2009 GMC Acadia Performance
This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.
The 2009 Acadia offers predictable handling and useful all-wheel drive, but its lagging engine power and towing capacity fall below expectations for a GMC vehicle.
- "Shoppers should get to know GMC for its first crossover SUV, the Acadia. It looks great, is a surprisingly competent handler, despite its weight, and can carry up to eight people comfortably." -- MSN
- "Front-drive versions are impressively stable and agile for a vehicle this size. AWD models -- even with the optional 19-inch tires -- feel a bit less nimble but benefit from added traction on slick surfaces. Acadia is difficult to maneuver in tight spaces due to its long, wide body." -- Consumer Guide
- "While the .... GMC Acadia doesn't fall anywhere near the fun-to-drive camp, it's easy and pleasant to drive, especially considering the vehicle's size and 4,700-pound curb weight." -- Edmunds
- "If you absolutely, positively need towing prowess or off-road capabilities, you're still likely to favor GM's Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon, full-size, truck-based SUVs." -- USA Today
Acceleration and Power
The Acadia comes with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes 288 horsepower (an increase of 13 hp over last year) and 270 pound-feet of torque. While some test drivers say it lacks power, no one is disputing the engine's good fuel economy. According to the EPA, the front-wheel drive Acadia gets 17/24 mpg city/highway, while the all-wheel drive model achieves 16/23 mpg.
- "The Acadia offers better than expected acceleration both around town and on the highway, but front-drive models are slightly quicker from a stop. The transmission shifts smoothly but is often caught in too high a gear. A prod of the throttle sometimes results in slow downshifts for passing power." -- Consumer Guide
- "The Acadia's V6 won't blow you away with its power, but peak torque comes on early and the vehicle moves with decent authority." -- Edmunds
- "Weighing in at nearly 5,000 pounds, the Acadia is pretty hefty and needs all 275 of those horses, but with the help of the perceptive six-speed transmission, power is certainly adequate." -- Orlando Sentinel
Handling and Braking
The Acadia is well-regarded for its car-like handling and capable all-wheel drive system, which makes it ideal for inclement weather.
- "With the standard 18-inch tires, Acadia is comfortably composed and controlled. The optional 19s made the ride noticeably stiffer, though not unbearably so." -- Consumer Guide
- "The Acadia rides very nicely even on rough pavement. Handling is on par with other vehicles on the same shopping list." -- Orlando Sentinel
- "Thanks to unit-body construction and street-focused suspension, the ... 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." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Though GMC has built its image around tough trucks, the all-wheel-drive Acadia is geared more for foul-weather driving than boulder-bashing. The AWD system is active and requires no driver intervention." -- Edmunds