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2012 GMC Acadia

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2012 GMC Acadia Review

Big, but not too brutish

Reviewed by Automotive on

The GMC Acadia attempts to bring GMC's "professional grade" image down to a more family-friendly size. With available seating of up to eight people and an array of convenient features, the full-size crossover is designed to attract a diverse range of family-oriented shoppers

The Acadia is available in front- or all-wheel drive, but there's just one drivetrain available: a 3.6-liter V-6, with direct injection for more power and fuel economy. With a six-speed automatic transmission, the Acadia can tow up to 5200 pounds--a boon for families with lots of toys and trailers. Certain front-wheel drive models can reach up to 24 mpg on the highway.

With seating for eight or seven with captain's chairs in the second row, the Acadia offers plenty of enhancements for big crowds: keyless entry, Stabilitrak stability control, satellite radio and a roof rack all come standard. Acadia packages include automatic three-zone climate control, heated and cooled power leather seats, and a six-month subscription to OnStar-and the top of the line Denali edition features chrome trim and a chrome grille, as well as a SkyScape power panoramic sunroof, wood trim, and a premium sound system for the kids to ride in style.

The Range

Bodystyle: Full-size crossover SUV
Engine: 3.6-liter V-6
Transmission: six-speed automatic
Models: SL, SLE, SLT-1, SLT-2, Denali

What's New

For 2012 the entire GMC range stays relatively unchanged, and the same applies to Acadia: It picks up two new colors and standard hill assist braking technology. SLT and Denali models get blind spot alerts on the side mirrors, and SLE, SLT and Denali receive standard foglights and body-color side trim.


The Acadia is a handsome crossover, but does little to disguise its size. Its large fender flares and rounded body represent both approaches to SUV and crossover design, while looking more purposeful than its Chevy Traverse twin. Crystal Red Tintcoat and Stone Gray Metallic are two new color options for 2012, and the Denali model brings a chrome honeycomb grille, unique front and rear bumpers and 20-inch chrome wheels for added style.


The Acadia's dashboard is all business, with a wide swatch of aluminum-look plastic trim on the center console which may not be to everybody's tastes. All Acadia models offer three rows of seating, with GM's Smart Slide feature, allowing for easier access to the third row, standard in the second row. The Acadia offers an enormous 117 cubic feet of total cargo space. Denali models come with perforated leather and a heads up display, the SkyScape power panoramic sunroof, rear-seat entertainment and a rear-view camera.

Performance & Handling

The 2011 Acadia is available with one engine/transmission combination, a version of GM's high-feature, 3.6-liter direct-injected V-6 engine rated in the Acadia at 288 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. A lower center of gravity as well as an independent front and rear suspension offers drivers a better overall ride than more traditional body-on-frame SUVs, even though its weight is still felt throughout.


The Acadia has a wealth of safety options: six airbags, traction control and four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock control are standard on all models. Helping to prevent any possible rollover is GM's StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with rollover mitigation technology.

EPA Fuel Economy

Front-wheel drive: 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway
All-wheel drive: 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway

You'll Like

  • Impressive interior amenities
  • Top tier safety
  • Cavernous cargo area
  • Solid on-road manners
  • Premium Denali option

You Won't Like

  • Lack of powertrain options
  • Visibility issues
  • Weighty

Sum Up

Big, but not too brutish

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Honda Pilot
  • Toyota Highlander
  • Mazda CX-9
  • Ford Flex
  • Hyundai Veracruz

See the New 2015 Acadia.

Front & Driver Side View