Morgan Pritchett
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History of the GMC Acadia

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A black 2009 GMC Acadia SLT parked in a city street
2009 GMC Acadia
Photo: GMC

When the GMC Acadia was first introduced to the auto industry in 2006, it replaced three large vehicles in the GM lineup. Today, the Acadia remains a staple in the GMC brand as the go-to crossover SUV for GMC-lovers everywhere.


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Early history

The Acadia is a full-size crossover SUV that was formerly manufactured at Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant in Michigan and is now built in Spring Hill, Tennessee. When the Acadia went on sale in the U.S. in December 2006, it replaced the GMC Safari van, GMC Envoy, and the Pontiac Montana SV6, becoming GMC’s first entry-level truck-like SUV. It was also considered GMC’s first front-wheel-drive passenger vehicle and the American brand’s first crossover SUV, taking GMC into the ever-popular crossover segment.

In its first generation, the Acadia was initially powered by a V6 that produced 275 horsepower. However, the 2009 model year introduced a more powerful direct-injection 3.6-liter V6 capable of 288 horsepower. By 2016, while still in its first generation, the Acadia Limited model was equipped with a 310-horsepower V6.

The popular Denali luxury trim was introduced to the GMC Acadia in 2010 for 2011 models. This trim offered more customization in the form of FWD vs. AWD, seven- or eight-passenger seating configurations, chrome accents, a honeycomb grille, and more visual elements.

An all-black 2022 GMC Acadia SLT Elevation Edition parked in front of a modern home
2022 GMC Acadia Elevation Edition
Photo: GMC

Recent generation

It wasn’t until 2017 that the GMC Acadia entered its second, and current, generation. It debuted at the North American International Auto Show and was fairly smaller this time around. Now positioned as a midsize SUV, the Acadia measures 193.6 inches long and 75.4 inches wide. With the smaller size, the price was also reduced. The Acadia also lost some seating, moving to offer five-, six-, and seven-passenger options.

The Acadia received a modernized facelift in 2020, which also included interior updates like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, new alloy wheels, a turbocharged engine, and the all-new AT4 trim. For 2022, the Acadia lost its base SL trim but gained a new standard turbo engine paired to a nine-speed automatic.

With its popularity in the midsize segment, it’s hard to see the GMC Acadia going anywhere anytime soon — except for the driveways of happy owners.