$9,481 - $14,515

2011 GMC Acadia Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2011 GMC Acadia was new.


Interior: 7.6

The GMC Acadia's cabin is spacious and upscale. Its major advantages are a spacious third-row seat and cavernous cargo area. The all-new Denali model ups the ante when it comes to luxury. It comes with perforated leather seating, mahogany wood inserts and woodgrain finishes, and enhanced accent lighting.

  • "Stepping inside the high-end Acadia, chrome sill plates feature a lighted Denali logo. Heated and cooled perforated leather seats with matching door inserts are standard, and the leather-wrapped steering wheel is accented with real mahogany wood trim." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Though there are few padded surfaces, bright accents and richly grained plastics give the interior an inviting look. Build quality has been good, but one test model suffered from a rattle in the rear seating area." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Cars.com's Mike Hanley got an early look at the Acadia Denali and thought it was nice, but didn't see any real improvement in interior feel to a regular Acadia with a black interior. He did say it was ‘certainly flashy.’” -- Cars.com
  • "First of all, while the interior is attractively designed, its materials leave something to be desired." -- Edmunds


The base Acadia comes with seating for eight with three-person second and third rows. SLE, SLT1, SLT2 and Denali models come with seating for seven with a two-person second row, but you can also opt for the eight-person seating configuration (at no extra cost). Reviewers find the first and second rows comfortable and even say the third row is large enough to accommodate adults.

The base SL model comes with manually-adjustable driver and passenger seats. The next trim up, the SLE and SLT1, get power seats with a manual reclining function. The SLT2 comes with all-power front seats, while both the SLT1 and SLT2 come standard with heated front seats, and leather upholstery in the first and second rows. The new Denali model comes with all that plus cooled front seats.

If you need an even more spacious third row, look at the Ford Flex, which starts at almost $2,800 less than the Acadia. It seats up to six or seven (as opposed to eight), but its two-person third row has more room than the Acadia’s three-person row.

  • "Overall third-row roominess is pretty good as large SUVs go, though the Ford Flex does hold an edge on comfort for two adult passengers." -- Edmunds
  • "Plenty of headroom and legroom [in the front]. The seats are generally supportive and comfortable, though shorter drivers may find the seat cushions too long. … Whether buckets or bench, the 2nd-row seats slide fore and aft about 3 inches to benefit either 2nd- or 3rd-row legroom. With the 2nd row slid forward, the 3rd row can accommodate 6 footers -- though they'll ride knees-up. Foot space can be tight in either row." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The third-row seats in the Acadia are roomy and bolstering on the seat backs makes extended journeys comfortable. Access to the rear seats is easy thanks to a clever mechanism that slides the second-row seats out of the way.” -- Kelley Blue Book

Interior Features

The GMC Acadia has easy-to-use controls and plenty of standard and optional features. A few reviewers, however, say the cabin has some cheap-feeling materials. The base SL model comes with single-zone climate control, an outside temperature display, OnStar, remote keyless entry, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, an auxiliary audio input jack, and an AM/FM stereo with CD player and Radio Data System. XM satellite radio with a three-month trial subscription is also standard.

Most options are not available for the base model. However, trading up to the SLE allows you to get things like a rear seat entertainment, navigation, and tri-zone automatic climate control. The all-new Denali model comes standard with perforated leather seating surfaces, Bluetooth, a Bose sound system, a dual-panel sunroof, remote start and a power liftgate. In fact, the only options are a rear seat entertainment system and touch-screen navigation system.

  • "The Acadia's attractive dashboard layout features sensible controls and decent build quality, though signs of lower-grade plastics and questionable assembly can be found." -- Edmunds
  • "Day or night, Acadia's luminous gauges are easy to read. The optional head-up display projects vehicle speed and other readings on the windshield. The audio controls are easy to reach. The optional navigation system absorbs most audio functions but doesn't complicate their use. Climate controls are mounted lower but within easy reach, though their push buttons are less convenient than rotary knobs." -- Consumer Guide
  • "In the Acadia Denali, you get unique 20-inch chrome wheels, new lower bumper, honeycomb chrome grille, panoramic moonroof, heated and cooled leather seats and lots of luxury features, including mahogany wood trim." -- Mother Proof
  • "While priced at the high end of the segment, the Acadia's generous standard equipment list must be taken into consideration." -- Kelley Blue Book


The Acadia provides tons of cargo space – more, in fact, than most SUVs in its class. It has 24.1 cubic feet of space behind its third-row seat, which is excellent for a three-row vehicle. If you fold that down, space increases to 68.7 cubic feet. For absolutely cavernous space, you can also fold down the second row and get 115.9 cubic feet.

This amount of space is unparalleled by any of the Acadia’s direct competitors (for example, the Toyota Highlander provides only 10.3 cubic feet with all seats in use). In fact, the Acadia has just as much cargo space as some large SUVs -- including the Chevy Tahoe, which costs about $5,500 more.

A second-row console is available on SLT1, SLT2 and Denali models. Reviewers love the underfloor storage in the cargo area, which is standard on all models. The all-new Denali model also comes with a power liftgate.

  • "Acadia's cargo volume is the largest among midsize SUVs, rivaling that of many large SUVs. There's more usable space behind the raised 3rd-row seat than in most midsize SUVs, plus an underfloor bin. Both the 2nd- and 3rd-row seats fold forward easily to form a flat, nearly level surface. An optional power tailgate is a handy feature. Several bins and cubbies provide good interior storage." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The interior's usability is enhanced with numerous cup holders, storage spaces and additional storage beneath the rear cargo area." -- Kelley Blue Book

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