The 2014 GMC Acadia is a midsize, seven- or eight-passenger crossover utility vehicle offered in standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. In 2013, this model was substantially updated as numerous additional safety features were made available.
Among midsize crossovers, the 2014 GMC Acadia offers a premium look and feel, most evident in its chrome-laden and well appointed top-of-the-line Denali edition. Sophisticated, roomy and rugged, the 204 GMC Acadia is designed with active families in mind, offering generous cargo room and 5,200 pounds of standard towing capacity.
Introduced in 2007, the GMC Acadia has always projected a solid and upscale presence, representing a highly capable utility vehicle defined by a three-slat grille, standard LED running lamps and available fog lamps. The Acadia is muscular and marked by a massive hood, a solid stance, arched wheel wells, rocker panel trim and wrap around tail lamps.
This model is outfitted with standard 18-inch aluminum wheels or elegant 20-inch six-split spoke chrome wheels set within all-season tires.
Choose the Denali trim and certain embellishments, including a signature grille and chrome molding, are included.
All models come with chrome door handles, deep-tinted glass, automatic headlamps, a roof-mounted luggage rack, body-color or chrome-clad side mirrors, a rear wiper and a rear spoiler. The Denali edition brings in machined aluminum wheels and chrome touches. A power rear liftgate is standard except with the base model.
With the Acadia, GMC offers a cabin that is bright, roomy and quite comfortable. Its natural light is supplemented by numerous reading, theater, dome and cargo area lights.
Standard seating for seven includes bucket seats in the first row, captain’s chairs for the second row and a split-folding bench seat for the third row. You can substitute the captain’s chairs for a split bench seat to gain an eighth seating position. Both the second and third row seats fold flat, providing more than 116 cubic feet of storage capacity; 24 cubic feet is standard.
Premium cloth seats are standard. Leather seating is available or included with the Denali. Heated and cooled driver and front passenger seats are an upgrade. This model offers available 8-way driver and 2-way front passenger adjustable seats. A power 8-way passenger seat is also available.
The instrument panel features a five-gauge display and a digital driver information center. It sits behind a standard tilt and telescopic steering wheel column. The steering wheel is leather-wrapped and includes mounted audio controls. The Denali edition brings in wood trim.
The driver’s seat is very comfortable, offering superior hip, thigh and leg support. Buyers considering substituting the captain’s chairs for the bench seat will gain an extra seating position, but at some cost to comfort. With the chairs in place, passengers enjoy excellent all-around support and ample room to maneuver. The third row seat provides average support and can hold two car seats with ease.
GMC dresses the Acadia in soft touch materials with bright work accents. Controls are sensibly placed; the layout for the center console is uncluttered. At the very top of the stack, on the dashboard, is a pop up storage unit. Below that are the climate control vents, then the display screen. The screen is large, colorful and controlled by voice command, with apps or by nearby buttons and switches. Further down are a USB port, a 12-volt outlet and an auxiliary input interface. To the right of the transmission shifter are two cup holders. A deep storage compartment is found beneath the arm rest.
In all, the Acadia has 10 standard cup holders with the seven-passenger edition and 12 with the eight-passenger model. In-door pockets, seat back pockets and a cargo area in-floor storage area are among the many hideaways this model offers.
A standard audio system includes AM/FM/SiriusXM/HD radio with a CD player. As you move up through trim levels, the offerings bring in Intellilink, GMC’s infotainment system. Bluetooth connectivity, navigation, a rear seat DVD system and a Bose 10-speaker audio system. The DVD system is particularly welcoming for families and includes a pair of wireless headphones to keep children occupied.
Only one powertrain choice is offered with the GMC Acadia. This model is powered by a 3.6-liter V-6 engine making 288 horsepower and 275 foot-pounds of torque. It is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The engine provides sufficient power even when the crossover is filled with passengers, is hauling cargo or when pulling a boat. For better handling, all-wheel drive is preferred. The Acadia provides very good off the mark acceleration and above average passing ability.
Steering is precise, handling is good and this model provides better than average braking. The suspension system is firm.
If you like technologies, the GMC Acadia does not disappoint. Some of the more advanced features are included with the Denali or available elsewhere, but only with the SL-2 edition. All models come equipped with OnStar, a subscription service with numerous features including automatic crash response support.
The Acadia’s head-up display (HUD) is particularly helpful, what provides tachometer, speedometer and gearing information and projects it just above your hood line. It enables you to keep your eyes on the road at all times.
The technology package also includes cargo area audio system controls and high intensity definition projector low beam headlamps.
In crash testing performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2014 GMC Acadia received top grades of “good” in four areas: moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints & seats. It was not tested for the IIHS’ newest small overlap front test.
All models come equipped with front, front side and side impact head curtain airbags to protect outboard sitting passengers across all three rows. The Acadia also comes with an industry first front center airbag.
A rear vision camera is standard. Forward collision alert and lane departure warning is standard with the Denali and is available with the SLT editions. The Denali also comes equipped with side blind and rear cross traffic alert, making use of a radar system to show that information on the display. Every model comes equipped with standard four-wheel brakes, an antilock brake system, traction control, stability control and hill-hold assist braking technology.
The 2014 GMC Acadia is available in five trim levels: SE-1, SE-2, SL-1, SL-2 and Denali editions. Prices new range from about $36,000 to about $50,000 for the all-wheel drive Denali. The GMC Acadia Denali along with the Buick Enclave are the premium utility vehicles in this segment.
Most customers avoid base trim levels to find a vehicle optioned the way they want. The SL-1 edition has a broad range of amenities, but for $5,000 more the Denali includes a full range of safety features for no extra charge.