Crossover & Midsize

The 2020 GMC Acadia Gets Too Much Wrong

GM may market its vehicles as being more upscale, but this promise falls short when it comes to the 2020 GMC Acadia. While this SUV does have its perks, they are far outweighed by the GMC Acadia’s many downfalls, U.S. News reports. If you’ve been considering going for the Acadia, here’s what you should know — and which alternatives you might want to consider.

The biggest problems with the GMC Acadia

While the GMC Acadia isn’t all bad, one flaw, in particular, is well worth noting: It has a very low predicted reliability rating, earning just 2.5 out of 5.0 from J.D. Power. This is lower than many comparable midsize SUVs. The Buick Enclave, for instance, earned a predicted reliability score of 3.5 out of 5.0.

Another downside of the Acadia is its cabin. While there isn’t anything drastically wrong with it, U.S. News observes that the interior of the Acadia simply doesn’t have the upscale feel you’d expect from this automaker. This is largely due to several cheap materials found throughout the cabin.

The Acadia also falls short when it comes to cabin space. While the first two rows of seats are spacious enough, the third row is too cramped to seat anyone but children. 

This seating arrangement may be typical of most three-row SUVs, so on its own it isn’t too much of a problem. Combine the cramped rear seats with the lack of cargo space, however, and the Acadia begins to fall behind its competitors. It has just 12.8 cubic feet of space behind the third-row seats, which U.S. News notes is “enough room for weekend vacation luggage or some grocery bags, but not much else.”

What the Acadia gets right

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The GMC Acadia does have a few good qualities. Of particular note is its gas mileage. With the 193-hp base engine, the Acadia gets 21 miles per gallon in the city and 27 miles per gallon on the highway, impressive numbers for its class. 

This SUV also has an intuitive, user-friendly infotainment system. Reviewers praise the responsive touchscreen, which is easy to see and use even while driving.

When it comes to safety, the Acadia definitely holds its own. The IIHS rated it “Good” in five of its performance tests, while models with the optional Technology Package earned “Superior” ratings in front crash prevention.

Additionally, the Acadia offers a decent ride. Although its rear seats may be cramped, the first two rows are spacious and comfortable, and the driving experience is very smooth even on roads with lots of twists and turns. However, it is worth noting that this SUV is not quite as agile as others in its class, particularly if you opt for the base engine. 

Is the GMC Acadia worth it?

Overall, while the GMC Acadia isn’t a terrible SUV, it also doesn’t stand out amongst the competition. Its low MSRP may attract some people, but U.S. News points out that it’s pretty easy to find similar vehicles that have all the Acadia’s perks and fewer downsides. 

Reviewers recommend opting for either the Chevrolet Traverse or the Buick Enclave instead, both of which are also GM SUVs and thus have similar design qualities. The Traverse and Enclave both have higher predicted reliability ratings and more cargo space than the Acadia. Folks looking for a more upscale cabin should go for the Enclave, while anyone who needs lots of room will likely prefer the extra seating and roomy third row of the Traverse.

Although the GMC Acadia is a decent midsize SUV, it simply doesn’t lead its class in any area. While it has a few perks, shoppers would do well to take a look at some other options before settling on the Acadia.