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2019: The GMC Acadia vs Jeep Grand Cherokee

Two black GMC Acadias are parked at a dealership.

 

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls. Gather around as we discuss the title-fight that is the current midsize SUV market. The 2019 GMC Acadia vs Jeep Grand Cherokee is a battle for the ages. While both SUVs are more than respectable at what they do, these vehicles do have some key differences. When you have two vehicles as comparable as this, it comes down to the finer details where you make a decision on which one to purchase. For the purpose of this article, we will be going over those key differences.

When picking apart these SUVs, you pretty much have to run through all of the standard criteria for these cars. Interior, exterior, options, performance, you get the picture. It helps to go over exactly what makes these cars similar, and what separates these cars from one another. Once we have laid the groundwork of what makes each of the cars unique, only then can we begin to understand which vehicle provides you with more value for the money. If you simply look at the price, you might be making the wrong decision. Likewise, if you blindly purchase a Jeep because “it’s a Jeep,” you could find that there was a better deal to be had. Cars, especially large cars, can be complicated, so it is important to do research before making your purchase. Once you’ve analyzed the facts, only then can you make a decision with minimal regret.

Exterior

Both of these vehicles have a “large and in charge” feeling to them when you look at them. While these vehicles are certainty mid-sized SUVs, they have more than enough room to get a small family where they are going comfortably. The base model Acadia can float like a butterfly at a hair under 4,000 lbs. The Grand Cherokee would be more likely to sting like a bee, as the lightest model starts at 6,600 lbs. The Acadia is also approximately two inches shorter. If you care about the size and weight of your car, you get a more compact package with the Acadia or a fair amount of bulk with the Grand Cherokee.

The headlight detail on the 2019 GMC Acadia is shown.

Both of these vehicles have nice curvature to them, rather than the straight lines you usually see in larger vehicles. The GMC has a larger grill and more of a boxy look in the back, but the Jeep has that badge on the front that everyone craves. The base model Jeep does have more exterior paint color options. The Jeep boasts four different neutral colors, none of which cost the buyer a premium. Base model Acadia owners only get one free option, white, but can upgrade to a silver metallic for a small premium. The color options increase for both vehicles as you move away from the base models.  Both cars sport aluminum, 17-inch wheels standard. Finally, the taller person might appreciate the 2019 GMC Acadia, as it has 40.3 inches of headroom. The rest of us should be just fine with the Grand Cherokee’s 39.9 inches of headroom. From the outside, it is purely subjective which vehicle looks better.

Inside The Cabin

The first thing that most people look at when they enter a new vehicle is the infotainment system, and all of the cabin controls. Both vehicles have beautiful screens that offer plenty of features. If more screen real-estate is a key selling feature, pass on the Grand Cherokees 7-inch screen in favor of the Acadia’s 8-inch standard. There aren’t many noticeable button differences, except the base model GMC Acadia has buttons for the included heated seats. On both cars, behind the steering wheel, there is an analog tachometer. Only the GMC includes an analog speedometer as well. To compensate, Jeep has put a slightly larger screen behind the wheel that can be functional if you don’t find it distracting.

With the Acadia, you have three rows of seating. This means that you can get seven adults in this vehicle with only a little bit of, if any, shoulder-rubbing. The Jeep only has two rows of seating so you will only be transporting five people around comfortably. Both vehicles sport cloth interiors, but the Jeep gives you two options, whereas GMC only provides you with a black cloth interior with the base model. On either SUV you have plenty of trunk space, but in the Acadia you are going to have sacrifice seating if you want to store more. In the GMC, with all seats folded you achieve an astounding 79.0 cu.ft. of storage space. Fold-down the seats in the Jeep and you still have 68.3 cu.ft. to store all of your cargo. The Jeep may be bigger on the outside, but you can squeeze more into the GMC.

Propelling You Along

Once again referring to base models, you do get more engine with the Jeep. Standard, the Grand Cherokee comes with a 3.6L V6 engine. You get a lighter package with the Acadia and its 2.5L four-cylinder engine. The Acadia will feel peppy thanks to its six-speed automatic transmission.

On the other hand, the Cherokee is able to offset some of its bulk thanks to an eight-speed transmission. The base model of both SUVs are two-wheel drive, and both have the option to upgrade to four-wheel drive. Your fill ups at the gas station will be cheaper in the Acadia thanks to the smaller fuel tank that is still a resounding 19.0 gallons. The Jeep tops out at 24.6 gallons so be prepared to feel it in your wallet at every fill-up. Despite a smaller fuel tank, you won’t have to worry about constant fill-ups in the GMC. Both cars advertise the same fuel efficiency at 26 mpg on the highway, which was unthinkable only a few decades ago.

A red 2019 GMC Acadia is rounding a corner in town. Check out performance when comparing the 2019 GMC Acadia vs Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The Value Proposition

I’ve not mentioned price up until this point because when buying a car price should only be a factor after you have a great understanding of what you are looking for. If you’re thinking of a mid-sized SUV, you’ve already decided that you’re not looking for the cheapest thing on the market. The fact of the matter is, as of 2019, the Acadia starts at just a hair over $600 cheaper than the base model Grand Cherokee. While value can be purely subjective, at first glance it appears that GMC brings more to the table in this market. You generally get more features for a lower price than in the Jeep. It can indeed be argued that you might need the bulk, the engine perhaps, and believe that the Jeep will hold it’s value better. If you plan on driving your SUV until the wheels fall off, you might be more comfortable in the Acadia. If you ignore Jeeps renowned brand name, this competition in value wouldn’t even be close.

In Summation

Individuals currently in the mid-sized SUV market are there to have a couple of their needs met. Customers are looking for a fairly large vehicle that will transport their crew comfortably despite any adverse road conditions. In the battle of the 2019 GMC Acadia vs Jeep Grand Cherokee, you get a more comfortable experience with the Acadia, but the Jeep appears to come off as more of a workhorse. Whereas the Acadia has creature comforts like heated seats and a third row, the Jeep has a larger engine and gas tank. If you plan on towing or doing some medium-grade off-roading, you can probably justify the Jeep. If you are mostly planning on driving on paved roads and want to be loan-free as quickly as possible, then the Acadia is the obvious choice.

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