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2015 GMC Acadia Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2015 GMC Acadia was new.


Performance: 6.5

Automotive journalists say the 2015 GMC Acadia has a comfortable and controlled ride, and that, for a midsize SUV, it rides more like a car than a truck. They also mention the Acadia generally handles well, but some reviewers note it can be tricky to maneuver in tight spaces.

  • "If you're more comfortable behind the wheel of a car than a big truck, you'll find yourself feeling right at home inside the 2015 GMC Acadia. When it comes to ride, handling, steering and braking, the Acadia feels very car-like and demonstrates good stability in turns." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 2015 GMC Acadia delivers, above all, a comfortable and well-controlled ride. It's smooth and quiet without feeling floaty, which results in daily commutes that are high on driving enjoyment and low on fatigue." -- Autotrader
  • "The 2015 GMC Acadia delivers a nice balance between secure handling and a comfortable ride. Even so, you're always aware that this is a large, heavy vehicle, and it feels a little more cumbersome in the parking lot and around turns than other three-row crossovers." -- Edmunds
  • "Acadia's engine refinement is one of its most impressive features. The engine snarls (in a sporty way) when pushed hard, but it is nicely muted otherwise." -- Consumer Guide (2014)

Acceleration and Power

The GMC Acadia comes with a six-speed automatic transmission and a 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes 281 horsepower, which is seven less than in the 2014 model. A 288-horsepower version of the 3.6-liter V6 is standard on the Acadia Denali. The front-wheel drive 2015 Acadia earns 17/24 mpg city/highway and the all-wheel drive model earns 16/23 mpg city/highway, according to the EPA. The Acadia’s fuel economy is a bit low for a three-row SUV, and is lower than the fuel economy of rivals such as the Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Highlander.

Some reviewers think the Acadia’s V6 engine has more than enough power to move the midsize SUV, while others say it can struggle to accelerate at times, most notably when loaded with passengers and cargo. Also, a few auto critics mention that the automatic transmission can downshift slowly at times.

  • "The V6 engine has enough power to get the Acadia up to speed on the highway but it lacks punch during authoritative passing maneuvers, especially when full of cargo and passengers. It can also sound harsh and unrefined under hard acceleration. In addition, the automatic transmission can be slow to react when a quick downshift is needed, though its gearchanges are at least smooth." -- Edmunds
  • "The Acadia's power gives it a smooth and confident manner. When the need arises, it can accelerate strongly both off the line and in passing situations at highway speeds. Don't expect the same performance, however, when the vehicle is loaded down with passengers and cargo or towing a heavy load." -- Autotrader
  • "The 2015 Acadia's 3.6-liter V6 is one of the best 6-cylinder engines on the market. Smooth, powerful and efficient, only those towing or hauling maximum loads will find it lacking." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Despite Acadia's heft, the 3.6-liter V6 is more than sufficient. Throttle response is linear, and the engine has enough reserves for highway passing. Transmission shifts are prompt and well timed." -- Consumer Guide (2014)

Handling and Braking

The 2015 GMC Acadia has standard front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is available. Auto writers think the Acadia has a comfortable ride and securing handling that’s more like a car’s than a big SUV’s. They say the Acadia corners nicely, has well-weighted steering and strong brakes. However, other critics think that maneuverability can be a challenge, especially in tight spaces and at low speeds.

  • "It feels sharper and more secure than most other big SUVs, which inspires plenty of confidence in corners. Still, drivers must remain conscious of the Acadia's large size, which becomes apparent on narrow city streets or in crowded parking lots. Among other concerns, low-speed maneuverability is limited." -- Autotrader
  • "One of the Acadia's signature calling cards is its smooth and quiet ride. Unlike some massive truck-based (body-on-frame) SUVs, it can be driven daily on pitted freeways and uneven asphalt in comfort." -- Edmunds
  • "Acadia is one of the largest vehicles in its class (201 inches long, weighing more than 4,600 pounds), but for its size it is impressively agile. Body lean is well controlled during cornering. Steering is nicely weighted, and braking is sure and easy to modulate." -- Consumer Guide (2014)
  • "Going around corners, if not as nimble as a sports car, it's responsive and predictable and takes the curves with certainty." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)

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