The GMC Acadia gets a makeover for 2020, making this two- or three-row crossover better able to compete against its cousin, the Chevy Traverse. It’s a comfortable family hauler that gets decent fuel economy. However, other options in this competitive segment offer better performance, more luxurious cabins and more cargo space so you’ll want to shop around before making a final choice.
The new Acadia has a more aggressive appearance, a new nine-speed transmission that replaces the outgoing six-speed, and GMC’s updated and user-friendly infotainment system.
The 2020 GMC Acadia comes in five trims: SL, SLE, SLT, AT4 and Denali. The AT4 trim is new for 2020 and beefs up the Acadia’s off-roading capability. This trim only has two rows and seating for five. Other trims have three rows and room for six or seven passengers, depending on whether you choose captain’s chairs or bench seating in the second row. Starting prices range from $29,800 to $48,300. Front-wheel-drive is standard and all-wheel-drive is available.
There are three engines. The standard is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that makes 193 horsepower and 188 pound-feet of torque. There’s also a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 310 horses and 271 pound-feet. And new this year is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that generates 230 hp and 258 pound-feet. Each engine is paired with the new nine-speed automatic transmission.
The base engine is ok for most daily driving situations, but you’ll likely wish for more power at times. My tester has the V6 which provides quick acceleration and better propels the Acadia down the road, especially when going uphill. The Acadia is easy to drive and stays fairly composed with a smooth and comfortable ride. There’s little body lean for a three-row crossover.
With the V6, the Acadia can tow up to 4,000 pounds.
The AT4 trim is geared for those who want to go off the beaten path. It has hill descent control and an all-wheel-drive system that’s tuned for off-road use.
Fuel economy is decent for the class. EPA ratings for my tester are 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway for a combined rating of 21. I got 21 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.
The interior is pleasant and quiet but not as luxurious as what you’ll find in some rivals, especially on the lower trims. Some materials have a low-budget look and feel and there are some hard plastics. Passengers in the first two rows enjoy good leg- and headroom and seats that are supportive and comfortable. If you have a model with the third row, it will be okay for kids but cramped for adults , and it can be tough for passengers get back there.
Standard features include a rearview camera, tri-zone automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, sliding second-row seats, GMC infotainment system with an eight-inch touch screen, six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, Bluetooth, five USB ports, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Wi-Fi hot spot and a rear-seat reminder. This system reminds you to check the backseat every time you turn off the ignition.
Available features include leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, power-adjustable front seats, heated second-row seats, heated steering wheel, dual-panel sunroof, navigation, wireless device charging, eight-speaker Bose audio system, HD Radio, and a rear-seat entertainment system.
Standard driver assistance features include blind spot monitoring with lane change alert, rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, and the Teen Driver system which lets you set speed and volume limits for your young drivers.
Available driver assistance features include a head-up display, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, Rear Camera Mirror, and a surround-view parking camera system. Front parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, and a safety alert driver’s seat are also available.
The infotainment system is upgraded for 2020 and it’s even more user-friendly than the old system. It responds quickly to touch and voice commands, and the menus make sense. Graphics on the touchscreen are large so it’s easy to touch the right one. There are old-school buttons and knobs for common functions such as volume and tuning.
Another nice feature is USB ports in all three rows of seating so you and the kids can keep all of their phones and electronics charged while on the road.
Unfortunately, some features are only available in packages on the top trim. For example, to get a surround-view camera and adaptive cruise control, you have to choose the Denali trim and then add the Technology Package.
Three-row trims have 12.8 cubic feet with both rows of seating in place and this is less than most rivals. Cargo space is about average when seats are folded. There are 41.7 cubes behind the second row in two- and three-row trims, and 79 cubes with the second row folded. A hands-free liftgate is available.
Three available engines
Smooth, comfortable ride
New, user-friendly infotainment system
Decent fuel economy for the class
Base engine could use more power
Cabin is less upscale than many rivals
Some competitors have more passenger and cargo space
Cramped third row that can be tough to access
Some features only available as part of packages on top trim
My tester starts at $41,300. Jet black with Kalahari accents interior is $1,000. The Infotainment Package is $995 and adds a Bose Premium eight-speaker audio system, GMC Infotainment system with navigation and HD radio. The Driver Alert Package II is $695 and adds the safety alert seat, intellibeam headlamps, front and rear park assist, following distance indicator, forward collision alert, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking and front pedestrian braking. Carbon Black metallic paint is $495. Destination charge is $1,195 bringing the grand total to $45,680.
The 2020 GMC Acadia is easy to drive and offers a smooth and comfortable ride, decent fuel economy and a user-friendly infotainment system. Still, this class is so competitive that it’s worth checking out some rivals to get the features you want in a midsize crossover.