2008 GMC Acadia Performance

$4,916 - $6,826

2008 GMC Acadia Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2008 GMC Acadia was new.


Performance: 8.0

As noted in our Performance Overview, the 2008 Acadia shines for its predictable handling and useful all-wheel drive, but its lagging engine power and towing capacity fall below expectations for a GMC vehicle.

  • "If you are one of the few drivers who travel off-road in your SUV, the 2008 GMC Acadia may not be for you. Its available all-wheel-drive system is designed to enhance traction during on-road driving, not during off-highway adventures. A maximum tow rating of 4,500 pounds may also be a deterrent." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "If you absolutely, positively need towing prowess or off-road capabilities, you're still likely to favor GM's Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon, full-size, truck-based SUVs." -- USA Today
  • "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." -- Edmunds
  • "Shoppers should get to know GMC for its first crossover SUV, the Acadia. It looks great, is a surprisingly competent handler, despite its weight, and can carry up to eight people comfortably." -- MSN

Acceleration and Power

Test drivers have lukewarm feelings about the GMC Acadia's V6 engine, which some say is overwhelmed by the SUV's heavy curb weight. But what it lacks in power, the Acadia makes up for in fuel economy. According to the EPA, the front-wheel drive model nets 16/24 mpg, while the all-wheel drive model nets 16/22 mpg.

  • "The Acadia's V6 won't blow you away with its power, but peak torque comes on early and the vehicle moves with decent authority." -- Edmunds
  • "Weighing in at nearly 5,000 pounds, the Acadia is pretty hefty and needs all 275 of those horses, but with the help of the perceptive six-speed transmission, power is certainly adequate." -- Orlando Sentinel
  • "All [Acadia] models offer better than expected acceleration both around town and on the highway, but front-drive Acadias are slightly quicker from a stop. The transmission shifts smoothly but is often caught in too high a gear." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The 275-hp V6 is adequate, and returned better than 18 mpg on my 188 miles. When you need to pass, it makes a good amount of racket when pushed hard, and while more oomph is always welcome, the engine seemed potent enough to haul this thing around without too much complaining." -- AutoWeek
  • "The engine is still charged with moving a considerable amount of metal around suburbia, but you barely notice the weight when traveling without a full load. The transmission was relatively smooth, and accelerating on the highway wasn't any more difficult than in a large SUV with a V-8." -- Cars.com
  • "It does provide enough punch around town and for regular highway driving." -- Motor Trend

Handling and Braking

The Acadia is well regarded for its car-like handling and capable all-wheel drive system, which makes it ideal for inclement weather.

  • "The Acadia rides very nicely even on rough pavement. Handling is on par with other vehicles on the same shopping list." -- Orlando Sentinel
  • "The Acadia handles like many crossovers, agile and pleasant for a fairly heavy vehicle, though it's not as sporty as top performers like the Mazda CX-7." -- U.S. News
  • "Thanks to unit-body construction and street-focused suspension, the 2008 GMC Acadia drives more like a car than an SUV. Handling is good with precise steering response, controlled body lean and plenty of traction during cornering." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Front-drive versions are impressively stable and agile for a vehicle this size. AWD models -- even with the optional 19-inch tires -- feel a bit less nimble but benefit from added traction on slick surfaces." -- Consumer Guide
  • "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." -- Edmunds

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