First Drive Review: 2020 GMC Acadia gets sophisticated, rides smoothly
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.
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.
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).
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.
- 5,000 miles into the Arctic, a full tank of diesel, it's -40F, and we're driving a GMC Sierra ›
- 2021 GMC Yukon Denali Review: This 3-row SUV a mature and stately bargain - AutomotiveMap ›