The Acadia seats up to seven people with its standard third-row seat. Base models come with four-cylinder engines and front-wheel-drive. For 2020, a turbocharged four-cylinder has been added as an option. Photo: GMC

The Acadia seats up to seven people with its standard third-row seat. Base models come with four-cylinder engines and front-wheel-drive. For 2020, a turbocharged four-cylinder has been added as an option. Photo: GMC

What you should know: GMC Acadia

Style and roominess in a trimmed-out wrapper is hard to beat

The GMC Acadia hits the sweet spot with buyers wanting comfort and good looks in a roomy midsize utility vehicle. And unless you need to transport a pro basketball team or tow a humongous boat or travel trailer, you can save yourself a bundle over the bulkier GMC Yukon and Yukon XL.

The 2020 Acadia is an update of the downsized current-generation model that arrived for 2017. It was nearly 18 centimetres shorter than its predecessor, nine centimetres narrower, and the distance between the front and rear wheels was cut by more than 15 centimetres.

As a result, passenger and cargo space were reduced, the folding third-row seat became more of a squeeze and maximum towing capacity was reduced to 1,820 kilograms from 2,365. In the process, the Acadia shed some 320 kilograms, which aided overall performance and fuel economy. The revamped Acadia suddenly found itself in the same bracket as the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander.

Exterior changes for 2020 include a bolder rectangular grille that’s similar to what’s found on other GMC pickups and utility vehicles, but the rest remains basically unchanged.

Inside, the control panel is clearly influenced by other General Motors vehicles. Replacing the traditional gear-shift lever with a row of switches (below the climate controls) frees up space for the optional phone charger.

The Acadia seats seven passengers in a two-three-two arrangement across three rows. Opt for second-row individual seats that recline slightly and slide forward for easier third-row access, but overall capacity is reduced to six.

Buyers now have three engine choices instead of two with the addition of a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder that produces 230 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It joins the base 2.5-litre four-cylinder with 193 horsepower and 188 pound-feet, and the 3.6-litre V-6 that makes 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet. The V-6 is particularly smooth and quiet operator with plenty of instant-on power when you need it. A nine-speed automatic transmission is standard for all.

The turbo engine is the Acadia’s fuel champ with ratings of 11.0 l/100 km in the city, 8.3 on the highway and 9.8 combined, but the towing capacity is a paltry 680 kilograms, which is far less than V-6 that can pull up to 1,820 kilograms. The base engine can tow only 455 kilograms.

All-wheel-drive is optional with the turbo four-cylinder and the V-6, and unavailable with the base four-cylinder. When traction is not an issue, the system drives the front wheels only. It can manually be switched to 4×4, Sport, Off Road or Trailer/Tow modes via a console-mounted selector.

Acadia pricing starts at $39,600 in Canada, including destination charges, for the well-equipped SL trim. It comes with tri-zone climate control, 20-centimetre touch-screen, LED headlights and a high-definition rearview camera. Active-safety technology such as emergency braking and lane-keeping assist are not included.

The SLE and SLT trims add a variety of luxury content, while the AT4 is heavy on the black paint, blacked-out trim and wheels and is a specially equipped for off-road travel.

The pinnacle of Acadia extravagance is the Denali AWD ($56,400), with chromed-up exterior trim, hands-free power liftgate, wood- and leather-coated interior pieces, 20-inch wheels (18s are standard) and a variety of active safety technology such as emergency braking, lane-keeping assist and pedestrian detection.

Compared with the bigger and pricier Yukons, the Acadia will address the needs of most utility-vehicle buyers while leading the way in style and operating economy.

What you should know: 2020 GMC Acadia

Type: Four-door, front- /all-wheel-drive midsize utility vehicle

Engines (h.p.): 2.5-litre DOHC I-4 (193); 3.6-litre DOHC V-6 (310)

2.0-litre DOHC I-4, turbocharged (230)

Transmission: Nine-speed automatic

Market position: General Motors’ GMC division did the smart thing and downsized the

full-size Acadia, thus bringing it in line with other hot sellers with three rows of seats. The 2020 model updates the styling and adds another engine option.

Points: Updated look is bolder, as is the trend. • Dashboard could be from a number of other GM models. • Base four-cylinder and new turbo I-4 are thrifty, but for serious towing and hauling, stick with the V-6. • New AT4 trim level looks cool, adds off-road competency. • Cargo and stowage capacities are generous, compared with most competitors.

Driver Assist: Blind-spot warning with cross-traffic alert (opt.); active cruise control (opt.); emergency braking (opt.); pedestrian alert (opt.); lane-keep assist (opt.).

L/100 km (city/hwy) 11.0/8.3 (2.0 FWD); Base price (incl. destination) $39,600

BY COMPARISON

Ford Explorer

Base price: $45,150

Updated for 2020 utility vehicle offers a variety of engines, including a hybrid.

Kia Sorento seven-seat

Base price: $38,250

Roomy mid-sizer has a comfy, quiet interior. Available V-6 has 290 h.p.

Mazda CX-9

Base price: $42,000

Fun-to-drive model with a sharp interior. A 250-h.p. turbo I-4, AWD standard.

If you’re interested in new or used vehicles, be sure to visit TodaysDrive.com to find your dream car today!

-written by Malcom Gunn, Managing Partner at Wheelbase Media

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chief Constable Norm Lipinski, Surrey Police Service. (Submitted photo)
Surrey chief constable says ‘comprehensive’ public engagement to be done this year

Norm Lipinski says Surrey Police Service has ‘good momentum’

Burnsview Secondary in a Google Streetview photo.
UPDATE: Knife recovered after schoolyard stabbing in North Delta

One teen now out of hospital, and other has been released to custody of family with conditions

Surrey-raised forward Jujhar Khaira in action with Edmonton Oilers. (Photo: nhl.com)
Q&A: Surrey’s Jujhar Khaira credits parents for their hard work on his path to NHL

Port Kells-raised player talks about his journey to pro hockey with Edmonton Oilers

Dyllan Petrin is charged related to an ongoing investigation in Surrey involving a kidnapping and assault that occurred in July, 2019. (Photo: Surrey RCMP)
Man arrested in connection to kidnapping, murder investigations: Surrey RCMP

Police say Dyllan Petrin was arrested in Vancouver

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
1-in-5 COVID tests coming back positive in and around Fernie, sparking concern

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Ralliers gather in front of the Cityviews Village apartment building in Maple Ridge to protest attempts to evict low-income tenants by the building owner. (Ronan O’Doherty - The News)
Tenants protest pressure tactics by new landlord at Maple Ridge apartment building

Protest held in front of Cityviews Village on 223 St. Tuesday to rally against low-income evictions

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
‘You can’t make this stuff up’: Stories from the B.C. CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

Most Read