Author: Steve Allen |

With a long-standing reputation for professional grade functionality, capability and design, the 2016 GMC Acadia focuses on new connectivity and technology features that keep owners connected anytime, anywhere.

All models come with OnStar 4G LTE connectivity that includes a standard built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. The state-of-the-art technology provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected wherever and whenever they like with up to seven personal devices. The hotspot is on whenever the vehicle is on and comes with a three-month/three gigabyte data trial, after which there is an option to purchase additional data.

2016 GMC Acadia SLT 7/8 front in red © General Motors

2016 GMC Acadia SLT 7/8 front in red © General Motors

For 2016, the midsize crossover SUV also adds two new contemporary exterior colors: Ebony Twilight Metallic and White Frost Tricoat.

The GMC Acadia provides comfort, style and safety combined with flexible space and cargo capacity. The Acadia Denali builds on those characteristics with even higher levels of luxury and design.

Acadia’s 2016 lineup includes a new SL base model, SLE (with SLE-1 and SLE-2 trims), the SLT (with SLT-1 and SLT-2 trims) and the Denali models, with seven- or eight-passenger configurations. A 3.6L V-6 VVT engine using gasoline direct injection technology powers all Acadia models, optimizing performance and fuel economy across the board.

2016 GMC Acadia Front grille © General Motors

2016 GMC Acadia Front grille © General Motors

The engine is paired with Acadia’s fuel-saving six-speed automatic transmission to give FWD models an EPA-estimated 24 mpg on the highway. The transmission controls provide quick and consistent shifts for a commanding feel behind the wheel. All-wheel drive is available. Towing capability for the Acadia is 5,200 pounds (2,364 kg), when properly equipped.

Acadia’s interior functionality is popular with families, particularly the SmartSlide seating system, which provides easy access to the third row for seven- and eight-passenger seating configurations. Additionally, the second and third row still fold flat for class-leading maximum cargo space, including the ability to carry 48-inch-wide sheet goods, such as drywall and plywood.

Acadia Denali

The Acadia Denali, available in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models with seven- and eight-passenger seating configurations, continues to exude luxury. With signature design cues such as a monochromatic exterior highlighted with chrome accents, the Denali provides a premium ride through its many high-end details.

2016 GMC Acadia SLT 3/4 Rear in Red © General Motors

2016 GMC Acadia SLT 3/4 Rear in Red © General Motors

Denali’s impressive exterior design elements include unique body-side moldings with chrome accents and Denali badges, dual flow-through chrome exhaust outlets that are integrated into the rear fascia and high-intensity discharge headlamps.

Standard comfort and safety features continue to inspire drivers on the inside, too, with interior features such as perforated leather seating and a new heated leather-wrapped steering wheel. Denali-specific aluminum trim and accent lighting in the footwells and sill plates add to the interior ambience, while heated and cooled seats provide an extra level of relaxation. Advancements in technology are everywhere in the Denali, including the Color Touch navigation system, which allows drivers to use a wide range of functions from a touch screen infotainment center – including music, maps, Bluetooth, weather and more.

2016 GMC Acadia SLT glass to glass rear 3/4 © General Motors

2016 GMC Acadia SLT glass to glass rear 3/4 © General Motors

When it comes to safety, the Acadia Denali ranks high with the Side Blind Zone and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, a radar system that helps detect things drivers might not see in a blind zone behind the vehicle. Also standard on Denali models – and all Acadia models – is hill-hold assist braking technology, which applies the brakes for 1.5 seconds when the driver’s foot leaves the brake pedal on inclines of 5 percent or steeper. To avoid unintended acceleration, an enhanced electronic pedal override reduces power to the engine when the brake and accelerator pedals are depressed at the same time.

Acadia Denali also features an exclusive interior acoustic package that makes it the quietest model in the Acadia lineup.

Exterior highlights

Distinctive lines and a sculpted body give the Acadia a refined appearance. From the three-bar grille and the standard diffused LED running lamps in the front to the rear spoiler, Acadia’s appeal is all in the details.

2016 GMC Acadia SLT 3/4 front in red 2016 GMC Acadia SLT glass to glass rear 3/4 © General Motors

2016 GMC Acadia SLT 3/4 front in red 2016 GMC Acadia SLT glass to glass rear 3/4 © General Motors

Offered with 18-, 19- and 20-inch wheel designs that complement its confident lines and stance, Acadia is both stylish and functional. Vehicle entry and exit is easy with a body-frame integral structure that enables lower entry/exit height for passengers. The front door step-in height is only 18.9 inches (480 mm), and the rear door step-in height is 19.8 inches (503 mm). Entry to the second- and third-row seats is easy with very wide rear doors and GM’s exclusive Smart Slide second-row seat feature.

2016 GMC Acadia SLT 3/4 front in red 2016 GMC Acadia SLT glass to glass rear 3/4 © General Motors

2016 GMC Acadia SLT 3/4 front in red 2016 GMC Acadia SLT glass to glass rear 3/4 © General Motors

Chrome accents and large wheels, including 20-inch wheels on Denali models, highlight the Acadia’s overall stance. Halogen projector-beam headlamps are standard on SLE and SLT models, while Acadia Denali comes with standard high-intensity discharge headlamps (available on SLT-2).

Other exterior features include:

  • Power liftgate is standard on SLE-2, SLT-1, SLT-2 and Denali models
  • Chrome door handles are standard on all models
  • Outside heated power-adjustable, power-folding mirrors with driver-side auto-dimming, body-color with integrated turn signal indicators are standard on SLT-2 and Denali.

In addition to the two new hues, exterior colors include Crimson Red Tintcoat, Dark Sapphire Blue Metallic, Midnight Amethyst Metallic, Quicksilver Metallic, Summit White, Sparkling Silver Metallic and Iridium Metallic.

Interior features

Acadia’s refined interior uses upgraded soft-touch materials, with French stitching that adds a tailored look and red ambient light flowing across the dashboard. SLT and Denali models have aluminum accents on the center console, doors and dash.

2016 GMC Acadia © General Motors

2016 GMC Acadia © General Motors

Adding to the interior’s comfort is a car-like “low and away” instrument panel that exudes roominess and control. The instrument panel and other interior elements feature high-quality, low-gloss materials and tight gap tolerances.

2016 GMC Acadia Interior Seating Up © General Motors

2016 GMC Acadia Interior Seating Up © General Motors

All Acadia models offer three rows of seating that can be configured for seven or eight passengers, regardless of trim level. The seating configurations include two front bucket seats, a 60/40-split second-row bench (three passengers) or two second-row captain’s chairs (two passengers) and a 60/40-split third-row bench seat.

2016 GMC Acadia Interior Seating Down in Cocoa Dune © General Motors

2016 GMC Acadia Interior Seating Down in Cocoa Dune © General Motors

GM’s exclusive Smart Slide feature is standard, allowing quick and easy access to the third-row seating area. The second-row seat cushion flips up while the seatback slides forward, effectively compressing the space occupied by the seat with the pull of a lever. The Smart Slide system also allows the second row to be positioned fore/aft. When adjusted rearward, the second-row seat provides more legroom for taller passengers. When adjusted forward, it provides more storage space or additional legroom for third-row passengers.

2016 GMC Acadia interior accent lighting in red © General Motors

2016 GMC Acadia interior accent lighting in red © General Motors

Storage space of 24.1 cu. ft. (682 liters) is available behind the third-row seat (with the cargo management system removed). Maximum available storage capability behind the first row of seats is 116.1 cu. ft. (3,288 L).

Additional interior features include:

  • New content for equipment package available on SLT-1 includes Side Blind Zone with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, eight-way power driver seat with memory and two-position memory for the driver’s seat and rearview mirrors, and driver’s window express up feature
  • New heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel is standard on SLT-2 and Denali
  • Two charging-only USB ports on the back of the center console for second-row use are standard on all models
  • Tri-zone automatic climate control is standard on SLT-1, SLT-2 and Denali
  • Head-up display is standard on Denali and available on SLT-2
  • Remote keyless entry is standard on all models
  • Remote vehicle start is standard on Denali, SLT-1, SLT-2 and SLE-2 models
  • Center console with sliding armrest and storage is standard on all models
  • Eight-way power-adjustable front passenger seat is standard on SLT-1, SLT-2 and Denali
  • Cloth seating trim is standard on SL and SLE models
  • Leather-appointed seating with heated front seats is standard on SLT-1 and SLT-2 models
  • Perforated leather-trimmed first- and second-row seats with heated and cooled front seats are standard on Denali and available on SLT-2 models
  • Dual SkyScape two-panel sunroof is standard on Denali and available on SLE-2, SLT-1 and SLT-2 models.

Interior color/trim combinations for Acadia and Acadia Denali include Ebony, Dark Cashmere, Cocoa Dune and Light Titanium.

Color Touch infotainment

GMC’s Color Touch Radio with touch-screen control is standard in the Acadia, with available Color Touch Navigation (standard on Acadia Denali). Available IntelliLink allows customers to seamlessly integrate online services such as Pandora® internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio® using hands-free voice and touch-screen controls via Bluetooth-enabled phones.

2016 GMC Acadia side blind zone alert © General Motors

2016 GMC Acadia side blind zone alert © General Motors

IntelliLink adds stereo audio streaming and wireless control of smartphones, building on the voice-activated Bluetooth hands-free calling capability, while retaining all the capabilities of today’s entertainment functions, including AM/FM/SiriusXM tuners, CD player with MP3 playback, auxiliary and USB inputs.

A USB port in the lower area of the center stack on the instrument panel allows passengers to easily plug in their own media devices to play through the radio.

2016 GMC Acadia touch activatived controls © General Motors

2016 GMC Acadia touch activatived controls © General Motors

Additional technology features include text message support, which alerts the driver to new messages for review and response (functionality depends on the smartphone), and XM Tune Select, which enables the user to create alerts for favorite songs or artists (available only with Navigation models).

Acadia’s audio system features a photo viewer and a standard rear-vision camera with dynamic guide lines that will display on the high-definition screen.

2016 GMC Acadia Interior rearview camera © General Motors

2016 GMC Acadia Interior rearview camera © General Motors

Powertrain details

The Acadia features a 3.6L engine with direct injection technology that helps produce power similar to many V-8 engines with the use of regular unleaded gasoline. In the Acadia Denali, it is rated at 288 horsepower (215 kW) and 270 lb-ft of torque (366 Nm), with 90 percent of the engine’s peak torque available from approximately 2,500 rpm to more than 6,000 rpm.

In SL, SLE and SLT models, the it is rated at 281 horsepower (210 kW) and 266 lb-ft of torque (361 Nm).

The 3.6L engine is mated to the Hydra-Matic 6T75 six-speed automatic transmission, an advanced transmission with clutch-to-clutch shift operation for front- and all-wheel-drive vehicles. It also offers automatic grade braking, shift stabilization and precise shift control, as well as hill start assist.

An available intelligent all-wheel-drive (AWD) system provides increased traction on slippery roads by actively managing the torque distribution between the front and rear axles, based on factors such as wheel speed, throttle and surface conditions. There is no driver intervention, as the system automatically decides how much torque to apply and delivers it to the wheels with the best traction.

Ride and handling

Acadia rides on a long 118.9-inch (3,019 mm) wheelbase, with wide 67.3-inch (1,721 mm) front and 67.4-inch (1,709 mm) rear tracks – a combination that lowers the center of gravity and enables smooth, stable ride and handling characteristics.

Additional chassis and suspension features include:

  • Independent front and rear suspensions
  • Low-flow shocks and struts for improved ride and handling
  • A front suspension featuring a MacPherson strut design, with a direct-acting stabilizer bar and aluminum knuckles. Isolated mounting points help reduce noise and vibration
  • A rear suspension with a compact, linked “H” design, which uses an isolated mounting system to reduce noise and vibration transmitted to the passenger compartment
  • Power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering is standard (variable-effort steering is available)
  • Four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock are standard on all models, with additional brake features including dynamic rear proportioning, hydraulic brake boost and panic brake assist.

Safety features

Acadia continues to offer premium safety features, including Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning, which are standard on Denali and available on SLT-1 and SLT-2 models. The crash-avoidance systems employ a high-resolution camera mounted on the windshield to determine if the driver is too close to vehicles ahead. Visual signals and audible alerts warn the driver of a possible collision. Sensors also can detect if the vehicle is changing lanes without a turn signal to give the driver time to correct.

Side Blind Zone Alert and Cross Traffic Alert are standard on Acadia Denali and SLT-2, and available on SLT-1. They match smart engineering with driver-centric safety, using radar to help watch where drivers might not see. When a vehicle enters the blind zone or backs up into cross-traffic, the systems warn of a possible collision.

Acadia leads the segment with a front center air bag system, which was created to protect drivers and front passengers in far-side impact crashes where the affected occupant is on the opposite, non-struck side of the vehicle. It deploys from the inboard side of the driver’s seat and positions itself between the driver and front passenger.

The front center air bag is part of a 360-degree safety system that helps protect passengers before, during and after a crash, including anchor pretensioners for outboard occupants and pelvic-thorax seat-mounted side air bags. The structure is reinforced in numerous areas with high-strength steel, including a stiff steel cross-car beam welded across the floor between the B-pillars.

It also uses dual-phase steel in select areas, such as the lower engine compartment rails. Dual-phase steel is strengthened in the paint oven and offers easier formability, reduced mass, greater strength and better crash energy absorption than most high-strength steels.

Additional safety features include:

  • Roof-mounted head curtain air bags with increased rollover protection and occupant containment. These head curtain side air bags stay inflated longer than air bags developed only for side impacts, since rollover incidents can last longer
  • StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with rollover mitigation technology is standard on all models and incorporates full-function traction control
  • A rearview camera system provides the driver with a view of people or objects in the rearward path of the vehicle is standard on all models
  • Standard four-wheel-disc brake system with ABS featuring smooth, quiet operation, longer pad life and more resistance to brake pulsation
  • Pretensioners minimize forward movement during a collision and are standard on the front safety belts. Load-limiting retractors cinch the belt more tightly
  • LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat attachment system is included in all second-row seating positions
  • Standard tire pressure monitoring system
  • Standard remote keyless entry system provides a second function for the red panic button. Drivers can use it to locate their vehicle without sounding the panic alarm
  • Strong body structure to absorb crash energy and provide a protective “safety cage” around occupants.

OnStar details

In addition to the new OnStar 4G LTE with standard built-in Wi-Fi hotspot that boosts Acadia’s connectivity, six months of OnStar Guidance service is standard on all models. OnStar is the global leading provider of connected safety, security and mobility solutions and advanced information technology.

OnStar’s RemoteLink Mobile App allows smartphone users to control vehicle functions, access vehicle information and send directions directly to the vehicle. An opt-in service called FamilyLink allows subscribers to stay connected to loved ones by checking the location of their vehicle online or by signing up for vehicle location alerts.


GMC Acadia / Acadia Denali

Body style / driveline:

crossover SUV / front-engine; front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive


body-frame integral

EPA vehicle class:

sport utility vehicle

Manufacturing location:

Lansing Delta Township Assembly, Lansing, Mich.

Key competitors:

Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer


3.6L V-6  SIDI (LLT)

Displacement (cu in / cc):

217 / 3564

Bore & stroke (in / mm):

3.70 x 3.37 / 94 x 85.6

Block material:


Cylinder head material:



DOHC, four valves per cylinder, variable valve timing

Fuel delivery:

direct injection

Compression ratio:


Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm):

281 / 210 @ 6300 (SL / SLE / SLT) – SAE certified

288 / 215 @ 6300 (Denali) – SAE certified

Torque (lb-ft / Nm) @ rpm:

266 / 361 @ 3400 (SL / SLE / SLT) – SAE certified

270 / 366 @ 3400 (Denali) – SAE certified

Recommended fuel:

regular unleaded

Max. engine speed (rpm):


Emissions controls:

dual close-coupled converters; two pre- and two post-oxygen sensors

EPA-estimated fuel economy (city / hwy):

17 / 24 (FWD)

16 / 23 (AWD)


Hydra-Matic 6T75 6-speed FWD/AWD automatic

Gear Ratio (:1)
















Final drive ratio:



coil-over strut; direct acting stabilizer bar; full perimeter isolated cradle


linked H-arm independent suspension; coil springs with twin-tube shock absorbers mounted on isolated sub-frame

Steering type:

hydraulic rack-and-pinion; straight ratio and variable effort

Steering ratio:


Steer wheel turns, lock-to-lock:


Turning circle, curb-to-curb

(ft / m):

40.4 / 12.3


four-wheel disc antilock

Rotor diameter (in / mm):

front: 12.8 x 1.1 / 325 x 29, ventilated

rear: 13 x 0.8 / 331 x 20, ventilated

Anti-lock braking system:

Bosch 8.0 chassis controls: ABS / ETC / ESC w/rollover mitigation

Wheel size and type:

18 x 7.5-in. cast aluminum (SL / SLE)

19 x 7.5-in. cast aluminum (SLT)

20-in. aluminum (std. Denali)

Tire size and type:

P255/65R18 all-season (SL / SLE)

P255/60R19 all-season (SLT)

P255/55R20 all-season (Denali)


Wheelbase (in / mm):

118.9 / 3020

Overall length (in / mm):

200.8 / 5100

Overall width (in / mm):

78.9 / 2004

Overall height (in / mm):

72.6 / 1844 (with roof rails)

70.4 / 1788 (without luggage rack )

Track (in / mm):

67.3 / 1709 (front)

67.1 / 1704 (rear)

Curb weight (lb / kg):

4656 / 2112 (FWD)

4850 / 2200 (AWD)

Min. ground clearance

(in / mm):

7.6 / 193 (FWD and AWD)


Seating capacity:

7 or 8



     First row (in /mm):

40.3 / 1024 (w/o sunroof); 38.6 / 979 (w/ sunroof)

     Second row (in / mm):

39.6 / 1006 (w/o sunroof); 38.8 / 984 (w/ sunroof)

     Third row (in / mm):

38.4 / 975



     First row (in / mm):

41.3 / 1049

     Second row (in / mm):

36.8 / 935

     Third row (in / mm):

33.2 / 843

Shoulder room


     First row (in / mm):

61.6 / 1565

     Second row (in / mm):

61.0 / 1549

     Third row (in / mm):

57.8 / 1468

Hip room


     First row (in / mm):

58.0 / 1473

     Second row (in / mm):

57.8 / 1468

     Third row (in / mm):

48.3 / 1227

Cargo volume


     Maximum behind first row (cu ft / L):

116.1 / 3288

     Maximum behind second row (cu ft / L):

70.1 / 1985

     Maximum behind third row (cu ft / L):

24.1 / 682

EPA passenger vol.

(cu ft / L):

151.8 / 4298

Fuel tank (gal / L):

22 / 83

Engine oil (qt / L):

5.5 / 5.2

Transmission fluid (qt / L):

9.5 / 9.0 (Dexron VI only)

Cooling system (qt / L):

11.8 / 11.18

Max towing capacity

(lb / kg):

5200 / 2359

GVWR (lb / kg):

6411 / 2908 (FWD)

6459 / 2930 (AWD)


4.1 Out of 5