By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating:
The 2012 GMC Acadia crossover SUV represents the best in GMC styling, engineering and American know-how. Sharing a common platform with the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave, the 2012 GMC Acadia bridges the gap between the Traverse's family-oriented packaging and the Enclave's highly stylized luxury image. Of the three, the GMC Acadia's design is the most sophisticated, while its Denali top-of-the-line trim level rivals the Enclave for luxury. The 2012 Acadia competes with crossovers and SUVs such as the Toyota Highlander, Ford Flex and Honda Pilot. However, the 2012 GMC Acadia SUV upstages all of these competition by providing true 8-passenger seating, which means two adults can fit comfortably in its third-row seat. Also there's ample cargo space behind the GMC Acadia's third-row seat. In addition, the 2012 Acadia boasts fuel economy near the top of its class. Available all-wheel drive (AWD) allows the 2012 GMC Acadia can do just about anything a full-size SUV can do, short of venturing off-road.
If you need the kind of cargo and kid space usually provided by a minivan, the 2012 GMC Acadia SUV will come as a pleasant surprise. The GMC Acadia's styling avoids the dreaded stigma of Minivan Mom (or Dad) without compromising utility.
If your automotive needs occasionally require you to venture off prepared roads and onto muddy logging trails or rock-filled paths, or tow more than 5,200 pounds, a GMC Yukon might make a better choice.
For 2012, the GMC Acadia gains some new exterior colors, as well as an additional console-mounted power outlet. The top-of-the-line Acadia Denali trim comes standard with hill-hold assist. The mid-grade Acadia SLT and Acadia Denali trim levels gain an integrated side blind spot mirror. All GMC Acadias get fog lamps and body colored side moldings.
Driving Impressions Because it's built from a single unit body (as opposed to riding on a frame like most full-size SUVs), the 2012 GMC Acadia delivers car-like ride and handling characteristics and...an ultra-quiet cabin. We found the 2012 GMC Acadia's steering to be nicely weighted and very responsive. The vehicle exhibits some body lean under hard cornering maneuvers, but the Acadia's ability to retain its grip on the road surprised even our most seasoned test drivers. The available 20-inch wheel and tire package improves the Acadia's steering feel, but also slightly diminishes its ride quality. The 2012 GMC Acadia's 288-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 engine offers good acceleration, but with a full load on board, it could do with a bit more power. If there was one major gripe regarding our time in the Acadia, it pertained to the high beltline that limits rearward visibility and makes parking maneuvers more difficult.
The third-row seats in the 2012 GMC Acadia are roomy and bolstering on the seat backs makes extended journeys more comfortable. Access to the rear seats is easy thanks to a clever 1-touch 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, plus a power sunshade for when the sunshine gets too intense.
Beyond its handsome, straight-forward design, quality materials and feature-rich options list, the 2012 GMC Acadia SUV's interior is a lesson in comfort and compatibility. The interior's usefulness is enhanced with numerous cup holders, storage spaces and an additional storage space beneath the rear cargo area. With seating for up to eight people, including a third-row seat that can accommodate two adults, the 2012 GMC Acadia SUV is about as people friendly as a standard-size vehicle can get. A clever sliding second-row seat permits easy access to the third row, as do its long rear door openings. The 2012 GMC Acadia's trump card, however, is the roomy cargo hold that remains functional even with the third-row seat in place. Fold both rows flat and the Acadia offers up a whopping 116.9 cubic feet of cargo-hauling space.Exterior
We like the conservative yet powerful styling exuded by the 2012 GMC Acadia SUV. You won't find any tacked on body cladding or garish add-ons. Even the Acadia Denali, with its big chrome mesh grill and larger-diameter wheels, resists the temptation to go overboard. Riding on standard 18-inch wheels, the 2012 GMC Acadia has a purposeful wide stance. A slight bulge in its fenders denotes a more masculine side, while chrome and LED lighting demonstrate the Acadia can also be quite elegant. A subtle rear spoiler helps reduce aerodynamic drag, while the chrome exhaust tips and roof rail accents simply make the Acadia shine.
The 2012 GMC Acadia crossover SUV 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, satellite radio, 7-passenger seating, dual exhaust with chrome tips, rear spoiler, sliding second-row seats, fog lamps and 18-inch wheels. Government-required safety features include StabiliTrak electronic stability control 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 surfaces and 20-inch wheels.
GMC offers a variety of convenience and luxury features for the 2012 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, 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 8-passenger seating. Exterior options include a power liftgate, High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps and an attractive 20-inch wheel package.
The 2012 GMC Acadia SUV's capable 3.6-liter V6 uses variable valve timing and direct fuel injection to enhance responsiveness, deliver good engine power and help provide a maximum tow rating of 5,200 pounds. The 6-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 @ 6,300 rpm
270 lb-ft of torque @ 3,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (front-wheel drive), 16/23 (AWD)
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) for the 2012 GMC Acadia SUV starts around $33,500 for the front-wheel drive SL. That's more than the entry prices of the Ford Flex, Toyota Highlander or Honda Pilot. A loaded GMC Acadia Denali with AWD can exceed $53,000. While priced at the high end of the segment, the Acadia's generous standard equipment list must be taken into consideration. To compare the actual transaction prices that consumers are paying in your area, be sure to check the kbb.com Fair Purchase price. Though higher priced than its competitors, the Acadia is expected to have excellent resale value, remaining slightly above the Ford Flex but not as high as the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander.
By car trader (VA) on Tuesday, May 14, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Exceptionally smooth ride and superb cargo space."
Cons: "Integrity of paint."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have owned several SUVS including the Durango, Yukon Denali, Honda CRV, Toyota 4Runner, and most recently Cadillac SRX. The Acadia Denali has all the features of these others, plus has much more room and gives a MUCH smoother ride. I would definitely purchase another one if I were considering trading. The only con that I have is the same one I have with all GM products I have owned, that is the integrity of the paint. I'm probably too picky about my vehicles, but seem to always have trouble with light scratches in the paint, in fairness it's black."
By momof4 (OH) on Monday, May 13, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "comfort, spacious, great price, beautiful exterior"
Cons: "small turning radius"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I am a truck kinda moma. No vans! I wanted a Tahoe and my husband pointed out the Acadia. I said I would look at it, knowing I wouldn't like it. We had a Ford Explorer, and with 4 kids, we were running out of space. After looking at and test driving the Acadia, I was in love! It has way more room for the kids and in the cargo area than our Explorer or Durango (before that) ever did! I LOVE IT! I had to give up 4x4 for the luxury of this vehicle, but it seems so worth it! It doesn't have the turning radius I would have expected, but it still isn't bad! That is the only con I can come up with! Great vehicle!"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By SHC (VA) on Friday, April 19, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 135,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "lots of room, comfortable, smooth ride"
Cons: "Transmission doesn't hold up"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"I own a 2008 Acadia. I absolutely loved this vechile. It's roomy and comfortable. It looks and drives great. I had recommeded it to many others until the transmission went out with no warning at 120,000. While that is not exactly low milage, the transmission shop where I had the new transmission installed said that these vehicles do have transmission problems. I haven't had any other problems from the Acadia and feel that now its has a new transmission I should get many more miles from it."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By upset (PA) on Tuesday, April 16, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 680overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good leg room,fun to drive"
Cons: "not safe to drive at night."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"We call it the Cinderella car as we do not feel safe driving at night, as the head lights do not project more than 4 feet high. There is a distinct line where the lights stop. The attached photo has not been photo shopped in any way."
5 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Sarah (CT) on Wednesday, April 10, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Cons: "Costly repairs just months out of warranty"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"This car is a piece of junk. I was stuck on the side of the road with my 3 children in the car with a broken 35R clutch wave plate. Had to have the transmission rebuilt at 48k miles. The car had been driven less than 10k miles a year for 5.5 years. It is just 6 months out of warranty and GM is not honoring it. I would not recommend this car to anyone. THIS SEEMS TO BE A COMMON PROBLEM WITH THIS VEHICLE. CLASS ACTION LAW SUIT???"
6 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Dennis (MO) on Tuesday, April 09, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "looks good"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"We traded in our Chevy Tahoe for the Acadia and loved it at first. First the fuel mileage was not at all what we were told. Second we had leaks or better yet a all out shower inside it. In 8 months it has spent 12 weeks in the shop. I will say the folks at our dealership were top notch and traded us back into a Tahoe."
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful