By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.1
Although it is the first crossover SUV ever sold by GMC, the 2011 GMC Acadia actually shares most of its structure and many of its features with the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave. The Acadia successfully combines the appearance and capabilities of an SUV with an added measure of practicality and efficiency. It seats up to eight people, has ample room for luggage or cargo and offers good fuel economy. Considering that most SUVs never leave paved roads, GMC expects the Acadia's street-focused ride, handling and available all-wheel drive to make up for its lack of off-road capability. The Acadia's competitors include the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Subaru Tribeca and the Ford Flex.
If you need lots of room to haul people and cargo but hate the look of a minivan, you'll like the 2011 GMC Acadia. It combines a large, usable interior and good gas mileage with attractive SUV-like exterior styling.
If you are one of the few drivers who travel off-road in your SUV, the 2011 GMC Acadia may not be for you. Its available all-wheel-drive system is designed to enhance traction during on-road driving, not during off-highway adventures. A maximum tow rating of 5,200 pounds may also be a deterrent.
The big news for 2011 is the addition of a Denali model to the Acadia lineup. The Acadia Denali includes a chrome honeycomb grille, monochromatic exterior trim, HID headlamps, unique interior trim and a long list of standard features. Other changes include a new eight-way power driver's seat (which replaces the previous six-way power seat) with power lumbar and recline, heated cloth seats (available on SLE) and a revised SL Preferred Package.
Driving Impressions Thanks to unit-body construction and street-focused suspension, the 2011 GMC Acadia drives more like a car than an SUV. Handling is good with precise steering response, controlled body lean and...plenty of traction during cornering. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard, with an optional 20-inch wheel and tire package available, which sharpens handling without sacrificing a comfortable ride. The GMC Acadia accelerates swiftly, and the StabiliTrak stability control performs admirably in the most dramatic situations. Many drivers will appreciate the raised seating position, which gives a clear view of the road. However, a high beltline limits rearward visibility, making parking lot maneuvers more difficult.
The third-row seats in the Acadia are roomy and bolstering on the seat backs makes extended journeys comfortable. Access to the rear seats is easy thanks to a clever mechanism that slides the second-row seats out of the way.
Dual SkyScape Sunroof
The optional dual sunroofs add a feeling of spaciousness to the interior. The fixed rear sunroof features a large opening and a power sunshade for when the sunshine gets too intense.
Inside, the 2011 GMC Acadia is roomy, versatile and utilizes high-quality materials. An attractive two-tone look is used throughout the Acadia lineup, and a cashmere-color option brightens an already airy interior. The Acadia can accommodate up to eight people in three rows, with ample head- and legroom for all. Wide rear-door openings and second-row seats that slide forward make getting into and out of the third row easy. Behind the third-row seats is an impressive 19.7 cubic feet of cargo space and, with second and third-row seats folded flat, cargo room expands to 116.9 cubic feet. The interior's usability is enhanced with numerous cup holders, storage spaces and additional storage beneath the rear cargo area.Exterior
With the Acadia, GMC smartly avoids the excessive body cladding that plagued some of General Motors' earlier SUVs. The result is a handsome package that looks purposeful and up-scale. Bulging fenders and standard 18-inch wheels give the Acadia a strong stance, with tasteful chrome accents and LED tail lamps adding a touch of class. A rear spoiler looks sporty and contributes to the Acadia's low aerodynamic drag. Other nice details include dual exhaust outlets with two chrome tips per side, chrome accents on the roof rails and beautifully-shaped headlamps.
The 2011 GMC Acadia is a well-equipped vehicle that includes as standard GM's OnStar system with one year of complimentary service, AM/FM/CD stereo with six speakers and MP3 capability, XM Satellite Radio, seven-passenger seating, dual exhaust with chrome tips, rear spoiler, sliding second-row seats, fog lamps and 18-inch wheels. Safety features include StabiliTrak with rollover mitigation, anti-lock brakes (ABS), Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and six airbags. The Denali trim adds mahogany wood inserts, heated and cooled front seats, dual SkyScape sunroof, perforated leather seating and 20-inch two-tone clad wheels.
GMC offers a variety of convenience and luxury features for the Acadia. Dual sunroofs and a rear entertainment system make the drive more enjoyable and, unlike with some vehicles, can be ordered together. The interior can be outfitted with a touch-screen DVD-based navigation system, rearview camera system, tri-zone automatic air conditioning, heated and cooled front seats, premium audio with surround sound, a Head-Up Display, cargo area audio controls, rear park assist and eight-passenger seating. Exterior options include a power liftgate, High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps and an attractive 20-inch wheel package.
The 2011 GMC Acadia's strong 3.6-liter V6 uses variable valve timing and gasoline direct injection technology to enhance responsiveness, deliver good engine power and provide a maximum tow rating of 5,200 pounds. The six-speed automatic transmission maximizes engine performance and helps the Acadia achieve excellent fuel economy for a vehicle of its size. However, the transmission can be slow to react to throttle inputs, resulting in delayed downshifts when trying to accelerate to pass other vehicles.
288 horsepower @ 6300 rpm
270 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (FWD), 16/23 (AWD)
By Nana of 3 on Monday, November 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Cons: "Rear window too high, V-6 engine, electrical"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I bought this car used just over one year ago.I have had Chevys in the past. Loved my Tahoe and Trailblazer. I was looking for a crossover with better fuel economy yet the pizazz of the SUV. What a disappointment! Even on highway driving within the speed limit this AWD does not perform better than 17mpg! I should have stayed with my 2005 Trailblazer! I especially do not like the high rear window. You cannot see what is behind u without using the rear camera. The use of the DVD for the grandkids is terrible. Once down , you cannot see out your rear view mirror. So now, no rear view mirror and no view from rear window. Yikes! Much like the Chevy Navigation, very poor. Does not use satellite to update roads etc. Disk is non-functional and outdated. I use my Apple I-phone instead. V6-poor pick up, engine is whinny. Had it for less than 1 month and pad on parking brake fell off. Headlight went out and they have replaced it, out again and now are telling me it is electrical! Tires needed to be replaced within 3 months of owning. BEST UPGRADE: Heads-up!! I love it and would get it on any other car I purchase."
8 people out of 19 found this review helpful
By Brian Kim on Friday, November 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Roomy space"
Cons: "Fuel economy, Styling, Price, Trunk space"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"Very bad fuel economy. Window sticker said mpg is 16 city, but we got 10mpg. The price is higher than the chevy traverse and ford explorer. Some people said the styling is horrible."
4 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By bad golfer on Friday, October 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "see above"
Cons: "no driver information center"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Perfect vehicle for taking a foursome golfing. Plenty of room for 4 people, 4 sets of golf clubs. The "grey ghost" has a great smooth ride. The rear air conditioner is great for back seat riders and allows the front seat riders to have a comfortable ride because the driver doesn't have to put air on full to get to back seat. Engine has plenty of power and very good acceleration. This is probably the best vehicle I have ever owned."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Mike G on Thursday, October 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 74,656overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Room and comfort - Good power and driveability"
Cons: "Higher ownership costs for maintenance"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"We have owned this vehicle for about 6 months and put on about 7,000 miles. We purchased it used from a dealership. We added a towing package and the V-6 has plenty of power for passing and towing. It does not get the best milage ranging between 18 - 24 mpg. It is very comfortable and has the third row seating which is convenient if you wish to haul a crowd. Seats hid away allowing lots of room for hauling items. The hatch back open wide enough so you can load things easily. It is easy to get around in traffic and is confortable on the highway. It rides a little rough, but then it is an AWD larger vehicle and I generally expect the ride. We traded off a 2004 GMC Sierra pickup on this vehicle. We had purchased the 2004 Sierra new and found many of the same reliability and maintenance costs in the Acadia as we had experienced in the GMC truck. It seems like at about 60,000 miles you are going to start spending money on maintenance in a GM product. We just spent $1,500 to replace a worn out seal in the steering gear housing. We also replaced the front struts. Great vehicle, but you better plan to spend some money to keep it up once it gets over the 60,000 miles."
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By fyregyrl on Monday, September 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 115,323overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Cons: "to many to name"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"After lots of research I figured this would be the best vehicle for my family of 5. I have a 12 year old, a 3 year old and a 2 year old. I am so glad I bought the extended warranty because I have replaced the water pump, heater, transmission, and it is still making awful noises. It is a beautifully designed car but is a typical GMC. I went away from ford to please my husband and let me tell you I will not EVER buy another GM product. If i didn't owe more than it is worth (which when i bought the resale value was high, and I bought for less than the value at the time) I would be getting rid of this money pit.Oh forgot to mention that I live in the mountains and it has to down shift up almost every hill (my Ford didnt) and it is very front heavy because I have to stay on the brakes because it like to go fast down hills."
21 people out of 37 found this review helpful
By The real deal on Wednesday, September 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Sharp looking for a family lots of room"
Cons: "Body is cheaply made"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"Car is reliable larger wheels give a hard ride. Feels more like a pickup ride than a mid luxury car. Lots of plastic body parts which don't fair very well in colder climates. Cold makes plastic brittle. Hit a raccoon in winter and car took $4500.00 damage to repair. If front end had a steel bumper damage would have been minimal."
7 people out of 11 found this review helpful