6 Best And Worst Years For The GMC Acadia

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GM makes some of the most reliable vehicles in the business. One of their most popular models is the GMC Acadia.

This vehicle comes with many great features, and here are four that you may not have known about.

The GMC Acadia has been around for several years. It was first introduced in 2006, and it immediately took the market by storm.

Even though it is more than a decade old, it still manages to hold its own against the competition. This makes many people wonder if they should buy one or not.

This article will focus on the best and worst years for GMC Acadia.

Best Years for GMC Acadia:

  1. 2020
  2. 2021
  3. 2019
  4. 2016
  5. 2015
  6. 2013

Worst Years for GMC Acadia:

  1. 2008
  2. 2007
  3. 2017
  4. 2010
  5. 2012
  6. 2014

All of the years mentioned above are either the most popular ones or the most controversial ones. This article will be taking a further dive into why these years are the worst or the best.

List Of The Best Years For The GMC Acadia: What Years To Buy

Is a GMC Acadia a reliable and popular car? Let us know the good years to drive

When buying the GMC Acadia, the crossover SUV has had a pretty strong track record.

With the latest years being more reliable than ever, they take the lead over all other ones.

The following models are recommended to all because they are extremely reliable and excellent performers.

#1 Best Year: 2020 GMC Acadia

Taking the lead overall model years is the 2020 GMC Acadia. This recent model of the SUV has been known to be one of the most reliable models yet.

Its ride quality is pretty impressive. Regardless of the situation you drive in. You will not have any issues with it.

Under the hood, the Acadia features a V6 engine that packs a lot of performance. It offers quick acceleration and has been designed to make your rides as comfortable as possible.

With it being modern, the 2020 Acadia also features the latest technology, such as an infotainment system and parking sensors that make owning the vehicle more convenient.

#2 Best Year: 2021 GMC Acadia

The 2021 GMC Acadia is almost as good as its year-old model. Coming in at a very close second place is the newer variant of the crossover.

There have been no reports of widespread issues. Instead, there have been one-off complaints that don’t lead to any conclusions.

The 2021 Acadia features the same V6 engine, a beast on the road. The manufacturer has focused more on making the ride quality as smooth as possible.

You will feel fewer vibrations and shocks when traveling on the road. It is also packed with the latest technology.

#3 Best Year: 2019 GMC Acadia

The 2019 GMC Acadia is also a great option for users who don’t want to spend the cash to buy a new vehicle and don’t want to compromise on any major features.

With its only con being the storage space being a little bit small, a model is an excellent option for consumers.

The 2019 Acadia features a V6 engine that is so good that GMC has featured it in the next two models.

It performs well and provides excellent acceleration. The thing that attracted many Acadia owners was its simple cabin layout.

Without overdoing anything, GMC offered all features that can be accessed easily.

#4 Best Year: 2016 GMC Acadia

Looking for a GMC Acadia that is modern looking and has all important features at a much lower cost than a brand new one?

Well, the 2016 model is for you. This GMC model has been loved by many. This can be due to the 3.6L V6 engine present under the hood.

The 2016 GMC Acadia was and still is a beast in fuel efficiency. Its pros don’t end there. The interior is spacious and is great for families.

GMC also did not compromise on the cargo capacity, which is another huge bonus of owning this model.

#5 Best Year: 2015 GMC Acadia

You may already be noticing the trend that the newer models of the SUV are more reliable. Well, that streak continues with the 2015 GMC Acadia.

The model is a great buy for many users, especially because it has scored very high on crash tests. It is perfect for families, thanks to its generous 8-people seating capacity.

The 2015 model has ample cargo space, which is great for people or families that travel a lot.

The only drawback of this model is that its infotainment system is pretty old and may not perform the latest standards.

#6 Best Year: 2013 GMC Acadia

Finally, coming in the sixth and the final place is the 2013 GMC Acadia.

Despite earning the last place on this article, it is one of the best models around. The 2013 Acadia is a great vehicle on the road. It performs well, and you will surely appreciate it.

This model of the Acadia has generous cargo space, which means you will not have to worry about fitting all of your required belongings.

This is great for families that plan vacations or people who need to transport a lot of weight.

List Of The Worst Years For The GMC Acadia: What Years To Avoid

We will now be taking a closer look at all of the years of the GMC Acadia that one must avoid.

You will notice that most of these years don’t have too many issues.

Still, it is recommended not to buy these years.

#1 Worst Year: 2008 GMC Acadia

The 2008 GMC Acadia is a model that is the worst out of all.

This model was plagued with various issues, with the most common ones being related to the transmission and the engine.

Unfortunate owners of this model also reported sudden transmission failure and leaking of the fluid. You may already be aware of how serious this issue is.

When talking about the engine issues, users complained that the 2008 model would shut down unexpectedly while driving.

There were also reports of the engine producing rattling sounds and the timing chain failing.

#2 Worst Year: 2007 GMC Acadia

The first year of the Acadia was not promising as well. It had many issues, with most of them being the same as its 2008 successor.

The transmission system would fail, which could only be fixed by replacing it completely. The cost of a new system is pretty high.

The 2007 GMC Acadia model had all the same engine issues too. Some were related to the steering, with the most major one being the power steering pump not working at all.

This is yet another very serious issue and could cause an accident.

#3 Worst Year: 2017 GMC Acadia

Although the recent models of the Acadia have been known to be pretty good, the 2017 one did not make it onto that list.

This variant of the Acadia has been known to cause many issues for consumers, with the shift to park issue being very common.

The vehicle does not think that it has been parked, which stops you from shutting it down. This model also had electrical issues, with the horn not working and the sunroof not working.

Although these two problems are easy to fix, owning this specific model is inconvenient.

#4 Worst Year: 2010 GMC Acadia

The 2010 GMC Acadia is a more than a decade old model. Although users expected issues to be fixed with this model, that was not the case.

There were reports of the engine having issues that caused a lot of concern. The timing chain was one of those parts that would wear out very quickly.

There were also complaints about the engine having a knocking sound when waking up. The 2010 model also suffered from issues such as the power steering not working at times.

Some reports of the steering system failing, which is another serious problem. Failure of such a crucial part could lead to accidents.

#5 Worst Year: 2012 GMC Acadia

Improvements were being seen post-2010.

Although most of the engine and transmission issues that had plagued the older generation had been fixed, there were still many that popped up.

The greatest occurring problem on the 2012 model of the Acadia was related to the AC system. It would work only at times, and its lights would blink most of the time.

There were reports of engine failure, which is yet another very serious problem. Even the safety systems, such as seat belts and airbags, had issues.

This could be due to there being a lack of quality control.

#6 Worst Year: 2014 GMC Acadia

Finally, coming in the sixth and final place is the 2014 GMC Acadia.

Although similar issues found in the 2012 model of the Acadia were found in this model, their frequency was a lot less than the older one.

This is the only model on the worst year list that a person can consider.

The main issue that users complained about was that the taillight would get condensation inside, which would result in them not working.

The same was the case with the headlights. They also did not do an effective job of improving visibility.

What Are The Most Common Problems With The GMC Acadia?

The GMC Acadia is a relatively newer vehicle. It has had its share of issues, but I will be getting into the details of those problems that are the most common.

These issues have caused too many headaches for consumers.

1. Transmission Failure

Starting from its release, the GMC Acadia had a lot of issues. The most common issue reported by many users was related to transmission.

The problem was commonly faced by owners of the 2007 to 2009 models of the SUV, with it popping back up once again in 2017.

When looked into, it was found that the clutch wave plate of the transmission system broke down after being driven for some while.

The breaking of the plate leads to the vehicle halting in the middle of the road, leading to accidents if traveling on busy highways.

Related: What Are The GMC Acadia Transmission Problems?

2. Check Engine Light Issues

Coming next up is a problem faced in the earlier generation of the SUV.

The 2007 to 2012 variants of the vehicle had issues such as the check engine light and other warning lights turning on unexpectedly.

There were two possible reasons for this issue. The first one was that the power module would become faulty.

It would need to be replaced. Although the part is not expensive, the replacement cost is.

Another reason for this issue could be the misalignment of the camshaft. It could cause the engine lights to turn on.

As diagnosis can cost a lot, if you are the owner of a model manufactured before 2012, you should start from the above two problems.

3. Failing Air Conditioner

The air conditioner on the Acadia has been long known to fail without any indication.

The problem has been seen in many models. Users reported that the air conditioner would stop working, and the lights would start flashing.

The main reason for the failure is the refrigerant would go out pretty quickly, which could be due to a leak.

Another reason for the AC system failing could be a faulty compressor. These issues can be fixed, but they do come at a cost.

4. Shift To Park Issue

An annoying problem experienced by the owners of the 2017 Acadia was that the vehicle would not recognize that it had been parked.

This would result in locking out the ignition system, preventing the driver from powering off the vehicle. The issue led to the manufacturer issuing a service bulletin to fix it.

If you are currently experiencing this issue, the only way to shut your car down is to put it back in drive mode and then park it again.

Many owners of the vehicle reported that this fix worked. Regardless, it is an annoying issue.

5. Vibration Issue

Finally, coming last on this list is the vibration issue that was a source of frustration for many users.

Owners of the 2017 and newer variants of the SUV complained about the vehicle vibrating too much.

After further research and complaints, it was found out that there were no design flaws in the vehicle, but it was related to the software.

This can be fixed via tuning, which is a generally cheap procedure. If you have an Acadia from the year above range, it is recommended to get your vehicle tuned.

This way, the vibration issue will be solved.

Related: Why Won’t My GMC Acadia Start?

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How Many Miles Should A GMC Acadia Last?

The results will vary based on how well you maintain your vehicle.

For example, if you change your oil regularly, replace worn parts as soon as they wear out, and drive safely in general, your GMC Acadia should last for around 200 thousand miles.

Of course, the number could be higher or lower depending on how well you take care of it.

Related: How Long Do GMC Acadias Last?

Q2. Are Used GMC Acadia Reliable?

A used GMC Acadia is not only reliable but also attractive and affordable.

If you’re looking for a used vehicle with great fuel efficiency, lots of cargo space, and looks good, then the Acadia is a great option.

The SUV is loved by thousands, which is not going to change anytime soon. It is a great option for families.

Q3. Which GMC Acadia Engine Is Best?

The Acadia has two engine options. One is a 2.0L engine, while the other is the 3.6L one. The 3.6L engine, with the 9-speed automatic transmission, takes the clear lead.

It produces almost 100 more horsepower than its smaller counterpart. The engine also produces up to 27 mpg, which is impressive.

With a 4000 pound towing capacity, it is easily the best Acadia engine to date.

Q4. Which Is Better, Ford Explorer Or GMC Acadia?

The Ford Explorer and GMC Acadia are stylish midsize crossover SUVs that offer great performance, plenty of storage space, and features.

However, the Ford Explorer outshines its competition with a more luxurious interior, sleeker exterior styling, better fuel economy ratings, and an available turbocharged engine.

There is no comparison between the two because the Explorer beats the Acadia in all regards.

Q5. What Is A GMC Acadia Comparable To?

The main competition of the GMC Acadia is the Chevy Traverse.

It comes pretty close in terms of performance and features. When compared side by side, the Acadia wins against the Traverse.

Although both are excellent on the road, the Acadia outshines the Traverse in performance. The competitor is more spacious, which is something many users prefer.


If you’re in the market for a new vehicle and aren’t sure which model will best suit your needs, this article has nicely summed up the best and worst years for GMC Acadia.

The Acadia is a solid SUV that has been on the market since 2007.

While most of its models are pretty good, there are some that one must avoid if they are looking to buy something reliable.

With the 2020 model taking the lead over all others, I recommend you buy that one!

It will provide you with an unparalleled experience on the road. It is perfect for families looking to buy something spacious and comfortable.