Families everywhere love buying a used GMC Acadia. This mid-size, three-row SUV is the perfect option for those who don’t want to drive the tank-like Yukon but need something with more space than a Terrain. On top of the Acadia’s comfortable seating and large cargo area, it also allows you to tow up to 4,000 pounds, making it one of the most capable mid-sizes out there.
While the newest versions of this popular SUV are incredible options, a used GMC Acadia offers all of the perks of owning this vehicle at a fraction of the price. The hard part is knowing which years are worth buying and which ones you should avoid.
The Difference of Generations
At the moment, there are
only two generations of Acadia models. The first generation hit the street in 2007 and continued until 2016. The second and current generation started in 2017. Interestingly enough, the first generation was a full-size crossover. When the second generation hit, the Acadia was reclassified as a mid-size.
As you might expect, models from the first generation have some kinks that you may have to solve. For example, these models have a noted issue with the check engine warning light being on. While this normally indicates that something is wrong with the vehicle, that isn’t always the case with the first-generation Acadia. You can often have this quirk repaired.
A used GMC Acadia from the first generation might also run into transmission issues that require a rebuild. The savings you earn from buying an older model Acadia pretty much disappear when you have to drop up to $4,000 to get your transmission back in action.
These issues aren’t to say that a first-generation Acadia isn’t worth exploring. In fact, you can often get amazing deals on these older models. You just want to do your homework on the specific year/trim in order to make a good decision.
The Worst Year
Even the most prominent vehicles have their bad years. If you run across a used GMC Acadia from 2008. This model year has the highest reported number of transmission issues out there. That means you’ll have to add some pretty high repairs costs on this aging crossover.
The 2012 Acadia had four major recalls. While you’d hope that owners would have had these issues corrected, you may not want to take the chance. The 2013 Acadia should also be avoided. This model year has a reputation for horrible engine problems that will cost a pretty penny to fix. Drivers who are sporting this model today love the vehicle’s interior comfort, which is great considering how much time they might spend waiting for the tow truck to save the day.
The Good Years
Generally speaking, second-generation Acadia models are considered to be great options for your next used SUV purchase. If you can find a certified pre-owned Acadia, you have a good chance of finding a winner. CPO models cannot be older than six model years and have no more than 75,000 vehicle miles. On top of these requirements, they must have a clean title, pass a vehicle history report, and make it through a rigorous multi-point inspection.
If you’re looking to save some money with a slightly older Acadia, check out the 2015 version of this mid-size crossover. This penultimate first-generation Acadia has incredible reliability ratings and wasn’t known to have the same transmission issues as the models before it.
Since modern versions of the used GMC Acadia aren’t reporting as many issues as models in the past, you’re probably safe with anything from the second generation. Of course, you may still want to have a mechanic go over the ride before making the final purchase, but that’s sound advice for any used vehicle. Ultimately, a used GMC Acadia is a wonderful investment, so long as you stay away from its problem years.
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