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2012 GMC Acadia

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2012 GMC Acadia Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 11/15/2011


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.

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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.

What's New for 2012

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 It 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.

Favorite Features

Third-Row Seats
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.

Vehicle Details Interior   photo

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   photo

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.

Notable Standard Equipment

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.

Notable Optional Equipment

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.

Under the Hood

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.

3.6-liter V6
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)

Pricing Notes

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.

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