Specifications of GMC Acadia II (facelift 2020) 3.6 V6 (310 HP) AWD Automatic
General characteristics of GMC Acadia II (facelift 2020) 3.6 V6 (310 HP) AWD Automatic
The Acadia isn't the largest SUV offered by GMC, but it's far from small. All of its dimensions are shared across the range, starting with the 112.5-inch wheelbase. Overall length measures in at 193.4 inches, while width without the mirrors is set at 75.4 inches. As with most high-riders, the Acadia stands quite tall at 66.7 inches, though its ground clearance of 7.2 inches isn't really conducive to venturing off-road. With several engine and drivetrain combinations available, weight varies from 3,923 pounds for the base FWD versions to 4,390 lbs for the Denali AWD.
The Acadia has lost some of the colors from its palette for 2021, but there are some new options, too. The entry-level SL is still limited to Summit White, which is the standard color for the rest of the range, too. However, the SLE adds a few extra-cost options. For $495, you can opt for one of the four metallics, including Satin Steel, Ebony Twilight, Red Mahogany, and Midnight Blue, while Cayenne Red Tintcoat will cost you $645. If you like White Frost Tricoat, you'll need to upgrade to at least the SLT or AT4 then pay an extra $1,095, while the Denali gets exclusive access to Hunter Metallic for $495.
You get a choice of three engines when you purchase a GMC Acadia, but you will need to select a trim that suits your power needs. The weakest engine is the standard one on the entry-tier SL and SLE in front-wheel-drive guise. This 2.5-liter four-pot develops a meager 193 horsepower and 188 lb-ft of torque, which is only just enough to move the bulky SUV around town. However, it struggles to accelerate on the highway, so merging and passing is an arduous task.
The most fuel-efficient motor is the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four, which is available to the all-wheel-drive SLE and both variants of the SLT. It develops 230 hp and an impressive 258 lb-ft, which helps the crossover feel zippier on the road. You may still need to plan some of your overtaking maneuvers, but you should have enough power to pull them off when you're ready.
The SLE and SLT also get access to the potent 3.6-liter V6 that comes standard on the AT4 and Denali. You get to choose the drivetrain that suits your needs on all but the AT4, which gets AWD only. The top powertrain develops 310 hp and 271 lb-ft, giving the Acadia all the power it could ever need to get you where you're going in a flash. It sounds pretty good, too.
No matter which engine and drivetrain combination you select, a nine-speed automatic transmission rows the gears for you. It is well-refined and doesn't struggle to find the right gear for the situation.
The Acadia doesn't have as high a ride height as many of its larger SUV rivals or those that are lifted, so it drives more like a car than they do. This means that it can get by with the piddling output of the standard four-cylinder engine, but you will want to aim a little higher to get the most out of the Acadia. However, even with the top-tier V6, you shouldn't expect the driving experience to be fun. This is a comfortable cruiser first and foremost.
To that end, the steering is light, but offers little to no feedback. Combined with a lack of dexterity, this can lead to some unexpected understeer. Luckily, plenty of driver-assistance features come standard to help counteract these issues. The brakes are strong and easy to modulate, too, so you won't have to worry on that front.
Where the crossover really shines, though, is ride comfort. The suspension does a good job of absorbing most road abrasions, while also keeping the vehicle composed over slippery roads. Naturally, you'll want the all-wheel drivetrain if that's going to be a common issue. However, don't mistake this for 4x4 capability. Even the AT4 trim isn't especially suited to going off-road.
While the new GMC Acadia is still a handsome crossover, at least from the outside, the interior has not received the same degree of attention from the designers, so it's starting to look somewhat outdated. However, good-quality materials are used throughout and the simpler styling may appeal to buyers who like no-frills class. You will need to upgrade to get access to some of the more desirable features like power-adjustable seats or leather upholstery, but the controls for all the standard tech, of which there is plenty, are laid out for ease of access. Part of the reason for this is that the infotainment screen is moderately sized, and the console isn't overly cluttered. More tech-savvy buyers may not be impressed by this, though.
With three rows of seats within the cabin, there is space for a maximum of seven passengers in the base SL. Or at least, there is seating for seven; space is another matter. The first two rows are where you want to be if you're any bigger than a pre-teen. Adults should preferably be seated up front, but they can fit in the second row if they aren't too tall. But once you reach the third row, legroom is reduced to around 30 or so inches - varying slightly by trim - and the roof slopes down, too. This means that only small children should ever be placed back there. However, since standard cargo capacity is quite meager, it may be best to leave the rear-most seats folded down. All the remaining trims trade out the second-row bench for a pair of captain's chairs, reducing overall seating capacity to six. However, you are given the option to stick with seven seats or lower it all the way down to five, depending on your needs. This makes the cabin feel a lot more spacious, but those in the rearmost seats still aren't going to be rejoicing. Four-way manual front seats are the norm on the lower-tier trims, but these upgrade to eight-way power front seats with heating and a driver's memory function on the upper trims.
The lower trim levels of the new Acadia don't quite live up to the expectations that its price tag engenders. The SL and SLE are dressed up in premium cloth upholstery, offered in Jet Black on the base model, while the SLE offers the choice of Cocoa/Light Ash Gray, too. The more rugged AT4 sticks with the same base upholstery and color options, but it allows you to upgrade to perforated leather for $1,000, offered in Jet Black/Kalahari. The SLT and Denali get this premium material right off the bat, but while the SLT gets the same color palette as the SLE, the Denali trades Cocoa/Light Ash Gray for Dark Galvanized/Light Shale. Even the lower-tier trims sport classy wooden veneer inlays with chrome, justifying the Acadia classification as more than just a budget family hauler. The SUV also boasts higher-quality construction with fewer hard plastics than we are used to seeing from the brand, but again, it's not the most upscale cabin for the price.