• (3.9) 56 reviews
  • MSRP: $5,962–$14,706
  • Body Style: Sport Utility
  • Combined MPG: 19-20
  • Engine: 275-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel Drive
  • Seats: 7-8
2008 GMC Acadia

Our Take on the Latest Model 2008 GMC Acadia

What We Don't Like

  • V-6's passing performance

Notable Features

  • Seats seven or eight
  • Six airbags standard
  • FWD or AWD
  • Newly available rearview camera
  • Standard stability system

2008 GMC Acadia Reviews

Cars.com Expert Reviews

Editor's note: This review was written in April 2007 about the FWD version of the 2007 GMC Acadia. Little of substance has changed with this year's model. To see what details are different this year, check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years.

GMC's all-new Acadia is a full-size crossover with room for up to eight. It's a large people-mover meant to appeal to the brand's target audience: truck-buyers. Surprisingly, the Acadia pulls that off. This is one handsome crossover. Yukon buyers won't lose any of that model's tough-guy look if they opt for this more fuel-efficient, but less powerful, SUV. It can't tow as much as the Yukon, but it fits the bill of an everyday suburban transport much better than a traditional SUV.

The Package
Unlike the GMC Yukon and other truck-based SUVs, the Acadia is based on an all-new carlike platform. Because it doesn't use a truck's heavy-duty underpinnings, there's more room in the cabin for seating, particularly in the fold-flat third row and the second-row bench or captain's chairs. Indeed, with my test vehicle's captain's chairs, the Acadia had a touch of minivan to it. GM isn't planning on producing any new minivans, so the Acadia and its siblings — including the Saturn Outlook — are as close to one as you're going to get from the automaker. GM also knows that minivans — while functional — have an image problem, so a vehicle that gets similar gas mileage (an estimated 18/26 mpg, city/highway) while offering optional all-wheel drive (with slightly worse mileage figures of 17/24 mpg) could garner a big fanbase.

The Acadia has high-quality cabin materials for a vehicle priced just over $35,000, as tested. That includes large, comfortable leather seats for the driver and passenger. The seats are heated and can warm both the seat bottom and back or just the back. For some reason, GM is one of the few companies that offers this setup, which is a dream come true for those of us with stiff backs.

My wife, who isn't a fan of minivans or large SUVs, really liked the comfort and roominess of the Acadia. There are plenty of storage areas — including a large center bin that can swallow just about anything — clear gauges and easy-to-use buttons. However, some environmental buttons, like front and rear defrost, are a tad too small to use blindly.

The best features, though, and the ones that will sell the Acadia to families with kids, are the easy-to-configure second- and third-row seats. One of our editors, who has three kids, raved about the space the Acadia had for them, as well as how easy it was to access the third row and fold it flat into the floor. The second-row captain's chairs also fold flat and slide to create a larger cargo area for hauling long items. With the third row folded flat, four people could enjoy a long trip with plenty of room for luggage, golf clubs, camping gear, etc.

With all the interior has going for it, it's easy to forget how good-looking the Acadia is from the outside. The large grille and its giant GMC logo add a nice manly touch, while the stylized rear end hints that someone with fashion sense resides inside GM's design studio. Thinking this was a "man's" vehicle, I was surprised to hear my fashion-conscious wife call it "cute." How can it be both manly and cute? I'm not sure, but I think calling it "handsome" sums things up.

Performance
One reason the Acadia gets better gas mileage than traditional SUVs is its V-6 engine. Many full-size SUVs are offered with thirsty V-8s, but the Acadia only comes with a 3.6-liter V-6 that produces 275 horsepower, which is quite good for a six-cylinder. The engine is still charged with moving a considerable amount of metal around suburbia, but you barely notice the weight when traveling without a full load. The transmission was relatively smooth, and accelerating on the highway wasn't any more difficult than in a large SUV with a V-8.

What the Acadia does exceptionally well for such a large vehicle is corner. There is very little body roll, even when taking tight off-ramps at speed. This adds to the Acadia's reassuring nature as an SUV alternative. Large SUVs, with their higher centers of gravity, often feel tippy in similar situations.

The steering is intuitive and rather light, which allows the driver to feel more in command. Braking is solid; after slamming on the brake pedal a few times you can really tell this vehicle is not truck-based. The feedback comes in a more linear, carlike manner.

After a week of commuting and errand-running in the Acadia, I felt completely comfortable behind the wheel, as if I had been driving it for years. It didn't offer any driving thrills, but its reassuring atmosphere should be a stronger selling point in this class.

Features
For most shoppers, the key feature will be the standard third-row seat. It has adequate room for children, but adults will not find it accommodating for more than a short trip. An optional second-row bench seat replaces the comfortable captain's chairs, which brings the price down by $495. If the kids are in the tween or older set, they'll probably prefer the space between the two captain's chairs, though.

Another must is the power liftgate, which unfortunately isn't available as an option on the base SLE; it can be had for $390 on the SLT 1 trim and is standard on the SLT 2. This is one of those modern-day conveniences that, once you've had it, you can't do without. Other options include a dual power sunroof ($1,300) and a rear DVD entertainment system ($1,295).

My front-wheel-drive SLT 1 tester was equipped with the DVD system, satellite radio, leather seats, a power liftgate and a head-up display; it came in under $36,000. I couldn't imagine adding anything else to that, and I didn't miss the sunroof. At that price, with those options, the Acadia offers a lot of value. All-wheel drive is available on all trim levels for $2,000.

Safety
The Acadia, like most new crossovers and SUVs, features a standard electronic stability system that includes rollover mitigation technology, often considered the most vital of today's safety features in SUVs. There are also front-seat mounted side airbags, and side curtain airbags for all three rows.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Acadia its top rating, five stars, in frontal and side-impact crash tests, and a four-star rollover rating, which is above average for crossovers and SUVs. The total score is actually higher than the Volvo XC90's.

As of publication, the more stringent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety had not tested the Acadia.

Acadia in the Market
The three-row crossover segment is getting increasingly crowded these days, as car shoppers shift from minivans and truck-based SUVs to car-based vehicles like the Acadia. It has a number of competitors — including the new Mazda CX-9, the Hyundai Veracruz and the upcoming, redesigned Toyota Highlander — that offer similar value, safety and performance. Among domestic manufacturers, however, there's only the GMC Acadia and its twin, the Outlook, fighting for shoppers' attention. Vehicles like the Ford Freestyle and Chrysler Pacifica, which came into the segment before their time, are now showing their age

The Acadia could easily win over buyers on looks alone, and it's no slouch in the value, safety and features departments, either. It might be exactly what GM wants it so desperately to be: a cool replacement for the minivan.

Send David an email 


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Consumer Reviews

(3.9)

Average based on 56 reviews

Write a Review

It's a very nice SUV

by J. Kane from Wisconsin on October 21, 2017

My mother owns this car (because she has five kids, including me) and she takes us in it all the time. It's a wonderful car. It doesn't have too many issues, considering we bought it four or five year... Read Full Review

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6 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2008 GMC Acadia trim comparison will help you decide.
 

GMC Acadia Articles

2008 GMC Acadia Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

NHTSA Ratings

Based on GMC Acadia SLE-1

Overall Rollover Rating

NHTSA Ratings

Based on GMC Acadia SLE-1

Overall Rollover Rating
Driver's
Passenger's
Front Seat
Rear Seat
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Recalls

There are currently 5 recalls for this car.


Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $4,100 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

Bumper-to-Bumper

36mo/36,000mi

Powertrain

60mo/100,000mi

Roadside Assistance Coverage

60mo/100,000mi

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained

Bumper-to-Bumper

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

Powertrain

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years