2020 GMC Acadia

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2020 GMC Acadia Review: Near-Luxury All-Rounder

The GMC Acadia makes a brave attempt at blending the opposing values of affordability, luxury, and practicality into one slightly smaller-than-average midsize crossover. This is a pretty tall order, and we can't help but feel that its reach has exceeded its grasp. The Acadia can seat seven in its standard configuration and six in its more luxurious guises, but those in the rear-most seats will feel cramped no matter what you do. It comes with quite a bit of tech as standard, but even then, it feels lacking against rivals that get more desirable driver-assistance features on the lower trims. Still, the new turbo four-pot with 230 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque is a nice step up on the mid-tier trims for those who don't want to shell out for the powerful V6 engine. Despite these demerits, GMC's midsize crossover still delivers a cozy ride, and it looks good from the outside, too.

Read in this review:

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2020 GMC Acadia Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2019 Acadia?

Quite a number of changes have been made to the Acadia for its 2020 mid-cycle facelift. In terms of looks, the crossover receives a new grille design, as well as an updated rear fascia, with LED lights all-round as standard. There are also a few new designs for the upper trim's 18- and 20-inch wheels. Under the hood of the SLT and Denali, there is a new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, and an off-road-inspired trim has been added to the line-up - the AT4. In terms of features, the infotainment interface has been upgraded to a crisper eight-inch touchscreen, while the upper trims are offered access to a rearview camera mirror and a head-up display. Every engine, including the new turbo four-pot, comes mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission this year.

Pros and Cons

  • Lively optional V6 engine
  • Refined riding experience
  • Decent list of standard tech features
  • Easy-to-use infotainment
  • Multiple seating configurations
  • Barely useable third-row seats
  • Low standard cargo capacity
  • Disappointing cabin quality for the price

What's the Price of the 2020 GMC Acadia?

While not falling into the luxury crossover segment, the Acadia is a little on the pricey side. At least, once you look past the extremely limited entry-level SL, which goes for $29,800. With a few more standard features, and plenty more available ones, the SLE feels confident charging $33,800, with a surcharge of $2,400 to add all-wheel-drive. The mid-tier SLT sits just below the $40k mark at $39,700, and passes it when you add the $2,000 AWD. Available only with all-wheel-drive, the new AT4 starts at $42,200, which is still quite a bit below the top-tier Denali's $46,300. Once again, opting for the all-wheel drivetrain adds $2,000 to the bill. These prices don't include tax, registration, licensing, or GMC's $1,195 handling fee.

Best Deals on 2020 GMC Acadia

2020 GMC Acadia Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
3.6L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
3.6L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2020 GMC Acadia Trims and Specs

2020 Acadia Exterior

2020 GMC Acadia Front Angle View GMC
2020 GMC Acadia Rear Angle View GMC
2020 GMC Acadia Frontal Aspect GMC
See All 2020 GMC Acadia Exterior Photos


  • Length 193.4 in
  • Wheelbase 112.5 in
  • Height 66.7 in
  • Max Width 75.4 in
  • Front Width 64.5 in
  • Rear Width 64.5 in
  • Curb Weight 3,923.0 lbs

2020 Acadia Performance

2020 GMC Acadia Driving Front Angle GMC
2020 GMC Acadia Rear Perspective Driving GMC
2020 GMC Acadia Wheel GMC

Engine and Transmission

  • Engines
    2.0L Inline-4 Gas, 2.5L Inline-4 Gas, 3.6L V6, 3.6L V6 Gas
  • Transmission
    9-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Despite its classification by GMC as an SUV, the Acadia is more carlike than many of its rivals. Thus the crossover handles with greater ease than a vehicle of its size normally would. But ease doesn't equate to fun, which the Acadia certainly is not. Steering is light and responsive, perfect for maneuvering around town, which is further helped by the crossover's relatively slim dimension. However, there is almost no feedback from the wheels.

This is exacerbated by the vehicle's tendency to turn wide, meaning you could understeer without realizing it if you don't pay attention. In other areas, the handling dynamics are more stable. The brakes are more than powerful enough to bring the relatively sprightly crossover to a stop, and the suspension is quite excellent, absorbing all road imperfections in its stride.

The Acadia could technically go off-road, thanks to its available all-wheel drivetrain and All-Terrain Package, but this is geared more towards poor road conditions than it is an invitation to go off the beaten path. Overall, the GMC Acadia is a comfortable, unobjectionable driver that performs its job as a family hauler well, but it certainly isn't a sporty SUV.

2020 Acadia Interior

2020 GMC Acadia Dashboard GMC
2020 GMC Acadia Cup Holder GMC
2020 GMC Acadia Steering Wheel Details GMC
See All 2020 GMC Acadia Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 41.0 in
  • Front Head Room 40.0 in
  • Rear Leg Room 39.7 in
  • Rear Head Room 39.6 in

2020 Acadia Trunk and Cargo Space

2020 GMC Acadia Front Chairs GMC
2020 GMC Acadia Central Control Panel GMC
2020 GMC Acadia Seating Trim GMC

2020 Acadia Safety and Reliability


  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain Note:
    Qualified Fleet Purchases: 5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Rust-Through:
    6 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance Note:
    Qualified Fleet Purchases: 5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Maintenance Note:
    1 Year \ 1 Visit

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: Is the 2020 GMC Acadia A Good SUV?

The crossover market is an unquestionably competitive one, regardless of the specific segment you look at. In terms of midsize crossovers, the GMC Acadia has always struggled to stay abreast of the competition, with highly capable rivals like the Kia Telluride, Honda Pilot, and Hyundai Palisade. It may be a bit more affordable, but the savings in initial cost simply aren't worth what you're giving up.

The Acadia is a bit smaller than your average midsize SUV, and while this gives it a bit of an edge when maneuvering around town, it has its downsides, too. The cabin simply isn't large enough to properly accommodate three rows of seats. And this is after you take into account that there is only 12.8 cubic feet of standard trunk space behind the third row!

At least the small cabin is well-appointed, with plenty of standard features, an easy-to-use infotainment suite, and high-quality materials, especially on the upper trims. But moving up the trim levels, the price quickly outweighs value, with many rivals offering similar or better for equal or less cost.

The GMC Acadia is a capable vehicle, with much going for it, but the changes made for the new year simply aren't enough to launch it into a commanding position within the segment. It may still be worth a look, and if you value a comfortable ride and space for seven above all else, it may still appeal to you... but there are better options out there.

What GMC Acadia Model Should I Buy?

Considering the changes to the Acadia for 2020, we'd suggest going for the model that best incorporates them while still offering decent value for money. The SLT seems to fit the bill in this regard. It is the first model to come standard with the new turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which delivers similar performance to the pricier V6, and it also gets enough comfort upgrades like leather upholstery and heated seats to ensure you feel that your money has been well-spent. Unfortunately, it lacks some of the safety features that many have come to expect as standard on their family SUVs, including forward collision avoidance, but these can be added on for less than it would take to upgrade to the top-tier Denali.

2020 GMC Acadia Comparisons

Chevrolet Traverse
GMC Terrain GMC
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
GMC Acadia228 hp22/29 mpg$36,800
Chevrolet Traverse 310 hp18/27 mpg$33,700
GMC Terrain 175 hp24/29 mpg$29,900

2020 GMC Acadia vs Chevrolet Traverse

Despite heralding from the same parent company, the GMC Acadia and Chevy Traverse are by no means the same vehicle. Both crossovers share the same starting price, but the Traverse comes with a 310-hp V6 as standard, and it's quite a bit larger than the Acadia. This translates to significantly more cargo space, with 23 cubic feet behind the third-row seats. There is more overall seating, too, with eight appointments as standard inside the Traverse. Both crossovers are similarly accoutered in terms of features, although the top-tier Chevy is a bit pricier than its Denali cousin. Still, in terms of value for money, the Traverse seems to offer more utility at a similar or lower price, if you look at the more affordable models.

See Chevrolet Traverse Review

2020 GMC Acadia vs GMC Terrain

The smaller sibling to the Acadia, the GMC Terrain tries to be everything its big brother is, just in a smaller package. However, even for its smaller size, the base 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder doesn't feel powerful enough with only 170 hp and 203 lb-ft. The available 2.0-liter version is much better, though. Much like the Acadia, the Terrain places its focus on a comfortable ride rather than a fun drive, delivering similar comfort to the larger crossover. With a lower price tag (although it's still pricey), and better fuel economy, the Terrain certainly has appeal. Seating only five as standard, it offers 29.6 cubic feet of trunk space. This is quite a bit less than the Acadia in five-seater configuration, and is subpar for the compact segment, too. Neither crossover leads its segment, but the Acadia is more practical if you're looking for comfort and space.

See GMC Terrain Review

2020 GMC Acadia Popular Comparisons

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