Hiding its family friendliness behind a veil of ruggedness, the 2022 GMC Acadia does its best to avoid the minivan-alternative status. A turbocharged four-cylinder serves as the entry-level engine but a 310-hp V-6 is optional. Families will like the Acadia’s spacious first and second rows, but those relegated to the third row may feel the pinch. A host of infotainment and driver-assistance technologies are offered as standard, which will satisfy those seeking modern amenities. Despite its long list of positives, the Acadia still gets outranked by many other mid-size SUVs that simply provide more value, better driving dynamics, more cargo space, or heightened capabilities.
What’s New for 2022?
The entry-level SL trim has been cut from the lineup for 2022, making the better-equipped SLE the new base model. The base 2.5-liter four-cylinder is also dead, leaving a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a 3.6-liter V-6 as the available engines. A host of driver-assistance features are now standard across the lineup, including automated emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and blind-spot monitoring. Two new 18- and 20-inch wheel designs and a new color—Light Stone Metallic—are optional features.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We’d choose the mid-level SLT trim, which adds niceties to the equipment list such as leather upholstery, remote start, heated front seats, in-dash navigation, and a hands-free tailgate. In addition to those SLT extras, that model comes with the standard LED headlights, heated, power-adjustable mirrors, and keyless entry and push-button start.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Acadia’s base engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder good for 228 horsepower and the optional 3.6-liter V-6 makes 310 horsepower. A nine-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard with either engine, and all-wheel drive is optional. While you’ll never forget that you’re driving an SUV, the Acadia is competent and reasonably composed. The Acadia feels ponderous during high-speed cornering, but when driven in a less aggressive manner (as most people drive most of the time), the ride is forgiving and stable. An adaptive suspension—standard on the Denali and optional on SLT trim with all-wheel drive—adjusts the dampers every two milliseconds to help smooth out the ride over bumps or to tighten things up if the driver starts feeling frisky.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates the front-drive version with the turbo four-cylinder engine will earn 22 mpg city and 29 highway. The V-6 with front-wheel drive has estimates of 19 mpg city and 27 highway. However, we haven’t tested an Acadia with the nine-speed automatic transmission on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test. For more information about the Acadia’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Acadia’s compact exterior may help it fit into garages and parking spaces, but it imposes consequences on interior spaciousness. The interior design is pleasing to the eye, and most controls are intuitive and within reach of the driver. A black-and-white gauge cluster with red needles provides information at a glance. Denali models feature a reconfigurable center screen that provides a plethora of additional vehicle information depending on the driver’s settings. The tilting-and-telescoping steering column could use more range to give very tall or very short drivers a comfortable position, but it works for most people. The leather-wrapped steering wheel features aluminum trim that is convincingly upscale. Unfortunately, some of the interior materials have a cheap look and feel. With the third row in use, we were only able to fit two carry-on suitcases in the Acadia, but with the second- and third-row seats stowed, we were able to fit 28. The Dodge Durango held four cases behind its third row and 30 with the rear rows of seats folded, so it might be a better choice if you’ll be frequently hauling people and cargo at the same time.
Infotainment and Connectivity
When it comes to technology, the Acadia offers plenty for the whole family. From an abundance of USB ports to a Wi-Fi hotspot, passengers can easily stay connected. The touchscreen infotainment system is intuitive and responsive. Charging more than one device that requires a 12-volt outlet may prove a challenge, as only one of those outlets is provided.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The Acadia offers several standard driver-assistance technologies such as automated emergency braking, automatic high-beam headlamps, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-keeping assist. For more information about the Acadia’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The Acadia comes with a comprehensive warranty and maintenance coverage package as standard, with additional protection plans available from dealers. Hyundai offers longer limited and powertrain warranties, but GMC does cover the Acadia’s first maintenance visit within the first year of ownership.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for the first visit