2020 GMC Acadia AT4 review: Rugged looks with room for the family

2020 GMC Acadia AT4

Dressed in white, the AT4 looks like a stormtrooper.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

If you might be buying for a utility vehicle with a little bit of off-highway gumption, there are a lot of alternatives on the current market. 1 of the most able is Jeep’s popular Grand Cherokee. The Subaru Ascent, Honda Passport and Land Rover Discovery Sport are a number of other worthwhile alternatives, much too. But have you regarded as a GMC Acadia?

Will not Like

  • No adaptive cruise control
  • Some inexpensive interior bits
  • So-so seats

It is Ok if the answer is no. This massive SUV has by no means really been created to deal with anything far more than a muddy highway or snowy driveway. But for 2020 the Acadia is now accessible in AT4 trim, which, at least in idea, is meant to help you undertaking off the crushed route and get home again after you might be completed actively playing in the dust. Enabling some modest off-highway ability, this product attributes a twin-clutch all-wheel generate procedure and all-terrain tires for additional traction in adverse circumstances. Visual modifications contain the addition of black-chrome exterior accents, exclusive wheels and specific badging.

As with substantial-finish Denali designs, GMC is treating its AT4 trim like a sub-brand. By the finish of this calendar yr, AT4 versions of each and every GMC vehicle will be accessible, with the Terrain, Canyon and all-new Yukon arriving for the 2021 product yr.

What is new?

But let us concentrate on the Acadia. The present era of this SUV has been about for about a few years. Considering that absolutely nothing continues to be static in the automotive business, GMC has mildly refreshed this vehicle for 2020 to guarantee it is really aggressive with more recent rivals like the Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade and Ford Explorer.

Some of the Acadia’s most substantial modifications ended up designed less than the hood. A 2.-liter turbocharged four-cylinder motor is now supplied, providing 230 horsepower with 258 pound-feet of torque. As in prior product years, two the natural way aspirated dynamos are nevertheless accessible. This includes a foundation 2.five-liter unit that’s very good for a middling 193 ponies, and a three.six-liter V6 churning out 310 horses.

Maximizing general performance and effectiveness is a new nine-pace computerized transmission. It is regular across the Acadia array and replaces a 6-pace gearbox that was used in earlier product years.

Controlling the transmission is an equally new equipment selector. Gone is a classic shift lever, changed by a series of buttons and rocker switches. Positioned at the base of the center stack, this collection of controls will take some finding used to. I fumbled about with it for a working day or a few, but after muscle mass memory arrived into enjoy it was not a issue.

Other enhancements for 2020 contain an upgraded infotainment procedure with a increased-resolution touchscreen spanning 8 inches and a far more intuitive consumer interface. This procedure is without a doubt speedy and straightforward. Pinch-to-zoom general performance on the map is as very good as you may locate on any cell phone, which is the regular all automakers must aim for. The Acadia can also be equipped with a fifteen-Watt wireless charging pad, while LED headlamps are regular across the array. In addition to a smattering of classic USB ports, two USB sort-C stores are included on the center console.

In the relatives way

Like rival autos, the Acadia can accommodate up to seven folks, but you can also get it with just 6 or even five seats. This makes it a very good fit for the two greater and smaller sized family members. My AT4 check product is not equipped with the accessible third-row bench, which indicates it only has room for a driver and four travellers.

Tourists in the next row have plenty of area to stretch out, furthermore the flooring is flat, which indicates whoever is relegated to the center location does not have to straddle a hump with his or her feet. The Acadia’s front buckets are minimize for broad-shouldered people, that means they’re plenty huge. However, for smaller sized folks like me, they’re not especially relaxed, being much too company and bereft of bolstering.

2020 GMC Acadia AT4

Load ‘er up! You will find plenty of storage area in the GMC Acadia.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

This GMC is adept at hauling about a family’s really worth of things, from strollers and hockey luggage to a veritable mountain of groceries. At the rear of that next-row seat, you get just shy of forty two cubic feet of room, while that number swells to seventy nine when the split backrest is folded down. These figures are mainly comparable to what the Acadia’s major rivals deliver, while Toyota’s new Highlander, the Palisade and Explorer are all marginally far more capacious in the two actions.

Over and above the cargo keep, you can find plenty of other storage area. Not only is the center console generously sized, thanks in aspect to the swap from a classic mechanical shifter to an digital 1, you can find plenty of room in the glovebox and doorway panel pockets for other tchotchkes.

A no-nonsense interior

The rest of this Acadia’s interior is generally pleasant. No, it is really not the most opulent cabin in the section, that title likely goes to the Palisade, but neither does it come to feel slipshod like the Explorer’s. My AT4’s clearly legible instrumentation, intuitive infotainment procedure and logically positioned controls make driving a generally stress-totally free affair.

Incorporating a sprint of style, my tester’s interior also attributes perforated leather-based trim rendered in jet black and Kalahari, sort of a peanut-butter hue. These cow hides are attractively coloured if not especially loaded, experience far more like vinyl than anything peeled off an animal’s entire body. At least this choice looks awesome and only provides $one,000 to the Acadia’s cost tag.

2020 GMC Acadia AT4

The interior is a blended bag, while everything is quick to use.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

What is a lot less forgivable is the weave-pattern trim used liberally all through the interior. Even by imitation carbon-fiber criteria it looks inadequate. Though numerous of the Acadia’s controls are quick to use, some of its knobs come to feel rubbery and very low-rent, especially the dials functioning the local weather procedure.

A host of driver-aid attributes is accessible in the Acadia, while some objects charge additional. Regular fare includes rear cross-website traffic inform, blind-location checking, a substantial-definition reversing digicam and rear park-support. Optional tech includes front-and-rear park support, lane-departure warning and computerized unexpected emergency braking, which are bundled in the Driver Warn Deal II. It is 2020, shouldn’t attributes like these be regular across the array? The good thing is, this alternatives team is only $695.

What cannot be experienced at any cost on the AT4, nevertheless, is adaptive cruise control. GMC only gives this super-useful element on all-wheel generate Denali designs equipped with the Top Deal, an additional $five,295. At least frequent, old-fashioned cruise control is regular.

This sort of powertrain, much smoothness

Change into generate with the flick of a finger and this GMC delivers unexpectedly solid general performance. AT4 designs are equipped exclusively with that three.six-liter V6, which is very good for 310 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque.

I have to confess, until it has a turbocharger bolted to each and every cylinder head and is mounted less than the hood of a Cadillac ATS-V, I’ve by no means been terribly impressed by GM’s three.six-liter 6-shooter. I previous expert it in a Chevy Colorado midsize truck a number of months back and discovered it disagreeably coarse. The good thing is, its manners are much enhanced in the Acadia. It continues to be generally silent all through the rev array and practically no vibration can be felt within. This motor also makes the Acadia feels significantly far more responsive than you would at any time assume centered on its rather modest output figures, offering loads of substantial-rpm pull. Bury the accelerator pedal and it sprints to redline with enthusiasm. Making up for a absence of lessen-finish grunt is the Acadia’s resourceful new transmission.

2020 GMC Acadia AT4

Wherever the horses are living.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Shockingly, that nine-pace gearbox is 1 of the best I’ve at any time tested. Most transmissions these times are great, but at times they’re slow to respond or get befuddled, but that is not the case right here. It swaps ratios seamlessly and quickly. Upshifts are virtually imperceptible, while it is really not fearful to drop gears when get-up-and-go is essential — just roll on the throttle and it responds eagerly. You will find no have to have to stand on the accelerator, both, to summon a downshift like in so numerous modern autos.

With all-wheel generate a distinguished aspect of its powertrain blend, my AT4 stickers at 18 miles for every gallon metropolis and 25 mpg freeway. Blended, Uncle Sam states it must typical 21 mpg.

The AT4’s trip is company, while by no indicates brutal. Interior sounds levels feel marginally increased than in comparable autos, likely due to its aggressive, all-terrain tires, a set of Continentals mounted on the regular 17-inch wheels. Machined-facial area 20s are supplied for an extra $900, coming wrapped with a lot less-aggressive all-season rubber.

Off-roader or gentle-roader?

All that tire talk brings me to yet another position. Just how able is the Acadia AT4 off highway? Perfectly, I’d be leery of getting this utility vehicle anywhere far more tough than a washed-out dust highway as it only has 7.2 inches of ground clearance, but hey, you do you. Which is a total inch a lot less than what some versions of the Explorer deliver and nevertheless behind the two the Highlander and Palisade.

Offsetting this absence of peak, the AT4 product is equipped with plenty of other useful package. For occasion, the regular twin-clutch all-wheel generate procedure gives a array of selectable settings. For increased gas economic system, it can route torque to just the front wheels, while there are also all-wheel generate, activity, off-highway and towing modes to decide on from.

Aside from its knobby tires, the Acadia AT4 also arrives with hill-commence support, which retains it from rolling backward on grades, and hill-descent control. This aids the SUV go down inclines at a slow, continuous speed, so you do not have to manually trip the brakes. This is undoubtedly some useful tech that bolsters the vehicle’s off-highway cred, but that relatively very low ground clearance is nevertheless likely to be an issue if you head much too significantly off the crushed route.

2020 GMC Acadia AT4

The Acadia is not a undesirable-seeking utility vehicle.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

A useful, if not section-foremost selection

With its excellent drivetrain and multipurpose interior, the 2020 GMC Acadia AT4 is a reliable choice for family members of varying dimensions thanks to its distinctive seating configurations. Not only that, this vehicle drives properly and looks rugged, furthermore its infotainment procedure is a winner. Far too undesirable adaptive cruise control is nowhere to be discovered and numerous popular driver-aid attributes charge additional.

An entry-level Acadia SL with front-wheel generate, the foundation four-cylinder motor and no-additional-demand Summit White paint will set you back just five bucks a lot less than $31,000, which includes $one,195 in supply fees. My check AT4 product was, the natural way, significantly richer than that, while nevertheless not entirely unreasonable, checking out at $45,090. Of program, if off-roading is your top rated problem, a related outlay will, for occasion, get you a Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, while it is really not likely to be as spacious within and a third-row seat is unavailable at any cost.

Maria J. Danford

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