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What’s New for 2018?
The GMC Acadia was fully redesigned for the 2017 model year, and this year’s changes are fairly minimal. A tire-fill monitor has been added as a standard feature across the whole lineup, and the All-Terrain Appearance Package is available on all models regardless of seating configuration. Otherwise, there is no difference between the 2018 Acadia and a 2017 one.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 GMC Acadia – The Pros
1. Strong Optional V-6
The base engine on the 2018 GMC Acadia is a fairly reliable four cylinder, but all models above the base SL also offer a powerful 3.6-liter V-6 that really puts the Acadia on the map. At 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque, it gives the Acadia a strong and solid feel, giving it plenty of acceleration and pep even when fully loaded down.
2. Good Handling
The 2018 Acadia handles itself very competently on both highways and windy side roads, thanks to a nicely balanced suspension and responsive steering. Thanks to the smaller size of the second-generation model, it is more agile and has less body roll than its predecessors. Drivers with an eye out for a three-row SUV that handles smaller than its size will find just that in the new Acadia.
3. Comfortable Seating and Ride
The 2018 GMC Acadia handles nicely, but it is passenger comfort that is the top priority for this vehicle. The seats offer a good amount of support and the suspension absorbs most road imperfections, providing for a very stable and comfortable ride. The road noise is also sufficiently muted to give the interior a serene feel.
4. High Material Quality
The interior of the Acadia is very nicely appointed compared to the competition. The build quality is very high, with most seams and connection points flush and out of sight, and the materials used are fairly upmarket. Contact surfaces are almost all soft to the touch, using both upholstery and soft plastics, depending on the model. Higher-end trim lines feel very premium, easily competing with luxury vehicles.
5. Acadia Denali
Denali is GMC’s own in-house luxury line, and the 2018 GMC Acadia offers a Denali model as one of the available trim lines. With its luxury-grade interior and an excellent collection of features, it can easily put up a serious challenge to many entry-level luxury SUVs, at well below their starting price. Those who like both nice things and nice deals will quickly see the appeal this model holds.
6. Flexible Interior
With several different interior loadouts available, the 2018 GMC Acadia can fill a number of different roles depending on your needs. The standard Acadia uses a seven-seat layout, with two seats up front, a three-person bench in the second row, and two more seats in the third row. However, there are options to both convert the bench into two captain’s chairs, as well as to delete the third row altogether to add more cargo space instead. By being both a smaller three-row SUV and a larger two-row SUV, this flexibility widely expands the Acadia’s appeal.
7. Deep Options Selection
The 2018 GMC Acadia comes in six trim levels, each of which has a slew of options and packages to choose from. This not only gives it great customizability, but the expansive feature roster also includes many high-end amenities as well. Features like heated and ventilated seats or 8-speaker Bose audio add a fair amount of depth when it comes to creating the perfect Acadia for you.
8. User-friendly Infotainment
GMC’s IntelliLink is one of the favorites when it comes to infotainment systems, and it is standard on all Acadia models. Using a seven- or eight-inch touchscreen, it is a very simple system to learn and easy to operate on the fly while driving. The Acadia also earns bonus points for standard smartphone integration features as well.
9. All-Terrain Appearance Package
The optional All-Terrain Appearance Package, available on all non-Denali models of the 2018 GMC Acadia, adds some unique visual flair to make this mid-size SUV stand out from the crowd. Dark finish, unique wheels and blacked out accents give this car a strong and rugged appearance that is bound to appeal to many buyers looking for a more unique visual appearance.
10. Excellent Crash Test Scores
The 2018 GMC Acadia does very well on its crash-test report card. Federal testers give it a five-star overall rating on their crash tests, while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety marks it as ‘Good’ in every impact category as well. The full suite of modern active safety features is available on the Acadia, though many of them require going up a good part of the way along the trim level ladder.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 GMC Acadia – The Cons
1. Weak Base Engine
While the four-cylinder engine in the base model of the Acadia is sufficient for the purpose of getting the car moving, it is very uninspiring compared to some turbocharged offerings available from other manufacturers. Most buyers will find the V-6 to be a must-have, which saps value away from the entry-level models of the Acadia.
2. A Little Small
While it is very spacious for a compact SUV, the Acadia falls on the small end of the mid-size SUV spectrum, with obvious implications for both cargo space and passenger comfort. It offers below-average storage when equipped with three rows, and it is also narrower than expected, which cuts into second and third-row shoulder room.
3. Key Features Limited to High-End Trims
Some popular and important equipment is limited to higher-end models on the Acadia, making speccing out a perfect one tricky sometimes. It is impossible to get either a V-6 or all-wheel drive on an entry-level GMC Acadia for example, and getting all of the advanced safety features is only possible on an SLT-2 or Denali trim.
How It Stacks up to the Competition
The competition for the 2018 GMC Acadia primarily consists of other mid-size SUVs, such as the Chevrolet Traverse or the Nissan Murano. The Chevrolet Traverse is less expensive than the Acadia and seats up to eight people, which is one more than the Acadia can seat, but its interior and features are not as nice as those of the Acadia. The Nissan Murano offers a similar degree of comfort and performance to the Acadia, and falls in the same price range, but comes with one major drawback - with only two rows, it is not nearly as flexible and versatile.
The 2018 GMC Acadia makes for an excellent option for many kinds of buyers. People who value a plush interior and a comfortable driving feel will appreciate this car, as will those who are looking for something that blurs the line between a compact and a mid-size crossover. And everyone can appreciate the Acadia’s smart infotainment and generous feature set.
• Why buy a 2017 GMC Acadia? w/ pros vs cons