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2020 GMC Acadia Performance Review


Performance: 7.3

The 2020 GMC Acadia comes standard with a meager four-cylinder engine, though it offers two more energetic choices. The Acadia provides a smooth ride and handles well enough for most drivers, though it's hardly the sportiest vehicle in the midsize SUV class. Fuel economy ratings are a bit above average.

  • "On the road, the AT4 feels nicely refined. Its ride is comfortable and controlled over most surfaces, and despite the tires' blocky tread pattern, road noise is moderate. The handling is responsive and secure, the brakes feel firm and linear, and even the steering feel is decent for an SUV. We've driven BMW sedans of late that didn't steer this well. This isn't to say that the Acadia is sporty, but it holds up well when driven harder than we expect 99 percent of its owners to do." -- Car and Driver
  • "A strong all-around performer, the Acadia is well-suited to its mission as a comfortable, easy-to-drive family hauler. There is never a lack of power with the V6 engine, and the ride quality is well-controlled over most roads. Strong, easy-to-modulate brakes round out its impressive capabilities." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "This is still a tall SUV; you won't mistake it for a sport sedan. But neither will you mistake it for the old Acadia, which had nearly minivan manners." -- Cars.com (2017)

Acceleration and Power

The Acadia gives you a choice of three engines. It comes standard with a 193-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder, and the available 3.6-liter V6 produces 310 horsepower. There's also a new engine in the lineup for 2020: a 230-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. A nine-speed automatic transmission comes with each engine.

The base engine is suitable for your daily commute, but it lacks conviction when you hit the gas pedal. The available engines move the Acadia more easily in most driving situations. When properly equipped, the V6 turns this GMC into a useful towing vehicle with a maximum capacity of 4,000 pounds.

With the base engine and front-wheel drive, the Acadia gets an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. Those are above-average ratings for the midsize SUV class. Models with the turbocharged engine get the same ratings, but gas mileage drops to 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway with the V6.

  • "The … the optional 3.6-liter V-6 makes 310 horsepower and hustled our Denali test vehicle from zero to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds. A nine-speed automatic and front-wheel drive are standard with either engine; all-wheel drive is optional. The 2.5-liter is good for maximizing fuel efficiency, but not much else—it has a measly 1000-pound towing capacity whereas the V-6 can tow up to 4000 pounds." -- Car and Driver
  • "When equipped with the V6 engine, the Acadia is never at a loss for power. It takes off from a stop quickly and pulls up hills with ease. We measured a 0-60 mph time of 6.3 seconds, which is impressive for a vehicle of this size." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "The standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder is fuel-efficient, but not very powerful. Those who regularly carry a full crew or seek the all-wheel-drive system's full potential are better off with the 3.6-liter V6, which offers more horsepower and torque with a minimal impact on fuel economy." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)

Handling and Braking

While not a sporty SUV, this GMC is reasonably composed around turns and doesn't have much body lean as long as you aren't pushing too hard. The Acadia is easy to maneuver in tight quarters, and it rides smoothly over rough pavement.

Adaptive Ride Control, which is an adaptive damping suspension, is available. Front-wheel drive comes standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

The AT4 is the most rugged Acadia trim, if any Acadia trim can, in fact, be called rugged. It's not an off-road beast like a Jeep, but it comes with an off-road-tuned all-wheel-drive system and hill descent control that delivers the best performance of any Acadia once the pavement ends.

  • "While you'll never forget that you're driving an SUV, the Acadia is competent and reasonably composed. The Acadia feels ponderous during high-speed cornering, but when driven in a less aggressive manner (as most people drive most of the time), the ride is forgiving and stable. An adaptive suspension—standard on the Denali and optional on SLT-2 trims with all-wheel drive—adjusts the dampers every two milliseconds to help smooth out the ride over bumps or to tighten things up if the driver starts feeling frisky." -- Car and Driver
  • "The Acadia tends to want to push wide in turns, which is typical in a vehicle like this, but overall it handles its considerable weight quite well." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "Driving the new Acadia, it does feel smaller and more maneuverable. Steering is firm and responsive, and there is very little body roll." -- Motor Trend (2017)
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2020 GMC Acadia

MSRP: $29,800 - $48,300

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