You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

2019 GMC Acadia: What You Need to Know

US News & World Report - Cars logo US News & World Report - Cars 1/30/2019 U.S. News & World Report
a car parked in a parking lot: 2019 GMC Acadia © General Motors 2019 GMC Acadia

The 2019 GMC Acadia finishes in the bottom third of our midsize SUV rankings. It delivers decent performance and has a solid interior, but it doesn’t do enough to stand out in such a competitive class.

The 2019 GMC Acadia is ranked:

Is the GMC Acadia a Good SUV?

Yes, the GMC Acadia is a good SUV. It's fuel-efficient, it offers a strong V6 engine, and it rides smoothly. Inside, the Acadia looks good and provides plenty of easy-to-use technology features. The Acadia has a few negatives, like subpar cargo space and small third-row seats, but the main reason for its low finish in our rankings is that it is merely good in areas where rivals are great.

Should I Buy the GMC Acadia?

The Acadia is one of more than a dozen quality options in the class. The Acadia has a below-average starting price, but it's difficult to recommend it as a top value when so many competitors simply offer more. You may want to check out other options, including some within the GM family, like the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave.

Compare the Acadia, Traverse, and Enclave »

Should I Buy a New or Used GMC Acadia?

The 2019 Acadia is part of a generation that began with the 2017 model year. There haven't been any notable changes since the 2017 redesign, so you can potentially save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used Acadia and still get basically the same vehicle.

If you are interested in a used SUV, check out our reviews of the 2017 GMC Acadia and 2018 GMC Acadia, and browse our Used Car Deals page to learn about the kind of savings and discounts you can get on a used vehicle.

We Did the Research for You: 20 Reviews Analyzed

We don’t base our car reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we combine the findings of professional test drivers with data such as reliability ratings and safety scores to give you a complete overview of every vehicle we rank.

This review uses applicable research and data from all model years of the current Acadia generation, which runs from 2017 to 2019.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years’ worth of auto industry experience combined. To keep our reviews unbiased, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside company manages our advertising.

How Much Does the GMC Acadia Cost?

The Acadia's $29,000 base price is less than the starting price of most class rivals, though the difference is less than $3,000 in many cases. The top Acadia trim starts north of $45,000, which is in the middle of the pack for a midsize SUV's highest trim.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local GMC dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our GMC deals page.

GMC Acadia Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: GMC Acadia or Chevrolet Traverse?

The Chevrolet Traverse and the Acadia are incredibly similar overall, but the Chevy is like a larger version of the GMC. It has an adult-friendly third row of seats and much more cargo space than the Acadia. The Chevrolet also seats eight people, whereas the Acadia tops out at seven. The Acadia has a slightly lower starting price than the Traverse, and it's a touch more upscale. These two are an even match overall, and the right choice comes down to personal preference.

Which Is Better: GMC Acadia or Buick Enclave?

The Buick Enclave doesn't offer a four-cylinder engine; it comes standard with the same V6 that's optional in the Acadia. The Buick has more cargo space than the GMC, seats up to seven, and has an extensive features list. Additionally, this 3-row SUV offers wireless device charging, which you won't find in the Acadia. The Enclave’s standard infotainment system has a larger touch screen than the Acadia's. The Buick’s interior is closer to the luxury end of the car-shopping spectrum than its midsize SUV cousin. However, the Enclave also has a much higher starting price than the Acadia. The Enclave is the better vehicle here, but only you can decide if it's good enough to justify the price difference.

Acadia Interior

How Many People Does the Acadia Seat?

The Acadia seats up to seven people in its standard three-row configuration and five in the 2-row configuration. The supportive first two rows of seats can accommodate adults, but the third row feels cramped for anything longer than a short drive.

Acadia and Car Seats

There are two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors. The system earns a rating of Acceptable (the second-highest rating) for its ease of use from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Acadia Interior Quality

Though there are a few small panel fit issues, the Acadia feels upscale inside. It's quiet and attractive, and it uses a lot of soft-touch materials.

Acadia Cargo Space

While many class rivals have more space, this GMC's cargo hold provides plenty of utility. You get nearly 13 cubic feet of space behind the third row of seats, which can fit about 10 grocery bags. Maximum cargo capacity is 79 cubic feet.

Acadia Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the Acadia include the IntelliLink infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, a six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, five USB ports, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Available features include a sunroof, navigation, an eight-speaker Bose surround-sound system, a rear-seat entertainment system, and an upgraded IntelliLink system with an 8-inch touch screen.

The Acadia's well-organized dash makes it easy to figure out where the controls are, and there are buttons and knobs in addition to the responsive touch screen. Smartphone connectivity features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard and make it easy to pair your smartphone with the vehicle.

Acadia Performance

Acadia Engine: V6 Delivers More Kicks

You have two choices for the Acadia's powertrain: the 193-horsepower four-cylinder base engine and the 310-horsepower V6. The base engine's power output is generally fine, but the V6 feels much stronger and moves this GMC with noticeably more alacrity.

Acadia Gas Mileage: Raising the Bar

Few competitors can match the Acadia's gas mileage. It earns 21 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway with its base engine and 18/25 mpg city/highway with the V6. You'll spend about as much on gas in the Acadia as you would in other fuel-efficient midsize SUVs, like the Honda Pilot.

Acadia Ride and Handling: Smooth and Stable

Class rivals are more nimble than the Acadia, which can feel a bit unwieldy on winding roads. That said, it maneuvers well in confined areas. The ride is comfortable even over rough roads.

Acadia Reliability

Is the GMC Acadia Reliable?

J.D. Power gave the 2019 Acadia a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average for the industry. 

GMC Acadia Warranty

GMC backs the Acadia with a three-year/36,000-mile warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Acadia Safety

Acadia Crash Test Results

The all-wheel-drive version of the 2019 Acadia earned a five-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The front-wheel-drive model earned a four-star overall rating. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety gave the Acadia its highest rating of Good in six crash tests. The Acadia also earned the highest rating of Superior for front crash prevention technology, but it received the second-lowest rating of Marginal for the headlights.

Acadia Safety Features

The Acadia comes standard with a rearview camera, a rear-seat alert (designed to ensure you don't leave anything important in the back seat), and Teen Driver, which allows parents to set speed and audio limits on their young drivers. Available active safety features include front pedestrian braking, rear cross traffic alert, a safety alert driver’s seat, forward collision warning, forward automatic braking, front and rear parking sensors, side blind spot monitoring with lane change alert, lane keep assist, and a surround-view camera.

Which GMC Acadia Model Is Right for Me?

You have plenty of options when picking an Acadia trim, and the right choice comes down to your priorities. The base trim has a decent assortment of standard features and works fine for many people, but it's not as upscale as the higher trims and doesn't offer the V6 engine or all-wheel drive.

The SLT trims are the best pick for most buyers. They offer almost all the features you can get in an Acadia, including many active safety features, but they cost a few thousand dollars less than the top-level Denali trim.

GMC Acadia SL

The Acadia SL has a base price of $29,000. Standard features include a rearview camera, Teen Driver, and the IntelliLink infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, a six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, five USB ports, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

This is the only trim not available with the V6 engine or all-wheel drive, and it has no notable available features.

GMC Acadia SLE

There are two SLE trims: the SLE-1, which has a starting price of $32,800, and the SLE-2, which starts at $35,200. Both SLE trims let you upgrade to all-wheel drive for $2,000. The SLE-1 comes with satellite radio in addition to all the base model’s features. You can get the V6 engine in this trim, but you also have to add AWD; you’ll spend $3,095 for both.

The SLE-2 is available in FWD and AWD with either engine. It comes standard with a power liftgate, heated front seats, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. Adding the V6 costs $1,095. For $790, you can get the Driver Alert I package, which adds rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, and lane change assist.

The SLE-2 also offers the All Terrain package (in all-wheel-drive models), which replaces the third-row seat with a cargo management system. It also includes some styling upgrades and a suspension tuned for off-roading.

GMC Acadia SLT

There are two Acadia SLT trims as well, with the SLT-1 starting at $38,000 and the SLT-2 starting at $41,900.

The SLT-1 comes standard with a power-adjustable passenger seat, leather upholstery, an eight-speaker Bose audio system, the features from the Driver Alert I package, and an upgraded IntelliLink system with an 8-inch touch screen. You can add the V6 engine for $1,095. You can also add AWD to V6 models for $2,400. Like the SLE, the SLT is also available with the All Terrain package.

The SLT-2 is only available with the V6 engine. It comes standard with heated second-row seats, front and rear parking sensors, forward collision alert, lane keep assist, a safety alert driver’s seat, blind spot monitoring, and low-speed forward automatic braking. AWD costs an extra $2,000.

GMC Acadia Denali

The Acadia Denali has a starting price of $45,500. It comes standard with the V6 engine, navigation, a hands-free power liftgate, ventilated front seats, and an automatic heated steering wheel. AWD costs $2,000. The Technology package ($1,495) adds adaptive cruise control, forward automatic braking, and a surround-view camera.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local GMC dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our GMC deals page.

The Final Call

The 2019 GMC Acadia is a quality family hauler with a lot of tech features and an upscale feel. Unfortunately, it resides in one of the most competitive classes, where being a good vehicle isn't enough to merit a high ranking. The Acadia finishes lower in the class because it lacks the all-around excellence of some of its competitors.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

Read the full 2019 GMC Acadia review on U.S. News & World Report for more details, photos, specs and prices.


More from U.S. News & World Report

US News & World Report - Cars
US News & World Report - Cars

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon