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2024 GMC Acadia First Drive: Back to the Source

2024 GMC Acadia | Photo: B.Charette
  • EPA Category: Midsize SUV
  • Price: 52499 $ - 64499 $
  • Consumption: 12,3 - 12,3 L/100km
  • Warranty: 3 years / 60000 km

strong / weak points

  • Improved overall quality
  • Impressive, industry-best Super Cruise system
  • Intuitive infotainment system

  • Unproven reliability
  • An engine that still lacks refinement
  • Fairly high fuel consumption
Results75 %
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Benoit Charette
With the revised new Acadia, GM once again has a trio of three-row crossovers in its stable

•    Auto123 gets in a first drive of the 2024 GMC Acadia.

Palmetto Bluff, SC - The GMC Acadia, part of GM’s trio of crossovers that also comprises the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse, now offers the same dimensions as the other two models.

2024 GMC Acadia - What's new?

The 2024 model-year is the birth year for the next generation of the GMC Acadia. And for the occasion, the SUV offers a more spacious three-row interior than the previous model.

Along the way, GMC has scrapped the V6 and replaced it with a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, under the hood of all three trim levels offered in Canada.

In addition, the Super Cruise hands-free driving system is available as an option on most versions.

2024 GMC Acadia, profile
2024 GMC Acadia, profile | Photo: B.Charette

2024 GMC Acadia design - 8.5/10

The 2024 Acadia is larger and features slightly bolder styling, reminiscent of the Yukon. The square shape works in its favour and is in keeping with the times.

The aesthetic details may vary slightly depending on the version. The AT4 model has dark accents, red tow hooks, raised ground clearance and off-road tires with plastic-covered fender flares for a more adventurous look. The Denali model features silver accents and optional 22-inch wheels.

2024 GMC Acadia, interior
2024 GMC Acadia, interior |
2024 GMC Acadia, second-row seating
2024 GMC Acadia, second-row seating |

Inside
The new Acadia has taken on the size of its Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse counterparts, and can accommodate up to eight passengers in three rows. Second-row captain's chairs are optional on the base model (Elevation) and standard on the AT4 and Denali. The middle-row seats are once again of the sliding variety.

The overall quality of materials has also improved, especially on the AT4 and Denali versions.

Standard technological features include a 15-inch central screen and an 11-inch digital instrument panel.

Premium options include a panoramic sunroof, laser-engraved wood trim, perforated leather seats and a 16-speaker Bose audio system. The standard GMC Premium infotainment system features a 15-inch screen with superb graphics and a user-friendly Google-based operating system. Convenient features such as Google Maps and Google Assistant are integrated.

2024 GMC Acadia, steering wheel, multimedia screen
2024 GMC Acadia, steering wheel, multimedia screen | Photo: GMC

Technology in the 2024 GMC Acadia - 9.0/10

The Acadia offers an impressive list of standard safety features, including front and rear automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, traffic sign recognition, and much more.

The remarkable Super Cruise hands-free driving system is available on all but the base version.

What's also appreciated is the user-friendliness of the systems. On-screen menus are easy to navigate and everything is easy to find.

2024 GMC Acadia, front
2024 GMC Acadia, front | Photo: B.Charette

Powertrain of the 2024 GMC Acadia - 7.5/10

Gone is the V6 engine; the 2024 GMC Acadia is powered by a 2.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 328 hp and 326 lb-ft of torque, mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, with front- or all-wheel drive. That output is up 18 horses compared to the V6 of the previous model.

On paper, this engine outperforms most of the competition's base engines, and should deliver authoritative performance for the new Acadia. There is some delay or inertia at the start due to the weight and the electronic pedal, which takes a while to respond, but once started, the engine responds well. However, it lacks refinement if you have to make an overtaking maneuver.

2024 GMC Acadia, three-quarters rear
2024 GMC Acadia, three-quarters rear | Photo: B.Charette

Driving the 2024 GMC Acadia - 7.5/10

The roads of South Carolina were the backdrop for our test drive. The first star of the test goes to the Super Cruise system, still the best of its kind in the automotive industry today. Available on AT4 and Denali models, this system keeps you in your lane at a safe distance from the vehicle in front, and even performs automatic lane changes. GM has mapped over 600,000 km of North American highways for Super Cruise compatibility, more than any other hands-free driving system.And that's going to expand to 1.2 million km by the end of 2025.

Beyond that, the AT4 promises respectable off-road performance. With an active torque-control all-wheel drive system, off-road-tuned suspension and increased ground clearance, it handles moderate off-road conditions while maintaining on-road comfort. GM has even added extra protection underneath the vehicle if you feel like taking on more challenging terrain.

The ride is relatively quiet on board, although GM could perhaps refine the sound of the engine, which makes unpleasant noises when you mash the gas pedal.

Finally, the maximum towing capacity is 5,000 lb, which is decent for this class.

2024 GMC Acadia fuel consumption - 7.0/10

GM's figures tell us that the 4-cylinder turbo doesn't do much better in terms of fuel consumption than the old V6. GMC claims 12.4L/100 km in the city and 9.9L/100 km on the highway, for a combined average of 11.3L/100 km. On our test day on mixed roads, we managed 12.3L/100 km.

2024 GMC Acadia, three-quarters front
2024 GMC Acadia, three-quarters front | Photo: B.Charette

2024 GMC Acadia pricing in Canada

  • - 2024 Acadia Elevation - $52,499 ($54,499 with freight/preparation)
  • - 2024 Acadia AT4 - $57,999 ($59,999)
  • - 2024 Acadia Denali - $64,499 ($66,499)

Some of your questions about the 2024 GMC Acadia

Why doesn't the 2024 GMC Acadia come in a light-hybrid or plug-in version?
It seems that this segment still runs on gas and almost only that. Among the Acadia’s direct rivals, few models offer any kind of hybridity.

Is the 2024 Acadia really capable off-road?
The Acadia can take you down a gravel or forest road that's not too rough. It's more the adventurous styling that attracts people, not the real ability to overcome difficult obstacles.

Does the 2024 Acadia offer as much space as a minivan?
Crossovers are attractive to many people who don't want to identify with a minivan. For most people, this is a very viable alternative, but nothing is ultimately as well-built for the family as a minivan.

2024 GMC Acadia, rear
2024 GMC Acadia, rear | Photo: B.Charette

The final word
Consider the 2024 Acadia a step forward for GMC. As a whole, it’s more refined than the model it replaces, except perhaps for the powertrain, which could use some tweaking and maybe a stint at a school for good manners.

The big unknown is whether reliability will be any better. None of the Buick, Chevrolet or GMC entries in this segment have covered themselves in glory in recent years. Time will tell us.

Competitors of the 2024 GMC Acadia

  • - Honda Pilot
  • - Hyundai Palisade
  • - Kia Telluride
  • - Jeep Grand Cherokee L
  • - Nissan Pathfinder
  • - Subaru Ascent
  • - Toyota Grand Highlander
  • - Volkswagen Atlas
2024 GMC Acadia, off road
2024 GMC Acadia, off road | Photo: B.Charette
2024 GMC Acadia, during our test drive off road
2024 GMC Acadia, during our test drive off road | Photo: B.Charette
2024 GMC Acadia, cargo area
2024 GMC Acadia, cargo area | Photo: B.Charette
Benoit Charette
Benoit Charette
Automotive expert
  • More than 30 years of experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 65 test drives last year
  • Attended more than 200 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists