There are plenty of doppelgangers in the automotive industry. Take the Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade triplets, for example. GMC’s Acadia and the Buick Enclave fit the bill, too. They have similar body lines and starting prices, yet contrastingly individual interiors.
If you’re in the market for a new family SUV (and want to have your crossover and off-roading too), the 2020 GMC Acadia might just fit the bill. We’ve got all the details you need to make that decision, along with plenty of advice from the experts. By the time you’ve read through this article, you’ll be an expert on the 2020 Acadia.
There are three engines to choose from for the 2020 Acadia. Each is paired to the same nine-speed automatic transmission and come standard with front-wheel drive. Every model except for the base trim can be upgraded to all-wheel drive. While the 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated engine can only tow 1,000 pounds, the V6 engine handles up to 4,000 pounds when properly equipped.
So what are those three engine choices? For starters, the base 2.5-liter engine is a four-cylinder making 194 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque. Turbocharged models are only 2.0-liter but make a whopping 230 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Finally, the 3.6-liter V6 model holds down 310 horses beneath the hood, with 271 lb-ft of torque to match.
The 2020 GMC Acadia can seat between five-to-seven people, depending on the trim level and options you choose.
Trimlines and Pricing
Speaking of which, let’s get down to seatbelts and cupholders. Here are the available trims on the 2020 GMC Acadia:
Starting at $29,800, the base Acadia comes with cloth seating, an eight-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a tri-zone automatic climate control. Keyless entry and push button start are standard equipment. Front-wheel drive and the 2.5-liter engine is the only configuration available on this base model.
Choose the next model up for all-wheel drive and more options for power under the hood. For an additional cost, power gets added to the driver’s seat, along with heat for both driver and front passenger. A hands-free liftgate will cost you a bit more but could come in handy for families. This model starts at $34,995.
Coming in just under $40,000, the SLT model includes second-row captain’s chairs, along with features like navigation, the eight-speaker Bose sound system, and HD radio. For an additional fee, you’ll enjoy a power front passenger seat, heated and ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats. You can also upgrade to a sunroof as well.
Note that this trim level does not include a third row (but it’s an available option). That means you’ll be seating a lot less people. You’re also restricted to all-wheel drive. All-terrain tires and plenty of off-road necessities make this the ideal off-road Acadia model. As expected, it’s a bit more rugged than other versions of the Acadia.
Just over $46,000, the Denali trim gets all the goodies. You will certainly enjoy the captain’s chairs, power front seats, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel. The Denali model will, of course, come with unique badging as well.
Don’t forget to choose your paint! Below are the available colors for the 2020 GMC Acadia.
- Summit White
- Smokey Quartz Metallic
- Red Mahogany Metallic
- Quicksilver Metallic
- Satin Steel Metallic
- Red Quartz Tintcoat
- Carbon Black Metallic
- Ebony Twilight Metallic
- Dark Sky Metallic
- White Frost Tricoat
Both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2020 GMC Acadia high marks. Earning 5 out of 5 stars from the NHTSA and a “Good” rating in all categories from the IIHS, the 2020 Acadia checks all the right boxes when it comes to safety features.
That’s probably because GMC saw to it that this SUV received quite a few safety features as standard equipment. These safety systems include Teen Driver system, plus “a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot monitoring with lane change alert.”
Available systems on higher trim levels feature technology like “a head-up display, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, front parking sensors, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, and a safety alert driver’s seat.”
You can also add a Rear Camera Mirror, a surround-view parking camera system, and adaptive cruise control. However, those extras will cost around $2,400. These last three features also only come on the Denali model. So the safest Acadia will also cost you the most. To be fair, that’s the same of almost every other vehicle for sale today.
Considering the 2020 GMC Acadia comes straight from the factory with one of three engine variants, there’s not much difference between the three powerplants when it comes to fuel efficiency. That’s good news, especially if you thought choosing the larger, turbocharged four-cylinder would result in a fuel efficiency penalty.
Kelley Blue Book reports the 2.5-liter four-cylinder achieves 21 city and 27 highway EPA-estimated miles-per-gallon (MPG). That’s in both front-wheel drive and naturally-aspirated. Going for the all-wheel drive model docks you two points on the highway, but you should still see 21 MPG around town.
That’s also the same mileage you’ll see on the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder around town, in both FWD and AWD. Highway mileage actually surpasses the naturally-aspirated engine by one point in FWD variants, while AWD models mirror the 27 highway MPG of the 2.5-liter model.
Upgrade to the 3.6-liter V6 engine, and you should average somewhere around 19 city and 27 highway MPG. Opting for the AWD configuration drops those numbers down to 18 and 25 MPG respectively.
All said and done, the 2020 GMC Acadia is actually better at achieving respectable fuel efficiency numbers than you might think. Whether on account of strict fuel efficiency standards at the manufacturing level or simply a demand to compete in one of the hottest segments in the industry, the 2020 Acadia makes great marks when it comes to filling up at the pump.
As with any SUV these days, there’s plenty of healthy competition that picks up where the 2020 GMC Acadia leaves off. Or competition that drops off where the Acadia picks up. The experts weighed in on their experiences of the 2020 Acadia. There’s some good and some not-so-good, oftentimes mixed together.
For example, U.S. News reviewers loved how spacious and comfortable the first two rows were. However, they felt the third row passengers were left wanting. Edmunds called the interior “simple” and noted “everything is usable at a glance.” Then again, they felt the luxury element was a bit lacking, even on trims like the Denali. That’s a bit of a problem, considering GMC straddles the line between entry-level SUVs and luxury crossovers.
The biggest news came from Kelley Blue Book. Their experts “determined the 2020 GMC Acadia will hold strong five-year residual values.” However, it still trails the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander in that regard. Kia’s Telluride will be a strong competitor for the 2020 Acadia. Even Mazda has stepped it up with the CX-9. The Ford Explorer, Dodge Durango, and Acura MDX compete with lower trims of the 2020 Acadia. The Lincoln Aviator faces the Denali model head-on, though.
The Last Word
Seen enough? Don’t forget to stop by your local GMC dealer to check out the 2020 Acadia in-person. There’s more to this crossover than first meets the eye — even if you did a double-take and thought you were initially looking at a Buick Enclave or Chevy Traverse. Compare these (and the many other) SUVs out there and you’re bound to find the right vehicle for you and your family.