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

Dressed in white, the AT4 appears to be like a stormtrooper. Craig Cole/Roadshow If you

2020 GMC Acadia AT4

Dressed in white, the AT4 appears to be like a stormtrooper.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

If you are purchasing for a utility car or truck with a bit of off-road gumption, there are quite a few possibilities on the sector. A person of the most capable is Jeep’s common Grand Cherokee. The Subaru Ascent, Honda Passport and Land Rover Discovery Sport are a couple other worthwhile possibilities, as well. But have you thought of a GMC Acadia?


  • Impressive acceleration
  • Superb transmission
  • Sound create good quality

You should not Like

  • No adaptive cruise management
  • Some low-priced interior bits
  • So-so seats

It is really Okay if the remedy is no. This big SUV has by no means genuinely been constructed to deal with anything more than a muddy road or snowy driveway. But for 2020 the Acadia is now out there in AT4 trim, which, at minimum in principle, is supposed to assistance you venture off the overwhelmed path and get household yet again as soon as you are concluded taking part in in the dirt. Enabling some modest off-road ability, this design characteristics a twin-clutch all-wheel drive system and all-terrain tires for more traction in adverse problems. Visual variations involve the addition of black-chrome exterior accents, distinctive wheels and specific badging.

As with high-end Denali products, GMC is dealing with its AT4 trim like a sub-model. By the end of this calendar yr, AT4 variations of each and every GMC car or truck will be out there, with the Terrain, Canyon and all-new Yukon arriving for the 2021 design yr.

What is actually new?

But let’s aim on the Acadia. The existing generation of this SUV has been all around for about three years. Considering that absolutely nothing continues to be static in the automotive enterprise, GMC has mildly refreshed this car or truck for 2020 to guarantee it’s competitive with more recent rivals like the Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade and Ford Explorer.

Some of the Acadia’s most sizeable variations were created below the hood. A two.-liter turbocharged four-cylinder motor is now available, delivering 230 horsepower with 258 pound-toes of torque. As in earlier design years, two by natural means aspirated dynamos are even now out there. This incorporates a foundation two.five-liter device that’s excellent for a middling 193 ponies, and a three.6-liter V6 churning out 310 horses.

Maximizing functionality and effectiveness is a new nine-pace automatic transmission. It is really regular across the Acadia range and replaces a 6-pace gearbox that was utilised in previous design years.

Managing the transmission is an similarly new gear selector. Absent is a common shift lever, changed by a collection of buttons and rocker switches. Located at the base of the heart stack, this collection of controls usually takes some having utilised to. I fumbled all around with it for a day or three, but as soon as muscle memory arrived into participate in it wasn’t a challenge.

Other enhancements for 2020 involve an upgraded infotainment system with a better-resolution touchscreen spanning 8 inches and a more intuitive user interface. This system is without a doubt speedy and uncomplicated. Pinch-to-zoom functionality on the map is as excellent as you can uncover on any cellphone, which is the regular all automakers ought to intention for. The Acadia can also be equipped with a fifteen-Watt wi-fi charging pad, although LED headlamps are regular across the range. In addition to a smattering of common USB ports, two USB sort-C retailers are involved on the heart console.

In the family members way

Like rival motor vehicles, the Acadia can accommodate up to seven folks, but you can also get it with just 6 or even 5 seats. This tends to make it a excellent healthy for both larger and more compact people. My AT4 examination design is not equipped with the out there third-row bench, which usually means it only has home for a driver and four travellers.

Tourists in the next row have a great deal of house to extend out, furthermore the flooring is flat, which usually means whoever is relegated to the middle spot does not have to straddle a hump with his or her toes. The Acadia’s front buckets are minimize for wide-shouldered individuals, that means they’re a great deal vast. Having said that, for more compact individuals like me, they’re not notably at ease, being as well organization and bereft of bolstering.

2020 GMC Acadia AT4

Load ‘er up! You will find a great deal of storage house in the GMC Acadia.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

This GMC is adept at hauling all around a family’s well worth of things, from strollers and hockey luggage to a veritable mountain of groceries. Guiding that next-row seat, you get just shy of 42 cubic toes of home, while that number swells to seventy nine when the split backrest is folded down. These figures are largely equivalent to what the Acadia’s key rivals offer, while Toyota’s new Highlander, the Palisade and Explorer are all marginally more capacious in both actions.

Outside of the cargo maintain, there’s a great deal of other storage house. Not only is the heart console generously sized, thanks in element to the switch from a common mechanical shifter to an electronic a single, there’s a great deal of home in the glovebox and door panel pockets for other tchotchkes.

A no-nonsense interior

The relaxation of this Acadia’s interior is mainly nice. No, it’s not the most opulent cabin in the segment, that title probably goes to the Palisade, but neither does it truly feel slipshod like the Explorer’s. My AT4’s clearly legible instrumentation, intuitive infotainment system and logically put controls make driving a mainly stress-totally free affair.

Introducing a sprint of design, my tester’s interior also characteristics perforated leather-based trim rendered in jet black and Kalahari, type of a peanut-butter hue. These cow hides are attractively colored if not notably wealthy, sensation more like vinyl than anything peeled off an animal’s overall body. At minimum this choice appears to be great and only provides $1,000 to the Acadia’s value tag.

2020 GMC Acadia AT4

The interior is a combined bag, while anything is quick to use.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

What is actually a lot less forgivable is the weave-pattern trim utilised liberally in the course of the interior. Even by imitation carbon-fiber requirements it appears to be weak. Even though several of the Acadia’s controls are quick to use, some of its knobs truly feel rubbery and minimal-lease, notably the dials running the local weather system.

A host of driver-support characteristics is out there in the Acadia, while some products price more. Common fare incorporates rear cross-targeted traffic notify, blind-spot checking, a high-definition reversing digicam and rear park-guide. Optional tech incorporates front-and-rear park guide, lane-departure warning and automatic emergency braking, which are bundled in the Driver Inform Offer II. It is really 2020, should not characteristics like these be regular across the range? Luckily, this possibilities group is only $695.

What cannot be experienced at any value on the AT4, even so, is adaptive cruise management. GMC only offers this tremendous-useful attribute on all-wheel drive Denali products equipped with the Top Offer, an more $five,295. At minimum regular, aged-fashioned cruise management is regular.

Such powertrain, a lot smoothness

Shift into drive with the flick of a finger and this GMC delivers unexpectedly robust functionality. AT4 products are equipped completely with that three.6-liter V6, which is excellent for 310 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque.

I will have to confess, until it has a turbocharger bolted to each cylinder head and is mounted below the hood of a Cadillac ATS-V, I have by no means been terribly impressed by GM’s three.6-liter 6-shooter. I past skilled it in a Chevy Colorado midsize truck a couple months again and uncovered it disagreeably coarse. Luckily, its manners are a lot improved in the Acadia. It continues to be mainly silent in the course of the rev range and nearly no vibration can be felt inside of. This motor also tends to make the Acadia feels considerably more responsive than you’d ever hope primarily based on its somewhat modest output figures, giving hundreds of high-rpm pull. Bury the accelerator pedal and it sprints to redline with enthusiasm. Producing up for a deficiency of reduced-end grunt is the Acadia’s resourceful new transmission.

2020 GMC Acadia AT4

Wherever the horses dwell.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Shockingly, that nine-pace gearbox is a single of the ideal I have ever examined. Most transmissions these days are fantastic, but at times they’re sluggish to respond or get befuddled, but that is not the circumstance here. It swaps ratios seamlessly and swiftly. Upshifts are approximately imperceptible, while it’s not fearful to drop gears when get-up-and-go is necessary — just roll on the throttle and it responds eagerly. You will find no need to stand on the accelerator, either, to summon a downshift like in so several contemporary motor vehicles.

With all-wheel drive a well known element of its powertrain mix, my AT4 stickers at eighteen miles for every gallon city and 25 mpg freeway. Merged, Uncle Sam states it ought to regular 21 mpg.

The AT4’s experience is organization, while by no usually means brutal. Inside noise stages seem to be marginally better than in equivalent motor vehicles, probably owing to its aggressive, all-terrain tires, a established of Continentals mounted on the regular seventeen-inch wheels. Machined-deal with 20s are available for an further $900, coming wrapped with a lot less-aggressive all-time rubber.

Off-roader or smooth-roader?

All that tire chat delivers me to a different point. Just how capable is the Acadia AT4 off road? Very well, I might be leery of having this utility car or truck any where more hard than a washed-out dirt road as it only has 7.two inches of floor clearance, but hey, you do you. That is a comprehensive inch a lot less than what some variations of the Explorer offer and even now at the rear of both the Highlander and Palisade.

Offsetting this deficiency of peak, the AT4 design is equipped with a great deal of other useful kit. For occasion, the regular twin-clutch all-wheel drive system offers a range of selectable options. For increased fuel economy, it can route torque to just the front wheels, while 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 off guide, which keeps it from rolling backward on grades, and hill-descent management. This can help the SUV go down inclines at a sluggish, steady speed, so you never have to manually experience the brakes. This is definitely some useful tech that bolsters the vehicle’s off-road cred, but that rather minimal floor clearance is even now heading to be an difficulty if you head as well considerably off the overwhelmed path.

2020 GMC Acadia AT4

The Acadia is not a lousy-wanting utility car or truck.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

A useful, if not segment-foremost alternative

With its fantastic drivetrain and multipurpose interior, the 2020 GMC Acadia AT4 is a reliable choice for people of different sizes thanks to its distinct seating configurations. Not only that, this car or truck drives very well and appears to be rugged, furthermore its infotainment system is a winner. Too lousy adaptive cruise management is nowhere to be uncovered and several common driver-support characteristics price more.

An entry-degree Acadia SL with front-wheel drive, the foundation four-cylinder motor and no-more-charge Summit White paint will established you again just five bucks a lot less than $31,000, which includes $1,195 in shipping and delivery charges. My examination AT4 design was, by natural means, considerably richer than that, while even now not totally unreasonable, checking out at $45,090. Of study course, if off-roading is your top rated issue, a equivalent outlay will, for occasion, get you a Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, while it’s not heading to be as spacious inside of and a third-row seat is unavailable at any value.