GMC Acadia Years To Avoid | Top 16 Best & Worst Models 2023

Source: Topspeed

Although many families choose the GMC Acadia as their favorite SUV, it is not without its share of maintenance problems and associated expenses. However, some particularly worst GMC Acadia models years should be avoided. So, Which GMC Acadia model thus, should you avoid when looking for a used car?

GMC Acadia years to avoid include 2008-2012, 2014, 2017, and 2020; they are considered the worst. The best years for GMC Acadia include 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2021-2023. This result was concluded from trustworthy sources such as NHTSA, Edmund, JD Power, and Kelley Blue Book.

Here Are The GMC Acadia Years To Avoid

Generalizations aren’t always the best idea, but compared to other model years, these eight were particularly problematic and thus considered the worst GMC Acadia years to avoid.

8. Acadia Model Year To Avoid: 2020 (3.78 Rating)

Source: Autoguide

The 2020 Acadia received 6 recalls within 3 years. This shows that it’s definitely not a perfect option. The primary issue that has been recorded with the second-generation GMC Acadia is it’s the rearview camera’s cable connectors.

Since the parking assistance system uses the back camera, GM ordered a recall to prevent it from failing. But still, if you want a second-generation Acadia, avoid this year and go for other options mentioned below.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

7. Acadia Model Year To Avoid: 2017 (3.70 Rating)

Source: Motor1

Multiple problems, ranging from cramped interiors to faulty engines, plague the 2017 model year. The defective shift-to-park warning is a common complaint. Even in the park mode, this model tends not to turn off.

Over 150 reports of this model’s vibration occurring at varying frequencies on the NHTSA website; it’s a serious problem that won’t go away, and this problem’s solution is still unknown.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

6. Acadia Model Year To Avoid: 2012 (3.61 Rating)

Source: gravityautossandysprings

There are three widespread problems with the 2012 GMC Acadia. At 34,000 miles, the air conditioner is usually the first component to fail. The average cost of fixing this problem is $700.

The second problem entails trembling, shaking, and revving, indicating a serious transmission problem. This problem typically arises at 113,000 miles and costs an average of $5,000 to fix.

The third issue is engine failure, which can be caused by oil leaks or overheating. The average repair cost is $6,100 and occurs at approximately 97,000 miles.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

5. Acadia Model Year To Avoid: 2010 (3.61 Rating)

Source: Auto123

Premature wear of the timing chain, which can occur at about 92,000 miles and cost an average of $3,300 to replace, is just one of several maintenance issues that 2010 GMC Acadia owners have had to deal with.

Another common issue is an engine breaking down at roughly 104,000 miles, costing around $8,900 to fix. At around 79,000 miles, some owners have experienced a steering rack leak that can cost up to $1,400 to fix.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

4. Acadia Model Year To Avoid: 2014 (3.57 Rating)

Source: Automoblog

The 2014 Acadia is another worst model year having the majority of problems. The common problem is with the car’s transmission, making it difficult to shift gears. This problem often manifests at 40,000 miles and costs an average of $3,500 to fix.

Another issue is that the air conditioner might not be functioning properly or might be releasing hot air. Repairing one of these problems typically costs $1,000 after 57,000 miles.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

3. Acadia Model Year To Avoid: 2011 (3.55 Rating)

Source: The auto channel

Prepare for possible engine and lighting problems if you have a 2011 GMC Acadia. A decline in engine power frequently occurs after 85,000 miles on a typical car and can be fixed for around $7,700.

At 81,000 miles, the cam sensor and chains can fail, costing an additional $3,000 to replace. Some drivers have complained that at roughly 79,000 miles, the wiring in their daytime running lights melted, resulting in a repair bill of around $1,100.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

2. Acadia Model Year To Avoid: 2009 (3.22 Rating)

Source: General Motors

When the check engine light turns on, it’s time to worry because the average repair bill is $3,000. This often happens around the 95,000-mile mark. It has been stated that the power steering fails when turning at an average of 102,000 miles, at which point repairs can cost around $3,200.

There have been reports of transmission failure in the 2009 GMC Acadia at roughly 103,000 miles, with repairs costing over $3,500.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

1. Acadia Model Year To Avoid: 2008 (3.13 Rating)

Source: Thecarbikes

All models from the first generation had their share of problems here and there, but the 2008 model year was especially rough on buyers. There was a dramatic increase in reports of transmission issues, with the vast majority of incidents happening after light to moderate use.

There are reports of major transmission issues beginning at only 75,000 miles. With an average repair bill of over $4,000, the 2008 Acadia is the worst year to own. Although transmissions require regular maintenance every 30,000 miles, a complete breakdown is expected to occur under 100,000 miles.

Another issue is the engine cutting out unexpectedly while driving, typically around 112,000 miles and costing roughly $3,800 to fix. The transmission has also been known to fail a second time at an average of 119,000 miles. At this point, repairs can cost around $2,100.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

Best GMC Acadia Years To Buy As Used

If you’re looking for a used GMC Acadia, consider one of the following models.

8. Best Year: 2016 GMC Acadia (3.90 Rating)

Source: The car connection

From the first-generation model years to buy used, the 2016 Acadia is an excellent option. The 2016 GMC Acadia has an above-average reliability rating, a pleasant and roomy cabin, and a superior crash-test rating.

The roomy and adaptable cabin is a major selling point. In addition, it has excellent ratings for safety and technology for that year. Fluid leakage and the absence of power steering were among the few problems that were reported, but these were nearly harmless.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

7. Best Year: 2015 GMC Acadia (3.81 Rating)


The 2015 model is one of the final years of production for the first-generation Acadia. Its large cabin, which can hold up to 116.1 cu. Ft. of cargo is a major selling factor. The third row is more suitable for children or teenagers due to its cramped legroom.

The Acadia’s car-like handling is another factor in its favor for 2015. It’s a great vehicle for long trips with the family because of how well it handles on the highway and the back roads. The 5,200-pound towing capability is more than sufficient for hauling heavy trailers.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

6. Best Year: 2013 GMC Acadia (4.02 Rating)

Source: Autoblog

The 2013 GMC Acadia is a fantastic option for anyone looking for an SUV. It is considered to be a top SUV of its era. It got the position of #4 in Midsize SUV from J.D. Power.

At the time, this model’s updated appearance was very desirable. But that’s not all. Although the 2012 model year Acadia had numerous issues, this was the complete opposite.

The 116 cubic feet of cargo space available in the 2013 Acadia is more than sufficient for the needs of most families. It is economical enough with a combined fuel economy of 19 mpg.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

5. Best Year: 2018 GMC Acadia (4.16 Rating)


Another best SUV option is GMC’s 2018 Acadia. The makeover of this model made the car quicker and more nimble without reducing the amount of space inside. Its increased fuel efficiency over previous models makes it a better choice for the environment and drivers.

Standard on every 2018 Acadia is a suite of high-tech safety technologies designed to keep you safe on the road. These include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a rearview camera.

Although no model year is faultless, the GMC Acadia from 2016 to 2018 has fewer issues and more benefits, making it a good choice for many consumers shopping for a family-friendly SUV.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

4. Best Year: 2019 GMC Acadia (4.19 Rating)

Source: Cargurus

If you’re shopping for a luxurious SUV with many options, consider the GMC Acadia 2019. This car is now in its second generation and differs significantly from the 2016 model.

This vehicle’s ride quality is top-notch thanks to the absence of road noise and the superior shock absorbers. The steering is responsive and precise, allowing for tighter turns.

The standard 2.5-liter engine produces 193 horsepower. It doesn’t feel too weak and performs adequately. It can go from 0-60 mph in under 6 seconds because of its optional V6 engine. If you want something with a little more power under the hood, that’s the one to get.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

3. Best Year: 2021 GMC Acadia (4.2 Rating)

Source: Car and drive

The 2021 GMC Acadia is a great choice for anyone shopping for a large SUV that is both reliable and enjoyable to operate. Automatic high beams and rear park assist are two new technologies that make driving easy.

Related: 10 Best & Worst Years Of Toyota Sienna | 5 Common Issues

Additionally, the adjustable and heated seating will provide a unique user experience. This car drives superbly over rough terrain thanks to its Active Torque Control. You can drive with assurance knowing you’re prepared for everything.

This model has some excellent conveniences that improve people’s daily lives. The head-up display (HUD) for navigation is one of the most useful features.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

2. Best Year: 2022 GMC Acadia (4.21 Rating)

Source: GMC

This crossover is one of a kind and has exceptional features that speak to its legitimacy. Many people want the 2022 GMC Acadia because of its luxurious amenities, such as its heated and power-adjustable mirrors, keyless entry, and in-dash GPS.

The GMC Acadia no longer comes standard with a four-cylinder engine but instead offers two turbocharged powertrains beginning with the 2022 model year. The 2022 GMC Acadia continues a tradition of excellence in handling and responsiveness among compact SUVs.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

1. Best Year: 2023 GMC Acadia (4.26 Rating)

Source: Motor Trend

The 2023 GMC Acadia tries to strike a fine balance. It’s more expensive than the Honda Pilot and less expensive than Cadillac XT5. It aims to be both spacious and cozy while being affordable, providing a premium experience at a more accessible price.

Its optional V-6 powertrain offers plenty of muscle, and its feature list is impressive for the price. The Acadia’s top-tier Denali trim is, as expected, luxurious.

Related: 10 Best & Worst Years Of Chevy Tahoe | The Ultimate Guide

If you’re on a limited budget, this might be it, as you’ll get the car that ranks #1 in the Upper Midsize SUV.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

Common Problems With GMC Acadia

Source: 1A Auto

1. Transmission Failure:

RepairPal reports that GMC Acadias equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission may experience problems due to a damaged 35R clutch wave plate. Slipping transmission, harsh/rough shifting, and the inability to engage the reverse gear are all possible outcomes of this problem.

2. Faulty Check Engine Lights:

According to RepairPal, certain V6-powered GMC Acadia may report many error codes when the check engine light comes on. The powertrain control module (PCM) could be updated with new software.

3. Defective Engine:

There were reports of engine trouble with earlier Acadia models, especially the 2008, 2009, and 2011 years. Cars have slowed to a stop in the middle of the road, leaving their owners frustrated. Many drivers spend a lot of money on new engines.

4. Problematic A/C:

Inadequate air conditioning performance plagued some model years of the Acadia. It was traced down to a leaking evaporator, which stopped the cooling system from functioning anywhere in the car.


1. What Are The Worst Years Of GMC Acadia?

The worst years for the GMC Acadia were 2008, 2009, and 2011; thus, it’s advisable to stick with later reliable cars from the second generation.

2. How Long Does GMC Acadia Lasts?

A well-maintained GMC Acadia with factory-original engine parts and routine maintenance should last about 250,000 kilometers.

3. Is GMC Acadia Good Car?

GMC Acadia is a good midsized three-row SUV car but not very exceptional. RepairPal rates the GMC Acadia’s reliability as 3.0 out of 5, which places it at #23 on their list of 26 midsize SUVs in terms of overall satisfaction.


The GMC Acadia is, without a shadow of a doubt, a reliable SUV. The more modern models tick all the necessary boxes, making them an easy decision for potential owners to purchase. For obvious reasons, this cannot be stated for previous models.

In the previous two parts of this post, we examined the best and worst GMC Acadia years. I hope you found out what you needed to know. Hopefully, you’re now better equipped to decide whether or not to purchase this SUV.

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