The GMC Acadia has been an entrant in the madly competitive mid-sized SUV market since it showed up a dozen years ago in 2007. Reflecting the cutthroat nature of this segment, the company is rolling out a majorly refreshed version for 2020, despite debuting an all-new model in 2017.
“With technological enhancements at your fingertips and under the hood, the 2020 Acadia is an intelligent crossover that elevates the driving and passenger experiences on all fronts,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global GMC. “That makes it a smart choice all around.”
Looking beyond the marketing speak, we find the new Acadia packs several new goodies, which will put it in a good position to siphon sales from other brands. A bolder exterior design reminds your author of the new GMC Sierra pickup truck, with a frowny-face grille that dips towards the pavement at its two bottom corners. Standard LED lighting and the company’s C-shaped light signature in the headlamps jazz things up as well.
In particular, a new AT4 trim level brings the goods for customers who want a taste of the off-road life, or at least the appearance of such. Building on the success of this fairly new sub-brand first appearing on the new Sierra, the AT4 adds a black chrome grille, unique 17-inch wheels on snappy all-terrain tires, and a twin clutch all-wheel drive system unique to the AT4. Its interior is slightly darker as well with the appearance of black leather and unique trim.
It’s a similar play to the Denali line, a trim that peppers the Acadia – and many other GMC models – with ladlefuls of chrome, unique interior trappings, and flashy wheels. After finding success on the brand’s pickup truck, Denali quickly popped up on just about every other machine being sold by GMC. Expect the same to happen with AT4.
Under the hood, a newly-available 2.0L turbocharged engine cranks out 230 horsepower and 258lb.-ft of torque. A tweak to the valvetrain (questionably branded ‘tripower’ by GM) varies valve lift across the rpm band, allowing high lift when the driver calls for maximum power but lower lift for fuel economy when cruising.
The 310hp 3.6L V6 is still available on some trims as either standard kit or an option, as is the 2.5L four-pot which makes just under 200 horses (pro tip: pop for the V6). A new nine-speed automatic transmission is standard across the board and should help with highway efficiency.
GMC is mum on pricing for now but expect a modest increase from current levels which start at $37,300 for an entry-level SLE model in Canada before rising to over $60,000 for a check-all-the-boxes Denali. The 2020 GMC Acadia goes on sale this autumn.