Best & Worst GMC Acadia Years

We've ranked each GMC Acadia model for all generations so that you can avoid picking the worst GMC Acadia years and pick the best one.

In this guide, I’ll analyze all GMC Acadia generations, revealing the best years for the GMC Acadia and the worst GMC Acadia years to avoid.

I’ve meticulously gathered information from reputable sources like NHTSA, Consumer Reports, and more to provide an accurate and comprehensive guide to the GMC Acadia’s performance and reliability.

Get ready to explore GMC Acadia’s best and worst years, technological advancements, common problems, recalls, and average resale values.

Let’s dive right in!

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Table of ContentsShow

GMC Acadia Generations

The first-generation GMC Acadia marked the debut of this midsize crossover SUV. It offered a spacious interior, comfortable seating for up to eight passengers, and a V6 engine. The first-generation Acadia quickly gained popularity for its family-friendly features and versatile design.

Now, let’s delve into the different generations of the GMC Acadia from 2007 to 2023.

GenerationYears
1st generation (GMT960)2007-2016
2nd generation (C1XX)2017-2023

We list these generations to give people a better overview because significant changes exist between generations, especially regarding features, technology, and design, which can be crucial factors for those considering the purchase of a GMC Acadia.

GMC Acadia Best, Neutral, and Worst Years

When ranking the best, neutral, and worst years for the GMC Acadia, we consider various factors, including:

  • Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Safety ratings
  • Consumer Reports reliability scores
  • Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
  • NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
  • Edmunds owner ratings
  • JD Power owner ratings
  • Kelley Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
  • VehicleHistory owner ratings
  • Cars.com owner ratings

The following graph provides a comprehensive overview of the GMC Acadia’s performance, derived from the sources above.

GMC Acadia Car Smite Score Combined Overall Score

In the table below, we categorize the model years of the GMC Acadia into the best, neutral, and worst year categories, considering the abovementioned factors.

GenerationBest YearsNeutral YearsWorst Years
1st generation (GMT960)2013
2015
2016
2010
2011
2012
2007
2008
2009
2014
2nd generation (C1XX)2019
2021
2022
2023
2018
2020
2017

Neutral years fall between the best and worst. These years typically have mixed feedback and may not stand out significantly regarding positive or negative factors.

It’s important to note that some factors, such as NHTSA recalls, negatively affect a year’s rating. The more complaints and recalls a particular year has, the lower its overall reliability rating.

Now, let’s dive into the best, neutral, and worst years for the GMC Acadia.

Best & Worst Years for GMC Acadia 1st Generation (2007-2016)

GMC Acadia 1st generation 2007 model

The 1st Generation GMC Acadia, introduced in 2007, began a successful journey for this midsize crossover SUV. Known for its spacious interior and V6 engine, it quickly became popular among families.

The best years for the first-generation GMC Acadia are 2013, 2015, and 2016, while 2007-2009 and 2014 are the years you should avoid at all costs.

The Best Years: 2013, 2015, 2016

Our research concludes that 2013, 2015, and 2016 are the best years for the first-gen GMC Acadia, with fewer reported complaints and recalls on NHTSA.

The 2013 GMC Acadia featured a 3.6L LLT V6 engine, delivering 288 hp, a 6-speed 6T75 automatic transmission, and an optional All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system.

This year also introduced the Denali trim, which boasted premium materials, advanced safety features, and a smoother ride. Fuel efficiency was reasonable, with an EPA-rated 17 city/24 highway mpg.

The 2015 and 2016 GMC Acadia models continued to offer the 3.6L V6 engine with enhanced fuel efficiency, achieving up to 17 city/24 highway mpg.

It featured advanced safety technology, including forward collision and lane departure warning systems.

The Neutral Years: 2010, 2011, 2012

The 2010, 2011, and 2012 GMC Acadia models maintained the 3.6L V6 engine, which provided adequate power and a towing capacity of up to 5,200 pounds.

Fuel efficiency was similar to the best years, with 17 city/24 highway mpg. While they were generally more dependable than the worst years, some transmission and steering issues persisted less frequently.

However, they provided a cozy and expansive ride, making them suitable family vehicles.

The Worst Years: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014

The initial years of the first-gen GMC Acadia faced multiple issues, including problems with the electrical system, engine, powertrain, and steering. We categorized them as the worst GMC Acadia years you should avoid in the first generation.

Owners reported transmission issues such as slipping and jerking, losing power steering assist at low speeds, and electrical problems due to sunroof leaks.

Recalls were necessary for problems like a heated windshield washer module short circuit, inoperative windshields, and faulty transmission shift lever indicators.

The 2014 GMC Acadia also experienced various issues, including electrical system malfunctions, transmission problems, and power steering loss.

Recalls addressed contamination of the chassis electronic module, leading to electrical malfunctions and inaccurate fuel gauges.

See NHTSA 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014 GMC Acadia recalls and complaints.

Best & Worst Years for GMC Acadia 2nd Generation (2017-2023)

GMC Acadia 2nd generation 2017 model

The 2nd Generation GMC Acadia, which debuted in 2017, underwent significant changes compared to its predecessor. This generation transitioned to a smaller, more agile platform, offering various powertrain options and advanced safety features.

2017 is the only GMC Acadia model year you may avoid in this generation, while 2019 and 2021-2023 are the best years for the second-gen GMC Acadia.

The Best Years: 2019, 2021, 2022, 2023

2019, 2021, 2022, and 2023 are the best and most reliable years for the GMC Acadia in its second generation.

The 2019 GMC Acadia offered a 2.5L LCV four-cylinder and a more potent 3.6L LGX V6 engine paired with 6-speed 6T50/6T70 automatic transmissions. The V6 engine provided robust acceleration and towing capability with 18 city/25 highway mpg.

It also introduced advanced driver assistance features like forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking as standard and significant updates in the infotainment system.

The 2021, 2022, and 2023 GMC Acadia models continued to offer the choice of engines, with the V6 being especially popular for its power and performance.

They featured updated styling and technology, including an improved infotainment system, wireless Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto compatibility.

Safety technology remained a priority, with advanced driver assistance features available.

The Neutral Years: 2018, 2020

The 2018 GMC Acadia continued to offer the same engine choices and safety features as the best years. It still provided a comfortable and spacious interior, making it a suitable family vehicle.

However, the 2020 GMC Acadia was subjected to several recalls concerning inoperative rearview cameras and missing bolts on the start/stop accumulator, possibly resulting in a transmission oil leak.

The Worst Years: 2017

Our investigation revealed that the initial year of the second-gen Acadia – 2017 – faced some challenges, including issues with the electrical system and transmission. Avoiding the 2017 GMC Acadia, considering more reliable 2018 and 2019 models would be wise.

Regarding the 2017 GMC Acadia issues and complaints, owners reported problems like an intermittent “Shift to Park” message, preventing them from turning off the vehicle, and jerky transmission and gear slipping.

While these issues were addressed in later years, the 2017 GMC Acadia model is the worst year to avoid in this generation.

See NHTSA 2017 GMC Acadia recalls and complaints.

GMC Acadia Resale Values

The following graph explores how GMC Acadia’s resale values have increased over various model years.

GMC Acadia Average List Price

Conclusion

Now, it’s clear which GMC Acadia model years are the best regarding overall reliability. Go for the best years for GMC Acadia, like the 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2022, and 2023 models, and avoid the problematic 2007-2009, 2014, and 2017 model years.

Have you owned a GMC Acadia from one of our best or worst years? What was your experience?

Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below!

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Jonathan Eckert

Jonathan is an ASE-certified mechanic with over 22 years of hands-on experience in the automotive industry. His expertise spans a wide range of vehicles, but he specializes in diagnosing and repairing Japanese cars. His previous workplace highly commended his meticulous attention to detail, and that's exaclty what he uses at Car Smite to craft the best guides for each purpose.