Buyer's Guide

2021 GMC Acadia
Select a Different Model (8 Available): AT4 AWD
Fuel Economy $ 19 / 26 mpg
Cargo (Std/Max) 13/79 cu.ft.
Seating (Std/Max) 6/7
Horsepower 310@6,600
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  • Good V-6 engine
  • Comfortable seats
  • Solid ride and handling


  • Cheap interior materials
  • Limited cargo space with all three rows up
  • Driver assistance tech not standard on lower trims

Looking for a three-row SUV that's easy to drive and sized on the smaller end of the spectrum? Check out the GMC Acadia, which entered the 2020 model year with refreshed styling. Compared to the previous generation, the current Acadia is smaller and lighter, with seating for up to seven. If the standard version is too plain for you, GMC has two cool variants: the rugged-looking AT4 and the luxury-focused Denali.

What's New

  • The GMC Pro Safety Plus package is now standard on SLT, AT4, and Denali grades and optional on the SLE
  • Elevation package now available on both SLE and SLT grades.
  • The premium package adds a heated steering wheel on SLT and AT4 grades
  • The technology package adds a 360-degree view parking camera system and a head-up display on SLT and AT4 models
  • All models except the base SL get a six-passenger seating configuration standard
  • Three new exterior colors: Cayenne Red Tintcoat, Hunter Metallic, and Midnight Blue Metallic
  • Base SL model gets 18-inch alloy wheels standard
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel replaced with a urethane one on SL and SLE grades

What We Think

For a three-row SUV, the GMC Acadia drives better than you would expect. It's not a big, cumbersome beast on the road. Credit the Acadia's agile handling for its ability to shrink around you and drive similarly to a smaller vehicle. You don't sacrifice comfort either because the ride quality is compliant. GMC's 3.6-liter V-6 provides good power, allowing the Acadia to accelerate smoothly. The nine-speed automatic is tuned well in this application, firing off smooth gear changes and quick downshifts when you ask for more power. If you opt for the Acadia AT4, don't expect it to be a full-fledged off-road warrior; it lacks the ground clearance to crawl through big obstacles.

Unfortunately, the GMC Acadia's build quality remains a weak point. The buttons, stalks, and knobs don't feel good to use, but at least the cabin is nicely insulated, and the first two rows offer spacious seating.

Performance and Fuel Economy

The 2021 Acadia's three engines are paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission.

Model: GMC Acadia SL, GMC Acadia SLE
Engine and Transmission: 
2.5-liter I-4 - nine-speed automatic
193 hp/188 lb-ft of torque

Model: GMC Acadia SLE (AWD only), GMC Acadia SLT
Engine and Transmission: 
2.0-liter turbo I-4 - nine-speed automatic
230 hp/258 lb-ft

Model: GMC Acadia SLE, GMC Acadia SLT, GMC Acadia AT4, GMC Acadia Denali
Engine and Transmission: 
3.6-liter V-6 - nine-speed automatic
310 hp/271 lb-ft


NHTSA: 5 stars (out of a possible five stars)

All Acadia variants get blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert as standard. The GMC Pro Safety Plus suite, which includes forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, and automatic high beams is optional on the SLE grade and standard on the SLT and higher trims. Adaptive cruise control is limited only to pricier variants and requires selecting an optional package.

Cargo Space and Towing

With all seats up, the GMC Acadia has 12.8 cubic feet of cargo space. Folding the second row expands capacity to 41.7 cubic feet. Dropping the second- and third rows expands the total capacity to 79.0 cubic feet.

When properly equipped, the Acadia can tow between 1,000-4,000 pounds of payload. The latter is only achieved with the optional 3.6-liter V-6 and the Trailering package.


All GMC Acadia models get an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard equipment. Higher trims are available with built-in navigation, an eight-speaker Bose audio system, and an 8.0-inch gauge cluster display.

Cool Features

AT4 models come equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels shod in off-road-capable tires and standard twin-clutch AWD system. The Acadia AT4's drive mode selector also adds an Off-Road mode in case you end up taking your three-row SUV off the beaten path.

Key Competitors:

Engine Name
Engine: V6 3.6 Liter
Transmission Name
Transmission, Hydra-Matic 9 Speed Automatic with Manual Mode (M3W)
Full-Size Utility
Standard MPG
Body Style
Fuel Type
Unleaded Regular
Seating Capacity
Package Invoice Retail
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IIHS Best Pick
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
IIHS Front Small Overlap
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
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NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
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NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
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NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
Amount Description Expiry Date
$0 3.29% Financing available for varying term lengths : 36, 48, 60, 72 Months - GM announces APR rates on select models. 02-01-2021
$0 3.54% Financing for a maximum term of 75 Months - GM announces APR rates on select models. 02-01-2021
$0 3.79% Financing for a maximum term of 84 Months - GM announces APR rates on select models. 02-01-2021
$0 0% Financing available for varying term lengths : 36, 48, 60, 72 Months - GM announces a GM Financial APR & Down Payment Assistance program that is good towards the purchase of select models. 02-01-2021
$0 1.9% Financing for a maximum term of 84 Months - GM announces a GM Financial APR & Down Payment Assistance program that is good towards the purchase of select models. 02-01-2021
$4000 GM announces Customer Cash on select models. 02-01-2021