Many drivers opt for a used car rather than a new one when looking for a good deal. It seems intuitive that more recent model years would provide better results, but that isn’t always the case. In fact, 2020 models of two of GMC‘s most popular vehicles — the Sierra 1500 and Acadia — appear on Consumer Reports’ list of “Used Cars to Avoid Buying.”
What exactly is wrong with these two vehicles despite their being relatively new?
How Consumer Reports rates these GMC vehicles
At face value, it may be unclear why the 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 appears on the list. Consumer Reports gives the pickup truck a predicted owner satisfaction rating of 4/5. And it received good ratings from three Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash tests: the side crash, front moderate overlap, and front small overlap on the driver’s side. The Sierra 1500 also received four-star crash test ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
However, some key areas leave something to be desired, according to Consumer Reports. The Sierra 1500 earned a predicted reliability score of 1/5 and a fuel economy score of 1/5. Its reliability dipped for two years in a row, in 2019 and 2020.
For the 2020 GMC Acadia, Consumer Reports lists a predicted owner satisfaction rating of 2/5, a predicted reliability rating of 1/5, and a fuel economy rating of 2/5. Though the Acadia received good IIHS and NHTSA crash test ratings, its reliability has dropped almost every year since 2011.
Why the Sierra 1500 appears on the list
According to Consumer Reports, the GMC Sierra 1500 ranks sixth out of seven in reliability among 2020 pickup trucks. Its main problem areas are brakes and in-car electronics. Owners say the display screen often freezes, forcing them to change radio stations to continue listening to music. Other drivers have complained of a crackling noise in the speakers and issues with the GPS SD card.
Additionally, the NHTSA has issued eight recalls for the 2020 GMC Sierra 1500. These recalls involve seatbelts, tires, the powertrain, airbags, service brakes, the fuel system, and the electrical system. Compared with similar vehicle models in 2020, the Sierra 1500 ranks as one of the two vehicles with the most problems.
What’s so bad about the Acadia?
Among 2020 SUVs, Consumer Reports ranks the GMC Acadia sixth out of eight in reliability. The most common trouble spots are its drive system, in-car electronics, and body integrity. Compared with similar 2020 vehicles, the GMC Acadia ranks in the top three with the most reported problems. Only the Lincoln Aviator and Mercedes-Benz GLE have more issues.
The 2020 Acadia has also seen four recalls so far. They involve issues with the tires, powertrain, fuel system, and airbags. Of note is the fuel system problem, wherein an insufficient fuel supply could cause the engine to stall unexpectedly while in operation.
The Acadia also ranks low in owner satisfaction. Consumer Reports gives it a score of 39/100 in value, meaning many drivers don’t think the price they paid justifies the vehicle’s performance. In fact, only 58 percent of drivers say they would definitely purchase the 2020 GMC Acadia again.
The GMC Acadia and Sierra 1500 are both excellent vehicles and typically earn good reviews. However, if you’re looking for a used car, skip the 2020 model year of these two and find something more reliable instead.