$21,652 - $36,767

2018 GMC Acadia Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2018 GMC Acadia was new.


Performance: 8.1

The 2018 GMC Acadia delivers a smooth ride and adequate handling. Its base engine has enough power for driving around town, but the available V6 is better suited for highway driving. Fuel economy is average for the class.

  • "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 (2017)
  • "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 (2017)
  • "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 (2017)

Acceleration and Power

The Acadia’s base engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that puts out 193 horsepower and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. It has a stop-start system that helps conserve fuel and is relatively innocuous. This engine has enough power for daily driving, but it won’t wow you.

If you want to move with more authority, you want the available 3.6-liter V6 engine, which puts out 310 horsepower. It moves the Acadia more easily than the base engine does, and it has better acceleration and passing power.

The base engine is the more efficient one, however. It gets an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, which is about average for the class. The V6 gets 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

  • "The standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder is fuel-efficient, but not very powerful. Those who regularly carry a full crew or seek the all-wheel-drive system's full potential are better off with the 3.6-liter V6, which offers more horsepower and torque with a minimal impact on fuel economy." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 (2017)
  • "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 (2017)

Ride, Handling, and Braking

Front-wheel drive comes standard in the Acadia, and all-wheel drive is available. This GMC lacks the agility of some rivals, but handling is generally composed. It also has responsive steering and is relatively maneuverable in tight confines. Ride quality is good even over rough pavement, and the brakes are strong. The Denali trim offers an adaptive suspension that you can set for sharper handling or a more cushioned ride.

  • "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 (2017)
  • "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 (2017)
  • "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 (2017)

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