Here we are again, pitting yet another middle of the road mid-size SUV against another middle of the road mid-size SUV. In this case, it is the 2019 GMC Acadia vs 2019 Nissan Pathfinder. In most lists of the best mid-size SUVs, you won’t see either of these vehicles anywhere near the top. While there are plenty of better options, there are also plenty of worse options. Both of these vehicles have admirable selling points. Both of these have areas where one outshines the other.
If you want to be a standout in a market as incredibly saturated as the mid-size SUV market, you really have your work cut out for you. Nearly every major automotive brand in the world has at least one in its lineup. Nissan has no less than three, including the Pathfinder. To its credit, GMC has managed to streamline its SUV output, sticking with the Acadia in the mid-size market all by its lonesome.
Still, each of these vehicles does have something going for it. If they didn’t, they’d have already gone the way of the Xterra. This market has something for everyone, so let’s just see exactly what the 2019 GMC Acadia and the 2019 Nissan Pathfinder have to offer.
The 2019 GMC Acadia offers two different engine options. The first is a 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder that gets 193 horsepower and 188 lb-ft of torque. As far as power in a mid-size SUV goes, it is marginal, at best. It does, however, get 26 miles to the gallon on the highway, which is slightly above average for the class. The other engine option is a 3.6-liter V6 with 310 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque. This engine has significantly more muscle and stands out against the more average engines, like the Acadia’s 2.5-liter. This one can also tow up to 4,000 pounds. That is pretty impressive for an SUV the size of the Acadia. This engine and its towing could make for a more than adequate vehicle for weekend excursions or a light work vehicle.
The 2019 Nissan Pathfinder, on the other hand, has only one engine option. That is a 3.5-liter V6 with 284 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque. The only engine option for the Pathfinder lands in between the two engine options on the Acadia. So, if optimal engine performance is your selling point, the 2019 GMC Acadia is the clear favorite here.
The original appeal of a Sport Utility Vehicle was to have the interior space and comfort of the station wagon while having the strength of a truck and the relative comfort of a sedan. Over the years, this formula has been tampered with, rewritten, modified, adjusted and overhauled so many times that some modern SUVs do not even remotely resemble any form of identifiable vehicle, save for the fact that they have four tires and a fascia. Even still, tomorrow may not promise us those standards.
The mid-size SUV is one of the casualties of this evolutionary process. The engines, as we have seen, may not come close to the power of a pickup truck. The futuristic styles have also challenged the overall interior comfort. As such, the roomy feel of an old time station wagon has been sacrificed to the gods of contemporary design.
That being said, the 2019 Nissan Pathfinder does offer slightly more space on its interior than the 2019 GMC Acadia. It offers 1.9 more inches of first-row headroom and two full inches of second-row legroom. That may not seem like much, but ask a taller person to test drive the back seats of each. That person will invariably agree that head and legroom are very important, particularly on longer trips.
As far as cargo space goes, the Acadia has a lot of room for improvement. The 2019 Nissan Pathfinder has 16.2 cubic feet behind the third row, while the 2019 GMC Acadia has only 12.8 cubic feet. That is quite a difference when you are considering luggage or even groceries.
The 2019 Nissan Pathfinder looks to win this heads-up contest, but only because the 2019 GMC Acadia sacrificed some of its interior space in making the Acadia smaller and more agile to drive. The 2019 GMC Acadia is both shorter and narrower than the 2019 Nissan Pathfinder. So, if tight parking spots are a problem for you, consider the 2019 GMC Acadia. Unless, of course, those tight parking spots are at your grocery store, where you frequently go to load down your vehicle with groceries. Then, we suggest the 2019 Nissan Pathfinder and parking at the back of the parking lot, just to be safe.
In modern vehicles, there are so many safety features, infotainment options, and convenience add-ons that it is often hard to keep track of what’ what. This is particularly true in SUVs, as they often incorporate the towing power of pickup trucks with the handling of cars. As such, there are tons of these features to spread around.
Not everyone wants or needs all of these features. Some simply don’t want to pay top dollar for a feature they may never us. This is why trim levels exist. You can start out with a base trim level of a vehicle, which gives you the nuts, bolts, and power windows. As you move up through the trim levels, you get more goodies until, finally, you have everything that particular vehicle has to offer.
The 2019 Nissan Pathfinder has four trim levels- the S, the SV, the SL, and the Platinum. As you might have surmised, the Platinum is where you get the best of what the 2019 Nissan Pathfinder has to offer. The 2019 GMC Acadia has six trim levels – the SL, the SLE-1, the SLE-2, the SLT-1, the SLT-2, and the Denali. Like the Pathfinder Platinum, the Acadia Denali has all that GMC can give you.
Aside from not doing us any favors with the names of the trim levels, both of these SUVs do a pretty good job of distributing their features evenly throughout the trim levels. However, if you are looking to more accurately customize your new mid-size SUV, the 2019 GMC Acadia has more available trims to choose from. Since the mid-size SUV is becoming more and more popular as a passenger and even family vehicle, this will probably be a high selling point. You can more easily pick out where to keep going and where to stop with the features when you have more options to choose from.
The SUV is now the most sold body type in the world, accounting for just over 50% of the total automobile market. This is coming on the heels of the rapid decline of the sedan and the slightly slower rise of pickup trucks as passenger vehicles. With so many people opting for the SUV lifestyle, the market is bound to have something for everyone. These two vehicles prove that. It is very difficult to stand out in this field. If you can’t stand out at the top, at least being stuck in the middle is better than standing out at the bottom.