The 2014 GMC Acadia is built on the same platform as the Chevy Traverse and Buick Enclave, but GMC's iteration of this 8-passenger SUV has an edge to it. The styling is more ruggedly truck-like, reminiscent of the GMC trucks. Inside, the Acadia in Denali trim is every bit the match of Buick's Enclave, which is often thought of as a high-water mark in crossover SUVs. Compared to other offerings, including the Honda Pilot and Ford Flex, the Acadia has ample room for cargo, a 3rd-row seat that accommodates real adults, a plush interior finished with upscale materials, and build quality that's equal to anything in the category. Add in the choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, and the Acadia represents an extremely capable, and enjoyable, modern version of the family station wagon.
You'll Like This Car If...
Need room for eight, space for lots of cargo – or some mix of both – but don't want the gas consumption or heft of a full-size SUV? Definitely don't want a minivan? Give the 2014 GMC Acadia your attention.
You May Not Like This Car If...
Spend much time going off-road, hitting rock and boulder-filled terrain, chasing down muddy trails? Have to tow more than 5,200 pounds? You probably need a GMC Yukon or something of a similar size and capability.
Changes to the GMC Acadia for 2014 are minor. The Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning are standard on the Denali and available on SLT1 and SLT2 trim levels, and there are two charging-only USB ports on the rear of the center console, for use by passengers in the second row of seats.
Driving the Acadia
Those who have spent most of their time driving cars rather than trucks will find nothing of concern in the 2014 GMC Acadia. It drives like a car, rides like...
... a car, steers and handles like a car, and has all the comfort and luxury one would expect in a high-end car. It is also extremely quiet inside the well-insulated cabin. Going down the road the Acadia is smooth and comfortable. Going around corners, if not as nimble as a sports car, it's responsive and predictable and takes the curves with certainty. Drivers should appreciate the strong and smooth 3.6-liter 288-horsepower V6 engine for most driving but, if fully loaded and/or dealing with steep hills, some might want just a bit more power. Our only significant complaint was the somewhat high beltline (the lower edge of the window openings) that limits views to the rear, thus making parking in tight spots more difficult.
3RD-ROW SEATS The 3rd-row seat in the 2014 GMC Acadia is roomy and the bolstering on the seatbacks makes extended journeys more comfortable. Access to the rear seats is easy thanks to a clever 1-touch mechanism that slides the 2nd-row seats out of the way.
3.6-LITER V6 ENGINE The 2014 Acadia's 3.6-liter V6 is a model of smoothness, response and power. While some might want a little more in heavily-loaded conditions, for most drivers, most of the time, the engine is just right.
2014 GMC Acadia Details
With seating for up to eight people, including a 3rd-row seat that can accommodate adults, the 2014 GMC Acadia SUV is about as people-friendly as a standard-size vehicle can get. A clever sliding 2nd-row seat permits easy access to the third row, as do the long rear-door openings. An unexpected benefit is the Acadia's surprisingly spacious cargo area. Even with the 3rd-row seat in place it really will hold eight people and a good percentage of their gear. Fold both rows flat and the Acadia offers up a whopping 116.9 cubic feet of cargo-hauling capacity.
We like the conservative yet rugged and purposeful styling of the 2014 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 grille and larger-diameter wheels, resists the temptation to go overboard. Riding on standard 18-inch wheels, the Acadia has a purposeful, wide stance, while chrome and LED lighting add noticeable yet tasteful elegance. A subtle rear spoiler helps reduce aerodynamic drag and looks sharp, while the chrome exhaust tips and roof-rail accents help the Acadia shine.
The GMC Acadia for 2014 is a well-equipped vehicle that includes as standard GM's OnStar system with one year of complimentary service, color touch-screen stereo with six speakers and MP3 capability, satellite radio, 7-passenger seating, dual exhaust with chrome tips, rear spoiler, sliding 2nd-row seats, fog lights, rearview camera, rear park assist 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 seven airbags. The Denali trim adds mahogany wood inserts, heated and cooled front seats, dual SkyScape sunroof, perforated leather seating surfaces, 20-inch wheels and more.
GMC offers a variety of convenience and luxury features for the 2014 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 color touch-screen navigation system (standard on Denali), IntelliLink Bluetooth streaming of apps, tri-zone automatic air conditioning, heated and cooled front seats, premium audio with Surround Sound, a head-up display, cargo-area audio controls and 8-passenger seating. Exterior options include a power liftgate, High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights and an attractive 20-inch wheel package. Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning are standard on the Denali and optional on SLT1 and SLT2 trim levels.
Under the Hood
The 2014 GMC Acadia SUV's capable 3.6-liter V6 has variable valve timing and direct fuel injection, both of which contribute to enhanced responsiveness and an appreciated output of 288 horsepower. The maximum rating of 5,200 pounds will allow the Acadia to deal with modest-sized trailers. The 6-speed automatic transmission maximizes engine performance and helps the Acadia achieve excellent fuel economy for a vehicle of its size. However, at times the transmission can be slow to react to quick throttle inputs, resulting in delayed downshifts when trying to accelerate to pass other vehicles. On balance, we think it's an entirely commendable and pleasurable drivetrain.
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2014 GMC Acadia SUV starts at just a little over $35,000 for the front-wheel-drive base model. That's more than the entry prices of the Ford Flex, Toyota Highlander or Honda Pilot. A loaded GMC Acadia Denali with all-wheel drive can reach close to $55,000. 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.
Cons: "Too many mechanical and transmission problems"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"We've had our Acadia for 7 years and have had so many problems with it. It never drove well, and I took it in several times due to hard shifting. They claimed that's the way they are. At 100,000 miles they repaired the transmission. At 180,000 miles the transmission died completely. I've replaced the struts and shocks 3x's in the last 2 years. Our mechanic does not recommend fixing the transmission or replacing it. He said he sees so many Acadias in his shop, he would just trade it in as is. I love the look of The Acadia and the size, I just can't buy another one and end up like this again. I like my cars to last at least 10 years. We'll be getting a Ford Explorer next."
Pros: "Smooth power train, lots of space, safety, gas mi"
Cons: "Rear hatch heighth when open, Touch screen instru"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Previously owned a 09 and 12 Chevy Traverse from new. Both were trouble free and had over 55,000 when traded. We purchased a new loaded 15 GMC Acadia SLT after six weeks of driving and pricing other makes. We really liked the lumbar support in the front seats, the double sun roofs and the added power train cooling that came with the towing package. The pearl white color seems to make the car look clean all the time. The turning radius and six speed transmission could not be smoother. The wife loves the cargo area behind the third roll seat. The center dash touch screen takes some time to learn. The top center dash storage bin is used a lot. We would like to have a way to limit the height of the power rear hatch when opened."
Cons: "Primitive information system and presentation"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"I traded a 2011 Ford Explorer XLT for the 2015 Acadia ST1. The Acadia has a more comfortable ride and much more cargo space. These were the deciding factor in my change. However, the new GMC has a much more primitive electronics and a less informative dash than the four year old Explorer. The USB has no memory when playing music always reverting to the first song every time the car starts. The dash does not give you milage, miles to empty and gas tank at the same time. GMC should buy a Ford and replicate the Sync system and the Ford dash. When I get around to replacing my Ford F250, I will buy another Ford."