GMC Acadia Years To Avoid and The Best Years

GMC Acadia Years To Avoid – If you’re a crossover enthusiast on the lookout for a used 7-seater, the GMC Acadia might have caught your eye. With its reputation for reliability and popularity, it’s no wonder why many consider it a solid choice.

However, like any vehicle, the Acadia has had its share of lingering problems over the years.

In this article, we’ll delve into specific model years of the Acadia that you might want to avoid if you’re in the market for a pre-owned SUV.

From minor inconveniences to significant safety concerns that could lead to hefty repair bills, it’s essential to be well-informed when seeking your next used Acadia.

GMC Acadia Years To Avoid

Remember, though, that while certain years have had their issues, none of them should be considered terrible vehicles, as every make and model comes with its pros and cons for each production year.

Since its launch in 2007, the GMC Acadia’s first generation had its fair share of challenges, particularly in the early years of production.

The late 2000s marked a turning point in vehicle connectivity, introducing significant improvements in technology and overall vehicle savvy.

While these advancements were exciting, they also brought about growing pains for mainstream vehicles like the Acadia.

Among the early model years, 2008, in particular, stands out as one of the worst in the history of Acadia’s development.

Throughout this generation, certain recurring major flaws emerged, catching some customers unaware at the time of their purchase.

It’s essential to be aware of the potential issues that affected Acadia during these years, as they could influence your decision as a used car buyer.

What Year GMC Acadia To Avoid

Before you set your sights on a used GMC Acadia, it’s crucial to educate yourself about the specific model years that might present more challenges than others.

While the GMC Acadia is generally well-regarded, some years had more issues than others.

GMC Acadia Years To Avoid

Remember, careful research and consideration are key when navigating the used car market, ensuring you find the best GMC Acadia that suits your needs and preferences without breaking the bank.

Let’s dive into the details to understand which years to approach with caution and why.

2008 GMC Acadia

## Problems: Transmission Failure, Longevity, Repair Cost

The first generation of GMC Acadia experienced occasional issues across all model years, but the 2008 version stood out as a tough year for consumers.

It saw a significant spike in transmission problems, with many incidents occurring after just moderate use.

The longevity of the 2008 Acadia was compromised, with transmission problems surfacing at around 75,000 miles, a relatively short period for optimal performance.

Repairing the transmission issue could cost over $4,000, adding to the overall dissatisfaction.

Despite some nice optional features, the transmission problems in the 2008 model significantly impacted its value.

While the interior features may have been acceptable by the standards of that time, opting for a first-generation Acadia year might lead to increased expenses in repairs and frustration.

Spending a few thousand dollars more upfront for a more recent model year with fewer transmission issues could be a wiser investment.

Read Also: GMC Envoy Years To Avoid

2012 and 2013 GMC Acadia

## Problems: Engine Failure, Coolant, and Gasket Leaks, Repair Price

After resolving mechanical issues in the first generation, the 2012 and 2013 model years saw some of those problems resurfacing.

The 2012 models were particularly plagued by issues, with four major recalls causing headaches for consumers over a year and a half.

While the 2013 model year did not have significant safety concerns, it experienced a return of engine issues from the previous generation.

Problems such as incorrect oil levels, coolant leaks, gasket leaks, and water spots were common.

Repair costs for these model years could exceed $7,000, which is a significant amount for a car with less than 80,000 miles.

Although the features in the 2012 and 2013 models are closer to the latest generation, their mechanical problems resemble those of the first generation, making these two Acadia model years less favorable choices.

2017 and 2018 GMC Acadia

## Problems: Driveshaft Detachment, Safety Recalls for Seatbelts and Airbags, Fuel Pump Leak

For a few years, Acadia seemed to have resolved its significant issues. However, the 2017 and 2018 model years brought new and familiar problems.

The most common issue during this period was a faulty driveshaft that could detach while the vehicle was in motion or idling, posing a serious hazard to drivers.

Additionally, recalls were issued for various components, including seatbelts, airbags, tires, the ECM, and other mechanical parts, causing inconvenience and concern for drivers.

One significant but relatively rare recall during these model years was related to the high-pressure fuel pumps, which had a few reported cases of leaking and potentially causing fires.

While not widespread, these recalls and the driveshaft issues make the 2017 and 2018 Acadia models years worth avoiding when considering a used SUV from this timeframe.

Read Also: GMC Yukon Years To Avoid

Best GMC Acadia Years

The GMC Acadia has gained popularity as a quality midsize SUV, offering a refreshing shift from the standard GMC brand.

GMC Acadia Best Years

With its top-notch infotainment system, excellent safety features, and ample cargo space, the Acadia has become a favorite among families and adventure-seekers alike.

If you’re considering a used GMC Acadia and want to get the most value for your investment, selecting a reliable model year is essential.

We’ll explore the most reliable choices for the GMC Acadia, focusing on the 2015 and 2016 model years.

These years have a proven track record of excellent reliability, making them wise options for potential buyers seeking a dependable and enjoyable ownership experience.

2015 GMC Acadia – The Last of the First Generation

GMC Acadia Best Years

The 2015 GMC Acadia represents one of the final models in the Acadia’s first-generation lineup.

One of its key selling points is the spacious cabin, offering up to 116.1 cu-ft of cargo volume, making it ideal for family trips and everyday errands.

The legroom is generous throughout, though the third row is better suited for children and teenagers.

In terms of performance, the 2015 Acadia boasts car-like road manners, delivering a comfortable ride on highways and back roads alike. With a towing capacity of 5,200 lbs, it’s capable of handling serious trailering needs.

Overall, the 2015 Acadia stands out for its reliability and performance, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a used GMC Acadia with a proven track record.

2016 GMC Acadia – Spacious, Reliable, and Safe

GMC Acadia Best Years

The 2016 GMC Acadia is another strong contender for those looking for a reliable used SUV. It earned a higher-than-average reliability rating and offers a comfortable and spacious interior, accommodating passengers and cargo with ease.

Its safety ratings and tech features were also considered among the best in its segment for that year.

While there were a few documented issues, such as fluid leaks and occasional power steering problems, they were relatively rare and didn’t overshadow the overall reliability of the 2016 Acadia.

Read Also: GMC Sierra Years To Avoid

As part of the first-generation model years, the 2016 version proves to be a solid choice for a dependable and enjoyable driving experience.

Beyond the First Generation

Moving beyond the first-generation Acadia, GMC continued to improve its design and reliability.

The industry as a whole considers GMC Acadia models released after 2018 to be relatively dependable and well-made.

For instance, the 2020 Acadia received a commendable 7.3 out of 10 rating from US News, which is above average for most vehicles in its class.

While no vehicle is perfect, newer Acadia models, like the 2020 version, offer enhanced safety and technology features, making them safer choices compared to some older model years.

GMC Acadia Problems

The GMC Acadia has earned a reputation as a reliable SUV, but like any vehicle, it’s not without its trouble spots.

Potential buyers should be aware of these common issues to make informed decisions when considering a GMC Acadia purchase.

GMC Acadia Problems

In this section, we’ll explore some of the most reported problems with the GMC Acadia, focusing on transmission faults, engine problems, check engine light codes, and faulty A/C systems.

Understanding these issues will help you navigate the used car market and ensure a more satisfactory ownership experience with your GMC Acadia.

1. Transmission Faults

Some GMC Acadias equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission have been known to develop faults related to a broken 35R clutch wave plate within the transmission system.

This issue can lead to various symptoms, including slipping transmission, harsh or rough shifting, and even a complete loss of reverse gear.

If you’re considering a used GMC Acadia, particularly with this transmission, it’s essential to have a thorough inspection to identify potential transmission problems.

Addressing these issues promptly can prevent further damage and costly repairs.

2. Engine Problems

Earlier GMC Acadia models, especially the 2008, 2010, and 2011 versions, have been associated with engine problems.

Frustrated owners reported instances where their vehicles slowed down and came to a complete stop in the middle of the road, necessitating costly engine replacements.

As these models have aged, it’s even more critical for potential buyers to have a trusted mechanic inspect the engine thoroughly to ensure it’s in good working condition.

3. Check Engine Light Codes

Some GMC Acadias powered by specific V6 engines have been known to trigger specific check engine light codes, including P0011, P0014, P0021, P0024, P0341, P0346, P0336, or P0391.

To address this issue, a software update for the powertrain control module (PCM) might be necessary.

If you encounter a GMC Acadia with these check engine light codes, it’s wise to have a qualified mechanic perform the update or diagnose any underlying issues to maintain the vehicle’s optimal performance.

Read Also: GMC Terrain Years To Avoid

4. Faulty A/C System

Certain GMC Acadia model years have experienced problems with their A/C systems, resulting in decreased cooling performance.

The root cause of this issue has been traced back to an evaporator leak that hampers cooling either in a specific zone or throughout the entire vehicle.

When evaluating a used Acadia, pay close attention to the A/C system’s performance, and if you notice any cooling issues, have it inspected and repaired by a qualified technician.

How many miles does a GMC Acadia last?

With proper care and maintenance, your GMC Acadia should last around 13 to 14 years or 200,000 miles.

Is GMC Acadia Reliable?

The GMC Acadia overall isn’t considered very reliable. According to, it scores 30 out of 100, placing it in the unreliable category. It performs at the bottom of the pack when compared to other offerings from GMC.

Additionally, according to, the GMC Acadia scores a three out of five in general reliability, ranking it 22nd out of 32 similar vehicles.

The annual repair cost for the GMC Acadia is $734, which is almost $200 more expensive than the average of $573 for other midsize SUVs.

There is a 19% chance of severe repairs, compared to an average of 13% for other midsize vehicles.

The GMC Acadia doesn’t fare well when compared to similar vehicles in terms of reliability.

Which car is better, GMC Acadia, or Ford Explorer?

The Ford Explorer has a slight advantage in horsepower compared to the GMC Acadia. However, the GMC Acadia has higher torque, which can contribute to a more powerful feeling when driving. Both vehicles offer similar seating capacities.

Are GMC Acadia expensive to fix?

During its first 10 years of service, a GMC Acadia will cost about $7,817 for maintenance and repairs, beating the industry average for popular SUV models by $1,316.

However, there is a 22.80% chance that the Acadia will require a major repair during that time, which is 1.30% worse than similar vehicles in this segment.

While the overall maintenance and repair costs are relatively reasonable compared to other SUVs, potential buyers should be aware of the possibility of significant repairs that could impact their budget.


When considering a GMC Acadia purchase, it’s crucial to be well-informed about the vehicle’s reliability and potential issues.

The GMC Acadia has faced common problems, including transmission faults, engine issues, check engine light codes, and faulty A/C systems.

Potential buyers should be cautious when considering specific model years, such as the 2008, 2010, and 2011 versions, which have been associated with engine problems.

Furthermore, the GMC Acadia’s overall reliability doesn’t score favorably when compared to similar vehicles.

When comparing the GMC Acadia to competitors like the Ford Explorer, it’s essential to assess specific performance and seating requirements to make an informed decision that best fits individual needs.

While the GMC Acadia can be a practical and enjoyable SUV, it’s crucial to choose wisely and opt for the most reliable model year to avoid potential headaches down the road.

Conducting thorough research, seeking professional inspections, and test-driving multiple options will aid in selecting a GMC Acadia that delivers a satisfying and dependable driving experience.

Potential buyers should weigh the benefits and drawbacks of the GMC Acadia, considering their budget, preferences, and long-term goals. By doing so, they can make an educated decision and find a GMC Acadia that suits their needs and provides a rewarding ownership experience.