$21,357 - $34,431

2017 GMC Acadia Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 GMC Acadia was new.


Performance: 8.2

The 2017 GMC Acadia offers improved driving dynamics over previous models. Around corners, there's little body roll, and handling feels poised. Ride comfort is excellent in the Acadia. The base engine provides decent power, but the available V6 offers a satisfying boost in acceleration and refinement.

  • "The Acadia hustles more like a car-based crossover than the cumbersome and rather truckish first-gen model, and it steers, stops, and accelerates with less recalcitrance." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "This is still a tall SUV; you won't mistake it for a sport sedan. But neither will you mistake it for the old Acadia, which had nearly minivan manners." -- Cars.com
  • "Although the all-new 2017 Acadia has shrunk considerably both in size and feel, our brief first exposure reveals it to be more capable than ever, as well as much better to drive." -- Car and Driver
  • "This nimble, sure-footed competency combined with the Acadia's traditional steadfast highway composure makes it an excellent all-around family SUV." -- Left Lane News

Acceleration and Power

The 2017 GMC Acadia is equipped with a 193-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. A 310-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 is available. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard with either engine.

The EPA estimates the four-cylinder Acadia will get up to 21 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. That's typical for the class, though you can get slightly better fuel economy on the highway with rivals like the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano, which also have more-powerful engines. The V6 Acadia gets 18 mpg in the city and 25 on the highway. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid leads the class with 27 mpg/city and 28 mpg/highway.

The Acadia's four-cylinder engine comes standard with start-stop technology, which helps conserve fuel. Many start-stop systems are criticized for being too noticeable, and while the Acadia's isn't imperceptible, it's less jarring than some.

While the base engine provides adequate power for daily driving, it isn't quite as civilized as the available V6, which is quieter, offers more passing power, and handles the Acadia's heft with more refinement.

  • "The 3.6 rarely feels stressed moving the Acadia's bulk, and its refined character better suits the GMC's demeanor than the four. The 2.5-liter has to work harder and doesn't sound as sweet doing it, yet it's adequate for day-to-day city driving and should return close to 30 mpg on the highway in EPA testing." -- Car and Driver
  • "… while the 4-cylinder felt entirely adequate for lighter-duty operations in the SLT-1 we drove, the V6 – which will be the volume engine – was clearly more energetic in the AWD All-Terrain and Denali variants." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Shedding pounds made it possible to add a 2.5-liter inline-four engine to the Acadia lineup. During testing in northern Virginia, the four-cylinder whined, as is expected, but it quieted down at speed. Its 194 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque seemed more than adequate in our relatively brief time with the engine." -- Motor Trend 
  • "Following what we were told is now GM policy for four-cylinder engines, stop-start cannot be turned off, but you probably won't mind because it's nearly seamless." -- Cars.com

Ride, Handling, and Braking

The Acadia's ride is refined and comfortable, even over patchy roads, and wind and road noise are kept at bay. The GMC Acadia has responsive steering that makes it feel poised through turns and relatively maneuverable in parking lots. When equipped with optional all-wheel drive, the Acadia can take on inclement weather with ease. The Acadia's brakes also have good stopping power. 

The Denali trim comes with an adaptive suspension, allowing you to adjust the ride comfort and handling to your preference, which can help instill confidence when driving around sharp corners.

Front-wheel drive is standard in the 2017 Acadia; all-wheel drive is optional.

  • "Ride quality, body control, and overall refinement also are improved, but for maximum comfort, buyers can hop up to the range-topping Denali and its trim-exclusive adaptive suspension. Drivers can fiddle with drive mode including Comfort, Sport, and off-road settings. With the adaptive suspension, the Acadia feels much nimbler and confident on tight roads, lessening our anxiety navigating blind corners on our route through some claustrophobic Virginia villages." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Overall ride quality is good, even on the optional 20-inch wheels (18s are standard), while road and wind noise are minimal." -- Car and Driver
  • "Driving the new Acadia, it does feel smaller and more maneuverable. Steering is firm and responsive, and there is very little body roll." -- Motor Trend
  • "Handling is confident, and the ride is nearly as comfortable. Well-tuned variable-assist steering goes from parking-lot easy to responsive at speed. A turning circle that's a more manageable 38.7 feet, down from north of 40 feet, also aids the parking-lot experience." -- Cars.com

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