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MSRP: $29,000 - 47,500

2019 GMC Acadia Review

A below-average predicted reliability rating, subpar cargo space, and a cramped third row help drive the 2019 GMC Acadia to the bottom half of our midsize SUV rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Good gas mileage
  • Upscale interior
  • User-friendly technology
  • Below-average cargo space
  • Cramped third row
  • Below-average predicted reliability rating

Is the GMC Acadia a Good SUV?

The GMC Acadia is an OK midsize SUV. A standard four-cylinder engine performs fine, but there's a more powerful V6 option. Handling also prioritizes comfort over agility. Inside, the Acadia looks good and comes with plenty of easy-to-use technology.

The Acadia's negatives include small third-row seats, an unimpressive cargo volume, and a below-average predicted reliability rating.

Should I Buy the GMC Acadia?

The Acadia's base price is reasonable for the class, but that isn't enough to recommend it over any number of other quality options that offer more. Some primary rivals also live within the General Motors family, and they're worth checking out. Start with the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave.

Compare the Acadia, Traverse, and Enclave »

Should I Buy a New or Used GMC Acadia?

The 2019 Acadia is part of a generation that began with the 2017 model year. There haven't been any notable changes since the 2017 redesign, so you can potentially save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used Acadia and still get basically the same vehicle.

If you are interested in a used SUV, check out our reviews of the 2017 GMC Acadia and 2018 GMC Acadia, and browse our Used Car Deals page to learn about the kind of savings and discounts you can get on a used vehicle.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Acadia »

We Did the Research for You: 29 Reviews Analyzed

We don’t base our car reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we combine the findings of professional test drivers with data such as reliability ratings and safety scores to give you a complete overview of every vehicle we rank.

This review uses applicable research and data from all model years of the current Acadia generation, which runs from 2017 to 2019.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years’ worth of auto industry experience combined. To keep our reviews unbiased, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside company manages our advertising.

How Much Does the GMC Acadia Cost?

The Acadia's $29,000 base price is less than the starting price of most class rivals, though the difference is less than $3,000 in many cases. The top Acadia trim starts north of $45,000, which is in the middle of the pack for a midsize SUV's highest trim.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local GMC dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our GMC deals page.

GMC Acadia Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: GMC Acadia or Chevrolet Traverse?

The Chevrolet Traverse is a better midsize SUV than the Acadia. It seats up to eight people –whereas the Acadia tops out at seven – and even the third row is roomy enough for adults. The Traverse's larger size also means it has among the most total cargo space in the class. These SUVs have similar starting prices, but the Acadia's cabin is a little more upscale. That's not enough to recommend it over the Traverse, which also boasts a better predicted reliability rating.

Which Is Better: GMC Acadia or Buick Enclave?

The Buick Enclave, like the Chevy Traverse, has some of the best cargo numbers in the class, and it comes standard with the same V6 engine that's optional in the Acadia. The Enclave’s standard infotainment system has a larger touch screen than the Acadia's, and it comes with features that you can't get in the GMC, such as wireless device charging. You'll get a slightly nicer cabin with the Enclave, but that comes at a much higher base price than the Acadia. The Enclave is the better vehicle, but you'll have to decide if its advantages can justify its price increase over the Acadia.

Compare the Acadia, Traverse, and Enclave »

Acadia Interior

How Many People Does the Acadia Seat?

The Acadia seats up to seven people in its standard three-row configuration and five in the 2-row configuration. The supportive first two rows of seats can accommodate adults, but the third row feels cramped for anything longer than a short drive.

Acadia and Car Seats

There are two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors. The system earns a rating of Acceptable (the second-highest rating) for its ease of use from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Acadia Interior Quality

Though there are a few small panel fit issues, the Acadia feels upscale inside. It's quiet and attractive, and it uses a lot of soft-touch materials.

Acadia Cargo Space

While many class rivals have more space, this GMC's cargo hold provides plenty of utility. You get nearly 13 cubic feet of space behind the third row of seats, which can fit about 10 grocery bags. Maximum cargo capacity is 79 cubic feet.

Acadia Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the Acadia include the IntelliLink infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, a six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, five USB ports, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Available features include a sunroof, navigation, an eight-speaker Bose surround-sound system, a rear-seat entertainment system, and an upgraded IntelliLink system with an 8-inch touch screen.

The Acadia's well-organized dash makes it easy to figure out where the controls are, and there are buttons and knobs in addition to the responsive touch screen. Smartphone connectivity features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard and make it easy to pair your smartphone with the vehicle.

Read more about interior »

Acadia Performance

Acadia Engine: V6 Delivers More Kicks

You have two choices for the Acadia's powertrain: the 193-horsepower four-cylinder base engine and the 310-horsepower V6. The base engine's power output is generally fine, but the V6 feels much stronger and moves this GMC with noticeably more alacrity.

Acadia Gas Mileage: Raising the Bar

Few competitors can match the Acadia's gas mileage. It earns 21 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway with its base engine and 18/25 mpg city/highway with the V6. You'll spend about as much on gas in the Acadia as you would in other fuel-efficient midsize SUVs, like the Honda Pilot.

Acadia Ride and Handling: Smooth and Stable

Class rivals are more nimble than the Acadia, which can feel a bit unwieldy on winding roads. That said, it maneuvers well in confined areas. The ride is comfortable even over rough roads.

Read more about performance »

Acadia Reliability

Is the GMC Acadia Reliable?

J.D. Power gives the 2019 Acadia a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five. 

GMC Acadia Warranty

GMC backs the Acadia with a three-year/36,000-mile warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Acadia Safety

Acadia Crash Test Results

The all-wheel-drive version of the 2019 Acadia earned an overall crash test rating of five out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The front-wheel-drive model earned a four-star overall rating. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety gave the Acadia its highest rating of Good in six crash tests. The Acadia also earned the highest rating of Superior for front crash prevention technology, but it received the second-lowest rating of Marginal for the headlights.

Acadia Safety Features

The Acadia comes standard with a rearview camera, a rear-seat alert (designed to ensure you don't leave anything important in the back seat), and Teen Driver, which allows parents to set speed and audio limits on their young drivers. Available active safety features include front pedestrian braking, rear cross traffic alert, a safety alert driver’s seat, forward collision warning, forward automatic braking, front and rear parking sensors, side blind spot monitoring with lane change alert, lane keep assist, and a surround-view parking camera.

Read more about safety »

Which GMC Acadia Model Is Right for Me?

You have plenty of options when picking an Acadia trim, and the right choice comes down to your priorities. The base trim has a decent assortment of standard features and works fine for many people, but it's not as upscale as the higher trims and doesn't offer the V6 engine or all-wheel drive.

The SLT trims are the best pick for most buyers. They offer almost all the features you can get in an Acadia, including many active safety features, but they cost a few thousand dollars less than the top-level Denali trim.

GMC Acadia SL

The Acadia SL has a base price of $29,000. Standard features include a rearview camera, Teen Driver, and the IntelliLink infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, a six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, five USB ports, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

This is the only trim not available with the V6 engine or all-wheel drive, and it has no notable available features.

GMC Acadia SLE

There are two SLE trims: the SLE-1, which has a starting price of $32,800, and the SLE-2, which starts at $35,200. Both SLE trims let you upgrade to all-wheel drive for $2,000. The SLE-1 comes with satellite radio in addition to all the base model’s features. You can get the V6 engine in this trim, but you also have to add AWD; you’ll spend $3,095 for both.

The SLE-2 is available in FWD and AWD with either engine. It comes standard with a power liftgate, heated front seats, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. Adding the V6 costs $1,095. For $790, you can get the Driver Alert I package, which adds rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, and lane change assist.

The SLE-2 also offers the All Terrain package (in all-wheel-drive models), which replaces the third-row seat with a cargo management system. It also includes some styling upgrades and a suspension tuned for off-roading.

GMC Acadia SLT

There are two Acadia SLT trims as well, with the SLT-1 starting at $38,000 and the SLT-2 starting at $41,900.

The SLT-1 comes standard with a power-adjustable passenger seat, leather upholstery, an eight-speaker Bose audio system, the features from the Driver Alert I package, and an upgraded IntelliLink system with an 8-inch touch screen. You can add the V6 engine for $1,095. You can also add AWD to V6 models for $2,400. Like the SLE, the SLT is also available with the All Terrain package.

The SLT-2 is only available with the V6 engine. It comes standard with heated second-row seats, front and rear parking sensors, forward collision alert, lane keep assist, a safety alert driver’s seat, blind spot monitoring, and low-speed forward automatic braking. AWD costs an extra $2,000.

GMC Acadia Denali

The Acadia Denali has a starting price of $45,500. It comes standard with the V6 engine, navigation, a hands-free power liftgate, ventilated front seats, and an automatic heated steering wheel. AWD costs $2,000. The Technology package ($1,495) adds adaptive cruise control, forward automatic braking, and a surround-view camera.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local GMC dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our GMC deals page.

See 2019 GMC Acadia specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2019 GMC Acadia boasts a good amount of tech features, solid fuel economy, and an upscale cabin. Unfortunately, that doesn't come close to cutting it in one of the industry's most competitive classes. The Acadia lacks the all-around appeal of many competitors, and it comes up short on seating and cargo space, as well as predicted reliability.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Although not as large or roomy as the first generation, the 2018 GMC Acadia crossover SUV is a better fit in today's world, with a smaller body that is easier to maneuver and interior accommodations displaying a premium look and feel. … Unlike its truck-ish siblings, however, the Acadia has a softer side with a taut suspension for better handling." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • "The new Acadia is a much-needed and smartly executed redesign of an almost 10-year-old SUV. It may move downmarket into a smaller slot, which would only position the Acadia to better bridge the gap between the slightly smaller Terrain and the larger GMC Yukon." -- Automobile Magazine (2017)
  • "The 2017 no longer will fill in for a family minivan, but as I learned at a national introduction in the rolling hills of Virginia, the new Acadia offers in exchange adequate capacity with a superior driving experience and an upgraded array of available safety and multimedia technology." -- (2017)


Expert Advice

Last Updated: July 26, 2019

Improving Demand: The GMC Acadia finished in the lower half of the midsize SUV sales race in 2018. So far in 2019, sales have climbed by 19.2% compared to the same period last year, and the Acadia is now edging closer to the upper third of the segment. Still, the Acadia’s corporate cousin, the Chevy Traverse, is outselling it by about 25%.

Research more buying advice »
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