MotorTrend Score

Based on performance, value, MPG, interior space, and more, this score reflects MotorTrend’s exhaustive evaluation process. Scores can only be compared to other cars in the same class. A 7.0 rating represents average performance.

7.1/10#13 in 3-Row SUVs | Rankings

Headlights

Trim level(s)

  • All trims

Low-beam headlight type LED reflector
High-beam headlight type LED reflector
Curve-adaptive? No
High-beam assist? Yes
Overall rating

M

Distance at which headlights provide at least 5 lux illumination:
0 ft 100 ft 200 ft 300 ft 400 ft 500 ft 600 ft Low beams Optimal low-beam illumination High beams Optimal high-beam illumination High-beam assist credit

Low beams On the straightaway, visibility was fair on both sides of the road. On curves, visibility was fair on the sharp right curve and inadequate on the gradual right and both left curves.

The low beams never exceeded glare limits.

High beams On the straightaway, visibility was good on the right side of the road and fair on the left side. On curves, visibility was inadequate in all 4 tests.

High-beam assist compensates for some limitations of this vehicle’s low beams on the straightaway and all 4 curves.

Technical measurements for this test Trim level(s) All trims Low-beam headlight type LED reflector High-beam headlight type LED reflector Curve-adaptive? No High-beam assist? Yes Overall rating Applies to 2020-22 models M LOW BEAMS Average minimum useful illumination distance (5 lux) Amount glare exceeded threshold Straightaway right edge 81.7 m None Straightaway left edge 51.9 m None 250m radius right curve, right edge 49.2 m None 250m radius left curve, left edge 44.3 m None 150m radius right curve, right edge 48.4 m None 150m radius left curve, left edge 38.9 m None HIGH BEAMS Average minimum useful illumination distance (5 lux) Straightaway right edge 149.2 m Straightaway left edge 140.1 m 250m radius right curve, right edge 56.2 m 250m radius left curve, left edge 54.0 m 150m radius right curve, right edge 50.2 m 150m radius left curve, left edge 42.2 m

How headlights are evaluated

Video

2021 GMC Acadia: Passive Safety Features

If you ever find yourself in an emergency situation, though, the 2021 GMC Acadia is built to protect you and your passengers. This SUV comes standard with an advanced airbag system that includes the following features throughout the cabin:

  • Frontal airbags for driver and front passenger
  • Knee airbag for driver
  • Driver inboard seat-mounted side-impact airbag
  • Seat-mounted side-impact airbags for driver and front passenger
  • Head-curtain airbags for all rows in outboard seating positions

With these systems in place, you can feel confident that the GMC Acadia is built to keep everyone safe, no matter where they’re seated in the cabin.

Additionally, this SUV comes standard with OnStar® and GMC Connected Services. These features allow you to easily notify someone in the case of an emergency or when you need extra assistance on the road.

Side: original test

Rating applies to 2017-22 models

Tested vehicle: 2017 GMC Acadia All Terrain 4-door 4wd

The GMC Acadia was redesigned for the 2017 model year. It is smaller and lighter than the earlier design and therefore is now classified as a midsize SUV.

The earlier design remained in production for only the 2017 model year, available new only to fleet buyers, and was called the GMC Acadia Limited. The ratings on this page do not apply to the Acadia Limited.

Side ratings are assigned by the Institute based on a test conducted by General Motors on an Acadia as part of side crash test verification. These ratings also apply to the Cadillac XT6, a midsize luxury SUV introduced in the 2020 model year.

Overall evaluation

G

Structure and safety cage

G

Driver injury measures
Head/neck

G

Torso

G

Pelvis/leg

G

Driver head protection

G

Rear passenger injury measures
Head/neck

G

Torso

G

Pelvis/leg

G

Rear passenger head protection

G

Technical measurements for this test Measures of occupant compartment intrusion on driver side Test ID VTS1619 B-pillar to longitudinal centerline of driver’s seat (cm) -19.0 Negative numbers indicate the amount by which the crush stopped short of the seat centerline. Driver injury measures Test ID VTS1619 Head HIC-15 209 Neck Tension (kN) 0.1 Compression (kN) 1.3 Shoulder Lateral deflection (mm) 36 Lateral force (kN) 1.7 Torso Maximum deflection (mm) 32 Average deflection (mm) 29 Maximum deflection rate (m/s) 2.79 Maximum viscous criterion (m/s) 0.34 Pelvis Iliac force (kN) 0.9 Acetabulum force (kN) 1.2 Combined force (kN) 2.0 Left femur L-M force (kN) 0.6 L-M moment (Nm) 17 A-P moment (Nm) 23 Passenger injury measures Test ID VTS1619 Head HIC-15 279 Neck Tension (kN) 0.2 Compression (kN) 0.4 Shoulder Lateral deflection (mm) 42 Lateral force (kN) 1.7 Torso Maximum deflection (mm) 39 Average deflection (mm) 28 Maximum deflection rate (m/s) 4.46 Maximum viscous criterion (m/s) 0.54 Pelvis Iliac force (kN) 0.2 Acetabulum force (kN) 2.2 Combined force (kN) 2.2 Left femur L-M force (kN) 0.2 L-M moment (Nm) 17 A-P moment (Nm) 23

How the side crash test is conducted

Recommended Safety Technologies

These features have been either verified by NHTSA or reported by the vehicle manufacturers as meeting NHTSA’s performance criteria.

Learn about safety technology

Side crash, roof strength, and head restraints and seats all get good ratings

The side crash test ratings are good, including all subcategories. Roof strength is good and gets a good rating. It has a curb weight of 4,295 pounds and a strength-to-weight ratio of 4.75. This is better than the minimum required for a good rating, which is 4. The IIHS determines what the strength-to-weight ratio is by crushing the vehicle by five inches. The amount of force it takes to do that is the resulting score. This is important in the event of a rollover; you don’t want the roof to give in easily. The head restraints and seats also get a good rating.

If you’re looking for a three-row SUV with excellent crash test ratings but and plenty of space. Unfortunately its headlights mean that the 2021 GMC Acadia is not as safe as it could be. Perhaps you’d be better served looking for an SUV with better headlights.

RELATED: The 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Can’t Hold a Candle to the 2021 Dodge Ram

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