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2020 GMC Acadia Review

The 2020 GMC Acadia sits in the bottom third of our midsize SUV rankings. It's comfortable, and it offers some nice tech features, but the Acadia also has a few blemishes, such as a poor predicted reliability rating and an unimpressive interior.

Pros & Cons

  • Intuitive infotainment system
  • Smooth ride
  • First two rows of seats are spacious and comfortable
  • Good fuel economy
  • Cabin not as upscale as rivals’
  • Subpar predicted reliability rating
  • Limited cargo space behind the rearmost seats
  • Cramped third row

New for 2020

  • AT4 trim joins reshuffled lineup
  • New turbo-four engine available
  • Nine-speed automatic transmission now standard
  • More standard and available features

Rankings & Research

The 2020 GMC Acadia's #18 ranking is based on its score within the Midsize SUVs category. Currently the GMC Acadia has a score of 7.3 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 30 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

7.3

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.0
Performance: 7.3
Interior: 7.2
Safety: 9.4
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

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Is the GMC Acadia a Good SUV?

The GMC Acadia is a pretty good SUV. It's easy to drive, it provides a cushioned ride, and you have the choice of three engine options, though the base four-cylinder is rather uninspiring. Inside, the Acadia has comfortable seats and a user-friendly infotainment system.

The Acadia has some notable flaws as well. At the top of the list is its subpar predicted reliability rating. Additionally, the Acadia doesn’t feel as upscale as it should thanks to some cheap materials in the cabin. And while this GMC's maximum cargo capacity is respectable, it's less than you'll find in some of the more cavernous vehicles in the midsize SUV class, and there also isn’t much space available behind the third-row seats.

Should I Buy the GMC Acadia?

The Acadia is an OK vehicle, but many other SUVs make better buying choices. The Acadia doesn't really lead its class in any area, so whatever you like about this GMC you can likely find in a competitor, and it’ll likely have fewer shortcomings. The Acadia has a below-average starting price for a midsize SUV, but that's not enough to make it a strong recommendation in this segment.

If you're considering the Acadia, you should also check out the Chevrolet Traverse or Buick Enclave. Not only do they finish higher in our class rankings, but they're both also GM vehicles, sharing a common architecture and similarities with the Acadia.

Compare the Acadia, Traverse, and Enclave »

Should I Buy a New or Used GMC Acadia?

The 2020 Acadia belongs to a generation that began with the 2017 model year. Most of the updates since then are for the 2020 model, but they may not be significant enough to justify the cost of buying a new Acadia over an older model.

For 2020, Chevrolet adds the new off-road-oriented AT4 trim to the lineup, and the SLE and SLT models are now only available in single trims after previously being available in SLE-1, SLE-2, SLT-1, and SLT-2 trims. Also for 2020, a new 230-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine is available in select trims, and a nine-speed automatic transmission replaces the previously standard six-speed automatic.

Newly standard features for 2020 include the GMC infotainment interface, which replaces the IntelliLink system, and an 8-inch touch screen (up from 7 inches). Rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot monitoring with lane change alert are now also standard. Newly available features include wireless device charging, a head-up display, Rear Camera Mirror, and lane departure warning.

You could shop for a previous-generation Acadia, but you’d miss out on the benefits of the 2017 redesign, which included making Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard. Also, driver assistance features like automatic emergency braking and lane keep assist were introduced.

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2017 Acadia, 2018 Acadia, and 2019 Acadia reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Acadia »

We Did the Research for You: 30 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

This 2020 Acadia review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2017.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years’ worth of auto industry experience combined. To keep our reviews unbiased, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside company manages our advertising.

How Much Does the GMC Acadia Cost?

The Acadia has a base price of $29,800. Only a handful of midsize SUV class rivals have lower starting prices. There are several higher trims, including the all-new AT4, which starts at $42,200. The range-topping Acadia Denali starts at $46,300. That price is a bit above average for a top trim in this segment.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local GMC dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our GMC deals page.

GMC Acadia Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: GMC Acadia or Chevrolet Traverse?

The Chevrolet Traverse is a better midsize SUV than the Acadia. The Traverse can seat one more person, it has a lot more third-row space, and it’s among the class leaders in cargo capacity. Because of this added space, the Traverse is larger overall than the Acadia. These two are similar in terms of powertrains, handling, and ride quality. The Acadia is a bit more upscale inside, but the Traverse has a higher predicted reliability rating.

Which Is Better: GMC Acadia or Buick Enclave?

The Buick Enclave is a bit better overall than the Acadia. The Enclave has much more cargo space and a nicer interior than its GMC rival. The Buick also provides more space in its third row. Both have plenty of easy-to-use tech features, and they're similar in terms of performance, but the Enclave has a higher predicted reliability rating. The only reasons to choose the Acadia are that the GMC costs less than the Buick, and it has a slightly smaller footprint.

Compare the Acadia, Traverse, and Enclave »

Acadia Interior

How Many People Does the Acadia Seat?

The base Acadia seats seven people in three rows. You can opt for second-row captain's chairs that drop capacity to six. The all-new AT4 trim only seats five, as it does not come with third-row seating.

Up front, the seats provide plenty of space and all-day support. The second-row seats aren't as spacious, but they have enough room for adults to ride without much issue. As with many three-row SUVs, the third row is cramped and probably best left for children.

Acadia and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the Acadia’s second-row outboard seats, as well as single tether anchors for the third-row seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use. The lower anchors are set a little deep in the seats, and the third-row tether anchors could be confused with other hardware.

Acadia Interior Quality

Overall, the Acadia's interior looks pretty good. It keeps occupants well-insulated from outside noise and incorporates some premium materials. Upon closer inspection, however, you'll find some low-rent materials, which keeps the Acadia's cabin a step behind in the class.

Acadia Cargo Space

Behind the third-row seats, the Acadia has just 12.8 cubic feet of cargo space, which is less than most of its classmates. That may be enough room for weekend vacation luggage or some grocery bags, but not much else.

The Acadia provides 41.7 cubic feet of space with the third row folded and 79 cubic feet with both the second and third rows folded. That's a respectable maximum for the segment, though it's still well behind the capacities of the class leaders.

Acadia Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features include tri-zone automatic climate control, a rear-seat reminder, and the GMC infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, a six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, a Wi-Fi hot spot, five USB ports, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Available features include a dual-panel sunroof, navigation, wireless device charging, an eight-speaker Bose audio system, HD Radio, and a rear-seat entertainment system.

This GMC comes standard with a user-friendly infotainment system. The touch screen is easy to see and reach, and it's responsive to inputs. The interface makes it easy to find and adjust settings, and there are physical controls for some functions.

Read more about interior »

Acadia Performance

Acadia Engine: Best of Three

There are three engines available in the Acadia, and each comes mated with a nine-speed automatic transmission. The base 193-horsepower four-cylinder gets the job done for most driving situations, though models with this engine have somewhat sluggish acceleration.

For more grunt, opt for the 310-horsepower V6 or the new-for-2020 turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 230 horsepower. These engines are noticeably stronger than the base variant, and they deliver better acceleration.

Acadia Gas Mileage: Better than Most

When equipped with its base engine and front-wheel drive, the Acadia gets better gas mileage than many of its competitors: 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. Ratings are the same for models with the available turbo-four engine. With the V6, ratings drop to 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

Acadia Ride and Handling: Stable and Unremarkable

This GMC provides a comfortable ride over most road surfaces, and it’s easy to maneuver and drive. That said, don't expect a lot of athleticism. The Acadia is poised on winding roads, but it lacks the agility you get from some competitors. The AT4 trim is geared more toward off-roading than the rest of the lineup.

Acadia Towing Capacity

When properly equipped, the Acadia can tow up to 4,000 pounds.

Read more about performance »

Acadia Reliability

Is the GMC Acadia Reliable?
The 2020 GMC Acadia has a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power.
GMC Acadia Warranty

GMC backs the Acadia with a three-year/36,000-mile warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

How Much Does It Cost to Insure a GMC Acadia?

The cost of insuring a GMC Acadia will depend on a variety of factors, including your deductible, the level of coverage that you want, and the type of insurance that you choose. Your age, gender, location, credit score, and driving record can also have an impact on your insurance rates. Check out our car insurance guide to find the best policy for you.

Acadia Safety

Acadia Crash Test Results

The 2020 Acadia received four out of five stars in the rollover evaluation, the only test performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA did not assign the Acadia an overall safety rating.

The 2020 Acadia earned the top rating of Good in five tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Acadias equipped with the Technology package earned the highest rating of Superior for front crash prevention, while models with the Driver Alert II package received the second-highest rating of Advanced.

Acadia Safety Features

Standard active safety features include a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring with lane change alert, and a rear seat reminder. Also standard is the Teen Driver system, which lets you do things like set speed and audio volume limits for secondary 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.

Read more about safety »

Acadia Dimensions and Weight

The Acadia is 16.1 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,923 to 4,390 pounds.

Where Is the GMC Acadia Built?

GMC builds the 2020 Acadia in Tennessee.

Which GMC Acadia Model Is Right for Me?

The Acadia comes in five trims: SL, SLE, SLT, the all-new AT4, and Denali. The AT4 trim is the most capable off-roader in the group, but many buyers will do just fine with the SLE trim. The SLE comes with a nice array of standard features and offers several upgrades, as well as two additional engine choices and all-wheel drive.

The SLT trim is a great choice for buyers who like the SLE trim but want a few more driver assistance features. The Denali is the most expensive trim in the lineup, but it's also more upscale than lower trims and makes a good choice for shoppers who want the plushest ride.

GMC Acadia SL

The Acadia SL sports a base price of $29,800. It comes with a 193-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive.

Standard features include cloth upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control, and the GMC infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, a six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, a Wi-Fi hot spot, five USB ports, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Standard active safety features include the Teen Driver system, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot monitoring with lane change alert.

This is the only trim not available with the V6 or turbocharged engines or all-wheel drive, and it has no notable available features.

GMC Acadia SLE

The Acadia SLE starts at $33,800. The SLE has the same standard features as the base trim, as well as satellite radio. However, it offers a lot of stuff that you can't get in the Acadia SL.

The Driver Convenience package ($1,750) adds a power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, and a hands-free power liftgate. Several features can be added individually, including wireless device charging, a rear-seat entertainment system, and second-row captain's chairs.

You can add all-wheel drive for $2,400, and that also upgrades you from the 2.5-liter base engine to the 230-horsepower turbo-four. You can add a 310-horsepower V6 engine for $1,095. You can add both the V6 and all-wheel drive for $2,895.

GMC Acadia SLT

The Acadia SLT carries a starting price of $39,700. The SLT features a 230-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It also has second-row captain's chairs, so it only seats six in its standard setup.

In addition to the lower trims' standard features, the Acadia SLT comes with a hands-free power liftgate, navigation, a power-adjustable driver's seat, an eight-speaker Bose audio system, and HD Radio.

The Premium package ($1,250) adds a power-adjustable passenger seat, heated and ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats. The Driver Alert II package ($1,295) includes 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.

As with the SLE, the SLT offers some features individually, including a sunroof, wireless device charging, and a rear-seat entertainment system.

You can add the V6 engine for $495 and all-wheel drive for $2,000.

GMC Acadia AT4

The all-new Acadia AT4 starts at $42,200. It seats five and comes with a 310-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine and is the lone trim that's offered only as an all-wheel-drive model. Additionally, the AT4 has an off-road-tuned all-wheel-drive system that's different from those available in other Acadia trims. This is also the only two-row Acadia.

Standard features are the same as in the SLT trim. You can add the Driver Alert II package for $695. Some features can also be added individually.

GMC Acadia Denali

The top-of-the-line Acadia Denali starts at $46,300. It only comes with the V6 engine. Standard features include second-row captain's chairs, a power-adjustable passenger seat, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, and wireless device charging. Forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, and a safety alert driver’s seat also come standard.

The Technology package ($2,395) includes a head-up display, Rear Camera Mirror, a surround-view parking camera system, and adaptive cruise control. You can also add a sunroof and a rear-seat entertainment system.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local GMC dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our GMC deals page.

See 2020 GMC Acadia specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2020 GMC Acadia seems to have a lot going for it, with good fuel economy ratings, intuitive tech features, and a solid amount of cargo capacity with the seats folded. However, many other midsize SUVs offer these same traits with fewer missteps, and they have nicer cabins than the Acadia’s.

The Acadia is a decent SUV, but it's behind the pack in a deep class. That's why it finishes in the bottom third of our midsize SUV rankings, and that's why buyers may want to look elsewhere.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "With room for seven, a bold, squarish design, and a new, off-road-inspired model, the 2020 Acadia is aimed at families who want a little luxury with a reasonable price tag. It can't quite match up to the build quality or performance characteristics of competitors such as the Mazda CX-9, and those who frequently need three rows of seats would be better off with something larger. But the Acadia offers a modern, attractive cabin with plenty of interior storage space and thoughtful features such as an available hands-free liftgate and second-row seats that slide and tip forward to ease third-row access. It's not the crossover we'd buy, but we won't be horrified if you choose it for your own driveway." -- Car and Driver
  • "… the Acadia is a safe, fuel-efficient SUV with many perks, although most are not available until you reach the more expensive trims." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The new Acadia is a much-needed and smartly executed redesign of an almost 10-year-old SUV. It may move downmarket into a smaller slot, which would only position the Acadia to better bridge the gap between the slightly smaller Terrain and the larger GMC Yukon." -- Automobile Magazine (2017)

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: October 8, 2020

Nosediving Sales: The Acadia is selling in the middle of the midsize SUV segment, but sales are plummeting 36 percent so far this year compared to the same period in 2019. To make matters worse, the Acadia’s corporate cousin, the Chevy Traverse, is outselling it by 64 percent. The class sales-leading Ford Explorer is outselling the Acadia by more than 3 to 1 this year.

Research more buying advice »
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