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

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons. File photo.
MP Morrison calls Keystone XL permit cancellation ‘devastating news’

Kootenay-Columbia MP reacts to the Conservative Party’s removal of a controversial Ontario MP

Interior Health reported 91 new COVID-19 cases in the region Jan. 20, 2021 and three additional deaths. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
95 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health, two deaths

Another member of Vernon’s Noric House has passed

It was a quiet week for COVID-19 cases in the West Kootenay. Illustration: B.C. Centre for Disease Control
Two new cases of COVID-19 in Nelson area

The cases were confirmed for the week of Jan. 10 to 16

The Nelson and District Community Complex ice has mostly been empty this season with the Nelson Leafs’ season on hold due to the pandemic. File photo
Six Nelson sports groups included in provincial grant

The Local Sports Relief Fund is meant to offset pandemic-related expenses

The Nelson library’s podcast club is like a book club, but for podcasts. Photo: Submitted
CHECK THIS OUT: Happiness at the library

Columnist Avi Silberstein invites you to the library’s podcast club

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
Midway Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Most Read