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2013 GMC Acadia Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 GMC Acadia was new.


Performance: 7.4

The 2013 GMC Acadia is a capable midsize SUV with decent power and a comfortable ride, according to reviewers. It provides good fuel economy for the class, but if you’re searching for a sporty crossover, the Acadia isn’t one.

  • "Because it's built from a single unit body (as opposed to riding on a frame like most full-size SUVs), the 2013 GMC Acadia delivers car-like ride and handling characteristics and an ultra-quiet cabin." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "There are some learning curves to handling it on the road - most notably, using those blind spot mirrors - but it's not as unmanageable as it seems due to its size." -- Cars.com (2012)

Acceleration and Power

The 2013 Acadia has a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 288 horsepower and is paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. Front- or all-wheel drive is available on all trims. The Acadia is rated at 17/24 mpg city/highway in front-wheel drive configurations, according to the EPA. All-wheel drive models use slightly more gas. The Acadia can also tow up to 5,200 pounds, which is about average for the class.

Auto critics think the Acadia has adequate power for most driving situations. One reviewer says the Acadia feels a bit strained when loaded up, but that generally, it accelerates well. Another test driver appreciates the Acadia’s restrained, quiet engine.

  • "The 2013 GMC Acadia's 288-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 engine offers good acceleration, but with a full load on board, it could do with a bit more power." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Sure, some things are a little dated, but it drives well and its V-6 engine delivers plenty of power should you need it." -- Cars.com (2012)
  • "We have no complaints about the 288-hp V6, as it provides willing acceleration in almost all situations and achieves pretty good fuel economy." -- Edmunds (2012)
  • "Acadia's quiet, refined engine growls pleasantly under brisk acceleration." -- Consumer Guide (2012)

Handling and Braking

Reviewers say that the 2013 GMC Acadia has a comfortable ride, but when compared to other midsize SUVs, its handling doesn’t quite stack up. While it’s not car-like or sporty, critics appreciate the Acadia’s road grip and composed handling for a heavy crossover. Test drivers do note that adding larger wheels detracts from the Acadia’s smooth ride.

  • "The vehicle exhibits some body lean under hard cornering maneuvers, but the Acadia's ability to retain its grip on the road surprised even our most seasoned test drivers." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "I was relieved to find it didn't have that ‘boaty-floaty’ feeling on the road. It delivered a smooth, comfortable ride." -- Cars.com (2012)
  • "Like the other large crossovers from General Motors, the 2012 GMC Acadia delivers a nice balance between secure handling and a comfortable ride. Even so, you're always reminded that this is a large, heavy vehicle (it weighs nearly 5,000 pounds with all-wheel drive), and it feels a little more cumbersome than other large crossovers on the market. …" -- Edmunds (2012)
  • "With the SL/SLE's 18-inch tires, Acadia is comfortably composed and controlled. The SLT's 19s as well as the Denali's 20s make the ride firmer, though not unbearably so. …" -- Consumer Guide (2012)

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