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GMC Acadia Real World MPG



  • I will always have it. No matter even if it was new. With that said. In regards to the MPG. As some one has noted in an earlier post is that if this unit had a larger engine it would likely be better on the fuel. Here's my theory. When you have a power-plant built to run 3000 watts and another that is built to run 1500 watts running the same load at 1000 watts, the unit that is only designed to run 1500 watts will general run harder and have worse performance than the one built to run 3000 watts. Now I am not excusing GM on this in no way, because they are very aware of this line of thought as well. But with everyone clamoring for more fuel efficient vehicles, some (GM) have opted for a sales ploy to get people to thinking that a V6 is more fuel efficient that a V8. And as many folks know that just ain't so.

    Now with that said... I just bought a 2008 Acadia w/ 67k. I suspected that the mpg with be worse but I will let you know if I am successful in getting anything better.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    A large engine helping fuel economy is only true if the vehicle in question is underpowered. I don't think that is the case.
  • Isn't that the deal here? You have a vehicle that has horrible MPG (at least compared to what OEM states. And it seems to be just enough to do the things its suppose to do without any room to spare. Which in my view is working way too hard. I may be missing the boat here. But it seems if they put a larger power plant in this unit, it would not work quite as hard as this one a be better at the MPG. I bring this up because I had a 1981 Buick Park Ave. This was the motor switching phase of GM. Mine had a 307 Olds engine. I successfully got more than 25 - 27 on the highway and about 20 in the city. Now this was done by some effort on my part but it was done. And one of the things I concluded was that the engine was much more than the unit needed, so did not work nearly as hard to do what it needed to do.
    Now I may be missing the boat on this theory of mine and if you can shed some light on it I am all ears.
  • kaydeejaykaydeejay Posts: 14
    edited December 2011
    Not necessarily true. The 3.6L in my Acadia is rated at 288HP, while the 5.7L V8 I just got rid of (in a Roadmaster wagon) was rated 28HP LESS at 260HP.
    That being said I CONSISTENTLY got 24mpg Highway with the Buick at the same speeds I drive the Acadia.
    The fact I can't match that 16 year old car with a new Acadia is what has got me all ticked off. Best yet is 21.2, average (mostly highway) of 19.1.

    Now a couple of questions for the techs.
    1) My A/C compressor seems to run at all times. I can hear it kicking on and off, even when the A/C button is not pressed. I expect it to run (above freezing) when the defrost is selected but not at all positions on the heater dial. Even my old '96 Buick had a "vent" setting that shut the compressor off.

    2) The Torque converter clutch very rarely engages, I can see rpms going up and down a little even at highway speeds.

    Neither of these situations can help fuel economy. Of course, my dealer says "It's normal"!!! How can you get past these people???
  • Not to necessarily rebut what you just said, but the Roadmaster wagon is lighter (buy about 200 - 300 lbs) and more aerodynamically shaped vehicle. And it sits lower to the ground. With less ground clearance the more fuel efficient.
  • kaydeejaykaydeejay Posts: 14
    edited December 2011
    So 16 years of development of variable valve timing, 4 valves per cylinder, Direct Gas Injection and a 6-speed auto didn't offset the very small weight penalty and perhaps a larger frontal area?? It's frontal area combined with the drag factor that affects aerodynamic drag, not ground clearance. Hopefully that same 16 years of development also resulted in a reduced drag coefficient, which should somewhat offset that larger frontal area.
    Either way, what I'm saying is I almost obtained the (prior to 2008) more optimistic fuel economy figures with the old Buick. It was rated 25 Hwy, which is probably more like 22 under the new regs. I consistently got 24.
    The Acadia is rated 24 (under the new regs) and I can just about scrape 21.
    I bought the Acadia fully expecting to see 25 or 26, exceeding the EPA ratings, which had been my experience with just about every GM product I drove as Company cars for almost 20 years.
  • I was shocked myself with my 2012 Denali. After 300miles I am getting 13mpg driving to and from work. However, I also realized that my average speed is only 15mph - so many stop lights and waiting. I think I am suffering from the idle time at the lights. Now that I am on my second tank of gas I went on the freeway and drove 58 mph and reset the mpg gauge. I was happy to see the mileage reading move to 26+ for a 10 mile drive. This gives me hope. I went to the EPA site and looked at the duty cycle used for the EPA and average speed for the city was around 21mph. Here is a link to the EPA duty cycles.
    link title
    My conclusion so far: this car uses excessive gas at idle, uses excessive gas during acceleration (even if mild and light on the foot) but tries to make up for it with low gearing at cruising speeds.
    This seems like a gimic to get good EPA numbers while others are making cars that fundamentally more fuel efficient.
    The dealer service gave me the same story about waiting for 3k miles. I don't believe it but can only wait and see. I am concerned about 2 things.
    1. Is my car defective? I will check this by trying to duplicate a the EPA duty cycle and see if I get more similar results.
    2. Is the less than what I was lead to believe? I still expect my gas mileage to be better than my 1996 SUV just as all of you have stated. If it gets good mileage in fake driving but poor in normal conservative driving then I will join in on the complaints to GM.

    Taking a longer trip over the holidays and will give an update">link title
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 63,096
    I always hesitate to comment on MPG stories, as one can never know the driving habits of someone else...

    But, if you are averaging 15 mph, then I'm not surprised at your mileage.. My car measures average MPH, and I'm right around 34 mph.. I have a suburban commute of around 21 miles each way, and plenty of around town errands, as well... 15 avg mph is really, really low... The Acadia is a very large, heavy vehicle... I think the mileage you recorded on the interstate points the finger more at the type of driving you are doing than a problem with the vehicle (just looking at the info given).



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  • I purchased a 2011 Acadia slt1 about 6 weeks ago. It had 13,000 miles on it. I have already taken it to the dealership for repairs twice and am getting ready to take it to a third place. Both times I mentioned the extremely low fuel economy and that the transmission shifts hard or is never in the gear it seems like it should be. Both times they told me that everything is normal with those issues. I can't believe that my experience is normal! The sticker says 16/23 for all wheel drive. I get 13/18 and the best I can get when trying hard is 14.5 average with 50/50 highway and city. From the EPA numbers I would expect an average to be somewhere around 19-20. I also own a 5.3L V8 Silverado and I get better mileage in it. In the Silverado I get exactly what the sticker says I should get and I am sure my driving habits are the same for both vehicles.
    Part of my decision to buy the Acadia was that we thought we would get slightly better mileage than the vehicle we traded, but in fact, we get worse.
    The shifting issue might be better for a different topic but it is driving us crazy too. I can't believe it is designed to be performing so poorly!
    The worst part is that the service managers and techs talk to me like I don't KNOW what factors affect fuel efficiency and that they pretend I am the only one having these issues.
    I am disappointed by these issues. At this point I wish we could send it back. Can anyone help us with these issues?
  • I am sorry that, from the sounds of your post, you are not having a satisfactory experience. I see that you are heading in to your dealership a third time - is this for your transmission and fuel economy, or a different concern?

    We're available to assist, if you like. Please send us an email with more information on your current concerns.

    All the best,
    GM Customer Service
  • Sarah,

    While all the good will you wish upon us is great. It is never the less unfruitful. I am a new Acadia owner of a 2008. It has 67k on it and I have yet to have issue with anything on it as yet, EXCEPT, the mileage issue that everyone here is having. And while I would love a one-on-one response I would truly prefer that you give a solution or suggestion or something to the group because buying a vehicle with false claims of higher fuel mileage is crap. I just went on a trip from Kansas City, MO to Topeka, KS. You cannot get any flatter of a landscape than that and I was not gunning it. I set my cruise for 77 and took off. The best I could do (and this was resetting the average mpg calculator to 0 while driving 75 mph) 18.1. I have a 2002 Dodge B1500 conversion van that will do that on the highway and its at least 1500 lbs heavier.
  • I have 8500 miles on my Acadia but have an AWD and is making 14 mpg, most my driving is highway, with about .5 miles in town. GM customer service has me to go to two different dealers and hook the computer up to it and nothing. I am going to go get something different.
  • I bought a 2011 SLT2 in Nov 2011 with 13k miles. Todate with 18k miles the gas milage is horrible. Went as far as getting the northeast regional zone office involved located in Argentina. That was a waste of time. There technical solution was to let the dealer take it for a day, so that the service manger could drive it around for the day to verify the poor gas milage. Since no service codes were shown when a computer scan was done. I was told by the dealer to live with it. I too was told by the northeast regional manger to bring to another dealer to be serviced.
  • I was told the same thing and took the car back to the dealer and let them use if for the day which did absolutely nothing. GMC needs to step up to the plate and realize that by adding the additional weight to the vehicle to give it the more plush feel gave it horrible fuel consumption. The Traverse LTZ which is identical and with the same HP motor with my Acadia Denali, was getting 18-20mpg all day long around town. Always saw the Avg MPG above 17mpg and the best I got on the highway was 23-26mpg. Why does the GMC Acadia get such bad mileage and all the Posts to prove???????
  • I see that you've been working with Customer Service - do you have a Service Request number? If you wanted to send that our way, we'd be happy to look into the progress of your case and provide you any available updates!

    GM Customer Service
  • I did take my Acadia back to the dealer a couple times. I had posted regarding this issue a month or so after I bought my Acadia. I bought a 2009 with 25k miles. Initially I was seeing 11 - 13mpg. I then began to chart everything so I would have documentation. Whenever I filled up my tank, I would clear all of the readings so i could track MPG, as well as how many miles per tank. I was only getting 227mile per tank. The first couple of tanks, I was still at 13mpg. I am now seeing 17 - 19mpg. Not as bad as it was, but better. I still think I got comparable miles on my Ford Expedition. I really think this may be a computer issue. I'm still testing. Good luck. Please continue to post your findings. As you can see there are many of us experiencing this same issue.
  • Hi, I am new to this forum and discussion but very happy to see that there are many others this this issue. I had a 2008 Acadia and was very happy with it and I then traded it in for a 2011 Acadia in July 2011. When I went to the dealer the first thing they told me was how they "improved the gas mileage". This could not have been further from the truth!! Your sticker says 16/23 which to means that the absolute worst I should be getting is 16mpg (or 13mpg if you read the small print below). Well, I would absolutely KILL to get 13mpg. I am nowhere near there! I have called numerous times and no one does anything. The dealer told me to bring the car in for them to check and then when I got there they told me that is not really something they can check for but looked at it and said they didn't see anything wrong with it. I have heard every excuse including the ridiculous "breaking-in period" nonsense. If that is true then how could I be getting worse mileage at 8,000 miles then I was getting at 1,000 miles?? I always re-set every indicator when I will up my tank and I just got 9.8 mpg on my last tank. My brother got the same car 2 weeks before me and he drives his car to a train station and back and he gets 13-14mpg. If anyone knows of any class action suits or other legal options please let me know.
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    I understand why you are frustrated, epaul1276, and am sorry that your Acadia is not performing as you had expected.

    The EPA's fuel economy estimates are designed to allow consumers to comparison shop. Your fuel economy will almost certainly vary from EPA's fuel economy rating, which is based on a number of factors, such as weather, road conditions, your driving and maintenance habits, and your use of air conditioning. I don't know if you've been there already, but for more information on how your fuel economy can vary, or tips to improve your fuel economy, you can visit "Your MPG Will Still Vary" and "Gas Mileage Tips" on

    If you would like further assistance, please contact us via email at the address located in my profile.

    GM Customer Service
  • anribaanriba Posts: 2
    I just purchased a brand new Acadia slt2. Only 100 miles. 2 wheel drive. Traded in my suburban with a 5.7. The Acadia s getting 16 mpg. Where my bigger heavier suburban averaged 19.1. Same drive to work. There is something to all this posting. I believe in Texas I have a few days to return the product. I wish. GM would step here and I wish this was the first time experience. We should have gotten a Honda or Toyota
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    I believe in Texas I have a few days to return the product.

    I doubt it. I don't know of any state that has a "cooling off" period for a new car purchase, unless there's something specific in your contract.

    Some people get the EPA rated mileage right from the first, but many don't see "okay" mileage until several thousand miles. 100 miles isn't nearly enough to go by.
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    Where did that suburban go? You could get 19.1 out of that dog of a 350 I'm impressed. The 5.3 maybe but the 5.7 that is unreal.
  • hello, im new to the forum. i was reading all the comments of the mpg and totally agree with most of the post.

    i have a 2008 2wd acadia i bought used in jan of 2010. the mpg right away was so stupid, 14-17, 17.5 was my best highway mpg. I too thought it was a computer problem because the computer also seem to shift the car and the shifting was all over the place. anyway i put some engine treatment in with the oil and raised my hwy mpg to 19.5. my milage stayed there for the next couple of trips and then the car just died and stranded me.

    it turns out is was a failing water pump. so the dealer replaced it and now i just got back from a 500 mile trip that i got 22.5 mpg, over 400 miles on a tank. i think whatever sensor is in the cooling system for the water pump could be the problem with some of these cars getting bad mpg.

    my next step is adding hho to the engine to see how that works.
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    It's great to see that you have gotten an improvement in your gas mileage once the water pump was replaced! If we can ever answer any further questions, let us know.
    Many happy miles,
    GM Customer Service
  • huray4419huray4419 Posts: 1
    I have been getting 12.5 mpg with my newly purchased used 2011 Acadia. I've been reading through some of the other posts, and heres where I stand:

    -Car has 16k miles; well broken in
    -Living in TX; no cold weather to worry about
    -Tires at full pressure
    -Purchased as Certified Used GMC; Assumption about inspection is everything is working as it should

    Really disappointed with the mpg, and wondering if I will need to get rid of the car. Sarah/GMC - please provide some input or solid advice about steps to take to improve performance. Would be very much appreciated.
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    Good morning huray4419,

    I'm sorry you are not satisfied with the fuel economy of your Acadia. It looks like the EPA fuel economy estimates for a 2011 Acadia AWD is 16 city/23 highway (FWD: 17/24). These are estimates, and your fuel economy will almost certainly vary from EPA's fuel economy rating; these numbers are obtained by tests designed by the EPA and are for the purpose of comparison shopping.

    You can find more information on how your fuel economy can vary, or tips to improve your fuel economy, by visiting "Your MPG Will Still Vary" and "Gas Mileage Tips" on

    GM Customer Service
  • lesliechowlesliechow Posts: 1
    Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to post. I was just about to purchase a new Acadia (just got back from the dealership). After reading page after page of MPG comments - I've decided not to purchase the gas guzzler Acadia. GM should be more truthful. This MPG info needs broader exposure. I'm going to help others by posting to Facebook
  • huedawghuedawg Posts: 5
    Good choice ! The Acadia is worse in mpg than almost any other full size and mid size suv is .. I would recommend a Toyota product .
  • realsavrealsav Posts: 1
    For starters, I was reading how many individuals are having issues with their Acadia's. If I had come across this forum when I was in the market for a vehicle, I would probably be driving a minivan due to my needs. I must say that I have been very lucky with the one I got (knocking heavy on wood here) for I have yet to experience all the hardships that many owners have already endured. I have a 2010 Acadia SLT, FWD and yes while I think the MPG kinda sucks it is not even close to some complains here. I am getting above average MPG but it is probably due to the way I drive the vehicle (wife is a different story, she is a lead freak). It is odd that I had the very same bad experiences with brand new Acuras as many current Acadia owners (yes and the Acura dealerships did me wrong to the point that I do not want to purchase another Acura in the future). Hence, I expanded my horizons and bought the Acadia. I hope to dodge the barrage of problems everybody else is having, 'cause to tell you the truth if it happens one more time I think I will have to get me a horse.
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    I recently came back from a 2k mile trip with my Uplander minivan. It has a 3.9 liter 240 HP V6 engine and 4 speed automatic. I averaged 23 MPG (i.e. includes mostly highway but with some local, short distance driving) with the van fully loaded. Seems like the old-tech V6 and 4 speed auto beats GM's new tech, at least with respect to fuel efficiency.
  • kaydeejaykaydeejay Posts: 14
    edited May 2012
    Just made an 800 mile trip from Michigan to Maine, mostly on cruise control at 60 to 65mph.
    Mileage for the trip - 20.87mpg.
    My window sticker says "Most drivers will achieve between 21 and 29 mpg.
    I would LOVE to know how GM figures ANYONE is going to get 29mpg when I can't even get 21 with a 2WD!
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