2020 GMC Acadia remains a stylish, powerful, tech-savvy crossover Featured

Posted On Sunday, 19 April 2020 02:43 Written by
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The interior of the 2020 GMC Acadia gets an upgrade in terms of user experience and storage. The interior of the 2020 GMC Acadia gets an upgrade in terms of user experience and storage. Photo courtesy of GMC

To say there’s a wide variety of midsize crossover SUVs available to today’s car buyers would be the understatement of the year.

And with so many options, even in years without a complete redesign, automakers must step up their offerings to remain competitive in the segment.

Such is the case with the 2020 GMC Acadia, which remains unchanged in many ways, but still offers some bold upgrades in styling, powerplant and technology. I recently spent time in a 2020 Acadia (AT4 trim level) and I’m back with a full report on how it measures up in the segment.


Let’s start with the interior design on the Acadia, which I found to have a very high quality design compared to many of its competitors. Depending on the trim level you choose, quality will vary some, but higher trims are approaching a true luxury level, especially if you opt for the Denali.

In addition to an attractive look and comfort, you also have roominess in the Acadia, especially in the front two rows. Driver and passengers will never feel cramped. 

Depending how you equip your Acadia, you can comfortably seat 5, 6 or 7 people in the vehicle. Be aware though that there are some crossovers in the segment that edge out the Acadia in terms of cargo space.

I loved the design of the Acadia’s interior, as everything was set up perfectly for easy accessibility. A redesigned center console boosts storage space up front.

Going to the external design, the GMC brand has always maintained a bold, boxy look and this model is no exception, adding some extra aggressive styling in the grille area and elsewhere — especially so on the new off-road inspired AT4 trim level. LED lighting also becomes standard on the Acadia.

My test vehicle featured 17-inch painted aluminum wheels with all-terrain blackwall tires, and there is an option to upgrade to 20-inch wheels.

The Acadia features a heated driver and passenger seats up front, and Dual Zone air and climate control with rear air vents. It also offers a helpful hands-free liftgate (just wave your leg below to open) and heated outside mirrors with turn signal indicators.


Several engines are offered on the Acadia, including:
• 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (193 horsepower, 188 lb.-ft. of torque)
• 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine (230 horsepower, 258 lb.-ft. of torque)
• 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine (310 horsepower, 271 lb.-ft. of torque)
All three are paired with a new 9-speed transmission.

The turbo-four option is new for 2020, and has gotten positive feedback. Base engine has received mixed reviews, so it’s best to consider an upgrade to one of the strong options. 

I was lucky enough to test the V6, and was far from disappointed. Performance has always been a trademark of GM crossovers, and that trend continues with the 2020 Acadia. My experience behind the wheel of the Acadia is one I definitely enjoyed. Acceleration was plentiful when you needed it, yet the overall ride quality remained very smooth and comfortable and quiet for all passengers. This is in large part due to suspension upgrades.

One unique aspect is the traditional shifter has been replaced by buttons up front that you push, which takes some time for the driver to get used to doing (I kept grabbing for an imaginary shifter). 

The Acadia comes in both FWD and AWD options.

Tech and safety are both areas where GM tends to shine and stay modern in a quickly changing world, and the Acadia continues to show that.

First of all, there is an extremely well-designed and upgraded GMC infotainment system that proves easy to use by touch, responds well to voice commands, and features an upgraded navigation system for 2020. The system features an 8-inch color multi-touch display, Bluetooth for streaming audio and phone calls, compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for phone mirroring, in-vehicle apps and more.

Users can also set personal preferences to tailor the system to their preferences (up to four profiles for different drivers), which is a very cool feature. Those preferences can even be transferred to some other GM vehicles, which is even cooler.

You also get a total of 5 USB ports spread throughout the Acadia. Wireless phone charging is an option, and the High Definition Rear Vision Camera gets a sharper look on most trim levels.

The Acadia features a Bose premium 8 speaker audio system with active noise cancellation, HD radio, remote vehicle start, satellite radio, OnStar Services and an option for 4G LTE Wi-Fi in the vehicle. 

On the safety side, key features include: Rear Park Assist, Rear Cross-traffic Alert, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Teen Driver settings, and a Rear Seat Reminder so you don't forget anyone in the vehicle. The Acadia also features an anti-lock brake system and Hill Descent Control.

An optional safety package includes a Safety Alert Seat that buzzes to warn you of lane departures, Intellibeam headlamps, front and rear park assist, Following Distance Indicator, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking, and more.

The official fuel mileage numbers on the 2020 GMC Acadia are 18 city/25 highway/21 combined. In my time driving the vehicle, I averaged 19 mpg. These are not segment-leading numbers, but do beat some competitors. All in all, the differences in fuel mileage in this segment are minor and won’t dictate many purchases.

My test vehicle was priced just over $45,000; the Acadia’s base price starts about $31K. Trim levels include SL, SLE, SLT, AT4 and the luxurious Denali. The Denali trim starts its pricing around $48K, so we’re talking a good $20K+ range between your base Acadia and a fully decked-out model.

The Acadia comes with a 3-year, 36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty, and a 5-year, 60,000 mile powertrain limited warranty.


Between its strong lineup of engines, attractive design and innovative technology and safety features, the 2020 Acadia proves itself to be a strong crossover offering from GMC that has the goods to compete in a tough category.

If you’re looking to upgrade the family ride, it definitely deserves a test drive.


AutoTechReviews.com can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page.

Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2020 GMC Acadia 
  • Price as tested: $45,090  
  • Best feature: Style, power plant options, tech and safety offerings   
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars 
  • Who will want this vehicle?: SUV buyers seeking a quality, modern ride 
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

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