Battling in a competitive segment, the 2018 GMC Acadia must perform a delicate balancing act, offering consumers good value and a competitive feature set. For the most part, the Acadia, now in its second year following a redesign, succeeds in its attempts at hitting the sweet spot in many areas, but its imperfect in others.

Best Value

Outside of its standard engine, the base GMC Acadia is a decent buy. Sure, its $29,995 price tag (including a $975 destination charge) may seem high, but the Acadia has a lot to offer, even in its base trim (push-button start, three-zone climate control, a seven-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto). That said, we recommend moving a little upstream to the $36,155 SLE-2 trim and opting for the 3.6-liter V6 engine, which adds another $1,095 to the bottom line. This engine delivers a more satisfying driving experience than the base four-cylinder with only a small drop in fuel economy.

We also suggest adding a few optional packages, like the Driver Alert Package and the Exterior Convenience Package. These include desirable features like rear park assist, rear cross-traffic alert, roof rack cross rails, and more with just another $1,650 investment.

GMC Acadia
  • Model: 2018 GMC Acadia FWD SLE-2
  • Engine: 3.6-liter V6
  • Output: 310 hp / 271 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic
  • MPG: 18 City / 25 Hwy
  • Exterior color: Summit White
  • Interior color: Dark Ash Gray / Light Ash Gray
  • Options: Driver Alert Package ($790, rear park assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-change alert), Exterior Convenience Package ($860, roof rack cross rails and molded steps), 3.6-liter V6 ($1,095).
  • Base Price: $36,155
  • As Tested: $38,900

Performance Pros

  • Delivers a polished and comfortable ride
  • Optional 310-hp V6 engine has plenty of power
  • Nicely weighted steering system

Performance Cons

  • 20-inch wheels result in a stiffer ride
  • Acadia All Terrain models are more about looks than actual off-road performance
  • Four-cylinder engine just doesn’t have enough punch

Interior Pros

GMC Acadia
  • Interior feels well put together and comfortable
  • Standard seating for up to seven
  • Even the base SL trim has a good number of features

Interior Cons

  • Downsized as part of its redesign, the Acadia starts feeling cramped with a full load of passengers
  • The range-topping Denali trim doesn’t feel luxurious enough for the price
  • Styling is average at best and derivative at worst

Our Favorite Thing

For a crossover, the Acadia does a nice job balancing a comfortable ride with decent handling. Add the optional V6 engine, and you can also include straight-line acceleration as a positive.

Our Least Favorite Thing

Prices skyrocket quickly, especially when you add safety tech. Buyers can only get the all-important automatic emergency braking in the SLE-2 and higher trims, pushing the starting price up to $42,835 ($975 destination fee included). Many of the Acadia's competitors now offer this safety technology as optional across their entire lineup or even as standard equipment (we're looking at you, Honda Pilot).

Right For

GMC Acadia

Established buyers willing to shell out a little more money to get away from the base engine will enjoy the 2018 Acadia. It’s also great for growing families, as its optional third row offers plenty of versatility.

Wrong For

Buyers looking to sneak into a larger model by buying the entry-level trim won't find a friend at GMC. While the Acadia’s features at the base level are plentiful, its pricing is a bit prohibitive in the lower trims, and its base engine leaves a lot to be desired.

The Bottom Line

In its middle to upper trim levels, the 2018 GMC Acadia is a great crossover that we’d highly recommend. That said, its lower trims are priced higher than many competitors, and the standard four-cylinder engine lacks the punch to move this midsize crossover, especially with a full load of passengers.