2019 GMC Acadia Review


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2019 GMC Acadia Overview

The current, downsized GMC Acadia debuted for the 2017 model year. For 2019, the Acadia gets minor revisions, but soldiers on mostly unchanged.

The Acadia sits firmly in the midsize category, with room for seven passengers across three rows. The exterior design is characterized by a neat blend of modern curves and masculine squared-off shapes, which exemplifies the current GMC school of design. On most models, there’s plenty of lower plastic cladding to emphasize the utility theme. The interior exhibits these same traits, along with plenty of stitched material, aluminum trim and wood veneers for a professional-craftsman feel. For 2019, GMC has redone the color palette to include Dark Sky Metallic, Red Quartz Metallic, Pepperdust Metallic, and Smokey Quartz Metallic.

The base engine on the Acadia is a 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine with 193 horsepower and 188 pound-feet of torque and either standard front-wheel drive (FWD) or optional all-wheel drive (AWD). GMC includes start-stop technology and active grille shutters to eke out additional fuel economy. There’s also a premium engine on offer, in the form of a 3.6-liter V6 engine with 310 hp and 271 lb-ft, also with FWD or AWD. Both engines are paired with a 6-speed automatic. Traction Select comes on all models, allowing the Acadia to be adjusted for different types of terrain. Official consumption numbers haven’t been released as of this writing, but GMC estimates mileage as high as 21 miles per gallon city and 26 highway for the 2.5-liter, while the 3.6-liter has estimated mileage at 18 and 25.

As before, the Acadia comes in four basic grades: SL, SLE, SLT, and Denali. The SL trim gets the 2.5-liter engine, 17-inch wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless start and entry, automatic tri-zone climate control, 4G LTE hotspot connectivity, and a 7-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The SLE trim is divided into SLE-1 and SLE-2. The SLE-1 comes with the 2.5-liter engine, LED daytime running lights and satellite radio. The SLE-2 throws in 18-inch wheels, a programmable power liftgate, heated driver and front passenger seats, fog lights, an 8-way power driver’s seat, and remote start.

The SLT trim also contains two sub-models. The SLT-1 has all the features from the SLE-2, plus an 8-way power passenger seat, leather upholstery, a 120-volt power outlet, auto-dimming left outside and rear mirrors, a Bose 8-speaker system, a larger 8-inch infotainment system, and a garage door opener. The SLT-2 builds upon that with the 3.6-liter engine, 20-inch wheels, a memory settings package, heated second-row seats, and a trailering package with active tow.

Finally, the Denali trim gets a unique exterior theme with extra chrome, body-colored cladding in place of the gray plastic on other models, a three-dimensional mesh grille, and LED lighting all around as well as HID headlamps. Inside, extra-premium materials give an air of exclusivity. Buyers can also opt for sliding captain’s chairs in the second row in place of the standard bench. The 3.6-liter engine is the only engine on offer. Other features include everything from the SLT-2, along with navigation, heated and cooled front seats, and a Denali-exclusive 8-inch instrument panel LCD.

As it’s a family vehicle, safety is at the forefront with the Acadia. A bevy of airbags, a reversing camera system, and Teen Driver are all standard; the latter lets parents monitor their children’s driving or set parameters and limitations on the vehicle. From there, several features are offered across a few options package: blind-spot monitoring, lane-change assist, automatic high beams, forward-collision warning, forward automatic braking, pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert, a full surround-view camera, and adaptive cruise control. The Acadia was tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in 2018, at which time it scored excellent crash scores and a superior rating with the optional safety equipment.

The three-row crossover market is hotter than ever, and that’s reflected in the Acadia’s handsome design and competitive content levels. It deserves a solid look from anyone looking for a versatile three-row vehicle.


Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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