Expert review written by the Kelley Blue Book vehicle review editorial team.
You'll Like The 2008 GMC Acadia If...
If you need lots of room to haul people and cargo but hate the look of a minivan, you’ll like the 2008 GMC Acadia. It combines a large, usable interior and good gas mileage with attractive SUV-like exterior styling.
You May Not Like The 2008 GMC Acadia If...
If you are one of the few drivers who travel off-road in your SUV, the 2008 GMC Acadia may not be for you. Its available all-wheel-drive system is designed to enhance traction during on-road driving, not during off-highway adventures. A maximum tow rating of 4,500 pounds may also be a deterrent.
New features include an available rear backup camera, standard XM Satellite Radio, second-row seating console and enhanced traction control. Panic Brake Assist, which quickens brake response during panic stopping situation, is also new.
Inside, the 2008 GMC Acadia is roomy, versatile and utilizes high-quality materials. An attractive two-tone look is used throughout the Acadia lineup, with an available "brick interior" adding striking red surfaces for those with adventurous tastes. The Acadia can accommodate up to eight people in three rows, with ample head- and legroom for all. Wide rear-door openings and second-row seats that slide forward make getting into and out of the third row easy. Behind the third-row seats is an impressive 19.7 cubic feet of cargo space and, with second and third-row seats folded flat, cargo room expands to 116.9 cubic feet. The interior’s usability is enhanced with numerous cup holders, storage spaces and additional storage beneath the rear cargo area.
With the Acadia, GMC smartly avoids the excessive body cladding that plagued some of General Motors’ previous SUVs. The result is a handsome package that looks masculine and up-scale. Bulging fenders and standard 18-inch wheels give the Acadia a strong stance, with tasteful chrome accents and LED tail lamps adding a touch of class. A rear spoiler looks sporty and contributes to the Acadia’s low aerodynamic drag. Other nice details include dual exhaust outlets with two chrome tips per side, chrome accents on the roof rails and beautifully-shaped headlamps.
Thanks to unit-body construction and street-focused suspension, the 2008 GMC Acadia drives more like a car than an SUV. Handling is good with precise steering response, controlled body lean and plenty of traction during cornering. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard, with an optional 19-inch wheel and tire package available, which sharpens handling without sacrificing a comfortable ride. The GMC Acadia accelerates swiftly, but front-wheel-drive models suffer from noticeable torque steer under harder acceleration. Many drivers will appreciate the raised seating position, which gives a clear view of the road. However, a high beltline limits rearward visibility, making parking lot maneuvers more difficult.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) for the 2008 GMC Acadia range from close to $30,000 for the front-drive SLE (which is several thousand dollars more than the entry prices of the Ford Explorer, Dodge Durango or Honda Pilot) to more than $45,000 for a loaded all-wheel-drive SLT. While priced at the high end of the segment, the Acadia’s generous standard equipment list must be taken into consideration. To compare the actual transaction prices that consumers are paying, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Prices. Though higher priced than its competitors, the Acadia is expected to have excellent resale value, trailing the Pilot but well above the Explorer and Durango.
The 2008 GMC Acadia is well-equipped and includes, as standard, GM’s OnStar system with one year of complimentary service, AM/FM/CD stereo with six speakers and MP3 capability, XM Satellite Radio, seven-passenger seating, dual exhaust with chrome tips, rear spoiler, sliding second-row seats, fog lamps and 18-inch wheels. Safety features include StabiliTrak with rollover mitigation, anti-lock brakes (ABS), Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and six airbags.
GMC offers a variety of convenience and luxury features for the Acadia. Dual sunroofs and a rear entertainment system make the drive more enjoyable and, unlike with some vehicles, can be ordered together. The interior can be outfitted with a touch-screen DVD-based navigation system, rearview camera system, tri-zone automatic air conditioning, premium audio with surround sound, a Head-Up Display, cargo area audio controls, rear park assist and eight-passenger seating. Exterior options include a power liftgate, High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps and an attractive 19-inch wheel package.
Third-Row SeatsThe third-row seats in the Acadia are roomy and bolstering on the seat backs makes extended journeys comfortable. Access to the rear seats is extremely easy thanks to a clever mechanism that slides the second-row seats out of the way. Dual SunroofsThe optional dual sunroofs add a feeling of spaciousness to the interior. The fixed rear sunroof features a large opening and a power sunshade for when the sunshine gets too intense.
Under the Hood
The 2008 GMC Acadia’s strong 3.6-liter V6 uses variable valve timing and an electronic throttle to enhance responsiveness, deliver good engine power and provide a maximum tow rating of 4,500 pounds. The six-speed automatic transmission maximizes engine performance and helps the Acadia achieve excellent fuel economy for a vehicle of its size. However, the transmission can be slow to react to throttle inputs, resulting in delayed downshifts when trying to accelerate to pass other vehicles. 3.6-liter V6275 horsepower @ 6600 rpm251 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3200 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/24 (FWD), 16/22 (AWD)
As the first crossover SUV sold by GMC, the 2008 GMC Acadia shares its structure and many of its features with the Saturn Outlook and the Buick Enclave. The Acadia successfully combines the appearance and capabilities of an SUV with an added measure of practicality and efficiency. It seats up to eight people, has ample room for luggage or cargo and offers good fuel economy. Considering that most SUVs never leave paved roads, GMC expects the Acadia’s street-focused ride, handling and available all-wheel drive to make up for its lack of off-road capability. The Acadia’s competitors include the Honda Pilot, Dodge Durango and Ford Explorer.