GMC Acadia vs. GMC Acadia Limited

By

Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage. 


, Automotive Editor - January 17, 2017

After nearly a decade on the market, GMC finally redesigned its popular Acadia crossover. It's smaller and more efficient than before, but can still handle seven passengers and a healthy load of cargo.

But despite the arrival of the all-new Acadia, GMC is keeping its predecessor around for 2017, as the Acadia Limited. With seating for up to eight and massive cargo space, this veteran player fills a niche that's beyond the reach of its midsize replacement.

So which appeals to us more, the totally reimagined Acadia or the bargain-size Acadia Limited?

See a side-by-side comparison of the Acadia & Acadia Limited »

What the Acadia Gets Right

In an effort to improve maneuverability and efficiency, GMC shaved 700 pounds off the Acadia, so a four-cylinder engine is available for the first time. The new 2.5-liter makes 193 horsepower and achieves 21 miles per gallon in city driving, even when paired with all-wheel drive. Expect far livelier acceleration with the optional 3.6-liter V6, which lays down a robust 310 hp while returning 18 mpg in the city – that's up 29 hp and one mpg over last year's V6.

The Acadia provides seating for seven passengers, although the third row isn't as spacious as before. The second and third rows fold completely flat to give you 79 cubic feet of cargo space. There's also a pair of storage compartments under the floor.

The Acadia gets more standard features to go with its revised mission, including three-zone automatic climate control, a second-row power outlet, and five USB ports. A surround-view camera system and automatic pedestrian braking are available for the first time.

What the Acadia Limited Gets Right

The Acadia Limited offers a comfy third row that's sized for adults. With a full a house, cargo space is limited to 24.4 feet, but with the rows folded, you get a cavernous 116.3 cubic feet. Only a minivan or the largest SUVs will hold more. Second-row captain's chairs are standard, and a no-cost bench is available for eight-passenger capacity.

The sole engine is a 3.6-liter V6 with 281 horsepower, matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. When equipped with all-wheel drive, the Acadia Limited can tow up to 5,200 pounds, more than most vehicles in this class.

Unlike in previous years, there are no trim levels to choose from. The Acadia Limited comes fully equipped from the start with features like leather seats, navigation, a Bose sound system, 20-inch chrome wheels, and lane departure warning.

A Matter of Time

The new Acadia is a thoroughly modern product that represents the latest thinking from GMC. It's scalable to most families' needs and comes with few real drawbacks. For all its capability, the Acadia Limited is starting to look and feel a little prehistoric, and we're not just talking about it's size. It reminds us of vehicle that's about to be replaced, and in fact, it has.

Our Verdict: GMC Acadia

Unless interior room is your top priority, the new Acadia is a better complement to family life.

Take a closer look at the GMC Acadia »

Take a closer look at the GMC Acadia Limited »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage.