Gutsy look, poised stance, sturdy impression denotes the new 2018 GMC Acadia. It looks distinct and does almost everything well. Striking looks, user-friendly infotainment system and room for seven make the Acadia a true family car. This is also the newest version of GM's first car-based utility vehicle as the company is known for its pickups and truck-based SUVs.
The Acadia was fully redesigned for the year 2017, making it smaller and lighter than the previous models. The new 2018 model is a carryover from the last year with minor tweaks in specifications. Inside, Acadia is spacious with airy cabin and the overall design is more focused on functionality rather than performance.
GM has offered a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine which is a bit lousy in moving the weight it has been asked to. It is better to upgrade to the optional 3.6-liter V-6 which provides the extra zest the car needs. Overall, the 2018 Acadia is a comfortable three-row SUV, with prices ranging from $29995 for the base SL and going up to $45,995 for the top trim Denali.
6.0/10 Fuel Economy
GM has offered a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine which is a bit lousy in moving the weight it has been asked to. It is better to upgrade to the optional 3.6-liter V-6 which provides the extra zest the car needs. Overall, the 2018 Acadia is a comfortable three-row SUV, with prices ranging from $29,000 for the base SL and going up to $47,020 for the top trim Denali.
2018 GMC Acadia Features
“The new Acadia is a much-needed and smartly executed redesign of an almost 10-year-old SUV. It may move down-market into a smaller slot, which would only position the Acadia to better bridge the gap between the slightly smaller Terrain and the larger GMC Yukon.” Automobile Magazine
GMC offers Acadia in SL, SLE, SLT, and Denali trim levels. The midgrade SLE trim is available in two levels: The SLE-1 which receives minor upgrades over the SL, while the SLE-2 adds a substantial level of upgrades. A well-equipped SLT trim also splits between SLT-1 and SLT-2 levels. The Denali trim wraps up the line-up with several exclusive high-end features.
The Acadia SL starts at $29,995 and is the only trim which is not fitted with a V-6 engine or an all-wheel drive. It comes mated to a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The two SLE trims SLE-1 and SLE-2 gets you V-6 and AWD as an option along with some styling upgrades and tuned suspension. SLT trim is also available in two levels: SLT-1 starting at $ 39,275 and the SLT-2 at 42,675 which also comes standard with 3.6-liter V-6. Both the engines are mated to a six-speed automatic.
Leather-wrapped steering wheel with mounted audio and cruise controls.
Seven-passenger seating with second and third-row split-bench fold flat seats.
Keyless Open and Start.
LED daytime running lamps.
Front and second row carpeted floor mats.
Compact Spare Tire.
Programmable Power Liftgate.
Heated Driver and Front Passenger Seats.
8-way power driver’s seat.
Silver roof rails.
Standard 6-passenger seating.
8-way power passenger seat with power lumbar.
Perforated Leather-Appointed Seats.
Perforated Leather-Appointed Seats.
GMC IntelliLink1 with an 8″ diagonal color touch-screen.
Memory Package recalls 2 presets for power driver seat and outside mirrors.
Heated second-row assenger seats.
Low-speed Front Automatic Braking.
8″ Color Touch Screen Navigation with IntelliLink1.
Bright roof rails.
Hands-free power liftgate.
Confused? We will help you find the best trim
The SLE-2 is the best value for your bucks. It gets almost every feature that the Acadia has to offer including a power liftgate, power driver seat, and heated front seats. You also get a 3.6-liter V-6 engine as an option in this trim which gives you superior performance while towing or carrying passengers.
2018 GMC Acadia Engine
"The base four-cylinder’s lack of turbocharging saddles that engine with a power disadvantage."-CarandDriver
The base 2018 GMC Acadia powered by 193-horsepower 4-cylinder engine has got enough under the hood for roaming around town, but it lacks the zest of the optional V-6 engine which churns out 310 horsepower and has better acceleration. There is also a drive mode selector, which lets the driver switch between different modes depending on the road condition. Modes include:
All-Wheel Drive (4X4 if equipped)
Off-Road (AWD only)
Snow (FWD only)
Trailer/Tow (If equipped)
Engine and Transmission
GMC has not made any mechanical changes to the new 2018 Acadia and the performance is similar to 2017. In the two engines choices, you get a 193-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder with 188 lb-feet of torque and a 310 hp 3.6-liter V-6 with 271 lb-feet of torque. Both the engines are paired to a six-speed automatic transmission with front and all-wheel-drive optional setups.
There is no thirst for power when the Acadia is equipped with the 3.6-liter V-6 engine. It hits 0-60 mph in 6.3 seconds which is impressive for a vehicle of this size and its 310 horsepower is adequate for towing and climbing hills with ease. The 2018 GMC Acadia also beat others heads down in the competition. Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse with almost same engine specification take 7.8 sec and 6.5 sec to hit 0-60.
6.8 sec (2.5L DOHC 4-cylinder
15 sec @ 90 mph
16.1 sec @ 84 mph
15.6 sec @ 97mph
15.4 sec @ 90 mph
Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year
Braking and Handling
2018 GMC Acadia lacks the nimbleness of some of its competitors but handling is comfortable and quiet. Responsive steering makes Acadia easily maneuverable in tight corners. Ride quality is well controlled even over rough pavements and the steering feels light. GMC offers an adaptive suspension on the top trim Denali for sharper handling and a more cushioned ride. If you want the best of its off-roading capability, go for the All-Terrain package that adds hill descent control and a sharper all-wheel-drive system. The Acadia is, however, better suited to snowy trails rather than the rocky ones.
The Acadia braking system is well tuned with plenty of stopping power. Brakes feel strong even after multiple aggressive stops. GMC gets a strong competition from Chevrolet Traverse and Toyota Highlander in stopping form 60 mph in 126 feet. However, it beats the Enclave by good 8 feet.
Brake pads Rear(in)
60-0 MPH (ft.)
2018 GMC Acadia Fuel Economy
The 2018 GMC Acadia is the most efficient when it comes to city driving and at par with the competitor on the highway. It is rated at 21/26 mpg city/highway for the front wheel drive and 21/25 mpg with the AWD. Jumping to the V-6 engine will also not hurt your fuel efficiency, as the front-wheel drive is rated at 18/25 mpg while the AWD is rated at 17/25 mpg.
Mpg city mpg
Mpg highway mpg
Mpg combine mpg
2018 GMC Acadia Interior
2018 GMC Acadia has a quiet and handsome cabin along with excellent material quality. Everything in the car is within arm’s reach, so you are always in comfort. First two rows of seats are spacious, but the third row is little cramped. The Denali model is dressed up with real-wood inserts.
“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.” Kelley Blue Book
Interior Seating and Comfort
The outgoing 2017 Acadia was sold in seven and eight seat configurations, whereas the new Acadia is also available in five-seat configuration when equipped with the All-Terrain package, emphasizing more on the cargo space. Other seating option includes a three-row configuration with seating for six (with second-row captain’s chair) or seven with the second-row bench. Acadia’s has less second-row headroom than Chevrolet Traverse and Toyota Highlander but legroom is the roomiest, even when compared to the largest in competition the Traverse.
Seating features include:
Heated and ventilated power adjustable front seats
Heated second row
Heated steering wheel
Sliding and reclining second row
Passenger Volume(ft cube)
GMC Acadia comes with an abundance of techs. There are plenty of USB port along with 4G LTE Wi-Fi so the passenger can feel connected. A 7-inch touch-screen with GMC IntelliLink system is standard on the SL and SLE trims. There is also an 8-inch unit available which is optional on the SLE and standard for SLT and the Denali. The screen feels responsive with big, clear buttons. Some of the standard features include:
Five USB ports and Bluetooth
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
Six speaker audio system
Acadia does not impress much with the Cargo space. It offers the least amount of cargo space in the segment as compared to its competitors with 12.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, 41.7 cubic feet behind the second row, and 79 cubic feet with all seats down. There are two underfloor storage bins where you can store small items, while the second and third row both fold flat giving you a flush cargo floor. A power liftgate and a hands-free power liftgate are available depending on the trim.
With 3nd row folded (ft.cube)
With All Seats folded (ft.cube)
2018 GMC Acadia Exterior
The 2018 GMC Acadia stamps a bold impression with its styling from front to back making it a truly distinctive SUV. Its striking headlamps, tail lamps, and fog lamps let you see and be seen. It is a standout when fitted with All-terrain appearance package which is optional on SLT and Denali trims. Some exterior features include:
Distinctive grill design
Bold wraparound headlamp
Wraparound rear glass
Projector-beam headlamp with available LED daytime running lamps
Halogen fog lamps
Design and Styling
There are very few wasted curves on the new Acadia and its squared-off wheel opening gives the impression of truckier look. The chrome strip loops around the front two rows remind you that the third row is not the seating area to prefer. Acadia’s taillights are large with a big chunk of chrome between the two lights. Top trim Denali offers added bling with a dressy grille and a shiny exterior.
Track width(in) F/R
2018 GMC Acadia Safety
GMC Acadia boasts good crash test score by the NHSTA. However, it received a marginal rating in the headlight and an acceptable latch rating by IIHS. On the reliability front, the company has covered Acadia with a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Frontal barrier crash rating overall
Frontal barrier crash rating driver
Frontal barrier crash rating passenger
Side barrier rating overall
Side barrier rating driver
Side barrier rating passenger
Side crash rating overall
Combine side barrier and pole rating
Small overlap front driver side
Small overlap front passenger side
Moderate overlap front
Head restraints & seats
Crash avoidance and mitigation
Frontal crash prevention
GMC has offered industry-first rear seat reminder in the new Acadia, which flashes and sounds a warning alarm to check the back row while the vehicle is shutting down. So, don’t forget to remove your child from back there. Standard safety features include:
StabiliTrak electronic stability control system.
OnStar Basic Plan for 5 years.
OnStar Guidance Plan Limited Service Trial.
Rear Vision Camera.
Child security rear door locks.
Passenger Sensing System.
Rear seat reminder.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System.
2018 GMC Acadia Competition
GMC Acadia Vs Buick Enclave
Like the Acadia, Buick’s Enclave has also been redesigned for the year 2018. It also boasts a standard V-6 engine like the GMC and seats up to seven with an extensive feature list. Buick also offers wireless device charging which is not available in Acadia, it also has a larger touchscreen. Overall, Buick’s interior is close to luxury but that comes at a cost. Buicks Enclave is almost $11,000 more than the Acadia. It is definitely better than its midsize SUV cousin but that does not justify the price difference between the two.
GMC Acadia vs Chevrolet Traverse
You can call the Chevrolet Traverse, Acadia’s larger cousin with little difference between the two. The Chevy comes mated to a standard V-6 whereas, base Acadia has a standard 4-cylinder engine with an optional V-6. Feature lists are similar between the two although GMC’s interior is a bit better than the Chevy. If you are looking for space then go for the Traverse. It seats up to eight people as compared to seven in Acadia and its cargo capacity is also much higher. Pricing of both the cars are similar and Acadia will be a better option if you are looking for luxury rather than space.
GMC Acadia Vs Toyota Highlander
The major difference between the two cars is the space and the towing capacity. Highlander has more space then the Acadia, it also seats eight while the Acadia manages only seven. Towing capacity of the Toyota is much more than the GMC. It can tow up to 5000 pounds while the later can tow only 4000 pounds. Go for the Highlander if you require towing heavy trailers, otherwise, the GMC Acadia is a good option as it gives you extra comfort.
2018 GMC Acadia Final Verdict
We do not find any major weakness in the new 2018 Acadia but it is also not the best in the class in many aspects. Ride quality is smooth with a nice interior along with good selection of features and easy to use infotainment. The major drawback of the car is that it has less cargo space than most of the competitors and it is also less athletic when it comes to performance. If you are in the market searching for an SUV then you will want to overlook the Acadia and check out Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave.
A high -tech cabin
Refined ride quality
Poor fuel economy
Tight third row and cargo hold
Cabin isn't luxurious even in priciest trim
Automatic heated steering wheel
Tire fill feature alert that provides an audio alert to indicate that the tire is full when being inflated.
Blue steel Metallic color joins the pallet
150 cu. in.
193 hp @ 6300 rpm
188 lb.-ft. @ 4400 rpm
brake rotors (f/r)
17 in. ventilated disc brakes/17 in. ventilated disc brakes
12.8 cu ft.
zero to 60 mph
zero to 100 mph
rolling start (5-60 mph)
braking (70-0 mph)
3 years/36000 miles
5 years/60000 miles
6 years/100000 miles
Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.