One-Day Drive

First Drive Review: 2020 GMC Acadia gets sophisticated, rides smoothly

GMC has introduced the new Acadia AT4 for 2020.

Photo Courtesy of GMC

The GMC Acadia is back and bolder for the 2020 model year with fascia changes, cabin refinements, tech upgrades, and a new trim level.

The model, a three-row SUV that's smaller than the GMC Yukon, is in line with the Chevrolet Traverse in the GM lineup. Its positioning makes it an attractive model for buyers looking for more space, but don't need the overt truckiness that the Yukon offers.

At its front the 2020 GMC Acadia comes with anew standard LED lighting, a new grille, and fresh front and rear fascia. Additional equipment upgrades include side mirrors with integrated turn signals (power-folding on Denali) and a hands-free power liftgate. There are also new 18- and 20-inch wheel designs.

2020 GMC Acadia AT4 The Acadia now comes in an AT4 trim. Photo Courtesy of GMC

The 2020 GMC Acadia also now comes in an AT4 grade, giving the model the darkened exterior accents and appearance of off-road readiness that is afforded other GMC models with AT4 trim levels. Its bold appearance works with the Acadia's refined design lines and fits well with current market trends. All-wheel drive is standard in this model. It rides on standard 17-inch wheels and 20-inchers are available.

Under its hood, buyers can get a new turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, which is standard on SLT and Denali models. It achieves 230 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder and available 3.6-liter V6 power plans still make the Acadia lineup for 2020. All engines are paired with a new nine-speed automatic transmission and have stop-start functionality.

An eBoost brake system is standard on turbo models. All Acadias have had suspension and handling upgrades for the new model year. On the winding rural roads of Jackson, Wyoming, the Acadia rode smoothly, absorbing most of the road's imperfections, and handled well, making it easy to park along the town square.

2020 GMC Acadia Denali GMC has retained the Acadia's plush seating for the 2020 model year.Photo Courtesy of GMC

The SUV is shifted via buttons and levers on the center stack, a move that frees up space traditionally taken up by a stick shifter. It's not terrible to use and will ultimately take some getting used to but should be easily adopted by drivers.

Most of the materials inside the cabin of the GMC Acadia are on-par with what you'll find inside other premium SUVs like the Infiniti QX60 and Acura MDX. That being said, there are some obvious cost-cutting design and materials choices, like the puzzling placement of the new open-pore wood decor in the Acadia Denali.

Every 2020 GMC Acadia come standard with GM's new 8-inch infotainment screen. The responsive screen has new a personal profile feature, refreshed navigation interface that allows for most functions to be reached via a single screen, and USB-C ports. There's a total of five charging ports in the Acadia, including a USB-A outlet in the third row.

There's a number of other new and enhanced features including the next-gen 15-watt wireless charging, a high-definition rear camera, and an available rear camera mirror (Denali only).

2020 GMC Acadia AT4 A new head up display is available. Photo Courtesy of GMC

The 2020 Acadia has the same list of standard and available safety technology as in the previous model year. None of the technologies proved too obstructive during testing.

The 2020 GMC Acadia will arrive on dealership lots this autumn It is made in America, at General Motors' Spring Hill, Tennessee plant.

Cadillac is moving the car buying experience into an interactive video-based platform as the brand works to gain new customers.

Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Edmunds.com is predicting hat sales of used cars will rise through 2020. At the same time, used car prices are expected to decline. That's a recipe for success for used car buyers according to Carvana. The online used vehicle retailer is predicting four trends for used car shoppers.

Mainstream Cars Stay Hot

Carvana believes that demand for used cars from mass-market brands like Honda, Toyota, and Nissan will continue. In 2019 small and mid-sized cars showed the strongest price appreciation in the used-vehicle market, a trend that is expected to continue in 2020.

Consumers Choose Quality Over Everything

According to Carvana, "A recent study from Brandwatch asked consumers what attributes were most important for brands in the auto industry, quality was the most popular option with 30% of the vote. Affordability followed, with 21% of respondents choosing it as the most important attribute. Carvana has more than 8,000 cars available on their site for local buyers priced under $15,000."

Customers Continue to Get Comfortable Shopping Online

If there's one thing America can agree on, it's not politics. It's that they generally hate going to car dealerships. Shopping for vehicles online has grown tremendously over the past decade and Carvana expects that to continue, a trend driven by the ability for customers to "do it all" from financing to browsing to scheduling delivery without ever having to talk to a salesperson.

According to Carvana, 75% of car buyers are willing to purchase a car online and 97% of car buyers do online research before a purchase.

The Digital Economy Will Continue to Transform Car Buying

Technology is making it easier than ever to buy a car. New online initiatives like Cadillac Live allow customers to talk to a salesperson without leaving their couch. Getting a 360-degree view of the vehicle is possible thanks to sights from most manufacturers, and CarFax offers reports on used vehicles.

General Motors has announced an all-electric future for its Detroit-Hamtramck plant.

Photo courtesy of General Motors

Earlier this month, speculation began mounting that General Motors is reviving the Hummer brand. Reports indicate that basketball superstar LeBron James will star in a new advertisement for GMC during the Super Bowl which will feature a new electric GMC pickup that bears the Hummer name.

Whatever it's called, the new GM electric pickup will begin to be produced at the company's Detroit-Hamtramck plant, along with the Cruise Origin. GM is pouring $2.2 billion into the facility to ready it for the production. The plant's paint and body shops, and general assembly area will receive comprehensive upgrades, including new machines, conveyors, controls and tooling.

General Motors Electric Truck teaer plant 2021 With its promotional image for the announcement regarding the new plant, GM is showing off a shiloutette of the new pickup, giving credence to statements by those who said that it wouldn't stray too far from the Silverado and Sierra mold despite possibly having the Hummer name.Photo courtesy of General Motors

"Through this investment, GM is taking a big step forward in making our vision of an all-electric future a reality," said Mark Reuss, GM president, during a press event at the plant with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other local and state officials. "Our electric pickup will be the first of multiple electric truck variants we will build at Detroit-Hamtramck over the next few years."

GM will also invest an additional $800 million in supplier tooling and other projects related to the launch of the new electric trucks.

In addition to the investment in dollars, the company will be investing in new workforce personnel, creating more than 2,200 jobs at the plant.

According to a release, Detroit-Hamtramck currently operates on one shift of production and builds the Cadillac CT6 and the Chevrolet Impala. Approximately 900 people are employed at the plant. As previously confirmed, the plant will be idled for several months beginning at the end of February as the renovations begin.