A black 2021 GMC Acadia Denali is shown from the side driving through the city after leaving a GMC dealer near you.

2021 GMC Acadia: Your Next SUV?

Have you ever found yourself searching for “best GMC Dealer near me?” If so, it’s easy to understand why, as GMC vehicles are considered to be the go-to brand for drivers who are serious about their automobiles. This isn’t to say that all GMC vehicles are sold on an enthusiast-level, as this manufacturer is well regarded for its vast array of model lineups, all of which catered to a plethora of critics, and most importantly, the driver themselves. You’ve likely seen GMC trucks on the road before as pickup trucks are among the most popular class types that GMC produces; however, today, we’d like to focus on our favorite GMC SUV, the Acadia.

This year’s Acadia is available in a familiar assortment of trims with the Sl, SLE, and SLT models at the front, with the SL starting at an MSRP of $29,800. The primary difference between these trims mostly comes down to the engines as the SL and SLE come with a standard powertrain, whereas SLT swaps this out for a turbocharged engine that provides better performance and efficiency. The AT4 is the quintessential trim level if you’re planning on taking your Acadia off the beaten path as it has a dedicated off-road mode, a powerful V6 engine, AWD, and even a traction select system for various road conditions. Lastly, the Denali is at the top of the pack and utilizes the same V6 engine along with 20-inch wheels while also utilizing the same GMC Pro Safety Plus package and infotainment center as the AT4. Now, let’s talk about performance.

Various Levels of Performance

You’ll have three powertrains to select from with your 2021 Acadia; however, the setup is rather simplistic. You have a 2.5L I-4 gasoline engine that comes standard, there’s an available turbocharged 2.0L I-4, and lastly, a 3.6L V6 is the most performant of the three. Fortunately, your engine will be paired with the same 9-speed automatic transmission regardless of which one you opt for, which is a huge benefit for those who purchase models such as the SLE that come with the base engine.

The 2.5L I-4 engine will produce 193 hp and 188 lb-ft of torque for your Acadia. It’s worth mentioning that towing tasks should be kept to a minimum with this engine as it can only tow a maximum capacity of 1,000 lbs, but it’s not the least fuel-efficient of the trio. EPA-estimated ratings for the Acadia will differ between FWD and AWD models; however, AWD isn’t an option for the base engine, meaning you’ll receive fuel-ratings of 21 MPG city and 27 MPG highway.

It’s easy to recommend the available turbocharged 2.0L 4-Cyl engine to drivers for a few reasons. While it may not achieve the same level of performance as the available V6 engine, it increases the power of the Acadia by a large margin, with 230 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Additionally, this turbocharged engine is how you’ll achieve the very best fuel-efficiency out of your Acadia with EPA-estimated ratings of 22 MPG city and 29 MPG highway with FWD models, and a still highly respectable 22 MPG city and 27 MPG highway on AWD models. Regardless of this boost in performance, this engine is still best kept to simple towing tasks with a maximum towing capacity of 1,500 lb.

As we’ve mentioned prior, the Acadia can be fitted with a powerful 3.6L V6 engine, which, when paired with the standard 9-speed automatic transmission, can produce some incredible results. This engine will produce 310 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque and increases the maximum towing capacity from a mere 1,000 lbs up to a much heavier 4,000 lbs. EPA-estimated ratings for this engine are the lowest of the available engines but are still excellent results nonetheless with ratings of 19 MPG city and 27 MPG highway on FWD Acadias and 19 MPG city and 26 MPG highway on AWD ones.

The black interior and center console is shown in a 2021 GMC Acadia SLT.

A Spacious and Modern Interior

Compared to other SUVs on the market, the 2021 Acadia has an excellent interior that’s packed full of tech features in a spacious cabin. Up in the front row, the Acadia offers passengers an even 40-inches of headroom and a plentiful 41-inches of legroom. In the middle-row, passengers will get 39.6-inches of headroom and 39.7-inches of legroom, and in the last row, passengers will have 37.2-inches of headroom, which is still ample. However, taller passengers would likely be better off sitting in the front or middle-rows as the 29.7-inches of legroom might prove to be a tight fit.

The available cargo space in the Acadia is nothing short of amazing, with a generous amount of cargo room when you need it most. Folding down both rear-seat rows will net you a fantastic 79 cu.ft. of cargo space, and this is decreased to 41.7 cu.ft. when the middle-row is folded upright. Unfortunately, not everything is perfect with the Acadia’s cargo space situation, as a cabin with every seat occupied by a passenger will only net you 12.8 cu.ft. of space. If you’re taking everybody on a road trip, this is when you’d likely need the cargo space the most. Regardless of this, if you manage your space correctly, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

As mentioned, the Acadia is an excellent example of an SUV that utilizes modern tech-centric features to a great extent. Infotainment centers aren’t a new concept anymore, but it’s also a fact that not every driver has one yet. Inside of the Acadia, you’ll have an integrated infotainment center that comes standard with a large 8-inch screen. Various aspects of the infotainment experience are made even better with accompanying features that also come standard such as a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot for your very own internet connection to connect to whenever you’re on the road. Additionally, the 2021 Acadia makes full use of both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, both of which can be accessed wirelessly for the first time in the model’s history on the highest trim.

A white 2021 GMC Acadia AT4 is shown with a couple loading chairs into the trunk.

Another Year of Success

We’re very pleased with what we’ve seen out of the 2021 Acadia. While it’s true that a majority of the latest additions can be perceived as minor improvements over the preceding model, the experience as a whole is made better and almost perfected at this point. There are several ways that we can speculate where GMC wants to take the Acadia in the future, but the formula seems to continuously be a success.

Like every other vehicle within the lineup, including fan-favorite pickup trucks such as the Canyon and the well-known Sierra, the Acadia is built with a familiar sense of quality that is shared across every vehicle that GMC produces. In an era where the automotive industry is larger than it ever has been in the past, GMC continues to prove that a large reason for its dominance amongst plenty of fans and critics is well deserved and doesn’t show any sign of slowing down in the foreseeable future. It’s easy to understand why you’re likely hyped up to start driving your own GMC vehicle, so the best way to get started will be to visit your local GMC dealership and inquire about their current selection to learn more.