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Types Of Gas A GMC Acadia Takes (All Generations)

Types Of Gas A GMC Acadia Takes (All Generations)

Here on this blog, we put in a lot of effort to analyze every aspect of the problem at hand. To know which gas does an American-made GMC Acadia takes, we have scrutinized every possible option, and we will go through each one of those options. There are many types of fuels out there in the market – not all of them are good for your engine.

Before we give the detailed analyses, here’s a summary to provide you with an overview:

All the 2007 – Present-day engines use regular unleaded gasoline with a minimum of 87 octane. Under load, GMC advises using mid-grade 91 octane gasoline instead of regular 87. Acadia is not compatible with E85. Only the TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline additives are recommended.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Now, we will go deep into all the aspects and give them their due diligence. We have compiled all the data in different sections. First, we will look at the main fuel requirement proposed by the manufacturer. After that, we will look at all the other fuel options and the additives that you can and can not use.

In the end, we will be looking at the mileage numbers of each engine option that you get in GMC Acadia. And we will also be looking at the size of the gas tank available in each trim level. And finally, we will wrap it up by letting you know how much you would be spending on fuel no matter where you are. 

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Also read: How Many Miles Can A GMC Acadia Last? (Answered)

Infographic explaining the different fuel types for a GMC acadia.

Fuel Requirements Based On Engine Type

Mainly, there are two generations of GMC Acadia, and during these two generations, we have seen some facelifts and some new entries into the lineup.

First-generation GMC Acadia 2007-2017

The first generation is now known as Acadia Limited, and since its debut, it has had many facelifts – yet the generation remains the same. A new entry into the lineup happened in 2010, known as the Acadia Denali. 

EngineFuel Requirement
3.6L V6Regular 87 Octane (pump gas) or higher

In everyday driving, GMC advises using a minimum of 87 octane, but if you are towing a lot of weight, GMC recommends using mid-grade gasoline with an octane rating of 91. If slight knocking is heard after refueling with 87 octane, add premium or mid-grade and see if the knocking goes away. If not, then your engine needs service.

Second Generation GMC Acadia 2017-Present

Even though there was a new generation, the previous generation was still in production. To get rid of any confusion, the older model was named Acadia Limited alongside the 2017 lineup.

The minimum requirement is 87 octane-rated gasoline, but if you are towing a heavy load, GMC advises using the mid-grade gasoline. Fuel with octane less than 87 should not be used.

EngineFuel Requirement
3.6L V6Regular 87 Octane (pump gas) or higher
2.5L inline-4 (discontinued in 2021)Regular 87 Octane (pump gas) or higher
2.0L inline-4 (introduced in 2020)Regular 87 Octane (pump gas) or higher

What Types Of Gasoline Can And Can’t Be Used?

GMC Recommendation

GMC recommends using at least 87 octane-rated gasoline in their vehicles. If the octane is less than 87, you will experience knocking, and the engine will lose performance. On top of that, the mileage numbers will be affected as well.

There are plenty of ethanol blends available in the market. After 2011 EPA allowed the use of 15% ethanol. Before that, it was 10% ethanol. It means that you are allowed to use 15% ethanol by volume in 85% regular gasoline. More than 15% ethanol, however, is not allowed – it will damage your engine.

The regulated percentage can lower emissions and give you better mileage numbers as it burns more cleanly than regular gasoline without ethanol. Too much ethanol, on the other hand, can cause corrosion, and the damage caused by adding more ethanol than recommended will void the warranty.

Reformulated Gasoline

This is a recent introduction to the number of fuels already available. The RFG is used mainly in areas with poor air quality index; thus, with the poor AQI comes strict emissions standards – and to meet those standards, we have been introduced to the reformulated gasoline, which reduces carbon emissions.

The carbon emissions are reduced, and thus we have fewer pollutants and less smog. As with other GMC models, like the Terrain, Yukon, Canyon, and more, this type of fuel is not harmful to your engine, and you can use it without any problem.

Gasoline/Oxygenated Blends Or E-85

There are plenty of oxygenated blends available in the market with ethanol content as low as 5%, and up to 85% – 100% are also available but not only in the race fuel category. Typically, most vehicles produced after 2011 can take 15% ethanol by volume mixed with 85% regular gasoline. The latest EPA standards allow up to 25% of ethanol, but not all vehicles are made to support that much.

Ethanol helps fuel burn more cleanly, but excessive ethanol can cause engine corrosion if it hasn’t been made to withstand that. Some engines can handle even 85% ethanol mixed with 15% regular gasoline, which is also known as flex-fuel. 

Gasoline With Added Materials

The market is filled with fuel additives, and you will find them in every other auto store, but not all of them are compatible with your engine. The manufacturer recommends some, yet some can do damage instead of good.

Gasoline With MMT

MMT stands for Methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl, which is used to increase the octane of low-quality fuel. The manufacturer strongly advises against using this additive as it can damage the emissions control system. Not only does it damage the emissions system, but it can also lower the spark plug life.

Any damage that happens due to additives not recommended by the GMC will void the warranty. It is advised only to use manufacturer-recommended additives that have been covered in this article.


GMC Acadia does not have any offering with a diesel engine under the hood. This type of fuel additive is made from vegetable oil, refined–used cooking oil, etc. Manufacturers have been making diesel engines accordingly to withstand biodiesel, but not more than 20% by volume.

Biodiesel additive has been shown to increase the mpg numbers, and it also gives better emissions. But larger volumes can cause debris to collect in the internals, and you would have to change the filters frequently.

What If I Hear A Knocking Noise From The Engine After Refilling

Hearing slight knocking noise from the engine is normal but if you are hearing loud knocking noise from the engine, chances are, you have poured in low-quality fuel. The minimum requirement is 87 of octane, if the fuel is less than that, you will surely hear knocking from the engine.

To remedy that, you can run your vehicle on premium for a while. The knocking should go away with that, but if the noise persisted even after adding premium then your engine needs service. As with any GMC model, if you are hearing loud knocking noise, you should immediately take it to the dealership.

Also read: 14 Annoying Problems Of A GMC Acadia

Does the GMC Acadia Have Good Gas Mileage?

First-generation GMC Acadia 2007

EngineLowest Combined MPGHighest Combined MPG
3.6L V61623

Second Generation GMC Acadia 2017

EngineLowest Combined MPGHighest Combined MPG
3.6L V61927
2.5L inline-4 (discontinued in 2021)2127
2.0L inline-4 (introduced in 2020)2229

What’s The Gas Tank Size Of A GMC Acadia?

The gas tank sizes vary across the entire lineup. We will go through each generation and all the gas tank options that are available.

The first-generation GMC Acadia has a 22-gallon gas tank across all the trim levels. The Denali that was introduced in 2010 also has a 22-gallon gas tank. The second generation, however, saw the change. The FWD variants got the 19.4-gallon tank, while the AWD variants of the second generation got the bigger 21.7-gallon tank.

How Much Does It Cost To Fill Up A GMC Acadia

The cost to fill up a GMC Acadia will vary with each state. If you are in California, you will be paying the highest rate per gallon, which is $4.388. If you are in the Mississippi or Texas, you will be spending the lowest rate per gallon that is 2.816. All the other states lie in between these two extremes.

For the first generation’s 22 gallon tank, the total cost of one complete fill-up in California will be $96 approximately. In Texas and Mississippi, however, it will go down to $60. If you have the FWD variant of GMC Acadia for the second-gen models, you will spend approx. $85 in California and approx, $55 in Texas and Mississippi.

We have the 21.7-gallon tank for the AWD variants that will cost you about $95, while in Texas and Mississippi, the same amount of fuel will cost about $60. So to summarize, wherever you are, you will be spending somewhere between $55-$95 to fill up a GMC Acadia. 

Also read: The Oil Type, Capacity, And Weight Of A GMC Acadia


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