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2021 GMC Acadia

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Used Car Price Range
$21,241 - $38,898
$21,241 $38,898
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2021 SL Front-Wheel Drive
most popular
Price:   -  From $29,800
2021 SLE Front-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $33,900
2021 SLE All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $37,100
2021 SLT Front-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $39,100
2021 SLT All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $41,100
2021 AT4 All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $41,400
2021 Denali Front-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $46,600
2021 Denali All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $48,600
Expert Rating
3.1 (Good)

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

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What's New

After being refreshed last year, the 2021 GMC Acadia enters the new model year with minor changes. The crossover SUV now comes with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard. There’s a new Elevation Package on SLE and SLT trims that brings 20-inch wheels and black exterior trim.

While nice, the changes don’t help the Acadia stand out as a go-to option in the crowded midsize segment. While it has some upscale tech features, its cabin doesn’t look as nice as some rivals, the third row is cramped, and cargo space isn’t as generous as other options.

Choosing Your GMC Acadia

There are five available trim levels for the Acadia: SL, SLE, SLT, AT4, and Denali. Prices start at $30,995 including destination for the base SL trim and go up to $47,495 for the Denali.

Engine Choices

GMC offers three different engines for the Acadia. The SL and SLE come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, while the SLT comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. A 3.6-liter V6 is standard on the AT4 and Denali, and available on the SLE for $1,495 or 495 on the SLT trim.

Engine TypeHorsepowerTorqueMax TowingFuel Economy (Combined)
2.5L 4-Cylinder193 hp188 lb-ft1,000 pounds23 mpg
2.0L Turbo 4-Cylinder230 hp258 lb-ft1,500 pounds25 mpg
3.6L V6310 hp271 lb-ft4,000 pounds22 mpg

All three motors are paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard on all but the AT4, which gets all-wheel drive from the jump. AWD costs $3,200 on the SLE, $2,000 on the SLT and Denali, and is unavailable on the SL.

Passenger and Cargo Capacity

The Acadia is available in multiple seating arrangements that include five-, six-, or seven-passenger configurations. The SL has seating for up to seven, while the SLE, SLT, and Denali are fitted with second-row captain’s chairs that drop capacity to six. The AT4 is offered with five seats.

Second-row captain’s chairs are available on the SLE trim for free. The SLT and Denali trims are offered with a second-row bench seat at no additional cost. The AT4 can be had with a seven-passenger layout for free.

Cargo capacity for the Acadia is below average for the segment. It offers just 12.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row. Folding the rear seats down opens the cargo space up to 41.7 cubic feet, while total cargo capacity measures in at 79 cubic feet of cargo space with both back rows folded down.

GMC Acadia

Safety Features

Rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, a rearview camera, lane change alert, and rear parking sensors are standard on every Acadia. The base SL trim isn’t available with any optional safety features.

The SLE is available with the GMC Pro Safety Plus Package for no additional cost, but it's only available with the V6 engine. That adds automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane keeping assist, pedestrian detection, front parking sensors, lane departure warning, and automatic headlights. The SLT and above come with these features standard.

A surround-view camera and adaptive cruise control are available on the Denali trim as part of the $5,045 Denali Ultimate Package.


GMC offers an intuitive infotainment system that features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which aren’t found on a lot of other competitors in the class. Other standard features include an 8-inch touchscreen, a six-speaker audio system, wi-fi hot spot, five USB ports (two front, two second row, and one third row), and Bluetooth.

The SLT trim adds navigation, satellite radio, HD radio, and an eight-speaker Bose audio system. The range-topping Denali adds a head-up display, wireless charging, and an 8-inch digital gauge cluster into the mix.

GMC Acadia

SL - From $30,995

Standard features on the SL trim include cloth upholstery, 17-inch wheels, LED headlights, tri-zone automatic climate control, manually adjustable front seats, keyless entry, and push button start.

SLE - From $34,795

The SLE trim comes with a lot of the same features as the entry-level SL, but adds 18-inch wheels, a roadside emergency kit, and it brings a host of available features.

The new Elevation Edition is available for $1,495. The Driver Convenience Package ($1,750) brings remote start, heated front seats, an eight-way driver’s seat, a hands-free liftgate, and roof rails.

SLT - From $39,995

The SLT brings the turbo four-cylinder engine as standard. Leather upholstery, heated front seats, LED fog lights, remote start, roof rails, a universal garage door opener, an eight-way power driver’s seat, and a hands-free liftgate are standard. This is also the trim that gets navigation and the extra safety features.

Buyers can equip the head-up display and a surround-view camera through the $1,000 Technology Package.

AT4 - From $42,295

The most rugged trim in the lineup, the AT4 is the first to come with the V6 engine as standard. Beyond the engine, it also comes with unique 17-inch wheels, standard all-wheel drive, all-terrain tires, black exterior accents, and special AT4 badges.

Denali - From $47,495

The Denali trim stands out from the class with a host of upscale features. A head-up display, wireless charger, heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, an eight-way power passenger seat, a heated steering wheel, perforated leather upholstery, and 20-inch wheels are standard.

The Denali Ultimate Package costs $5,045 and brings a sunroof, adaptive cruise control, a surround-view camera, an adaptive suspension, and a rear camera mirror.

Compare Acadia Trims Side-By-Side

CarsDirect Tip

With the 2021 GMC Acadia, the most important upgrade is to get one of the more powerful engines. The SLT is the first to come with the more powerful turbocharged engine and is the sweet spot in the lineup when it comes to features.

author image
Automotive Editor
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Expert Review

  • Handsome looks
  • Available AT4 model
  • Powerful engine options
  • Ergonomic interior
  • Lackluster Denali interior
  • Anemic base engine
  • AT4 isn't as capable as it looks
Expert Rating
3.1 (Good)

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

author image
Automotive Editor

Boxy, rugged family hauler. If anyone knows a thing or two about building boxy SUVs, it's GMC. They sell three sizes of square: the full-size GMC Yukon, the compact GMC Terrain (admittedly not so square as it used to be), and the midsize, three-row GMC Acadia.

Last year, GMC doubled down on hard edges with the Acadia, fitting it with a new, more upright front end and fluffing up a few other details as well. Going along with the more brawny styling was a new off-road AT4 model, which is the yin to the luxurious Denali's yang.

Introducing the new AT4 and styling helps differentiate the Acadia among a hotly contested segment, but it still didn't address some of the other shortcomings we noted, including the lack of standard active safety features. That's been partially redressed in the 2021 GMC Acadia, as the SLT, AT4, and Denali trims now all come with standard automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane keeping assist.

AT4, or perceived off-road readiness. Let's circle back to the AT4 for a moment. Such trail-themed packages are in vogue these days; even Toyota now offers their suburbia-bound RAV4 in full-bore TRD trim. Other automakers are cashing in on the fad with entirely new vehicles, like the recently-introduced Honda Passport and the new Ford Bronco Sport. These days, capability – even if it's merely perceived capability – sells.

The Acadia AT4 plays right into that. Among its standard equipment are beefy-looking all-terrain tires, standard all-wheel drive (all other Acadias get front-wheel drive as standard), V6 power, and some exterior styling bits to play up the off-road vibe. What it doesn't get? Any sort of suspension upgrades, skid plates, or additional drive modes.

What's missing is more telling than what's included. What gives a vehicle the fortitude to suffer backcountry terrain isn't just chunky tires, but a suspension that can absorb the undulating, unforgiving trail surfaces. The Acadia AT4 forgoes the equipment that makes that possible in order to provide a lower price point. What the upgrade does buy is street cred in the form of trendy style.

Some might take issue with this, but those buyers will likely be shopping at the Jeep store anyway. The rest of us will be impressed with the AT4's handsome looks, which is the best interpretation of the Acadia's styling. And besides, the AT4's standard all-wheel drive and chunky tires make getting to trailheads more uneventful than lesser Acadias. For most buyers, that's all that really matters.

GMC Acadia

Three powertrains, one Goldilocks choice. GMC offers the Acadia three different powertrains, all equipped with a competent nine-speed automatic transmission. Like the old porridge story, one of these engines is too cold and another too hot. Only one is just right.

The one to avoid is the base 193-horsepower, 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine. It doesn't get a turbocharger, and it clearly doesn't benefit from the same efforts to mitigate noise, vibration, and harshness the pricier powertrains are privy to. Even though this is strictly limited to lower-spec, front-wheel-drive models, it still doesn't have the chutzpah to motivate the Acadia with any authority.

The top of the range features a 3.6-liter V6. This engine couldn't be more different than the punishment-grade 2.5-liter. With a confident 310 hp and 271 pound-feet of torque, it's refined and muscular. It builds power in an effortlessly linear fashion. Even loading up the Acadia with passengers and cargo doesn't dampen this engine's strength. It's available on the lower trims save the base model and comes standard on the AT4 and Denali.

The Goldilocks option is the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that slots in between the base four and the big six. Though down about 80 hp from the V6, its torque deficit is an immaterial 13 lb-ft. And in proper turbo fashion, all its torque is also available before 2,000 rpm. Out on the road, that translates to acceleration that feels nearly identical to the bigger engine. At lower speeds the turbo-four might even feel quicker.

Fuel economy bears out our preference for the turbo-four. The EPA rates it at 22 miles per gallon city, 29 mpg highway, and 25 combined with FWD, or 22/27/24 mpg (city/highway/combined) with AWD. That's the best showing here. The breathless 2.5-liter returns 21/27/23 mpg; the V6 is good for 19/27/22 mpg or 19/26/21 mpg for front-wheel or all-wheel drive, respectively.

Interior rants and raves. GM knows how to build a good car, but they still struggle when it comes to putting together a decent interior. The Acadia nicely captures the company's pitfalls and successes in this regard.

At the low end of the range, the material quality and feature count is about on par with what to expect. We would suggest most buyers skip the base SL anyway, as it offers few options and a sparse list of standard equipment. It's really catered to fleet buyers rather than private customers. The $35,000 SLT is a better starting point for most buyers.

At that price point, there's standard power seats with nice bolstering and leather upholstery, as well as other standard or available niceties like a power liftgate, Bose audio, heated and ventilated seats, and additional active safety features. Denali models pull out all the stops by making nearly every available option standard.

Regardless of trim, a plentiful collection of cubbies and cupholders are scattered throughout the interior. Little ergonomic touches also abound; it doesn't take more than 15 minutes to become innately familiar with the location of controls and storage nooks. The Acadia's cabin is nothing if not practical.

Our disappointment stems from the quality of the materials, which seems to plateau well before the price does. At around $40,000, the SLT uses materials in line with its price, but things don't improve much from there.

The $50,000 Denali is especially egregious, considering its upmarket aspirations; a fully-loaded Kia Telluride does a much better interpretation of luxury at a price point much closer to the SLT. If GMC wants to convince buyers that an Acadia Denali is worth they coin they're asking, they need to revisit the interior and deck it out with more price-appropriate materials.

Final thoughts. The 2021 GMC Acadia is an interesting, competitive choice in a segment that is proving increasingly difficult to stand out. The AT4, even if its light on off-road hardware, should help entice buyers, and the ample selection of standard and available features is another selling point. At this point, we're only waiting for GMC to infuse the Denali with more luxurious interior materials.

Check prices for the 2021 GMC Acadia »

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Specs & Features

Overall Crash Safety Rating
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
2.5L I-4 / 193 HP / 188 ft.lbs.
9-spd auto w/OD
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
21 / 27 / 24 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
2.5L I-4 / 193 HP / 188 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
21 / 27 / 24 Mpg
4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Rear Suspension
Independent Multi-link
Spare Tire And Wheel
Fuel Tank
19.0 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Regular Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
79.0 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
144 Cu.ft.
Exterior Length
193.4 "
Exterior Width
75.4 "
Exterior Height
66.7 "
Front Headroom
40.0 "
Rear Headroom
39.6 "
Front Legroom
41.0 "
Rear Legroom
39.7 "
Front Shoulder Room
59.4 "
Rear Shoulder Room
58.7 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
3,923 Lbs.
Wheel Base
113 "
Turning Radius
19.4 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
18.0 " Machined W/painted Accents Aluminum / 18.0 "
Clearcoat Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote Heated
Front Body-colored With Metal-look Insert
Grille Moldings
Black W/chrome Surround
Rear Spoiler
Stainless Steel
Interior Features
Passenger Capacity
Seat Trim
Front Seat Type
Heated Front Seats
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
Front Armrests
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
60-40 Split-bench
Radio & Infotainment
Gmc Infotainment System Am/fm, Clock, Seek-scan
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Telescopic Tilt
Climate Control
Automatic Air Conditioning
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Rearview Mirror
One Touch Open Window
Driver And Passenger
Tinted Windows
Vanity Mirrors
Dual Illuminated
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Blind Spot Sensor
Lane Change Alert With Side Blind Zone Alert Blind Spot
Lane Departure Warning
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Adaptive Headlights
Parking Sensors
Rear Park Assist Rear
Security Systems
Security System
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Major Components Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
12 Months / Unlimited Miles
Roadside Assistance Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Corrosion Perforation
72 Months / 100,000 Miles
Accessories Months

Used 2021 GMC Acadia for Sale

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