By Keith Buglewicz
KBB Expert Rating: 7.1
The 2017 GMC Acadia Limited isn't the new Acadia, it's the old Acadia with a new-ish name. GMC is keeping the old model around alongside the new one for buyers who need the kind of 8-passenger, big-cargo capability that the new Acadia lacks. However, the Acadia Limited is still a solid crossover SUV. Compared to rivals like the Ford Flex, Mazda CX-9, Toyota Highlander and Hyundai Santa Fe, the Acadia Limited offers considerably more passenger space, and a bunch of cargo space even behind the third row. It's comfortable and quiet inside, making it a good companion for long road trips. If you can overlook things like old-school interior trim and the dated infotainment system, the Acadia Limited has a lot to offer.
The Acadia Limited is a good call for those looking for 8-passenger seating plus good cargo space, but without the size and expense of a full-size body-on-frame SUV. Decent fuel economy, good safety ratings and a pleasantly comfortable interior are icing on the cake.
Two things might dissuade you from the Acadia Limited. If you need big towing numbers or off-road ability, the body-on-frame GMC Yukon is what you need. Also, if you demand the latest and greatest gadgets -- like adaptive cruise control -- you might find the Acadia Limited...limiting.
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Considering that the only new thing about the Acadia Limited is the word "Limited" on the name, this vehicle has actually been on sale now for a solid 10 years....
... That's an eternity in the car world, but what's surprising is how well this big crossover SUV has held up against increasingly stiff competition. The ride remains comfortable, the cabin quiet at speed, and the big interior easily accommodates eight people and their stuff, thanks to the large cargo space behind the third row. The 3.6-liter V6 and 6-speed automatic transmission don't exactly impart an air of urgency to moving the Acadia Limited, but it has no trouble getting out of its own way, and really, who cares if you have the fastest 3-row family hauler on the block? With all-wheel drive it's no off-roader, but it does offer better foul-weather grip when you need it.
The Acadia Limited comes with seating for eight people, making it one of the few vehicles to offer that many seats that isn't a minivan or body-on-frame vehicle. As a bonus, none is a penalty box, either.
Many of the Acadia Limited's rivals offer good passenger space, or good cargo room, but not both. The Acadia Limited offers generous cargo space behind the third row, meaning you don't have to compromise cargo room for passenger seating, or vice versa.
The interior of the 2017 GMC Acadia Limited is roomy, comfortable and commendably quiet at speed. And that applies to all eight seating positions, with even the third row being relatively comfortable, at least, compared to its competition. That third row is easy to access too, thanks to a combination of a big door and a clever tilt-and-fold 2nd-row seat. What's really unexpected is the cargo area, which is not just generous behind the third row, but also boasts a hidden compartment under the floor for extra storage. If that's not enough, the seats fold flat for big loads.
The Acadia Limited still looks good, even after a decade of being on the road. It's conservatively rugged, with few of the tacked-on silliness that you find on some SUVs. The Denali version's huge electric-razor grille is gone from the lineup, with just the 3-bar GMC grille available, and that's fine with us. The Acadia Limited gets standard 20-inch chrome wheels, and the front-end styling is augmented with tasteful LED lighting accents.
The 2017 GMC Acadia Limited is based on last year's Acadia SLT trim and comes with most of that vehicle's equipment standard. That includes 3-zone automatic climate control, a Bose audio system with USB, Bluetooth and auxiliary inputs, and 10 speakers. Leather seats are also standard, as are a head-up display and a navigation system. Safety features include side-blind-spot alert, cross-traffic alert, plus an array of features like a rearview camera, multiple airbags and stability control with rollover mitigation.
Most vehicles come in multiple trim levels, at various price points. However, the 2017 Acadia Limited basically comes as one nicely equipped model, with only a handful of options. All-wheel drive is available, of course, as you'd expect of an SUV. Also on the options list are a sunroof and a rear-seat entertainment system to make those long road trips more bearable for everyone. However, beyond that and your choice of color, the Acadia Limited is already pretty well loaded.
There's only one engine available in the 2017 GMC Acadia Limited: a 3.6-liter V6 with an impressive-sounding 281 horsepower. It routes that power through a 6-speed automatic transmission, to either the front or, if you prefer, all four wheels (FWD, AWD). It's a good combination, but the Acadia Limited is a heavy vehicle, and when carrying a full load of people and cargo, even this V6 can start to feel the strain. The 6-speed automatic is smooth in its operation, but it sometimes delays downshifts more than we'd like. However, the drivetrain offers enough oomph to tow up to 5,200 pounds, and along with good-for-its-size fuel economy, it's a solidly capable drivetrain.
281 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
266 lb-ft of torque @ 3,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 mpg (FWD), 16/23 mpg (AWD)
Prices for the 2017 GMC Acadia Limited don't have much of a span. The basic FWD model carries a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of a little less than $44,800 including the $925 destination charge. AWD adds an extra $2,000 to the total. Even if you check all the available options, you'll stay under the $50,000 mark. That compares nicely with up-level models of the Ford Flex, Toyota Highlander or Honda Pilot. Of course, if that's still too much, GMC would be happy to show you the all-new, slightly smaller, and much more modern 2017 Acadia. Regardless, check what others are paying in your area with the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price. Historically, the first-generation Acadia (which is basically the Acadia Limited) has had very good resale value, a little below the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander, but better than just about everything else.