• Car Review

2017 GMC Acadia Review

By Zac Estrada | August 14, 2020

Quick Facts:

Pros:

  • Excellent handling and maneuverability.
  • Standard features are abundant.
  • Clean cabin layout makes organization and storage access easy.

Cons:

  • Third-row seats can feel a little cramped for larger adults.
  • Some options can get expensive.
  • Powertrain options are limited.

Would we buy one? Yes.

Vehicle Type: Midsize 5-7 passenger crossover SUV.

Price Range: MSRP starting at $29,995, going up to $45,845 for top-tier trim.

Powertrain: All trims receive a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 193 horsepower and 188 lb-ft of torque. A 3.6-liter V6 with 310 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque is also available.

Front-wheel drive is the base drivetrain coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission for all trims levels.

All-wheel-drive is also available.

Competitors: Honda Pilot, Chevrolet Traverse, Dodge Durango, Hyundai Santa Fe XL, Subaru Ascent, Kia Sorento, Mazda CX-9, Volkswagen Atlas, Nissan Pathfinder, and Toyota Highlander.

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Overall Score: 8.3/10

Safety Features: 8/10

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The SUV market has improved dramatically over the years with safety standards, and the 2017 GMC Acadia fares well in this category amongst its rivals.

Numerous standard safety features include stability control, airbags, adaptive cruise-control system, lane departure warning, forward collision warning with emergency braking, a rearview camera, a surround-view camera system, blind-spot monitors, pedestrian detection with automatic braking, lane keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and a unique rear-seat reminder system for keeping a check on kids and cargo.

The NHTSA gave Acadia five out of five stars in crash tests, and the IIHS rated it as a Top Safety Pick.


Value: 9/10

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At a very reasonable base starting price, the 2017 GMC Acadia makes an attractive offering in the popular crossover midsize SUVs segment.

There are four primary trim levels for the GMC Acadia: SL, SLE, SLT, and GMC Acadia Denali. The SLE and SLT come with the SLE-1 and SLT-1 packages, respectively, while SLE-2 and SLT-2 are available and have extra features.

Pricing for the 2017 Acadia SL starts at $29,995 MSRP. The base SLE starts at $33,375 MSRP, depending on the package. The GMC Acadia SLT starts at $39,275 MSRP, depending on package level, with the GMC Acadia Denali trim level pricing starts at $45,845 MSRP. AWD adds an additional $2,000 to $3,000 on available models. All prices include a $925 destination charge.

Since we are partial to off-road features, the upgraded Acadia SLT with the All-Terrain package is our top pick. Aside from the sporty interior seating, the package includes 20" aluminum wheels instead of the stock 17" alloy wheels, increased cargo instead of a third-row seat, and an Active Twin Clutch AWD system that makes rough roads all the more fun.


Tech Features: 7/10

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The infotainment system may not be Acadia's strongest trait, but it certainly was not overlooked. Consumers will find standard features and an easy-to-use 8.0-inch touchscreen with well-placed knobs and buttons.

The base model receives cruise control, keyless ignition, and entry, plus a standard infotainment system with an IntelliLink 8-inch touchscreen, head-up display, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, OnStar with a Wi-Fi hotspot, USB ports, satellite radio, and a six-speaker stereo sound system.


Practicality: 8/10

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As far as midsize SUVs go, the 2017 Acadia does hit some high and low marks for cargo and storage. Some of its competition, like the Honda Pilot, excel in seating and cargo loads, but even with its more compact design, the Acadia boasts a generous 79 cubic feet of space with the third- and second-row seats folded down. The All-Terrain package also offers exclusive storage options.

However, the 13 cubic feet of cargo space with rear seats up is underwhelming for the segment.

A controllable rear hands-free power liftgate is available for efficient moving of cargo.


Styling & Design: 8/10

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GMC sacrificed some wheelbase length and a little width on the 2017 Acadia, giving it a more compact design, effectively moving it away from its bulkier, more full-sized, prior model year design. This pared-down body design may provide a slimmer profile but doesn't affect the overall performance or take away from the Acadia's commanding size.

The front seats are comfortable, and rear seating is ample. Precise climate control keeps the cabin temperatures right. It may be a challenge to pack large adults comfortably for more extended trips in the very back seats of this compacted SUV. Niceties like a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel, sunroof, and deep interior colors, are welcome stylings.


Driving Experience: 8/10

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The Acadia handles corners with confidence and feels sure-footed all the way through. Thanks to its more compact design, maneuvering in tight places is now more comfortable too.

All in all, there is little to complain about the Acadia's performance. Thanks to the rear suspension, the multi-link independent system softens road bumps well and provides a cushioned ride. During braking, the Acadia never falters, and stopping power is good.

As an FWD and all-wheel-drive crossover SUV, the Acadia performs as it should on- and off-road but lacks a little excitement in its power train setups. It isn't to say that these engine options aren't capable of their intended purpose. The four-cylinder is adequate for multi-person commutes and light-duty loads but will probably not excite enthusiasts, nor will the V6 compared to some rivals. People looking for a bit more sporty punch and raw power than the Acadia may like the Dodge Durango with its several muscular power train options.


Fuel Efficiency: 8/10

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The Acadia is average in the segment for fuel economy. The four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive 6-speed automatic option offers fuel-conscious shoppers an alternative to the V6.

The 2.5-liter engine gets an estimated EPA fuel economy of 21/26 mpg city/highway, and the fuel efficiency dips only slightly for the all-wheel-drive variant. The 3.6-liter V6 is not as economical with gas mileage at 18/25 mpg city/highway.


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