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2018 GMC Acadia

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2018 GMC Acadia Expert Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.4

Although not as large or roomy as the first generation, the 2018 GMC Acadia crossover SUV is a better fit in today’s world, with a smaller body that is easier to maneuver and interior accommodations displaying a premium look and feel. The 2018 Acadia wears the same bold GMC styling seen on the Yukon and Canyon pickups, but with a lower, more urban appearance. Unlike its truck-ish siblings, however, the Acadia has a softer side with a taut suspension for better handling and a number of technological must-haves, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Buyers can choose between 4- or 6-cylinder engines, front- or all-wheel drive (FWD, AWD), an off-road All-Terrain trim and 5-, 6- or 7-passenger seating.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for a midsize-crossover SUV with distinctive good looks, a choice of engines and seating configurations plus the latest in driver-assist and infotainment technology, the 2018 GMC Acadia is a perfect fit.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If your next 7-passenger SUV needs a hybrid powertrain or the ability to tow more than 4,000 pounds, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid or Ford Explorer offers what the Acadia cannot. Those needing maximum cargo space and 8-passenger seating might be better off in a full-size GMC Yukon.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 8.4
  • 8.8
  • 8.7
  • 8.3
  • 7.6
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#7

out of 10

Fuel Economy

#6

out of 11

Horsepower
View all rankings
2018 GMC Acadia Low/wide front photo What's New for 2018

GMC’s Acadia crossover SUV for 2018 gets some new features, such as an available automatic heated steering wheel, new 20-inch wheels and Tire Fill Alert. The 3.6-liter V6 is now available on the SLE-1 AWD trim, while the All-Terrain now offers 5-, 6- or 7-passenger seating.

Driving the Acadia
2018 GMC Acadia Front angle view photo
Driving Impressions

GMC’s 2018 Acadia SUV may not be the largest midsize-crossover SUV on the market, but its trim proportions and lighter weight make it one of the segment’s more enjoyable

... href="/suv/" alt_o_t="SUVs">SUVs to drive. A small turning radius allows better maneuverability in tight parking lots, while the Acadia’s rigid platform and Cadillac CT6-derived suspension give the Acadia a leg up over the Honda Pilot and Nissan Pathfinder. Denali models offer GM’s Continuously Variable Ride Control, which further improves the Acadia’s handling on twisting roads and its ride comfort when traversing long stretches of open highway. The standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder is fuel-efficient, but not very powerful. Those who regularly carry a full crew or seek the all-wheel-drive system’s full potential are better off with the 3.6-liter V6, which offers more horsepower and torque with a minimal impact on fuel economy.

DRIVE MODE SELECTOR
Allowing the driver more say in how the engine and suspension behave, the 2018 GMC Acadia’s Drive Mode Selector includes a dedicated Trailer/Tow mode. The All-Terrain trim replaces the off-road mode with a more aggressive setting, while AWD models save fuel with a 2x4 mode that disconnects the rear-drive when not needed.

ALL-TERRAIN MODEL
Think of it as an Outback that can carry more people. The 2018 GMC Acadia All-Terrain features an Active Clutch all-wheel-drive setup for improved traction both on- and off-road. All-Terrain trims include Hill Descent Control to help keep descent speeds from getting out of control

2018 GMC Acadia Details
2018 GMC Acadia Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

Although its absolute scale isn’t as large as the first-generation SUV, the 2018 Acadia’s cabin boasts an even more upscale character helped by a modern design that includes soft-touch surfaces, upgraded trim and active noise cancellation. Despite a wheelbase that now matches the compact 5-passenger GMC Terrain, the Acadia’s architecture still allows for three adult-accommodating rows of seats. The second tier -- 60-40 bench or captain’s chairs -- features an upgraded Smart Slide system for easier access to the 50/50 third row, and both fold flat to expand the 12.8 cubic feet of base cargo space to a quite usable 79.0-cubic-foot maximum.

Exterior
2018 GMC Acadia photo

The recent 2018 GMC Acadia remake introduces a more sophisticated but still substantial look that’s skewed more towards contemporary crossover SUV than conventional SUV. Subtle evolutions of established GMC design cues carry over in its grille, fascia treatments, fender arches and other details, but the Acadia’s bodywork now features rounder and more aerodynamic contours and the windshield has an even steeper rake. The primo Denali amps up its curb appeal with distinctive lighting treatments, shiny 20-inch alloy wheels and an extra dose of brightwork, while the new All-Terrain signifies its adventurous character with black chrome accenting and dark-tint 18-inch or 20-inch rims.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Even the base Acadia SL comes with tri-zone auto climate control, numerous power assists, a 7.0-inch Color Touch Screen, Keyless Open and Start, 5-year OnStar Basic Plan, support for Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, 4G Wi-Fi hotspot, five USB ports and the industry’s first rear-seat reminder safety-alert system to prevent kids or other valuables from being left behind. Moving up through the SLE/SLT ranks introduces everything from a power liftgate, 8.0-inch touch screen with IntelliLink and SiriusXM Satellite Radio to leather upholstery, Bose audio and Navigation. The Denali and All-Terrain add distinctive cosmetic/convenience touches plus a full range of new driver assists.

Optional Equipment

The Acadia’s extras roster relates to its trim grade, with no AWD available on the entry-level SL. But the SLE-1 can be had with that, a V6 and a rear-seat entertainment system while the SLE-2 offers Bose sound, upgraded infotainment and the Dual SkyScape 2-panel panoramic sunroof. It offers a new Driver Alert Package I that brings Side Blind Zone Alert with Lane Change Alert, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and Rear Park Assist, all of which are found in the Denali’s more comprehensive -- and standard -- Driver Alert Package II that adds Pedestrian Detection and Forward Collision Alert with Low-Speed Automatic Braking.

Under the Hood
2018 GMC Acadia Engine photo

Two naturally aspirated engines are offered, both backed by a smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic. Sole motivator in the base FWD-only SL and standard in the SLE-1/SLE-2/SLT-1 models, the new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder makes 194 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque. The first GMC engine to feature Start/Stop technology, it earns GM-estimated 21/26-mpg EPA City/Highway marks in FWD Acadia models and 21/25 in AWD variants. The 3.6-liter V6, optional on SLE and SLT-1 and standard on SLT-2 and Denali, makes a considerably stouter 310 horses and 271 lb-ft of torque but features Active Fuel Management that turns it into a V4 under light loads. It nets GM-estimated 18/25 mpg EPA numbers in both FWD and AWD while raising the Acadia’s max tow rating from 1,000 to a still-modest 4,000 pounds.

2.5-liter inline-4
194 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
190 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/26 mpg (FWD), 21/25 mpg (AWD)

3.6-liter V6
310 horsepower @ 6,600 rpm
271 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 mpg (FWD), 17/25 mpg (AWD)

Part of the 2018 Acadia’s downsizing involved a commensurate trimming of its overall pricing. That leaves a base Acadia SL opening at $30,000. This Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) undercuts starting figures for 2018 versions of the Explorer, Pilot and Highlander. SLE Acadias commence closer to $33,500 and SLTs start nearer $39,500. An AWD upgrade adds about $2,000. Topping the range, the Acadia Denali starts at just under $46,000 (FWD) or $48,000 (AWD) with a loaded AWD topping out near $52,000. Kelley Blue Book has determined the 2018 GMC Acadia will hold strong 5-year residual values, better than the Ford Explorer but a few percentage points behind the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others are paying for their new GMC Acadia.

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