2021 GMC Acadia

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2021 GMC Acadia Review: Not Perfect, But Pragmatic

Semi-premium offerings are always hit or miss; blending the dichotomous values of luxury and affordability is a difficult balance to achieve, and while the 2021 GMC Acadia has its strong points, we can't say that it's a compelling option within the immensely popular midsize crossover SUV classification. Nevertheless, with its audacious design, five trims, and selection of three very different engines, the 5-door Acadia SUV does offer a good amount of choice and value at a reasonable price. The turbocharged four-pot unit offers good pep and fuel-efficiency, too, while the more potent V6 delivers robust acceleration and accords the SUV with a decent 4,000-pound towing capacity. With more contemporary and value-rich cars such as the Kia Sorento, Volvo XC90, and the Mazda CX-9 also in the segment, there remains a lot to be desired from the Acadia.

Read in this review:

8.2
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2021 GMC Acadia Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2020 GMC Acadia?

There has been some shuffling around of features for the 2021 GMC Acadia, along with a few alterations to the color palette and the available packages. The Pro Safety Package, which comprises blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, collision avoidance, front and rear parking sensors, and lane management assist, now comes standard on the SLT, all-wheel-drive SLE, AT4, and Denali. The SLE and SLT get access to the new Elevation Edition, which adds 20-inch wheels and all-season tires, along with blacked-out exterior accents. The Premium Package for the SLT and AT4 has been updated, and the same trims get access to the Technology Package. A pretty significant change for this year is that every model aside from the base SL now seats six with standard second-row captain's chairs. A more minor change is the deletion and addition of several exterior color choices. Finally, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now offer wireless convenience.

Pros and Cons

  • Available V6 engine is potent
  • Refined driving experience
  • User-friendly infotainment suite
  • Versatile seating configurations
  • Superlative safety rating
  • Subpar cabin quality for the price
  • Third-row seats are cramped
  • Below-average cargo capacity

Best Deals on Acadia

2021 GMC Acadia Trims and Prices

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
SL
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$29,800
SLE
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$33,900
SLT
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$39,100
AT4
3.6L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$41,400
Denali
3.6L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$46,600

Acadia Exterior

2021 GMC Acadia Front Angle View GMC
2021 GMC Acadia Rear Angle View GMC
2021 GMC Acadia Frontal Aspect GMC
See All 2021 GMC Acadia Exterior Photos

Dimensions

  • Length 193.4 in
  • Wheelbase 112.5 in
  • Height 66.7 in
  • Max Width 75.4 in
  • Front Width 64.5 in
  • Rear Width 64.5 in
  • Curb Weight 3,923.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

Acadia Performance

2021 GMC Acadia Forward Vision GMC
2021 GMC Acadia Aft View GMC
2021 GMC Acadia Rim GMC

Engine and Transmission

Buyers can purchase their Acadia SUV with one of three engines. The entry-spec engine is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder unit dialed for 193 horsepower and 188 lb-ft of torque, and it comes tethered exclusively to a front-wheel-drive setup on the SL and SLE trims. Optional for the SLE when equipped with the all-wheel drive system, and for both versions of the SLT, is a 2.0-liter turbo inline-4 unit that produces 228 hp and 258 lb-ft. Also optional for the SLE and SLT and standard-fit on the AT4 and Denali is a strapping 3.6-liter V6 gas engine that develops up to 310 hp and 271 lb-ft. A 9-speed automatic transmission is standard across the board.

  • Engines
    2.0L Inline-4 Gas, 2.5L Inline-4 Gas, 3.6L V6, 3.6L V6 Gas
  • Transmission
    9-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Acadia Gas Mileage

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    19.0 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 21/27 mpg
* 2021 GMC Acadia SL FWD

Acadia Interior

2021 GMC Acadia Steering Wheel Controls GMC
2021 GMC Acadia Seating Trim GMC
2021 GMC Acadia Central Control Panel GMC
See All 2021 GMC Acadia Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
    7-seater
  • Front Leg Room 41.0 in
  • Front Head Room 40.0 in
  • Rear Leg Room 39.7 in
  • Rear Head Room 39.6 in

Acadia Trunk and Cargo Space

2021 GMC Acadia Control Panel GMC
2021 GMC Acadia Dashboard GMC
2021 GMC Acadia Cup Holder GMC

Acadia Safety and Reliability

Warranty

  • Warranty Note:
    Preliminary 2021 Warranty \ 
  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain Note:
    Qualified Fleet Purchases: 5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Rust-Through:
    6 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance Note:
    Qualified Fleet Purchases: 5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Maintenance Note:
    1 Year \ 1 Visit

US NHTSA crash test result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2021 GMC Acadia a good SUV?

The 2021 Acadia forms part of the second Acadia generation, which was introduced to the US market in 2017. While the Acadia is offered with a good selection of modern creature comforts, conveniences, and technology, it's still not quite as contemporary and rich in value as its newer competitors. The entry-spec engine is barely feasible in such a heavy SUV, delivering lackluster performance and middling fuel economy, but both the turbo-four and V6 are admirable with their bountiful power and torque outputs. One standout perk from the Acadia is its infotainment system, which is both user-friendly and all-inclusive of smartphone connectivity functions. The SUV is also presented with numerous convenience and safety features, and offers various seating configurations between its three rows. A superlative crashworthiness/safety review of the 2021 GMC Acadia from both the NHTSA and the IIHS is matched by high reliability expectations. In review, the Acadia is a pragmatic vehicle, especially for the families looking for a six- or seven-seater at a reasonable price.

🚗What GMC Acadia Model Should I Buy?

The entry-spec 2021 GMC Acadia SUV's price is really compelling at $29,800, but it's stuck with the weak powertrain and a base selection of standard features. The SLT is hence the model we'd recommend as it's presented with the optional turbo-four engine. It also comes with a bunch of inclusive advanced driver-assist systems, such as lane keep assist, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. The SLT can't tow much, however, so if you're going to be hauling more than 1,500 lbs, you may want to consider going for a trim that's equipped with the V6 and AWD.

GMC Acadia Popular Comparisons

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