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 shopping for a utility motor vehicle with a bit of off-street gumption, there are many options on the market. One particular of the most able is Jeep’s common Grand Cherokee. The Subaru Ascent, Honda Passport and Land Rover Discovery Activity are a couple of other worthwhile options, too. But have you thought of a GMC Acadia?


  • Potent acceleration
  • Excellent transmission
  • Reliable build high-quality

You should not Like

  • No adaptive cruise handle
  • Some low-cost inside bits
  • So-so seats

It can be Ok if the respond to is no. This large SUV has by no means definitely been built to tackle nearly anything a lot more than a muddy street or snowy driveway. But for 2020 the Acadia is now available in AT4 trim, which, at least in idea, is intended to enable you enterprise off the overwhelmed route and get residence once again after you might be finished actively playing in the dirt. Enabling some modest off-street capacity, this design features a twin-clutch all-wheel travel system and all-terrain tires for further traction in adverse ailments. Visual modifications involve the addition of black-chrome exterior accents, special wheels and particular badging.

As with large-finish Denali versions, GMC is dealing with its AT4 trim like a sub-brand. By the finish of this calendar calendar year, AT4 variations of just about every GMC motor vehicle will be available, with the Terrain, Canyon and all-new Yukon arriving for the 2021 design calendar year.

What is new?

But let us focus on the Acadia. The current era of this SUV has been all over for about 3 many years. Since nothing continues to be static in the automotive small business, GMC has mildly refreshed this motor vehicle for 2020 to make certain it really is competitive with newer rivals like the Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade and Ford Explorer.

Some of the Acadia’s most major modifications had been designed under the hood. A 2.-liter turbocharged four-cylinder motor is now provided, providing 230 horsepower with 258 pound-feet of torque. As in past design many years, two obviously aspirated dynamos are nevertheless available. This includes a base 2.5-liter unit which is great for a middling 193 ponies, and a 3.six-liter V6 churning out 310 horses.

Maximizing functionality and efficiency is a new 9-pace automatic transmission. It can be regular throughout the Acadia vary and replaces a six-pace gearbox that was employed in previous design many years.

Managing the transmission is an similarly new equipment selector. Long gone is a regular shift lever, changed by a collection of buttons and rocker switches. Situated at the base of the center stack, this selection of controls requires some finding employed to. I fumbled all over with it for a day or 3, but after muscle mass memory arrived into play it was not a challenge.

Other enhancements for 2020 involve an upgraded infotainment system with a bigger-resolution touchscreen spanning 8 inches and a a lot more intuitive user interface. This system is without a doubt speedy and easy. Pinch-to-zoom functionality on the map is as great as you’ll discover on any cellular phone, which is the regular all automakers must purpose for. The Acadia can also be equipped with a fifteen-Watt wi-fi charging pad, when LED headlamps are regular throughout the vary. In addition to a smattering of regular USB ports, two USB form-C outlets are included on the center console.

In the spouse and children way

Like rival automobiles, the Acadia can accommodate up to 7 men and women, but you can also get it with just six or even 5 seats. This would make it a great in good shape for both equally larger and smaller sized family members. My AT4 examination design is not equipped with the available 3rd-row bench, which indicates it only has place for a driver and four passengers.

Travelers in the next row have a great deal of place to extend out, in addition the ground 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 cut for broad-shouldered people, which means they’re a great deal broad. Nonetheless, for smaller sized folks like me, they’re not especially cozy, being too company and bereft of bolstering.

2020 GMC Acadia AT4

Load ‘er up! There is certainly a great deal of storage place in the GMC Acadia.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

This GMC is adept at hauling all over a family’s worth of stuff, from strollers and hockey luggage to a veritable mountain of groceries. Guiding that next-row seat, you get just shy of 42 cubic feet of place, although that quantity swells to 79 when the break up backrest is folded down. These figures are mainly equivalent to what the Acadia’s important rivals present, although Toyota’s new Highlander, the Palisade and Explorer are all somewhat a lot more capacious in both equally actions.

Over and above the cargo hold, there is certainly a great deal of other storage place. Not only is the center console generously sized, many thanks in section to the change from a regular mechanical shifter to an digital just one, there is certainly a great deal of place in the glovebox and doorway panel pockets for other tchotchkes.

A no-nonsense inside

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

Introducing a dash of design, my tester’s inside also features perforated leather trim rendered in jet black and Kalahari, sort of a peanut-butter hue. These cow hides are attractively coloured if not especially prosperous, emotion a lot more like vinyl than nearly anything peeled off an animal’s system. At least this choice seems great and only adds $one,000 to the Acadia’s cost tag.

2020 GMC Acadia AT4

The inside is a blended bag, although all the things is quick to use.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

What is a lot less forgivable is the weave-pattern trim employed liberally in the course of the inside. Even by imitation carbon-fiber expectations it seems weak. Although a lot of of the Acadia’s controls are quick to use, some of its knobs come to feel rubbery and lower-rent, especially the dials working the climate system.

A host of driver-guidance features is available in the Acadia, although some merchandise charge further. Conventional fare includes rear cross-website traffic inform, blind-location monitoring, a large-definition reversing camera and rear park-help. Optional tech includes front-and-rear park help, lane-departure warning and automatic unexpected emergency braking, which are bundled in the Driver Warn Bundle II. It can be 2020, shouldn’t features like these be regular throughout the vary? The good thing is, this options team is only $695.

What are unable to be experienced at any cost on the AT4, however, is adaptive cruise handle. GMC only offers this super-handy element on all-wheel travel Denali versions equipped with the Final Bundle, an further $5,295. At least typical, outdated-fashioned cruise handle is regular.

These kinds of powertrain, a great deal smoothness

Change into travel with the flick of a finger and this GMC delivers unexpectedly strong functionality. AT4 versions are equipped completely with that 3.six-liter V6, which is great for 310 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque.

I will have to confess, except it has a turbocharger bolted to every single cylinder head and is mounted under the hood of a Cadillac ATS-V, I’ve by no means been terribly impressed by GM’s 3.six-liter six-shooter. I very last professional it in a Chevy Colorado midsize truck a couple of months again and observed it disagreeably coarse. The good thing is, its manners are a great deal improved in the Acadia. It continues to be largely quiet in the course of the rev vary and pretty much no vibration can be felt inside. This motor also would make the Acadia feels far a lot more responsive than you would at any time assume centered on its somewhat modest output figures, supplying hundreds of large-rpm pull. Bury the accelerator pedal and it sprints to redline with enthusiasm. Producing up for a lack of decreased-finish grunt is the Acadia’s resourceful new transmission.

2020 GMC Acadia AT4

In which the horses reside.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Shockingly, that 9-pace gearbox is just one of the finest I’ve at any time analyzed. Most transmissions these times are good, but from time to time they’re slow to answer or get befuddled, but that is not the situation below. It swaps ratios seamlessly and swiftly. Upshifts are virtually imperceptible, although it really is not worried to fall gears when get-up-and-go is essential — just roll on the throttle and it responds eagerly. There is certainly no require to stand on the accelerator, possibly, to summon a downshift like in so a lot of modern automobiles.

With all-wheel travel a outstanding section of its powertrain mix, my AT4 stickers at eighteen miles for every gallon city and twenty five mpg highway. Mixed, Uncle Sam says it must typical 21 mpg.

The AT4’s ride is company, although by no indicates brutal. Inside sound levels feel somewhat bigger than in equivalent automobiles, most likely owing to its aggressive, all-terrain tires, a set of Continentals mounted on the regular seventeen-inch wheels. Machined-experience 20s are provided for an further $900, coming wrapped with a lot less-aggressive all-year rubber.

Off-roader or smooth-roader?

All that tire communicate brings me to another stage. Just how able is the Acadia AT4 off street? Very well, I might be leery of taking this utility motor vehicle anywhere a lot more hard than a washed-out dirt street as it only has seven.2 inches of ground clearance, but hey, you do you. Which is a comprehensive inch a lot less than what some variations of the Explorer present and nevertheless at the rear of both equally the Highlander and Palisade.

Offsetting this lack of top, the AT4 design is equipped with a great deal of other handy kit. For occasion, the regular twin-clutch all-wheel travel system offers a vary of selectable settings. For increased gas economy, it can route torque to just the front wheels, although there are also all-wheel travel, sport, off-street and towing modes to pick out from.

Apart from its knobby tires, the Acadia AT4 also arrives with hill-get started help, which keeps it from rolling backward on grades, and hill-descent handle. This aids the SUV go down inclines at a slow, steady speed, so you do not have to manually ride the brakes. This is certainly some handy tech that bolsters the vehicle’s off-street cred, but that fairly lower ground clearance is nevertheless likely to be an difficulty if you head too far off the overwhelmed route.

2020 GMC Acadia AT4

The Acadia is not a bad-hunting utility motor vehicle.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

A handy, if not section-main decision

With its outstanding drivetrain and multipurpose inside, the 2020 GMC Acadia AT4 is a strong choice for family members of various dimensions many thanks to its distinctive seating configurations. Not only that, this motor vehicle drives effectively and seems rugged, in addition its infotainment system is a winner. Way too bad adaptive cruise handle is nowhere to be observed and a lot of common driver-guidance features charge further.

An entry-stage Acadia SL with front-wheel travel, the base four-cylinder motor and no-further-charge Summit White paint will set you again just 5 bucks a lot less than $31,000, which includes $one,195 in shipping and delivery charges. My examination AT4 design was, obviously, far richer than that, although nevertheless not entirely unreasonable, examining out at $forty five,090. Of course, if off-roading is your leading concern, a similar outlay will, for occasion, get you a Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, although it really is not likely to be as roomy inside and a 3rd-row seat is unavailable at any cost.

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