$6,420 - $8,253

2009 GMC Acadia Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2009 GMC Acadia was new.


Performance: 8.1

The 2009 Acadia offers predictable handling and useful all-wheel drive, but its lagging engine power and towing capacity fall below expectations for a GMC vehicle.

  • "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
  • "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. Acadia is difficult to maneuver in tight spaces due to its long, wide body." -- Consumer Guide
  • "While the .... 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
  • "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

Acceleration and Power

The Acadia comes with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes 288 horsepower (an increase of 13 hp over last year) and 270 pound-feet of torque. While some test drivers say it lacks power, no one is disputing the engine's good fuel economy. According to the EPA, the front-wheel drive Acadia gets 17/24 mpg city/highway, while the all-wheel drive model achieves 16/23 mpg.

  • "The Acadia offers better than expected acceleration both around town and on the highway, but front-drive models are slightly quicker from a stop. The transmission shifts smoothly but is often caught in too high a gear. A prod of the throttle sometimes results in slow downshifts for passing power." -- Consumer Guide
  • "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

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.

  • "With the standard 18-inch tires, Acadia is comfortably composed and controlled. The optional 19s made the ride noticeably stiffer, though not unbearably so." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The Acadia rides very nicely even on rough pavement. Handling is on par with other vehicles on the same shopping list." -- Orlando Sentinel
  • "Thanks to unit-body construction and street-focused suspension, the ... 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
  • "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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