6 GMC Acadia Years to Avoid and 3 Model Years to Choose

The GMC Acadia is a mid-size SUV manufactured by General Motors under the GMC brand.

The vehicle was first introduced as a “2007 model” in 2006.

Currently, the GMC Acadia has two generations:

  • 1st Generation [2007–2016]
  • 2nd Generation [2017–Present]

The GMC Acadia is very popular and one of the most reliable SUVs.

However, not all GMC Acadias are equal, and a few are also problematic.

It’s best to stay away from the GMC Acadia model years that are more problematic.

As a mechanic, I’m passionate about helping drivers make informed decisions that will save them from future trouble.

Therefore, throughout this article, I’ve discussed which GMC Acadia model years to avoid and why.

I have also mentioned the best GMC Acadia model years that you can choose instead.

6 GMC Acadia Years to Avoid

If you want to buy a used GMC Acadia, avoid the following 6 model years:

  1. 2007 GMC Acadia
  2. 2008 GMC Acadia
  3. 2012 GMC Acadia
  4. 2013 GMC Acadia
  5. 2017 GMC Acadia
  6. 2018 GMC Acadia

Every vehicle has some common problems, which is normal.

But the Acadia model years listed above have some major issues.

Therefore, avoiding those model years is a smart idea.

Here are the major problems that put the mentioned model years on the avoid list:

Acadia’s Worst Model Year: 2007

Acadia's Worst Model Year

Owners reported several issues with their 2007 GMC Acadia.

Among them, the major issues are:

  • Transmission problems
  • Engine problems
  • Air conditioning problems
  • Brakes problems

These are vital components of a vehicle.

When the components start malfunctioning, it causes serious issues and costs a lot to fix.

Many owners of the 2007 GMC Acadia reported spending between $600 and $2,900 on repairs.

Acadia’s Worst Model Year: 2008

Major problems with the 2008 GMC Acadia are:

  • Transmission failure
  • Engine issues
  • Air conditioning issues
  • and steering problems.

2008 Acadia has received the highest number of complaints, making it the worst model year in GMC Acadia’s history.

Many users experienced transmission problems after 75,000 miles of driving.

These issues cost between $3,700 and $3,900 to fix.

Acadia’s Worst Model Year: 2012-2013

The 2012-2013 Acadia also gets many complaints for issues with the following components:

  • Engine issues
  • Air conditioner not working issue
  • Transmission issues

2011 GMC Acadia has more complaints than the 2013 model year.

But the 2011 model-year problems are common and cheaper to fix.

In contrast, the 2013 Acadia’s problems are severe and cost around $500 to $4500 to fix.

Acadia’s Worst Model Year: 2017-2018

Acadia's Worst Model Year: 2017-2018

Although the 2017 and 2018 Acadias have many improvements, transmission and engine issues have ruined their reputation.

Therefore, I have put these model years on the “avoid” list.

GMC Acadia Problems Count by Year

The number of complaints against a model year indicates its reliability.

According to CarComplaints.com, the GMC Acadia model years get the following number of complaints:

Model Year Number of Complaints
2007 Acadia 114
2008 Acadia 186
2009 Acadia 55
2010 Acadia 72
2011 Acadia 62
2012 Acadia 73
2013 Acadia 25
2014 Acadia 48
2015 Acadia 22
2016 Acadia 16
2017 Acadia 99
2018 Acadia 49
2019 Acadia 17
2020 Acadia 02
2021 Acadia 05

4 GMC Acadia Common Problems

The GMC Acadia has some common problems.

The problems are especially noticeable in the above-listed model years.

As a buyer, you should know about these problems.

1. Transmission Problems

GMC Acadia’s most common problem is transmission issues.

Acadia’s transmission problems include 3 issues:

  • Transmission shifting issues
  • Transmission failure
  • Transmission fluid leaks.

These 3 transmission issues are common in some models of the GMC Acadia, especially the model years that I mentioned above.

However, other GMC Acadias have minor transmission problems.

So, check for transmission failure symptoms before purchasing a used GMC Acadia.

If you experience transmission-related issues, consult a qualified mechanic for a proper inspection.

2. Check Engine Light Issue

The check engine light is another common problem with the GMC Acadia.

Generally, the GMC Acadia generates the following 7 codes when the check engine light appears:

  • P0011
  • P0024
  • P0014
  • P0336
  • P0341
  • P0346
  • P0391

Software update usually resolves Acadia’s check engine light issues.

3. Engine Issues

Acadia’s first-generation models are highly prone to engine problems.

In 2007, 2008, 2011, and 2012, the GMC Acadia received many complaints about engine problems.

Owners had to spend a lot of money to resolve the issues.

4. AC or Heater System Issues

There are a lot of Acadias with air conditioning problems, especially the first generation.

Only a few years later, the vehicle’s air conditioning system began to fail.

This issue was later discovered to be primarily the result of an evaporator leak.

3 Best Year for GMC Acadia

Here are the best GMC Acadia model years:

  • 2015 GMC Acadia
  • 2016 GMC Acadia
  • 2020 GMC Acadia

These model years are highly reliable, and I recommend buying them if you want a used GMC Acadia.

2015 GMC Acadia

The GMC Acadia 2015 is one of the most reliable models.

The model year received very few complaints compared to others.

Its spacious cabin and legroom make it attractive.

Another attractive side of the 2015 GMC Acadia is that it provides comfortable riding on both city roads and highways.

2015 GMC Acadia has excellent towing capacity and can tow up to 5,200 pounds.

2016 GMC Acadia

The 2016 GMC Acadia has excellent reliability and safety ratings.

The model offers a spacious interior and comfortable riding experiences.

It is the final model year of the first-generation GMC Acadia.

This model year has higher owner satisfaction ratings.

2020 GMC Acadia

The 2020 model year is one of the best in the second generation of GMC Acadia models.

The model has improved in all sectors and received very few complaints.

According to some independent research, the 2020 GMC Acadia model year received an 81 out of 100 reliability rating.


Can a GMC Acadia last 300000 miles?

The GMC Acadia can last over 200,000 miles or 13 to 14 years with proper maintenance and care.

A few GMC Acadia have been known to last 300,000 miles but require extensive maintenance after 200,000 miles.

Is it worth it to buy an Acadia?

Not all used Acadias are worth buying.

2015, 2016, and 2020 GMC Acadia models are very reliable and worth buying.

However, if you want to buy a new GMC Acadia, you can choose the 2023 Acadia.

It is an excellent midsize SUV with two capable engine options.

It has numerous advanced features that provide a smooth driving experience.

How much does it cost to replace a transmission in a GMC Acadia?

A vehicle’s transmission replacement is one of the most complicated procedures.

The GMC Acadia transmission problems are widespread, affecting most model years.

Therefore, replacing the GMC Acadia’s transmission costs approximately $4,000 to $5,500.

What year is the most reliable GMC Acadia?

2016 GMC Acadia is the most reliable model year.

This model year offers many exciting features and is less problematic than other model years.

Therefore, the 2016 GMC Acadia is considered the most reliable year.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the GMC Acadia is a reliable SUV, but transmission issues in some model years have damaged its reputation.

So, if you are considering buying a used GMC Acadia, avoid the model years listed in this article.

Instead, choose the best model years mentioned in this article.

You will get the most enjoyable experience with the “best model years” of the GMC Acadia.

Check the transmission, AC or heater, engine performance, and other necessary components before buying a GMC Acadia.

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