$19,289 - $31,842

2016 GMC Acadia Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 GMC Acadia was new.


Performance: 6.6

Reviewers report the 2016 GMC Acadia feels more like a car than a truck from behind the wheel, due in large part to its smooth ride. The V6 engine delivers enough power for most situations, testers say, though acceleration isn't strong when the Acadia is full of passengers and cargo.

  • "If you prefer the driving feel of a car to a truck, you'll feel completely at ease behind the wheel of the 2016 GMC Acadia crossover SUV." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 2015 GMC Acadia delivers a nice balance between secure handling and a comfortable ride." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "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 (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 GMC Acadia is equipped with a 281-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Denali trims have a dual-exhaust system that boosts horsepower to 288. The EPA estimates the Acadia will get up to 15/22 mpg city/highway, which is subpar for the class.

Auto critics agree the 2016 Acadia's V6 provides enough power for daily driving, though they add that the Acadia struggles to accelerate when it’s carrying heavy loads. Some reviewers say the standard automatic transmission makes smooth, quick shifts, but others think it doesn't downshift as quickly as it should.

  • "The Acadia's 3.6-liter V6 is smooth, efficient and powerful. Like other 6-cylinder rivals, about the only time the engine feels taxed is when towing or hauling the maximum load limits." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 (2015)
  • "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 (2015)
  • "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

Front-wheel drive is standard in the 2016 Acadia, and all-wheel drive is optional. Test drivers report the Acadia feels planted in turns, and has a refined ride over rough pavement. A few say there's decent steering feedback and the brakes slow the SUV smoothly. All-wheel drive models can easily handle slippery road conditions, according to auto journalists.

  • "The Acadia's suspension is firm enough to allow it excellent stability in turns, yet compliant enough to deliver a smooth, comfortable ride. Feedback from the steering is about what we'd expect from this class, heavily weighted and accurate, but not sports-car-like reactive." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 (2015)
  • "Although it's not meant for off-roading, the Acadia is more than capable in harsh weather and on rough roads, especially when equipped with all-wheel drive." -- Autotrader (2015)
  • "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)

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