Which are the GMC Acadia Years to Avoid and Why

The GMC Acadia has had some lingering issues over the years while being generally regarded as a reasonably dependable and well-liked car among crossover lovers. If you’re looking for a second-hand 7-seater, there are three specific Acadia model years to stay away from.

When hunting for your next used Acadia, take in mind that the faults have varied from small annoyances to severe safety concerns that can cost thousands of dollars. Keep in mind that none of these years should be regarded as having horrible vehicles because every make and model has advantages and disadvantages every year.

The Acadia has had many persistent, serious problems from its 2007 introduction, which not all consumers were aware of at the time they made their initial purchases. Throughout the first several years of manufacturing, Acadia’s first generation experienced recurring problems.

The late 2000s saw a significant change in car connection, similar to how many mainstream vehicles did in the US. For the first time, we witnessed tremendous advancements in-car technology.

The generation from 2007 to 2009 saw some growing pains, with 2008, in particular, being among the worst in Acadia’s growth history.

Which are the GMC Acadia Years to Avoid?

The following is a list of the GMC Acadia years to avoid:

  • First Generation 2008
  • Second generation 2012
  • Second generation 2013
  • Third Generation 2016
  • Third Generation 2017

1. 2020 GMC Acadia
2020 GMC Acadia by Kevauto / CC BY-SA 4.0. In comparison to other vehicles in its class, the 2020 Acadia scored 7.3 out of 10.

It’s not usually a good idea to make generalizations, but these seven model years had more issues than others.

Why Do These Years Feature In Our List of GMC Acadia Years to Avoid?

Having looked at the list of GMC Acadia years to avoid, let’s now look at the reasons why these GMC Acadia years have featured in our list. Why should you avoid buying the years mentioned here?

GMC Acadia 2008 Issues

All of the vehicles in the first generation occasionally experienced problems, but buyers had it especially rough with the 2008 model year. This was accompanied by the biggest recorded surge in transmission issues, the bulk of which appeared after very light usage.

When looking for a crossover SUV, longevity is a key consideration. There have been serious transmission issues recorded after only 75,000 miles, so that is not a very amazing number of miles for peak performance. 2008 is one of the best Acadia model years to stay away from, especially when you consider the over $4,000 repair costs.

Although periodic maintenance is required for gearboxes every 30,000 miles or so, total failures under 100,000-lifetime miles are neither normal nor expected. Despite having several good add-on options to enhance the driving experience, the 2008 model’s gearbox problems drastically reduced its total worth.

By today’s standards, the inside car features are only adequate, and the first generation’s lower purchase price may wind up costing you thousands more in maintenance and aggravation. On the other hand, you may discover a more recent model year with fewer recorded transmission problems by paying just a few thousand dollars more upfront.

GMC Acadia 2012 Issues

After being resolved for a few years, the mechanical problems that plagued the original generation returned with the 2012 model year. Most of the issues were with the 2012 models, although these two had four distinct large recalls that inconvenienced drivers for one and a half years, giving customers a headache.

While there were no severe safety flaws that went unreported, the engine problems from the previous generation returned in 2012. For the 2012 model year, issues including incorrect oil levels, coolant leaks, gasket leak fluids, and water spots were frequent.

This generation’s repair expenses might surpass $7,000, which is not what you would want or anticipate for a vehicle with fewer than 80,000 miles on the odometer. These two Acadia model years should be avoided because while the features are more in line with the most recent generation, the mechanical difficulties are more in line with the first generation.

GMC Acadia 2013 Issues

Following a brief period of the resolution, the mechanical problems that dogged the original generation returned with the 2013 model year. The 2013 models experienced the majority of issues, although these two had four distinct large recalls that affected drivers for one and a half years, which caused consumers headaches.

2013 GMC Acadia witnessed a repeat of the engine problems from the previous generation, albeit there were no severe safety issues that went undiscovered. For the 2013 model year, typical problems were incorrect oil levels, coolant leaks, gasket leak fluids, and water spots.

For a car of this type with fewer than 80,000 miles on it, repair expenses may surpass $7,000, which is not what you would want or anticipate. Although the features are more in line with the most recent generation, the mechanical problems were more in line with the first generation, making these two Acadia models years to steer clear of.

2. 2007 GMC Acadia
2007 GMC Acadia by Thomas doerfer. Since Acadia’s 2007 debut, it has experienced many major, ongoing issues that not all customers were aware of when they made their original purchases.

GMC Acadia 2017 Issues

The Acadia experienced no severe problems for a few years. The 2017 model year saw both new and recurring issues, with a damaged drive shaft being the most frequent one. Drivers faced an evident risk when a component detached while moving or idle.

While driving, this may have led to a loss of propulsion and danger, however, the same mechanism failure also happened when the car was parked. The vehicle might even progressively go downhill whether it was moving or stationary.

The driveshaft was the most frequent problem drivers encountered during these model years, however other mechanical parts including the ECM, airbags, tires, and seat belts were also recalled. Recalls are frequently made out of an excess of caution and might not apply to every car on the road, yet they nonetheless cause drivers problems.

For 2017 models, the failure of high-pressure gasoline pumps, which had a few instances of leaking and igniting a fire, was a somewhat serious but infrequent recall. Although it hasn’t been identified as a widespread concern, these Acadia model years should be avoided if you’re shopping for a used SUV from the past five or so years due to the general number of problems they’ve encountered.

GMC Acadia 2018 Issues

The Acadia didn’t have any major problems for a few years. With a defective drive shaft being the most prevalent problem, the 2018 model year experienced both new and recurring issues. Drivers were put in danger when a component was known to separate while moving or idle.

The identical mechanism failure also happened when the car was stopped, albeit it may have caused a loss of propulsion and serious hazard while driving. The vehicle may also gently slip downwards whether it was moving uphill or downhill when parked.

Although the driveshaft was the most frequent problem seen by drivers during these model years, other recalls were also made for seat belts, airbags, tires, the ECM, and other mechanical parts. Recalls are often carried out out of a sense of extreme care and may not apply to every vehicle on the road, yet they nonetheless cause drivers problems.

High-pressure gasoline pumps, which occasionally leaked and started fires, were a rather serious but infrequent recall for 2018 vehicles. Although it hasn’t been noted as a widespread issue, if you’re shopping for a used SUV for the past five or so years, these Acadia model years are ideal ones to steer clear of due to the general amount of problems they’ve had.

Which are the Best Years to Buy a GMC Acadia?

If you’re looking to purchase a used GMC Acadia, the following models come highly recommended due to their high dependability ratings.

GMC Acadia (2015)

One of the final models in the first-generation Acadia lineup is the 2015 model. Its roomy cabin, which has a cargo space of up to 116.1 cu ft, is one of its key selling factors. Except for the third row, which is best saved for children and teenagers, the legroom is likewise excellent.

It’s car-like handling on the road is another plus for the 2015 Acadia. It is the perfect travel partner for family outings since it provides a pleasant ride on both main roads and side roads. Additionally, the towing capability of 5,200 pounds should be plenty for serious trailering.

GMC Acadia (2016)

The 2016 GMC Acadia features a pleasant, roomy cabin, above-average dependability scores, and superior safety ratings.

One of its key appeals is the roomy and adaptable interior. Additionally, for that year, its tech features and safety ratings were among the finest in the market. There were a few known problems, such as fluid leaks and a lack of power steering, but they were much too infrequent.

3. First generation GMC Acadia Denali 2011A 2011 GMC Acadia with around 71,000 miles costs customers, on average, more than $7,000 to maintain.

Another excellent option from the first generation model years to buy secondhand is the 2016 Acadia.

Models of GMC Acadia introduced after 2018 are regarded by the industry as being quite trustworthy and well-built. The 2020 Acadia scored 7.3 out of 10, which is higher than the class average for most vehicles. Even if it’s not a perfect solution, based on this rating, it’s still a safer alternative than some of the model years mentioned in this article.

The newest Acadia models are a very safe pick if you’re looking for an alternative that’s reasonably priced and has a good amount of cargo room, but like with any vehicle, it depends on your specific preferences. When in doubt, always conduct your research, consult a professional, and put it to the test.

Which Ones are the General Problems with the GMC Acadia?

Anyone who has looked for an SUV in the last ten years has undoubtedly seen the GMC Acadia and given it some consideration, but they’ve also definitely learned about some Acadia faults.

Since its debut in 2007, this midsize crossover SUV has risen to the top of its class in popularity, but it has not been without severe problems that not all customers are initially aware of.

Here is the information you need to know about some of the main GMC Acadia issues since it’s wise to be aware of all the advantages and disadvantages of any car.

1. Engine Issues with the GMC Acadia

The GMC Acadia has long been plagued by engine issues. Even in the first year of production, there were more blown engines than any driver would care to hear, which led to power loss and burned cylinders. Also more frequent than it ought to have been leaked in the timing chain cover.

Similar problems with the Acadia just abruptly shutting down while driving was reported by drivers for the 2008 model year, which is a major safety concern. Drivers were paying, on average, more than $7,000 to have a 2011 GMC Acadia with around 71,000 miles serviced.

Although it is more than anyone wants to spend, it is necessary for a problem of this size. Either it has to be mended or you need a whole new car, both of which are very expensive options.

These issues appear to have been substantially rectified by the 2012 model year, therefore the GMC Acadia’s engine issues at this time were no different from those of any other comparable car.

The GMC Acadia’s most recent versions feature revised engines, and the shortcomings of the earlier models are all but nonexistent. However, the GMC Acadia has a long history of engine problems, which might turn some drivers off.

Avoiding years with known troubles and concentrating on more recent models that have never had any such issues is the best course of action if engine problems are a worry.

2. Transmission Issues with the GMC Acadia

The GMC Acadia’s transmission has always been a weak spot for the car, and possibly the biggest issues the Acadia has ever experienced were malfunctioning transmissions.

The gearbox was notorious for suddenly seizing up totally without much notice or cause in 2007, the first year the SUV was put into production, necessitating a complete repair. If you’re looking for a used GMC Acadia, you need to be aware of this because it was not only difficult but also highly expensive.

Being careful is advised while shopping for a 2007 model. A new gearbox might set you back up to $4000 or more, which is a hefty repair charge. The next year, the same problems persisted and worsened to the point that it was challenging to locate new components.

4. 2013 GMC Acadia Denali2013 GMC Acadia Denali by Mr.choppers / CC BY-SA 3.0. Typical issues with the 2013 GMC Acadia included improper oil levels, coolant leaks, gasket leak fluids, and water spots.

Owners’ complaints about their cars are detailed on websites like CarComplaints.com, and without a doubt, the GMC Acadia’s gearbox problems have been the worst reported. On this page, you can see that 2008 is the worst year for this problem, with many owners experiencing the same transmission trouble.

If you’re looking for a GMC Acadia in 2020, you should probably avoid this year particularly, just in case, as well as the 2008 versions as well. In 2020, you would already be skeptical of any 12-year-old car, but now that you’ve added this element, you should be much more cautious.

Fortunately, as time passed, the GMC Acadia’s gearbox problems were fixed, and current models of the car seldom experience them, certainly not more frequently than the typical car.

3. Battery Issues with the GMC Acadia

The GMC Acadia has had battery problems for several years. Drivers have claimed that the batteries run out of power too soon and that this problem persists even after a jump start or a trip to the mechanic.

However, a complete diagnostic is sometimes the only way to pinpoint the precise source of the drain. Some of these drains have been linked to problems with the remote starting system and relays that don’t shut down correctly once the car is turned off.

4. Power Steering Problems with the GMC Acadia

Some power steering versions had a problem with the system springing leaks that might disable the car and be very expensive to fix. These difficulties, like the engine troubles, could not be disregarded. Either they are fixed, or the car has to be changed.

5. Stretched Timing Chain Issues with the GMC Acadia

Timing chains that were strained and oil leaks that were so severe that a trip to the mechanic was necessary to fix were issues with older versions. There have also been minor incidental problems, such as wipers failing when confronted with moving snow.

If it happened on the road during a blizzard, the weight of the snow forced the arms to separate, making it impossible for them to clean the windshield.

6. Secondary System Components Issues with the GMC Acadia

Depending on the model year, a lot of the GMC Acadia’s secondary systems and other parts have had issues over the years. In 2012, for instance, several drivers reported difficulties with the air conditioning system spewing hot air into the cabin.

What Is the Lifespan of a GMC Acadia?

With cautious use and regular maintenance, the powerful SUV may serve you for up to 200K miles without any issues. Your Acadia should last at least thirteen and a half years if you take good care of it, assuming that you drive it roughly 15,000 miles each year on average. Owners will then need to spend money on major part replacement and more regular maintenance.

The Acadia was developed by the company to fill the space between the Yukon and Terrain models. Even one Acadia owner has driven 267K miles and aspires to surpass the elusive 300K-mile threshold. To get this type of lifeline, though, you must continually devote your patience and attention to good upkeep.

According to some sources, some of the first versions of this vehicle had already logged 350K miles. Therefore, how long your vehicle lasts primarily relies on how willing and determined you are to maintain it.

Before 2010, there were transmission problems in a few of the brand’s vehicles. However, many vehicles that are put on the road after 2010 often have a mileage of above 200K. It makes sense why so many consumers rely on the dependability of this vehicle.

5. 2017 GMC Acadia
2017 GMC Acadia by Kevauto / CC BY-SA 4.0. The failure of high-pressure fuel pumps, which occasionally leaked and started fires, was a moderately dangerous but uncommon recall for 2017 GMC Acadia cars.

Can You Trust the GMC Acadia?

Yes, the GMC Acadia is still a dependable vehicle that is great for families. The SUV’s spacious interior comes with 7 seats arranged in 3 rows. Additionally, the rear row may be folded to increase space. To increase comfort, the makers added captain seats to the second row.

About 0.37 times a year, the Acadia requires unplanned maintenance. Around 19% of issues will be very serious. The average cost of repairs is $734 per year. A respectable 5.39 percent of these vehicles reached 150K miles.

RepairPal gave Acacia a 3 out of 5 rating for performance. The Acadia is included as one of the 26 midsize SUVs and comes in at number 23. However, J.D. Power gave it a higher rating of 81/100, which was more outstanding. The Acadia, which came in at number six on the list of the top 10 SUVs, also made it there. The Acadia has a Motor Trend rating of 7.1/10.

As a result, Acadia’s dependability rating is still only average. Fortunately for the owners, General Motors responds to their concerns fast to resolve any issues with the new vehicles.

Have the GMC Acadia Owners Experienced Any Recalls?

Over the years, GMC has recalled the GMC Acadia 20 times. There have been several causes, but not all of them were exclusive to the Acadia.

For instance, a 2010 electrical system recall was triggered by a concern that the heated washer fluid module would pose a fire hazard. The Acadia was one of the several vehicles that made use of the recalled module.

In 2008, a significant recall involving more than 80,000 Acadias, Enclaves, and Saturns was carried out as a result of the previously noted problem with the wiper blades that might come off in deep snow. In addition, several models from 2008 to 2012 were recalled because of liftgate issues.

The liftgate’s raising and lowering mechanism might malfunction, and if it did so while the liftgate was up, anyone loading or unloading the vehicle at the time could have suffered significant injuries.

Because the welds in the third-row seats were not constructed in the proper location, the Acadia was one of several cars recalled in 2015. Accidents had a danger of getting worse, and if enough power was exerted, the entire row of seats may come apart from the wrong welds.

The driveshaft was the source of yet another significant problem with the GMC Acadia. In 2017 to 2018 vehicles, a section of the driveshaft assembly had the potential to detach while the car was in motion. That may have resulted in a loss of propulsion and significant danger of traffic accidents.

The same mechanism may malfunction while the car was not moving, and if the parking brake was not engaged and the car was parked on an incline, it could roll backward.

Over the years, there have been more GMC Acadia recalls issued due to issues with seatbelts, airbags, tires, the ECM, and other components. One of the most recent and significant recalls involved vehicles from 2017 and 2018, which were recalled because of a potential leak and fire danger with the high-pressure fuel pump.

If you own a GMC Acadia or are considering buying one and want to learn about potential problems for your model year, Cars.com provides a complete and extensive list of all recalls including model years, serious numbers, and more.

Is Buying a GMC Acadia Worth It?

Even if there are several issues with older GMC Acadia models, it is important to keep in mind that recalls are a common occurrence for vehicles, some of which are more dangerous than others.

6. 2017 GMC Acadia rear
2017 GMC Acadia rear by Kevauto / CC BY-SA 4.0. There were both new and persistent problems with the 2017 GMC Acadia, with a broken drive shaft being the most common one.

You should stay away from the GMC Acadia because of its early problems since the danger to your safety and probable maintenance costs make it unlikely that it is even worth it. However, more recent Acadia models have shown to be far more durable over time, with significantly fewer issues emerging.

If an SUV is what you’re looking for, the Acadia is a reasonably priced alternative, albeit it isn’t in any way the best in its class. If price is your only consideration, a more recent Acadia can be a decent choice for you.

However, if you’re ready to pay a little bit more, the amenities and aesthetics of its rivals, such as the Chevy Blazer or the Buick Enclave, are just as excellent or better in many ways.

As you’ll see through your study, the Acadia consistently receives a middle-of-the-pack SUV rating from authoritative websites like J.D. Power and others, placing it both behind and in front of certain rivals. On a list of competitors in its class, the 2019 model, for instance, is placed ninth by J.D. Power.

There aren’t any distinguishing qualities that make the Acadia a must-have, and there aren’t any major problems right now that should discourage you from buying one either. The newest versions are unquestionably reliable, typical SUVs, but the earlier models are simply too dangerous to invest a lot of money in.

The flaws of earlier versions should be something you can ignore if you know what you’re getting into and appreciate the way a GMC Acadia looks and functions overall.

Despite everything we’ve written, keep in mind that this is still a popular model overall, making it much easier to get parts and services for it should the need arise in the future. Naturally, warranties will also apply to more recent modes should any of the earlier issues recur.

Older versions that are older than 2012, all the way back to the first year of the Acadia, are out of warranty and aren’t even worth buying because of the high expense of fixing their major gearbox and engine problems.

The Conclusion

How then can we wrap up our discussion on GMC Acadia issues? Should you be concerned if you want to purchase a new or used GMC Acadia? According to the information, we have so far discovered, you should try your hardest to avoid purchasing a first-generation Acadia (2007 to 2016).

That specific generation of Acadia has much too many issues. These problems, which range from failed engines and gearboxes to power steering and A/C, are much too expensive to be justified.

Additionally, it could be dangerous and leave you stranded or unable to handle the vehicle. However, if you are tempted to purchase an Acadia if at all possible, try to stay with second-generation models. The Acadias made after 2017 appear to have a fairly respectable reliability record.

Even if there are many problems, they are at worst annoyances and wouldn’t cost nearly as much to remedy. Also, those newer Acadias probably still have some warranty coverage.

The GMC Acadia is a warning story all around. It’s safe to say that this is not the least dependable car ever built. That would be pushing it and only applicable to a select few luxury vehicles, such as the Chrysler 200.

The Acadia, particularly the first-generation models, might be regarded as strong candidates for the title of GMC’s least dependable vehicle. The next time you start looking through the ads or receive the keys to a new-old Acadia, proceed with caution.

7. GMC Acadia Years to Avoid 8. GMC Acadia Years to Avoid
2020 GMC Acadia by Kevauto / CC BY-SA 4.0.