The Acadia represents GMC's entry-level truck-like CUV and is the first unibody vehicle from the marque. It is also GMC's first front-wheel drive passenger vehicle.
The Acadia has seating for eight and either front or all-wheel drive. With a 5,200 lb (2,359 kg) towing capacity, the Acadia slots between the GMC Terrain and the Yukon. The Acadia is the mid-priced Lambda model between the Chevrolet Traverse and Enclave.
In December 2006, all production and sales of the Acadia (and the Saturn Outlook) were temporarily stopped due to the engine mounts not having holes drilled to release accumulated water, as well as an issue with potentially faulty rivets in the load floor just forward of the vehicle's rear hatch. The assembly process was quickly adjusted, and dealership sales of the vehicles had resumed within days of the notice.
The first-generation Acadia will continue to be sold alongside its second-generation replacement as the Acadia Limited. For more information, please see below.
Suspension and chassis
The 2008 Acadia has a 118.9 in (3,020 mm) wheelbase and 67.28 in (1,709 mm) front/rear tracks. The independent front suspension is a MacPherson strut design, with a direct-acting stabilizer bar and aluminum knuckles. The independent rear suspension uses a "H" Linked design.
Steering is power-assisted rack-and-pinion, with an optional variable-effort system. Standard are 18 inch wheels and tires, with optional 19 inch wheels. Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS are standard.
The Acadia features available 3-row, 7 or 8-seater seating. Inside, the Acadia features more contemporary trim than the Outlook, including chrome and satin nickel textures, and a wider variety of two-toned interior colors such as an Ebony and Light Titanium (grey) cloth upholstery, and a choice of either Ebony, Light Titanium (grey) or Brick (brown) leather upholstery. A heads-up display similar to those found in the Cadillac XLR, Cadillac STS, Pontiac Grand Prix, Pontiac Aztek, Pontiac Bonneville, Buick Park Avenue and Chevrolet Corvette is one of the available options exclusive to the Acadia and standard on the Acadia Denali thus far.
Wheels and tires
The 2008 Acadia features 19 inch cast aluminum wheels and Goodyear Eagle RS-A M+S P255/60R-19 108H tires with a high-pressure compact spare tire standard on the SLT2 model and optional on the SLT1. The SLE model has 18 inch painted aluminum wheels with P255/65R-18 tires. The SLT1 comes standard with 18 inch machined aluminum wheels.
First generation 2011 GMC Acadia Denali
first generation refresh for 2013 GMC Acadia Denali
The Denali version of the Acadia arrived at dealerships in 2010 as 2011 model. This upgraded trim is available in FWD and AWD versions in seven- or eight-passenger form and features monotone paint, honeycomb grille, unique front and rear fascias, along with HID headlamps, chrome accents, exhaust tips, and six-spoke 20-inch wheels. Interior upgrades include perforated leather seating and wood trim.
The Acadia Denali joins its SUV siblings, the Terrain Denali, the Yukon Denali and Yukon XL Denali, and marks GMC's first crossover to take the Denali badge.
A unibody construction helps lower center of gravity, compared to previous truck-based GM SUVs, reduces the risk of rollover accidents. Much of the Acadia's structure is reinforced with high-strength steel, including a steel cross-car beam welded across the floor between the B-pillars.
The Acadia has six different airbags equipped in the vehicle; two dual-stage front air bags for the driver and front passenger, two seat-mounted side-impact air bags in the first row and two head curtain side impact air bags that cover all three seating rows. Similar to the Volvo XC90, the Acadia will have a detection system on board that will deploy various airbags if a rollover is detected.
Additionally, the Acadia comes standard with the OnStar system.
Model year updates
GM unveiled an updated 2013 GMC Acadia at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, taking the bodyshell of the discontinued Saturn Outlook. The 2013 Acadia received a completely redesigned grille and front fascia, a redesigned rear liftgate, and an improved interior with upgrades to interior quality, as with its other two updated siblings, the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse.
2014 model year
For the 2014 model year, the Acadia added Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning as a standard on Denali and as an optional feature on SLT1 and SLT2 trims, while two charging-only USB ports on the rear of the center console for second-row use were added as a standard for all trims.
2015 model year
For the 2015 model year, a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel became standard on SLT-2 and Denali models, along with a twenty-inch aluminum wheel design. Crimson Red Tintcoat, Dark Sapphire Blue Metallic, and Midnight Amethyst Metallic are added as new exterior color palettes. In addition, dual exhaust became available only on Denali versions, while all other trim levels received single exhaust.
The second generation Acadia was reduced from 200.8 inches to 193.6 inches in length and from 78.9 inches to 75.4 inches in width (losing 700 pounds in the process), as GM repositioned the vehicle to mid-size status while remaining above the Terrain in size (the Terrain itself would relinquish its midsize status after it was repositioned as a second generation smaller compact crossover with the 2018 model), as GM has already announced that the next generation Traverse and Enclave will be the only GM-built full-size crossover SUVs in this segment. With the reduction from full-size to mid-size, the Acadia's MSRP was reduced to $29,995 (US). The GMC Acadia now has 5, 6, and 7 passenger configurations arranged respectively like either two front bucket seats and one rear bench seat; two bucket seats up front, two buckets in the second row, and two seats in the rear row; or two front bucket seats, one second row bench seat, and two rear seats in the third row.
The second generation Acadia features seven seats instead of eight, a choice of either a 2.5L or 3.6L engine, a new advanced twin-clutch AWD system (available only with All-Terrain package) by GKN Driveline designed for off-road environment (joining the FWD and AWD drivetrains available on all other models), an updated fascia and redesigned lighting. The Acadia is built on the same platform as the Cadillac XT5 and will be joined by the Chinese-built Buick Envision and the Chevrolet Blazer (built on the C1XX platform) when GM unveils its lineup for its mid-size CUVs for 2018 and beyond.
With the decrease in size, fuel economy with the 3.6L increases to 18 city, 25 hwy (AWD and FWD) from 17 city 24 hwy (FWD). The 2017 Acadia will offer the newly launched AppShop feature.
Trim levels for the second generation Acadia were carried over from the previous generation; SL, SLE-1, SLE-2, SLT-1, SLT-2, as well as a Denali trim level, though an All-Terrain Package is available on Acadia SLE and SLT trim levels that will be more rugged in its appearance. The second generation Acadia is also available with Third Row Seat Delete option on SLE and SLT trim levels as part of the All-Terrain Package.
The second generation Acadia introduced a feature to remind drivers to check the rear seats for children to help prevent heatstroke of children accidentally left behind in a vehicle.
The Acadia is sold in Australia and New Zealand as a Holden badged vehicle. It went on sale November 12, 2018. The Holden Acadia is built in Tennessee with RHD specifications, and is marketed as a full-size CUV.
Australia and New Zealand will be the only markets in the world where a right-hand drive version of the Acadia will be sold.
Starting with the 2017 model year, the first-generation Acadia is sold alongside its second-generation replacement, but was renamed the Acadia Limited, much like the Chevrolet Cruze Limited, Chevrolet Malibu Limited, and Chevrolet Impala Limited were also sold alongside their replacements, at least for a single model year, as rental and fleet vehicles. However, production remained in Lansing, Michigan as the second generation Acadia moved to Spring Hill, Tennessee, the site of the original Saturn plant. With the second-generation Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse making their debuts in 2017 as 2018 models, GMC ended production on the Acadia Limited on March 31, 2017 in order to start production on the Traverse and Enclave. The Acadia Limited carried a base price tag of $44,775 and continued to offer the same features from the 2016 model.
Model year updates
The GMC Acadia received a facelift for 2020. The facelift introduced new exterior styling (including a new front grille inspired by the all-new 2019 GMC Sierra 1500, a revised infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Autosmartphone integration, new alloy wheel options, an all-new AT4 trim level (which replaces the All-Terrain Package on select trim levels), a new 2.0L turbocharged EcoTec Inline Four-Cylinder (I4) engine (both the 2.5L EcoTec Inline Four-Cylinder (I4) and 3.6L VVT V6 engine options remain available for 2020), and the Electronic Precision Shift pushbutton automatic transmission that was first introduced on the 2018 GMC Terrain, among other changes. The all-new 2020 GMC Acadia will go on sale in the Fall of 2019. Pricing has not yet been announced.