New 2019 GMC Acadia SUV New 2019
GMC Acadia SUV

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

As it has expanded its SUV lineup, General Motors has pushed to "right-size" models like the GMC Acadia, here bucking tradition and slightly downsizing the latest version that was introduced for the 2017 model-year. That said, the 2019 Acadia's slightly smaller "footprint" better fits the midsize-utility-vehicle segment and it also translates into improved maneuverability and fuel economy. GMC also upgraded the Acadia's look and feel, while adding more upscale features, including onboard Wi-Fi, an improved infotainment system and technologies like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The 2019 GMC Acadia offers a range of powertrain options, including both 4- and 6-cylinder engines available in front- and all-wheel-drive configurations. There's even an off-road trim package. And the midsize-crossover SUV can be ordered with 5-, 6- or 7-passenger seating. 

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You'll Like This SUV If...

While there are plenty of competent midsize-utility vehicles, the 2019 GMC Acadia is a standout, thanks to its distinctively urban appearance, extensive array of safety and infotainment technologies and its range of seating and powertrain options.

You May Not Like This SUV If...

There are a few downsides to the new Acadia. It doesn't offer the towing capacity of competitors like the Ford Explorer, nor can it match the mileage of gas-electric alternatives like the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. And if you need seating for eight you'll have to upgrade to the bigger GMC Yukon.

What's New for 2019

Expect to see more extensive, mid-cycle changes a year or two from now. For 2019, Acadia undergoes only minor changes in paint, wheel and tire options, with the addition of Express Up and Down driver windows on some trim levels. There's also the new Acadia Black Edition.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

We were pleasantly surprised when the latest-generation GMC Acadia came to market for 2017, the slightly smaller size and lighter weight translating into an SUV that is both nimble and well-suited to handle everything from country roads to long highway stretches. It has a rigid platform and a suspension system borrowed from Cadillac's flagship CT6 sedan. But there's also an All-Terrain model suitable for handling moderate off-road duties. Upgrade to the Acadia Denali and you'll get Continuously Variable Ride Control that instantly adjusts individual shocks anywhere from soft to firm, depending on road conditions and driver input. That's a real plus, whether dodging potholes, handling tight corners or hammering the throttle on an open highway. Buyers looking for maximum mileage will opt for the gas-stingy 2.5-liter inline-4, but for better performance and towing, opt for the 3.6-liter V6. 

Favorite Features

CONTINUOUSLY VARIABLE RIDE CONTROL
Available on the Acadia Denali, this system uses a magnetic fluid that permits the shocks to instantly shift from soft to hard -- or any setting in-between -- depending on road conditions and driver input. Each corner is adjusted independently in the time it takes to travel two inches at 60 mph.

ALL-TERRAIN MODEL
Think of it as an Outback that can carry more people. The 2019 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

Vehicle Details

Interior

Although its absolute scale isn’t as large as the first-generation SUV, the 2019 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

The latest-generation Acadia lives up to GMC's "Professional Grade" mandate. It's a handsome vehicle with more of a modern, urban look than that of traditional SUVs. That starts with the bold, chromed grille and fascia treatments, as well as wheel arches that are more muscular-looking than those used by its Chevrolet sibling. If you want an even bolder look, both inside and out, consider the Acadia Denali, with its distinctive lighting, 20-inch alloy wheels and a dollop of extra chrome. The All-Terrain package, meanwhile, offers more rugged off-road trim.

Notable Standard Equipment

Even the base Acadia SL comes with tri-zone auto climate control, a 7.0-inch Color Touch Screen, Keyless Open and Start, 5-year OnStar, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, 4G Wi-Fi hotspot, five USB ports and the rear-seat reminder safety-alert system to prevent kids and 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. New for 2019 on several trim levels: Express Up and Down Windows.

Notable 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

Two naturally aspirated engines are offered, both backed by a smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic. Sole motivator in the base front-wheel-drive-(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 all-wheel-drive (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)

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Pricing Notes

You'd have reason to be concerned if GMC kept the same old price for the new GMC Acadia, but when it downsized the SUV it also made a commensurate cut in pricing, with the base SL trim now starting around $29,000, Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). That slots the Acadia in under such key competitors as the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander. More popular trim levels, like the Acadia SLE nudge you up to around $33,500, and AWD adds about $2,000. The 2019 GMC Acadia Denali starts around $45,500, with the AWD package nearing $48,000. Load it up and you're approaching $52,000. Kelley Blue Book has determined the 2019 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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