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

2020 GMC Acadia AT4

Dressed in white, the AT4 seems like a stormtrooper.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

If you might be browsing for a utility motor vehicle with a bit of off-road gumption, there are numerous solutions on the market. Just one 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 solutions, much too. But have you regarded a GMC Acadia?

Never Like

  • No adaptive cruise manage
  • Some inexpensive inside bits
  • So-so seats

It really is Ok if the reply is no. This big SUV has never seriously been built to tackle nearly anything additional than a muddy road or snowy driveway. But for 2020 the Acadia is now accessible in AT4 trim, which, at the very least in concept, is meant to enable you enterprise off the overwhelmed route and get home all over again once you might be concluded taking part in in the filth. Enabling some modest off-road capability, this product capabilities a twin-clutch all-wheel drive procedure and all-terrain tires for excess traction in adverse problems. Visible changes include things like the addition of black-chrome exterior accents, one of a kind wheels and special badging.

As with superior-conclusion Denali models, GMC is treating its AT4 trim like a sub-model. By the conclusion of this calendar 12 months, AT4 versions of each and every GMC motor vehicle will be accessible, with the Terrain, Canyon and all-new Yukon arriving for the 2021 product 12 months.

What is new?

But let us concentration on the Acadia. The present era of this SUV has been about for about 3 several years. Since very little continues to be static in the automotive business, GMC has mildly refreshed this motor vehicle for 2020 to assure it is really aggressive with newer rivals like the Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade and Ford Explorer.

Some of the Acadia’s most sizeable changes have been built less than the hood. A two.-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder motor is now offered, providing 230 horsepower with 258 pound-toes of torque. As in previous product several years, two in a natural way aspirated dynamos are however accessible. This features a foundation two.5-liter device which is very good for a middling 193 ponies, and a 3.six-liter V6 churning out 310 horses.

Maximizing general performance and efficiency is a new nine-pace computerized transmission. It really is regular throughout the Acadia vary and replaces a six-pace gearbox that was made use of in previous product several years.

Managing the transmission is an similarly new equipment selector. Long gone is a traditional shift lever, replaced by a sequence of buttons and rocker switches. Situated at the base of the center stack, this selection of controls will take some receiving made use of to. I fumbled about with it for a day or 3, but once muscle mass memory came into participate in it was not a issue.

Other enhancements for 2020 include things like an upgraded infotainment procedure with a greater-resolution touchscreen spanning 8 inches and a additional intuitive consumer interface. This procedure is certainly speedy and straightforward. Pinch-to-zoom general performance on the map is as very good as you may obtain on any cellphone, which is the regular all automakers should really intention for. The Acadia can also be fitted with a 15-Watt wireless charging pad, even though LED headlamps are regular throughout the vary. In addition to a smattering of traditional USB ports, two USB kind-C outlets are involved on the center console.

In the family members way

Like rival motor vehicles, the Acadia can accommodate up to 7 individuals, but you can also get it with just six or even five seats. This would make it a very good fit for both equally greater and lesser people. My AT4 take a look at product is not fitted with the accessible third-row bench, which signifies it only has space for a driver and 4 travellers.

Vacationers in the 2nd row have plenty of place to stretch out, moreover the ground is flat, which signifies whoever is relegated to the middle location does not have to straddle a hump with his or her toes. The Acadia’s front buckets are lower for wide-shouldered people, this means they are plenty huge. Nevertheless, for lesser people today like me, they are not specially relaxed, getting much too firm and bereft of bolstering.

2020 GMC Acadia AT4

Load ‘er up! There is plenty of storage place 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 bags to a veritable mountain of groceries. Guiding that 2nd-row seat, you get just shy of 42 cubic toes of space, nevertheless that quantity swells to seventy nine when the split backrest is folded down. These figures are mostly comparable to what the Acadia’s major rivals supply, nevertheless Toyota’s new Highlander, the Palisade and Explorer are all slightly additional capacious in both equally actions.

Past the cargo keep, you can find plenty of other storage place. Not only is the center console generously sized, thanks in component to the change from a traditional mechanical shifter to an electronic one, you can find plenty of space in the glovebox and doorway panel pockets for other tchotchkes.

A no-nonsense inside

The rest of this Acadia’s inside is typically pleasant. No, it is really not the most opulent cabin in the section, that title likely goes to the Palisade, but neither does it feel slipshod like the Explorer’s. My AT4’s evidently legible instrumentation, intuitive infotainment procedure and logically placed controls make driving a typically stress-no cost affair.

Introducing a dash of style, my tester’s inside also capabilities perforated leather trim rendered in jet black and Kalahari, form of a peanut-butter hue. These cow hides are attractively coloured if not specially rich, sensation additional like vinyl than nearly anything peeled off an animal’s system. At the very least this selection seems nice and only provides $one,000 to the Acadia’s price tag tag.

2020 GMC Acadia AT4

The inside is a blended bag, nevertheless almost everything is simple to use.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

What is fewer forgivable is the weave-pattern trim made use of liberally during the inside. Even by imitation carbon-fiber standards it seems bad. When a lot of of the Acadia’s controls are simple to use, some of its knobs feel rubbery and minimal-rent, specially the dials working the local climate procedure.

A host of driver-guidance capabilities is accessible in the Acadia, nevertheless some merchandise charge excess. Conventional fare features rear cross-visitors inform, blind-location monitoring, a superior-definition reversing digital camera and rear park-support. Optional tech features front-and-rear park support, lane-departure warning and computerized crisis braking, which are bundled in the Driver Inform Package deal II. It really is 2020, should not capabilities like these be regular throughout the vary? The good thing is, this solutions team is only $695.

What are unable to be had at any price tag on the AT4, on the other hand, is adaptive cruise manage. GMC only gives this tremendous-useful aspect on all-wheel drive Denali models fitted with the Final Package deal, an excess $5,295. At the very least normal, outdated-fashioned cruise manage is regular.

These kinds of powertrain, a lot smoothness

Shift into drive with the flick of a finger and this GMC provides unexpectedly solid general performance. AT4 models are fitted completely with that 3.six-liter V6, which is very good for 310 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque.

I should confess, except it has a turbocharger bolted to every cylinder head and is mounted less than the hood of a Cadillac ATS-V, I have never been terribly impressed by GM’s 3.six-liter six-shooter. I previous professional it in a Chevy Colorado midsize truck a number of months back again and discovered it disagreeably coarse. The good thing is, its manners are a lot improved in the Acadia. It continues to be typically silent during the rev vary and practically no vibration can be felt inside. This motor also would make the Acadia feels significantly additional responsive than you would ever expect centered on its relatively modest output figures, providing loads of superior-rpm pull. Bury the accelerator pedal and it sprints to redline with enthusiasm. Earning up for a deficiency of decreased-conclusion grunt is the Acadia’s resourceful new transmission.

2020 GMC Acadia AT4

Where the horses reside.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Shockingly, that nine-pace gearbox is one of the finest I have ever examined. Most transmissions these days are fantastic, but often they are sluggish to answer or get befuddled, but that is not the circumstance here. It swaps ratios seamlessly and swiftly. Upshifts are practically imperceptible, nevertheless it is really not worried to fall gears when get-up-and-go is needed — just roll on the throttle and it responds eagerly. There is no want to stand on the accelerator, possibly, to summon a downshift like in so a lot of modern-day motor vehicles.

With all-wheel drive a outstanding component of its powertrain mix, my AT4 stickers at 18 miles per gallon metropolis and 25 mpg freeway. Mixed, Uncle Sam claims it should really ordinary 21 mpg.

The AT4’s journey is firm, nevertheless by no signifies brutal. Interior noise levels appear slightly greater than in comparable motor vehicles, likely owing to its intense, all-terrain tires, a established of Continentals mounted on the regular seventeen-inch wheels. Machined-confront 20s are offered for an further $900, coming wrapped with fewer-intense all-period rubber.

Off-roader or tender-roader?

All that tire discuss brings me to one more issue. Just how able is the Acadia AT4 off road? Properly, I would be leery of having this utility motor vehicle any place additional demanding than a washed-out filth road as it only has 7.two inches of floor clearance, but hey, you do you. Which is a complete inch fewer than what some versions of the Explorer supply and however powering both equally the Highlander and Palisade.

Offsetting this deficiency of top, the AT4 product is fitted with plenty of other useful package. For occasion, the regular twin-clutch all-wheel drive procedure gives a vary of selectable settings. For higher gasoline economic system, it can route torque to just the front wheels, nevertheless there are also all-wheel drive, activity, off-road and towing modes to pick from.

Aside from its knobby tires, the Acadia AT4 also comes with hill-start support, which keeps it from rolling backward on grades, and hill-descent manage. This can help the SUV go down inclines at a sluggish, continual pace, so you really don’t have to manually journey the brakes. This is surely some useful tech that bolsters the vehicle’s off-road cred, but that relatively minimal floor clearance is however likely to be an concern if you head much too significantly off the overwhelmed route.

2020 GMC Acadia AT4

The Acadia is not a poor-looking utility motor vehicle.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

A useful, if not section-primary selection

With its outstanding drivetrain and multipurpose inside, the 2020 GMC Acadia AT4 is a strong selection for people of various sizes thanks to its distinctive seating configurations. Not only that, this motor vehicle drives perfectly and seems rugged, moreover its infotainment procedure is a winner. Far too poor adaptive cruise manage is nowhere to be discovered and a lot of popular driver-guidance capabilities charge excess.

An entry-stage Acadia SL with front-wheel drive, the foundation 4-cylinder motor and no-excess-charge Summit White paint will established you back again just 5 bucks fewer than $31,000, which includes $one,195 in delivery service fees. My take a look at AT4 product was, in a natural way, significantly richer than that, nevertheless however not absolutely unreasonable, checking out at $45,090. Of class, if off-roading is your prime concern, a very similar outlay will, for occasion, get you a Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, nevertheless it is really not likely to be as roomy inside and a third-row seat is unavailable at any price tag.