The 2018 GMC Acadia is a mid-sized family hauler – built in the USA – that seats up to seven. It has clean, athletic lines and comes in a wide range of choices with four-cylinder or six-cylinder engines in front-drive or AWD.

The three-row Acadia has an All Terrain appearance package new for 2018, and is offered in SL, SLE, SLT and Denali models. The new All Terrain package features a body-color grille surround, dark chrome trim, special wheels, special interior accents and a cargo management system that replaces the third row. SLE and SLT models each have two trim levels.

Standard power for the Acadia is a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine, and the optional engine is a 3.6-liter V6. The four-cylinder engine develops 193 horsepower and 188 lb.-ft. of torque, while the V6 ups the ante to 310 horses and 271 lb.-ft. of torque. The transmission for both engines is a six-speed automatic. Our test Acadia SLT 2 had the V6.

The Acadia has a lightweight body structure that helps with maneuverability and handling. I wouldn’t call the Acadia nimble, but I’d certainly call it well mannered. I didn’t drive the four-cylinder, but my bet is that, based on the numbers, the V6 is the route to take. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic.

Inside the cabin, the Acadia is comfortable and roomy, at least in the two front rows. The 2018 Acadia is smaller than the outgoing model, and the third row is cramped even for small adults. Standard seating is for seven, but captain’s chairs in Row 2 reduce that to six.

Headroom in the 193-inch-long Acadia’s front seat is 40.3 inches, and in Row 2 it’s 39.6 inches. Third-row headroom is 37.2 inches. Legroom in Row 2 is 39.7 inches, and in Row 3 it’s 31.1 inches. At 6-foot-1, I wouldn’t be sitting in Row 3 for long.

Cargo space behind Row 3 is 12.8 cubic feet, and behind Row 2 is 41.7 cubic feet. Fold everything down in back and you’ve got 79 cubic feet of cargo volume.

Most buyers will opt for the SLE models, which allow both engine choices and either front-drive or AWD. And, of course, the Denali model is the top dog, offering 20-inch alloy wheels and all the amenities you’d expect from a Denali.

Connectivity and infotainment is via a 7-inch touchscreen that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. An 8-inch screen is available with navigation. GM’s OnStar system with LTE and a WiFi hotspot is standard and includes a 3-month trial subscription. And everybody can charge their devices in the Acadia because USB ports are located in all three rows.

The Acadia is also a safe car. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the 2018 Acadia its top score of “Good” in every category and rates it “superior” for front crash prevention. The only ding from the IIHS was headlights, where the Acadia scored “marginal.”

The Acadia has eight standard airbags and various packages of optional safety technologies, some of which are standard in the upper trims. Standard and optional safety technology includes lane change alert with side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, rear park assist, low speed forward automatic braking with pedestrian detection, automatic headlights, lane keep assist and forward collision alert. The Acadia also has GM’s Safety Alert Driver Seat that vibrates to alert the driver to certain conditions and warnings from the car. Every Acadia has anti-lock brakes, the required stability and traction control systems and a rearview camera.

One feature that is standard in every Acadia is GM’s rear seat warning system that remembers whether either rear door was opened before the drive. If one was, the system reminds the driver to check the rear seat before exiting. Also, standard is a teen driver feature that allows parents to check driving habits and set parameters for their young drivers.

Kudos to GM for adding these great layers of protection for kids.

2018 GMC Acadia FWD SLT 2


3.6-liter V6


310/271 lb.-ft.


six-speed automatic


$41,860 ($45,725 w/options & freight)

EPA mileage estimates:

18 mpg city/25 mpg highway/21 mpg combined

Estimated highway range:

550 miles