Are you interested in the GMC Acadia and you are trying to learn more about the reliability of this certain model, as well as the GMC Acadia years to avoid? Well, if this is the case, then you are at the right place because there will be quite a lot to cover on this topic.
- The History Of GMC
- GMC Acadia Overview
- GMC Acadia Generations
- 1st Generation
- 2nd Generation
- Final Conclusion
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Performing the proper research before you decide to purchase a used vehicle should probably be one of your top priorities. Why we are saying this? Well, this is the case because there are dozens of car brands and hundreds of present and past models. And each one of these models has problems. Some of them have more, while some of them have less.
It is up to you and your research skills to determine which of these cars should be your future investment. Cars nowadays cost an arm and a leg. It is not like back in the good old days when cars were relatively cheap and affordable.
Nowadays you can’t afford to make mistakes because mistakes at this time are really expensive. But you shouldn’t worry because we will do our best to help you figure things out and make the right call when it comes to the vehicle that you want to buy.
First, we are going to learn more about GMC and its history. Then we will cover what is the GMC Acadia and we will understand the core concept of this model. After that, we will cover the GMC Acadia generations and we will learn their specs, common problems, best years, and also the GMC Acadia years to avoid. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.
Now before we dive deeper into the topic and learn more about the Acadia, as well as the GMC Acadia years to avoid. Let’s first take a look at the GMC brand and learn more about its background. Still, you need to familiarize yourself with the car company first.
GMC if you didn’t know, is a separate division of General Motors. And the GMC abbreviation is derived from the phrase General Motors Truck Company.
And the purpose of this division we think is self-explanatory. This is the division of General Motors that was intended for building trucks and other heavy equipment.
It was founded in 1911 when William C. Durant who was the co-founder of General Motors purchased this company. Previously this company was called Grabowsky Motor Company and then renamed Rapid Motor Vehicle Company in 1902 till 1909 when William C. Durant gained control over it and renamed it the General Motors Truck Company.
And since then, GMC has been part of General Motors and probably along with Chevy one of the most successful marques of this manufacturer in the US market.
Their main focus since the early beginnings was producing heavy machinery. Mainly pickup trucks, big heavy trucks, and buses. But over the years, they diversified and started building SUVs as well. And the GMC Acadia is probably one of the most recent additions to their lineup. But what about the GMC Acadia years to avoid? More on that, we will cover it in a bit.
Before we start discussing the GMC Acadia years to avoid, let’s take a look at what is the GMC Acadia in general. Let’s understand the core concepts of this model and its history a bit before we start learning about each of the generations separately.
The GMC Acadia is a model that was first shown to the public in 2006 and 2007 was the first model year of this vehicle. As of 2022, the Acadia was released in two generations in total.
The first generation had a very long production stint, lasting till 2016 when it was replaced with the second generation that is still in production to this day.
During the first generation, this model was basically a full-size SUV. But in order not to become a competition to the Yukon, the Acadia was demoted to being a mid-size SUV when the second generation was released in 2017.
Overall, the Acadia is probably one of the models that get good sales regularly. They are not crazy high as some other models. But it sells in fairly good numbers. On average it manages to get about 80,000 to 90,000 units sold annually. Which is rather good.
If you didn’t know, the Acadia is the smaller cousin of the Chevy Traverse and the Buick Enclave. These vehicles share the same platform. Even though, the Acadia was downsized a little bit compared to these vehicles once the second generation was released in 2017.
So, if you are in the market for a vehicle in this class, you might want to check these as well. Since they are basically the same cars under the skin. But what are the GMC Acadia years to avoid? More on that, we are going to cover later on.
Acadia Years To Avoid
The GMC Acadia, a midsize SUV, has been a popular choice for families and individuals alike. With its ample space, robust performance, and aesthetics, it’s no wonder people are drawn to it. However, as with many vehicles, there are certain model years that have proven to be more problematic than others. Here’s a deep dive into the most unreliable GMC Acadia years you might want to think twice about.
2007-2008 GMC Acadia
Right out of the gate, the GMC Acadia’s debut years, 2007 and 2008, experienced their fair share of problems. Owners reported transmission failures, water leaks, and issues with the powertrain. Many faced hefty repair bills because problems often occurred after warranty expiration.
2009-2013 GMC Acadia
From 2009 to 2013, the Acadia faced another set of challenges. Steering concerns became prominent. Owners reported power steering malfunctions, leading to difficult and potentially unsafe driving conditions. On top of this, engine problems, including excessive oil consumption and timing chain wear, were commonly cited.
2014 GMC Acadia
In 2014, while GMC addressed some past issues, new ones arose. Most were related to the vehicle’s infotainment system. Users faced Bluetooth pairing challenges, glitchy navigation systems, and touchscreen malfunctions. Additionally, electrical problems cropped up, with some owners mentioning faulty headlights.
2017 GMC Acadia
Jumping ahead, the 2017 model year deserves mention due to transmission issues. From rough shifting to outright transmission failures, these problems often appeared with less than 50,000 miles on the odometer. This caused a strain on owners, both financially and in terms of trust in the vehicle.
GMC Acadia Generations
Now let’s dive into more complex topics and learn more about the GMC Acadia generations. As we noted previously, there are two generations that were offered.
Both of these generations have different specs. So, this is why in the following chapters, we are going to learn all about them. We will cover the basics, dimensions, engines & transmissions, common problems, reliability, best years, as well as the GMC Acadia years to avoid.
After reading this article, you will have a better picture of the Acadia and its perks and also on its shortcomings. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.
First Generation GMC Acadia 2007 – 2017
The Acadia during the first generation was considered to be a full-size vehicle with a wheelbase of 118.9 inches and an overall length of 201.1 inches.
When it comes to trim levels, it is worth mentioning that there were a few of them. The most basic was the SL trim and then came the SLE and SLT. The top trim was understandably the Denali version. But the Denali only came in 2011.
So, during the first three years, there was no Denali available. During the 2017 model, this generation sold along with the next generation, and this model was called the Acadia Limited.
During its long stint, there were a number of updates. But 2013 was the biggest one when a new revised front end came on the market. So, if you want something more contemporary-looking, you should definitely take a look at the revised version with the updated front end. But what about the GMC Acadia years to avoid? More on that we will cover in a bit.
The fuel economy of the GMC Acadia is something that cannot be considered a strong side of this model. This is the case mainly because this model is rather heavy and the weight takes a toll on the fuel economy numbers of the vehicle.
The 2016 GMC Acadia gets about 15 mpg in the city, 22 mpg on the highway, and 17 mpg combined. And remember that these are the EPA numbers. If you have a heavy foot, your fuel economy can drop to the low tens. But what are the GMC Acadia years to avoid? More on that we will cover in a bit.
The safety of these vehicles was rather good. The NHTSA tested this vehicle, more precisely the 2016 model, and gave it a 5-star overall rating which is excellent.
The IIHS also tested this model and gave it Good scores on most of the tests. And as we all know, a good score is considered to be the highest on the IIHS testing. So, overall, in this aspect, the Acadia is not a bad deal overall it is really bulky and heavy and this has a good effect on the overall safety of the car. But what about the GMC Acadia years to avoid? More on that next.
GMC Acadia Issues
Now let’s cover the GMC Acadia problems before we cover the GMC Acadia years to avoid. Are there any problems reported on this model? Well, yes, there are a couple of issues.
The biggest issue with this model is probably the transmission. The are many transmission failures reported in the first three production years. So, avoiding them might be a good idea.
The second biggest problem is the engine, more precisely the engine introduced in 2008, the second production year. This engine is notorious for timing chain failures.
And when a timing chain stretches, you know what is happening. The valves and pistons collide and you have a destroyed engine. So, there are multiple reports on carcomplaints.com for blown engines on models that were built between 2008 and 2013 when these problems were overcome.
In addition to this, there are also multiple reports about the steering system. Leaking rack and pinion and also hydraulic pump for the power steering failures as well. But what about the GMC Acadia years to avoid? More on that in a bit.
GMC Acadia Reliability
When it comes to reliability, we can say that this model is really reliable. Especially after 2012 when most of the problems were sorted out.
So, if you want to purchase a model built after 2012, you are on the right track since these are the models that have the best feedback. But what about the GMC Acadia years to avoid? More on that in a bit.
Best Year GMC Acadia
When it comes to the best year of the Acadia, we would say that 2016 is the best out of the bunch. There are hardly any reports on problems considering this model year. Also, if you can find one of the last 2017 model year examples, that would be even better when it comes to avoiding problems. The last model year was sold under the Acadia Limited badge.
Overall, the years after 2012 are pretty good with no major issues whatsoever. But what are the GMC Acadia years to avoid? More on that next.
GMC Acadia Years To Avoid
When it comes to the GMC Acadia years to avoid, we would definitely recommend that you avoid the earlier models. Avoid all the models up to 2013.
On the early vehicles, there was a problem with the transmission and then with the updated engine, there were problems with the timing chain stretching.
And these are really serious issues with this car that can cost thousands of dollars to fix. Namely, a new transmission can easily cost you at least $4,000. While the engine replacement is even more expensive since if the timing chain jumps, you will definitely have to replace the whole engine altogether.
And finding one of these engines used can be a true challenge since there are not a lot of these cars around. So, beware of these issues and make sure that you don’t get a problematic engine and transmission and regret it later on and spend your life savings on fixing problems on your Acadia.
Or if you really like some of these models, make sure that you inspect the timing chain and its condition. By doing a proper pre-purchase inspection, you will be safe when it comes to possible problems and hopefully, you will avoid ending up with a lemon. Now let’s move on to the second generation of the Acadia.
Second Generation GMC Acadia 2017 – Present
The second generation of the GMC Acadia was introduced in 2016 and the first production year was 2017. This model is produced as of today but in the near future, we expect that a new generation will be introduced to the market.
Nevertheless, this generation of the Acadia is shorter than the previous one. With a wheelbase of 112.5 inches and an overall length of 193.6 inches. And this has put the Acadia in the mid-size category of vehicles.
This model is based on the GM C1XX platform that is shared with the Chevy Traverse, Buick Enclave, and the Cadillacs XT5 and XT6. This model is assembled in the Spring Hill Tennessee factory that GM owns.
So, going a class below, this means that the Acadia lost more than 700 lbs. This greatly affected the overall performance of the vehicle and its fuel efficiency. But more on that in a bit. What was also affected by this is the price. Nowadays the Acadia has a lower MSRP than the previous generation, adjusted for inflation of course. But what are the GMC Acadia years to avoid? More on that, we will cover it in a bit.
Engines & Transmissions
In terms of engines, there was the same engine as the previous generation as well as one smaller engine. The 3.6L V6 engine produced 310hp and a 2.5L inline-4 engine produced 194hp and 190lb-ft of torque. In 2021 the 2.5L engine was removed from the lineup.
The place of the 2.5L engine was taken over by a new 2.0L inline-4 engine. This 2.0L engine is known under the codename LSY and is producing 230hp and 258lb-ft of torque. But what about the GMC Acadia years to avoid? More on that in a bit.
Since the GMC Acadia was made to be lighter than its predecessor, it also delivered a better fuel economy. The fuel economy for the 3.6L was 18 mpg in the city, 25 mpg on the highway, and 21 mpg combined. Which is rather good in comparison to the predecessor.
The 2.0L turbo performs even better, with 22 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on open roads, and 24 mpg combined. But what about the GMC Acadia years to avoid? More on that we will cover in a bit.
When it comes to safety, the safety ratings of the Acadia have not changed a lot compared to its predecessor. The 2021 model of the Acadia performed really well and got a 5-star overall rating on the NHTSA tests.
This model also performed well on the IIHS tests and got Good scores on most of the tests. And as we noted, a Good score on the IIHS testing is the highest score overall. But what about the GMC Acadia years to avoid? More on that in a bit.
GMC Acadia Issues
When it comes to the GMC Acadia problems, we can say that there were a few issues with this new model. In 2017, the first production year, there were reports of issues with the shifter on the transmission. There was a shift to park alert. Owners reportedly solved this problem by replacing the shifter park switch.
Also, there were issues with the horn reported. On some of the earlier models, the horn simply didn’t work well.
There were also problems with the 2022 model with the backup camera. The camera simply stopped working. Overall, there are no serious issues with this model reported yet. But what are the GMC Acadia years to avoid? More on the years to avoid, we will cover in a moment.
GMC Acadia Reliability
When it comes to the overall reliability, we can say that the Acadia of this generation is a fairly reliable model. There were no major reports on this vehicle whatsoever.
There are only minor issues like the park notification, as well as the backup camera failure. And these problems are fixable for not a lot of money. And definitely cannot be considered reliability issues. But what are the GMC Acadia years to avoid? More on that we will cover in a bit.
Best Year GMC Acadia
When it comes to the best year for the GMC Acadia, we can say that 2020 or a later-year model is probably the way to go. Why so?
Well, later-year models usually have fewer problems than early-model years. And everybody should consider this fact. Just browse the history of a certain model and you will notice how most of the problems appear only in the first two years of production.
So, if you want to play safe and get a good deal, you should always check the second production year or the one after it. This way you will be sure that you will not have any major issues with the car.
Also, what is useful when it comes to older models is that they are thoroughly covered when it comes to problems and there are many people on the web that create videos of how you can tackle these issues quickly and effectively. So, this is why we always recommend going for a later model year and we list these models as the best year for the GMC Acadia or any other model.
But what are the GMC Acadia years to avoid? More on that next.
GMC Acadia Years To Avoid
When it comes to the GMC Acadia years to avoid, we would recommend avoiding the 2017 model year and the 2018 model year.
There were minor problems during the first production years but soon after, these problems were patched out. Namely, the park alert issue which was the most notorious problem.
In this article, we have covered the GMC Acadia. First, we learned about GMC and its history. Then we covered the Acadia and learned more about its background and the class of vehicles it belongs to.
The Acadia at first belonged in the full-size class but once it got into the second generation it was downsized and the model fell into the mid-size category. This allowed the introduction of smaller engines. More precisely the 2.0L turbocharged engine delivered decent fuel economy.
After we covered the GMC Acadia generations and for each generation, we covered the specs, common problems, best years, and also the GMC Acadia years to avoid. Overall, the Acadia is a fairly reliable car and you should definitely consider it.
There are also other options like the Buick Envision or Chevy Traverse that fall in this category of vehicles. So, if you want something similar, then these vehicles are definitely worth checking out. Also, what is worth noting is that since these vehicles are based on the same platform, they usually share common problems.
So, both on the Envision and the Traverse, you can expect the same common problems like the transmission issues during the first three production years as well as the problem with the timing chain on the updated model from 2009 to 2013. Overall, the Acadia is a good purchase and you should definitely consider it as one of your options.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.
How Much Is A GMC Acadia
The GMC Acadia starts at $36,000. But this is the base MSRP. For a well-specked-out model like the Denali AWD version, you can expect to pay up to $50,000.
Are GMC Acadia Reliable
Yes, these models are really reliable. The biggest problems are on the first generation Acadia with the transmission and timing chain issues. But after the 2013 model year, the problems are less and less with this model.
What Year Is The Most Reliable GMC Acadia
The most reliable year for the first generation is probably 2013, also the 2015 and 2016 model years are also really reliable. For the second generation, we would advise you to avoid the 2017 and 2018 model years and go for a 2019 or later year model.
Does GMC Acadia Have Transmission Problems
Yes, unfortunately, the first generation of the Acadia has transmission problems. These are the 2007 to 2009 model years. During these three years, a lot of transmission failures were reported on this model. After these production years, there are no major problems with the transmission.
How Long Does GMC Acadia Last
The GMC Acadia should last about 150,000 miles with no problems whatsoever. But these vehicles can be easily pushed for more than 250,000 miles. Some, even more, it really depends on how well the car was maintained.
What Year GMC Acadia To Avoid
If you can, avoid the model years between 2007 and 2012. These are the years when the Acadia suffers from transmission problems, as well as problems with the timing chain stretching out. So, go for a later model if you want to avoid these things.