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2013 GMC Acadia Review

Despite top-flight safety scores, the used 2013 GMC Acadia ranks in the middle of its class. It has boring driving dynamics, a somewhat disappointing interior, and a lower reliability rating than most rivals.

Pros & Cons

  • Spacious third row
  • Generous cargo space
  • Lackluster handling
  • Unimpressive materials in top Denali trim
  • Tricky infotainment controls

New for 2013

  • Rearview camera became standard
  • Refreshed exterior and interior design

Rankings & Research

The 2013 GMC Acadia's #7 ranking is based on its score within the 2013 Affordable Midsize SUVs category. Currently the GMC Acadia has a score of 8.2 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 94 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 7.7
Performance: 7.4
Interior: 7.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.7
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 GMC Acadia Overview

Is the 2013 GMC Acadia a Good Used SUV?

­­The 2013 GMC Acadia is a decent SUV. It boasts an opulent interior with soft-touch materials, comfortable seating for up to seven, and one of the highest cargo capacities in the class. However, it has a tricky infotainment system, unimpressive handling, and lower fuel economy for the class.

Used 2013 GMC Acadia Performance and Interior

A 288-horsepower V6 engine paired to a six-speed automatic transmission give the 2013 GMC Acadia sufficient power for everyday driving. However, acceleration becomes sluggish when the SUV carries a full complement of passengers and cargo. According to the EPA, the front-wheel-drive Acadia returns a below-average 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. With available all-wheel drive, the Acadia’s fuel economy falls by 1 mpg both in the city and on the highway.

The Acadia has good handling, except in tight spaces and on curvy roads, where the Acadia’s size makes it feel unwieldly. The Acadia can tow up to 5,200 pounds, which is typical for a midsize SUV.

Read more about Acadia performance »

The base GMC Acadia seats eight in three rows. Front-row seats are spacious and comfortable. The second row comes standard with a bench seat, which slides forward to improve cargo space and back to increase legroom. However, the bench seat isn’t particularly comfortable. If you regularly haul passengers, the captain's chairs are more comfortable and better for third-row access. The third row can fit three children or two adults, and you may hear some complaints from adults on anything longer than a short ride. There is a full set of LATCH car-seat connectors in the outboard second-rows seats; the third-row middle seat has a tether-only connection. The 2013 Acadia boasts an impressive 116.1 cubic feet of cargo space.

The interior looks good, with soft-touch materials lining frequently touched areas. However, when it was new, some reviewers noted that materials quality fell short for a vehicle with its asking price – especially Denali models. The most common complaint was the number of plastic surfaces in the cabin.

The infotainment system features a new-for-2013 6.5-inch touch screen as standard. It’s surrounded by dedicated buttons for features like navigation and music. But because you can’t feel them, they’re hard to use when driving. The available Intellilink system adds Bluetooth and audio streaming, among other features.

Read more about Acadia interior »

Used 2013 GMC Acadia Prices

The average cost of a used 2013 GMC Acadia SLE base model with front-wheel drive is about $17,200. An Acadia Denali with navigation and all-wheel drive costs about $25,200. However, pricing may differ depending on the SUV's location, condition, mileage, and equipment.

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We Did the Research for You: 94 Reviews Analyzed

Our used car rankings are based on our analysis of professional automotive reviews alongside data like crash test scores, reliability ratings, and ownership expenses. We researched 94 GMC Acadia reviews to help you decide if the 2013 Acadia is the right used SUV for you.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, our staff never takes expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Reliable Is the 2013 GMC Acadia?

The 2013 Acadia has a reliability rating of three out of five from J.D. Power, which is average for the class.

See Acadia reliability scores »

How Safe Is the Acadia?

The GMC Acadia has one of the highest safety scores among midsize SUVs. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2013 Acadia a Top Safety Pick. The IIHS also gave the Acadia the top rating of Good in all four crash tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2013 Acadia five (out of five) stars overall and the same score in frontal and side crash tests. It earned four stars in the rollover evaluation.

The Acadia comes standard with a rearview camera and rear parking sensors. Upper trims are available with side blind zone alert and rear cross traffic alert.

See Acadia safety scores »

Is the 2013 Acadia the Best Model Year to Buy?

The 2013 GMC Acadia is part of a generation that includes the 2007 through 2016 model years. The 2011 and 2012 models have a lower average price. However, the 2013 Acadia offers notable updates, like new interior and exterior styling and a standard rearview camera. If you’re looking for additional safety features, you should consider the 2014 Acadia, which is available with forward collision alert and lane departure warning.

Compare the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Acadia »

Which Used GMC Acadia Is Right for Me?

The 2013 GMC Acadia has five trims: SLE1, SLE2, SLT1, SLT2, and Denali. The base SLE1 comes with more than enough tech features to satisfy most shoppers. Standard features include Bluetooth, satellite radio, a six-speaker stereo, a 6.5-inch touch screen, and a USB port.

The Acadia SLE2 adds power-adjustable front seats and remote start. It also gives you GMC’s IntelliLink infotainment system to accompany the standard touch screen. The Acadia SLT1 comes with heated front seats, leather upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control, and a 10-speaker Bose stereo. The Acadia SLT2 doesn’t add many features, aside from rear cross traffic alert and side blind zone alert.

If you plan to do any towing, the Acadia Denali is the trim for you. It comes with a factory-installed trailer hitch. It also features luxurious interior appointments like heated and cooled front seats and perforated leather upholstery in the first and second rows. The Acadia Denali also comes with a head-up display and a sunroof.

For added peace of mind, consider a certified pre-owned model. For all of its CPO models, GMC extends its original new-car limited powertrain warranty to six years or 100,000 miles and provides a one-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. GMC CPO vehicles must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read GMC’s warranty page carefully. The model's original sale date determines whether or not it is eligible for the CPO program.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »
Read more about the GMC certified pre-owned program »

2013 GMC Acadia and Other SUVs to Consider

The 2013 GMC Acadia has two siblings – the Buick Enclave and the Chevy Traverse. The Acadia sits between the two in price and quality. While the pricier Enclave is the more upscale model, the Traverse is more economical.

Which Is Better: 2013 GMC Acadia or 2013 Ford Explorer?

The Ford Explorer ranks near the bottom of the class. It offers far less passenger and storage space than the Acadia. Additionally, the Explorer has a lower reliability rating and comes with fewer standard features than the Acadia.

Which Is Better: 2013 GMC Acadia or 2013 Buick Enclave?

The Buick Enclave is the better SUV. Like the Acadia, it has lots of cargo space. However, the Enclave has higher-quality cabin materials and comes standard with the IntelliLink infotainment system. Finally, the Enclave also offers better handling composure.

Compare the Acadia, Explorer, and Enclave »

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