By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 8.4
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)
By Lorenzo on Wednesday, April 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great looks, spacious, flexible"
Cons: "Mechanically horrible, totally unreliable"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I bought my SLE Acadia new in 2008. It is a great car for comfort and looks, and I cannot think of an equivalent vehicle out there in terms of spaciousness and flexibility. We truly love everything about it, with the exception that the mechanical parts of it are horribly unreliable and of the poorest quality. Since 2008 we averaged at least 2 major repairs per year. The list of things we had to deal with is enormous: 3 times in to replace steering unit, water pump failed and left us stranded after 20k miles, clock radio always behaved weird, power mirrors and windows work if they feel like it, occasionally car would not start, lift gate pistons gave out, airbag sensor in seat gave out, headlights would burn every 4 months (and they ae impossible to replace, you have to bring the car in) until they were finally replaced some electrical components, engine had to be removed for timing chain cover leak, but is still leaking and will have to be done again (possibly with me paying this time), AC gave out was fixed and gave out again, now one of the rods is ticking, possibly a time chain related issue or poor lubrication, battery dead at 55k. Really a piece of junk mechanically. I could not honestly recommend it to anyone and most likely will stay clear of GMC forever."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By BSmith on Saturday, April 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 112,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "Looks good"
Cons: "Piece of JUNK"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Please do not ever buy this car. At 100 k miles the trans went out, sun roof leaks, rack and pinion has also gone out. I've heard of SEVERAL other people I know personally that have had the same problems I have. This vehicle is a piece of junk!"
3 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By sanderdog on Thursday, April 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great carrying capacity. 7 people and stuff."
Cons: "Transmission unreliable."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Great car for family. Good in bad weather. Transmission failure at 61,000. Had a previous recall on transmission too. Over $2k to fix. Poor quality."
2 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Toymover on Tuesday, April 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Nice ride"
Cons: "bad build...bad engneering...engine issues"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"We purchased the Acadia Denali to replace a GMC Yukon Denali XL because it was so big and a real gas hog. We had purchased a 2010 Acadia for our Daughter and Son-in-Law and loved the way it handled...plus the gas mileage was better and the third row seats were built-in so we did not have to lug the huge Yukon seats around. Immediately after purchase we had a leak in the roof and water sloshing around everywhere and even through the vents and down into the dash. They had it for several days and did fix that issue. There were many other issues with small plastic parts that came loose or just were never installed. For instance the lock pull on the drivers side door was never installed and was just sitting in the slot. If you pulled it just came right out. We have an intermittent problem with acceleration...the car sometimes almost stalls when in a situation where you need quick acceleration...and I have almost been hit 3 different times because of this. We noticed that the acceleration is not nearly as good as the earlier Acadia models. Mileage is not much better than the Yukon XL (about 2 mile/gal better. Of course the acceleration issue is nothing that the dealer can find. I will be trading this vehicle this year and may go back to the Yukon since they now have the 3rd row seats built-in like all other large brands. The quality of the engineering and the build from the factory are very disappointing. It looks good since they have figured out a way to make cheap plastic seem luxurious."
1 person out of 3 found this review helpful
By vb on Friday, March 21, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good size, nice option packages, lots of cubbies"
Cons: "Poor gas mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This is the second Acadia I have owned. Actually traded in one to buy a newer one of the same color, but more options. Since the second one was a demo model, it had more options than I would have liked, like the entertainment system, but I got a good deal. I like the size - not too big, not too small. Love the head-up display. It has just okay get-up-and-go but that's fine by me. Biggest issue is the less-than-stellar gas mileage (I average about 17 mpg). Also, on both Acadias I have owned, the DRL bulbs tend to burn out every six months or so and are very inconvenient to replace."
10 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By Ikeman on Wednesday, March 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 180,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great vehicle overall"
Cons: "Rough start but then all good"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Great vehicle with amazing versatility and functionality. We love this Acadia. One of best vehicles I have ever owned in over 30 years of car ownership."
2 people out of 4 found this review helpful