2013 GMC Acadia

SL FWD 4-Dr Sport Utility V6 auto trans

2013 gmc acadia Reviews and News

2013 GMC Acadia Denali Front Left View 2
While it's hard to pin General Motors' post-bankruptcy success on any one model or family, it's also hard to deny that the Lambda platform (Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave, and GMC Acadia) has been a bright spot for the General. The family of 7- or 8-passenger crossovers lost one of its own during the 2009 bankruptcy -- the Saturn Outlook -- but managed to carry kids, dogs, groceries, and an embattled car company through an era of liquidation and government control in equal measure.
Credit the trio's blend of quality and simplicity. As competitors dabbled in engines big and small, like the Durango's thirsty but hearty HEMI V-8 and the Highlander's expensive hybrid, the GM crossovers instead offered one workhorse powertrain and a selection of different interior and exterior designs. Consumers snatched them up like post-bankruptcy Twinkies: nearly a million Traverses, Enclaves, Acadias, and Outlooks have been sold since the Lambda's introduction in late 2006.
For 2013, all three of the remaining GM three-row crossovers get a nip and a tuck, including the swanky-yet-brutish GMC Acadia. But in the years since the Acadia's premiere, other competitors have enticed more buyers with new technology and conveniences, not to mention Acadia Denali-fighting premium trim levels. Can the marginally updated Acadia Denali still compete in an increasingly tough segment? We hopped in to find out.

The Glitz and the Glamour

Both the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave get minor exterior changes, but the GMC Acadia's changes are the most striking: the new Acadia eschews the last model's pointed front end for a blunt, rectangular one. Denali models add a three-bar mesh grille, body-color cladding on the bumpers and side skirts, and standard HID projector headlights with LED daytime running light surrounds. This isn't the first time we've seen similar, sideways-U-shaped DRLs on other crossovers -- specifically the Audi Q7 -- but the Denali uses more piping to mask individual diodes and maintains a slick look day or night.
The "slick" look is in contrast to the previous Acadia Denali, which was a slapdash affair -- GM heaped chrome, wood, and leather onto the Acadia after the base model's release. The 2013 model, however, was clearly designed with both base and Denali trim levels in mind. The chintzy, chromed-cheese-grater grille and shiny wheels have been replaced by matching graphite-color wheels and grille inserts, which show some design restraint (chrome wheels are still a $495 option, if that's your thing). If the Chevrolet Traverse is a pair of soccer cleats, and the Buick Enclave is the flashy pair of earrings, the GMC Acadia Denali is the perfectly tailored pair of jeans with boots to match.

Get Up and Go

Strangely, the Acadia's updates don't extend under the hood. Eagle-eyed GMC fans will notice that the Acadia, equipped with GM's 3.6-liter sequential direct injection V-6 engine, makes 288 horsepower; its little brother, the Terrain Denali, makes 301 with the same engine. GMC says the changes come down to packaging, specifically the V-6's intake system -- the Terrain's newer design allows for more power than the Acadia's old one.
GMC would do well to give the Acadia that system: while the Acadia Denali isn't intolerably slow, the car needs a firm push of the accelerator pedal to move its 4850-pound heft at a clip that many competitors would shrug off. In turn, pushing that accelerator harder makes for a louder experience. "The V-6 provides decent power and the transmission shifts gears with commendable smoothness, but under heavy acceleration those shifts don't happen until high in the rev range, and so it sounds like the engine is struggling even when it isn't," said managing editor Amy Skogstrom. For an SUV that uses the upper register of the tach more often, a lack of new intake/exhaust system also makes for a coarser engine note. Despite its sensory shortcomings, the Acadia Denali's V-6 provides enough grunt to tow some 5200 pounds, dwarfing the Honda Pilot's 4500-pound and Toyota Highlander's 3500-pound ratings.
The acceleration leaves something to be desired, but the ride and handling strike a good balance. Buyers in this segment are obviously looking for ride quality more than handling prowess, and jittery or vague steering is the last thing you'd want with a camper hitched to the back of your SUV. Thankfully, the Acadia's steering is pleasantly well weighted and acceptably precise, and the ride -- no doubt aided by new dual-flow dampers -- is soft without being floaty.

Cigar Bar on Wheels

The Acadia Denali's large exterior footprint pays dividends inside, because its interior is big. Passengers behind the front row have plenty of room to stretch out (or recline, in the case of the second-row captain's chairs), and even the third row -- long the penalty box of three-row crossovers, suitable only for children -- has room for at least two six-foot-plus adults. Second-row seats collapse and third-row seats fold flat, although neither are power-assisted. Where some competitors would put power-folding third-row seat switches in the rear cargo area, GMC instead mounted a second set of controls for the audio system. It's a boon to tailgaters...and a feature we're likely to hear about many times during NFL commercial breaks.
If the Acadia Denali's exterior brings a more masculine -- and more restrained -- look to the GM three-row trio, it's much the same tale once you open the doors. While the Enclave's interior is brown-on-brown-on-brown, and the Traverse goes for gray-on-gray, the Acadia Denali's blend of silver, brown, and black (with red accent lighting) strikes the best balance of the GM three-rows. In fact, the cabin reminds us of a dimly lit hole-in-the-wall bar with worn leather chairs; crank the stereo and you could almost simulate some live music, too.
Elsewhere around the cabin, the dash is wrapped in soft-touch materials with "live stitching" (as opposed to fake, stamped stitches) and festooned with new rotary knobs for the HVAC controls. The new IntelliLink infotainment system makes do with just two physical knobs and a small set of touch-sensitive buttons.
IntelliLink shows serious promise among the freshman class of new high-tech setups. It beautifully integrates smartphone apps like Pandora and Stitcher and voice-activates tracks on your iPod with help from Gracenote's music database. But in GM's haste to kill center-stack clutter it eradicated too many buttons -- it's still too hard to switch through applications (like going from a navigation map to your currently playing track) or quickly mute your voice guidance on the GPS, typical tasks for other systems. The upshot, however, is that the GMC's dashboard looks much cleaner than competitors like the Toyota Highlander.
Our tester was equipped with second-row DVD rear-seat entertainment, heated and ventilated front seats, a Bose surround sound stereo, and a dual-pane panoramic sunroof with a power sunshade. The driver also receives a head-up display, a blind spot monitoring system, and a rear-view camera with cross-traffic alert. We only wish that the Lambda platform would support passive entry and ignition: the Acadia must soldier on with an antiquated key and remote.

Not Bad...Given the Circumstances

The last Acadia was a successful, compelling entrant in the premium three-row crossover segment even before its upgrades for 2013. Still, the new Acadia Denali ditches the awkwardness of the blinged-out last generation and still has some swagger in its step. But the 2013 Acadia Denali obviously had little room to grow, saddled with a good-but-not-excellent platform and engine that would otherwise hinder big improvements to the nameplate. We commend GMC for making a Lambda look and feel this good, but we also wish those engineers could have done more.
2013 GMC Acadia
2013 GMC Acadia

New For 2013

The Acadia is refreshed for 2013 with a new exterior design and new technological and safety features such as blind-spot monitoring, IntelliLink voice-activated infotainment, a front center air bag, and a standard rearview camera. The exterior comes in several new colors, including champagne silver metallic, iridium metallic, and Atlantis blue metallic; the interior can be had in light titanium, dark cashmere, or cocoa dune.


For 2013, the Acadia is back with some changes and updates to keep the venerable family hauler fresh. A new rounded yet butch front end holds the same 288-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 engine (with up to 5200 pounds of towing capacity) as before, but the transmission gains automatic downhill braking in all modes and some new controls. GMC fiddled with the suspension for more ride comfort. On the inside, the Acadia has a new front center air bag for driver and front passenger protection, new ambient lighting and interior materials, a more refined look and feel, and available IntelliLink voice-activated infotainment with GPS navigation. A rearview camera is standard, and the 2013 model adds new safety features such as blind-spot monitoring and backup cross-traffic alert. With a 60/40-split second row, the Acadia can hold up to eight passengers, but the capacity drops to seven when you select captain’s chairs for the second row in lieu of a bench. The Denali model gets the biggest wheels along with a panoramic sunroof, a chunkier lower-body aero kit, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and a heated-and-cooled eight-way power driver’s seat. All in all, the Acadia—like its siblings, the Chevrolet Traverse and the Buick Enclave—proves to be good competition for other segment entries like the Honda Pilot and the Mazda CX-9.


Front, front center, side, and side curtain air bags for all rows are standard. ABS, stability and traction control, and a tire-pressure monitoring system are also standard. Denali models receive standard hill-hold braking and throttle override, which cuts power if the brakes and the gas are applied at the same time.

You'll like:

  • Seating for seven or eight
  • Decent fuel economy

You won't like:

  • Slightly brutish styling
  • Less power than Terrain’s V-6

Key Competitors For The 2013 GMC Acadia

  • Dodge Durango
  • Honda Pilot
  • Mazda CX-9
  • Toyota Highlander
2013 GMC Acadia Front Side
Prices are increasing on the 2013 GMC Acadia lineup by more than $1000 compared to the 2012 model, GM has announced. Of course, the Acadia also has revised interior and exterior styling as well as a few new features. The base-model Acadia will cost $34,875 and the more premium Acadia Denali will carry a $46,770 MSRP.

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2013 GMC Acadia
2013 GMC Acadia
SL FWD 4-Dr Sport Utility V6
17 MPG City | 24 MPG Hwy
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SL FWD 4-Dr Sport Utility V6
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2013 GMC Acadia
SL FWD 4-Dr Sport Utility V6
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2013 GMC Acadia Specifications

Quick Glance:
3.6L V6Engine
Fuel economy City:
17 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
24 MPG
288 hp @ 6300rpm
270 ft lb of torque @ 3400rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats (optional)
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation
36,000 miles / 36 months
100,000 miles / 60 months
100,000 miles / 72 months
100,000 miles / 60 months
Recall Date
General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain model year 2008-2013 Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia and 2009-2013 Chevrolet Traverse and 2008-2010 Saturn Outlook vehicles. In the affected vehicles, increased resistance in the driver and passenger seat mounted side impact air bag (SIAB) wiring harnesses may result in the SIAB and seat belt pretensioners not deploying in the event of a crash.
Failure of the side impact air bags and seat belt pretensioners to deploy in a crash increase the risk of injury to the driver and front seat occupant.
GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the affected harness connections with soldered connections, free of charge. The recall began on June 16, 2014. Buick owners may contact the owner center at 1-800-521-7300, Chevrolet owners at 1-866-694-6546, Saturn at 1-800-553-6000, and GMC owners at 1-866-996-9463. GM's number for this recall is 14030. Note: Vehicles repaired as part of Customer Satisfaction Campaign 10085 and special coverage 10335 have already had the subject condition repaired and therefore are not included in the safety recall.
Potential Units Affected
General Motors LLC

Recall Date
General Motors is recalling certain model year 2009-2014 Buick Enclave vehicles manufactured April 14, 2008, through May 14, 2014, Chevrolet Traverse vehicles manufactured June 6, 2008, through May 14, 2014, and GMC Acadia vehicles manufactured April 9, 2008, through May 14, 2014, and 2009-2010 Saturn Outlook vehicles manufactured April 14, 2008, through March 18, 2010. In the affected vehicles, the flexible steel cable that connects the seatbelt to the front outboard seating positions may fatigue and separate over time.
If the steel cable becomes fatigued and separates, the seatbelt may not properly restrain the seat occupant increasing the risk of an injury in a crash.
General Motors will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and, if necessary, repair and replace the lap pretensioner, free of charge. Parts are not currently available. An interim notice will be mailed to owners in July 2014. A second notice will be mailed to owners once parts become available. The recall for the 2009-2010 model years began on July 11, 2014. The interim letter for the 2011-2014 model years were distributed on July 11, 2014. Owners may contact General Motors at 1-800-222-1020 (Chevrolet), 1-800-521-7300 (Buick), 1-800-462-8782 (GMC), 1-800-553-6000 (Saturn). General Motors recall number for this campaign is 14187.
Potential Units Affected
General Motors LLC

NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rollover
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
IIHS Overall Side Crash
IIHS Best Pick
IIHS Rear Crash
IIHS Roof Strength
IIHS Front Small Overlap

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5-Year Total Cost to Own For The 2013 GMC Acadia

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Five Year Cost of Ownership: $36,235 What's This?
Value Rating: Above Average