acadia SLE-2 is priced between $23,503 and$30,183 with odometer readings between 24444 and42996 miles.
  • The Used 2018 GMC Acadia SLE-1 is priced between $25,998 and$25,998 with odometer readings between 24271 and24271 miles.
  • The Used 2018 GMC Acadia SLT-2 is priced between $29,500 and$29,500 with odometer readings between 35555 and35555 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 2018 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) 2018 GMC Acadia for sale near. There are currently 18 used and CPO 2018 Acadias listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $23,503 and mileage as low as 23452 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 2018 GMC Acadia.

Can't find a used 2018 GMC Acadias you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used GMC Acadia for sale - 1 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $18,860.

Find a used GMC for sale - 8 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $11,561.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC Acadia for sale - 7 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $10,362.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC for sale - 10 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $15,436.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 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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