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 Sam on Thursday, August 14, 2014
I don't own this caroverall rating 4 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"Where do I begin? Very disappointed in many respects. I leased this SUV in Feb. and have put on 3,000+ miles. I assumed that getting heated & cooled leather seat would give us the most comfort. WRONG!! Seats are hard & uncomfortable, cooling feature is a waste. It starts working as you arrive at your destination. Engine is noisy on acceleration. Gas mileage absolutely stinks (18 on Interstate). Roomy? Yes, and A/C works well, but that's about it. It's Overpriced for what you get. I turned in a 2011 Chrysler T&C for this and wish I hadn't. We are seniors and looked for more comfort but got less. Glad I didn't buy it."
1 person out of 4 found this review helpful
By errol on Tuesday, August 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "great looking,excellant handling and fuel savings,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Before the Acadia i drove GMC Yukon Denali,s,sold the big boat and now drive the Acadia.Great SUV,comfortable,plenty of power,and lots of room."
7 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Headhound on Monday, August 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,200overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Space, ride comfort, ruggedness, styling"
Cons: "OnStar is primitive, entertainment system limited"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Wanted a vehicle to replace our 2003 AWD Pontiac Montana. Needed lots of interior room with a flat floor for when we go to dog shows and general hauling. We live in the country and need serious AWD and ground clearance. Looked at the all competition and found that the Acadia had the features, performance, handling, and ride comfort that we wanted for the best overall cost."
3 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By D in Virginia on Thursday, July 31, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,800overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Big vehicle that drives like a sedan"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"This is a big vehicle but the drive is like a sedan. Interior comfort is terrific. Great on long drives. Cargo space surpassed my expectations. Rear camera is a must on this vehicle. Sightlines are very good. Vehicle has more than adequate pickup. Gas mileage no better than other SUVs. I've had 4 recalls for various items including a defective water pump. Interior finishing work is fair to good but starting to note some cracks and wear on dash buttons. Still, though, I believe GMC builds a very good SUV."
By i<3asmoothride on Sunday, July 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Pros: "Reverse camera"
Cons: "horrible road noise"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"If you are looking for a smooth riding, noise free vehicle, this is definitely not the one. I sold a Yukon SLE for the Acadia SLE and am greatly disappointed. The Yukon is very well insulated and you could not hear the outside noise plus it is a smooth riding vehicle. One can hear outside noise in the Acadia (not well insulated) and you have to put the radio very loud to hear it because of all the road noise. I rode in a Ford Explorer and it did not have this noise. I am going this week to trade in my 2012 Acadia. I am so disappointed."
10 people out of 20 found this review helpful
By Saddam on Friday, July 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Best drive ever!"
Cons: "gas mileage not good."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"great vehicle - need better mileage - otherwise,best I've ever had. just want better gas mileage with same style and power as v6."
6 people out of 9 found this review helpful