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The 2021 GMC Acadia comes with a few changes for the new model year; it is still however the handsome family SUV that everyone loves. Apart from the attractive exterior design and the spacious interiors, the SUV has more to offer than just that. For example, the powertrains options, which range from a standard four-cylinder, a turbocharged four-cylinder, or a smooth V6. That being said, none of the engines provide exhilarating performance nor are they exciting. Inside, you find a user-friendly interface for the infotainment which provides some competitive connectivity features. The captain seats inside the cabin are quite unique and sought after; apart from that, the interiors of the cabin do not live up to the asking price of the Acadia, the rivals offer a more elevated experience.

Trims on offer

The 2021 GMC Acadia comes with 5 trims; SL, SLE, SLT, AT4, and Denali.

If you are wondering which one you should buy, the SLT trim should be in your sights. This trim comes with leather first- and second-row seats, a turbocharged four-cylinder, and a hands-free tailgate. It also gets the extras of the lower two trims heated, power-adjustable mirrors, LED headlights, push-button start, and keyless entry.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The base engine under the hood of the 2021 GMC Acadia is the 2.5-liter four-cylinder; it makes a good enough 193 horsepower and is delivered to front wheels as standard and all the wheels as optional through a nine-speed automatic. This engine is the pick for maximizing fuel efficiency, that however is the only plus with the engine. The engine is not very good at towing stuff, it tops out at a measly 1000-pound towing capacity.

The optional 3.6-liter V-6 makes 310 horsepower, it too is available with the aforementioned transmission and drivetrain. The V6 can tow considerably more at 4,000 pounds.

The turbocharged 2.0-liter engine with 230 horsepower is only available with the SLT and Denali trims.

The handling of the Acadia is much like any other SUV, it feels reasonably composed and competent. Tackles corners at higher speed and you will find that SUV feels ponderous. Most people however will drive this SUV in a less aggressive manner, and the ride will be forgiving and stable for them. The Denali trim gets an adaptive suspension, the SLT trims get it as an option; anyway, it is quite effective and quick to adjust the dampers nearly every two milliseconds. This works wonders in both situations when you are going over some undulations and the ride needs to smoothen out or even tighten up when you are feeling a bit frisky.

Real-world MPG

EPA has come out with their estimated MPG numbers for the city and the highway for each of the engines and they are as below

  • The base 2.5-liter engine – 21/27
  • The V-6 with front-wheel drive – 19/27
  • The turbocharged engine with front-wheel drive – 22/29

2021 GMC Acadia Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

The Acadia has been built quite compact so that it is easier to fit inside garages and parking lots, however, none of that affects the spaciousness of the interiors. Take a look inside and the way the interiors are laid out, they are pleasing to the eye. They are pleasing to the hands as well, the controls are intuitive and everything is within the reach of the arm. The guage cluster is finished in blank-and-white and provides all the information in a clear and crisp way. The Denali trim also offers you to reconfigure a center screen which provides plenty of additional information set by the driver.

The tilting-and-telescoping steering column is a help but has a limited range for very tall or short people. The steering wheel is undoubtedly the most upscale piece here, it is wrapped in leather with aluminum inserts. The rest of the interiors unfortunately do not feel as premium.

With the third row up, you can carry two carry-on suitcases, however, fold down the third and second row, you can stow up to 28.

Infotainment and Technology

The Acadia provides plenty of technology for the whole family. There is a Wi-Fi hotspot, USB ports for everyone allowing them to stay connected. Charging devices however is a daunting task, as only a single 12-volt socket is present. The touchscreen is pleasingly convenient to use since it is so intuitive and responsive.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was all too pleased to give the 2021 GMC Acadia a five-star crash safety rating. When the car was tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) however, it just missed the Top Safety Pick. One reason for that might be the driver-assisted features, which in the paper add an additional level of protection but they are either expensive or only available for the top-tier trims which sound like a money-grabbing move. Nevertheless, the highlights of the safety package are listed below

  • Available lane-keeping assist
  • Available automated emergency braking
  • Available blind-spot monitoring

Warranty Coverage

GMC has provided a comprehensive warranty and maintenance package for the Acadia as standard. The respective dealers might have additional protection, while the first maintenance visit for the Acadia is covered by GMC. The highlights of the warranty package are as below

  • The limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
  • Complimentary maintenance is covered for the first visit