A black 2019 GMC Acadia is parked in front of tall trees in the forest.

The 2019 GMC Acadia and 2019 Ford Explorer


Drivers who are interested in space, style, and functionality have many options to choose from. When looking at the different vehicles on the market, GMC and Ford models often catch drivers’ eyes. If comparing the 2019 GMC Acadia vs 2019 Ford Explorer, potential buyers will notice that each of these SUVs have some similarities, but there are also some key differences that can help drivers choose which make and model trim is best-suited to their budget and transportation needs. The key areas that potential buyers should examine when looking at these two SUVs are safety, space, budget, capabilities, and special features.

Safety Features and Ratings

When looking at the safety ratings between the 2019 GMC Acadia and the 2019 Ford Explorer, it’s clear that one of these SUVs stands out. The Acadia received stellar reviews in all areas and achieved a superior status for crash avoidance and mitigation. The new Ford Explorer did not receive as excellent of a rating, though. A basic safety status was awarded to this midsize SUV for crash avoidance and mitigation, and it received a poor rating for passenger-side crashworthiness.

There are some safety features that both of these new SUVs can offer. Depending on the exact model and trim chosen, drivers can enjoy safety technology such as forward collision warning, parking sensors (for the front and rear), blind spot monitoring, and more. Not all of these features come standard in either of these SUVs, so drivers have the option to customize and select which features are the most important to them.

Pricing for the New GMC and Ford SUVs

Potential buyers of the 2019 GMC Acadia or the 2019 Ford Explorer will see that there is a marked difference in these vehicles’ starting MSRP. The Ford Explorer base model starts at $32,365 while the base model for the new GMC Acadia begins at $32,800. These price differences are important to note because while the Explorer may be slightly cheaper as it offers more starting performance features and capabilities. However, if comfort and style are what a driver is interested in then the GMC Acadia offers more bang for the buck.

Each of these vehicles offer similar budget experiences at the pump. Both SUVs offer comparable gas mileage stats of about 19/27 mpg for the Explorer – 21/26 mpg for the Acadia, so drivers can be confident that they aren’t sacrificing good mileage performance at the gas station no matter which vehicle they choose.

Performance Capabilities of the 2019 GMC Acadia vs 2019 Ford Explorer

Each of these new SUVs comes with stellar capabilities and performance features. However, drivers will find that they do not possess all the same abilities. Each of these mid-size SUVs can come with either a four-cylinder or six-cylinder engine, but the exact engine that the SUV features depends on the model (unless the driver opts for an upgrade or customization). For example, if a vehicle that can deliver substantial towing performance is needed, the new Ford Explorer is designed to haul more weight and will be better suited.

The 2019 GMC Acadia already features a smaller design, and it can tow up to 4,000 pounds. The new Ford Explorer, however, can easily transport up to 5,000 pounds. Between an overall larger design and the ability to move heavier materials, the Ford Explorer is designed to offer more flexibility and power that goes beyond everyday transportation needs. No matter which model is chosen, though, different trim-levels of both the 2019 GMC Acadia and 2019 Ford Explorer are equipped to offer front-wheel or all-wheel drive.

New GMC and Ford SUVs Offer Stylish and Spacious Interiors

The tan and white interior of a 2019 GMC Acadia is shown with cargo in the back. Check out interior when comparing the 2019 GMC Acadia vs 2019 Ford Explorer.

If looking at the 2019 GMC Acadia and the 2019 Ford Explorer, drivers will find that they can get access to ample space without compromising their budget or their style preferences. Each of the new SUVs come in more than one trim, which means stylistic choices can easily be achieved even without taking advantage of different after-market customizations.

At first glance, drivers will see that the Acadia has one more trim level to choose from. In total, this new GMC SUV has six different trims (including the Denali) while the new Ford SUV only has five. If a driver wants to have as many options to choose from, then the Acadia can provide a few more features and choices.

Where space is concerned, the 2019 Ford Explorer has bigger dimensions for both the exterior and the interior. However, the slightly more compact size of the 2019 GMC Acadia doesn’t compromise the functionality many SUV owners are interested in having access to. The Acadia can seat six passengers while the Explorer can fit seven. The cargo volume behind the first row is almost the same in each vehicle with the new Ford Explorer offering 81.7 cubic feet and the new GMC Acadia providing 79 cubic feet.

As already established, these SUVs are built more for style, but the Explorer offers more in the realm of performance. That being said, potential owners most likely won’t be surprised to see that the interior of the Explorer is designed with functionality in mind. For instance, the GMC Acadia offers more seating configurations so that passengers can easily be situated in a way that best meets their needs. Special luxurious touches like real wood and metal accents can be added to higher trim levels too, which raises the bar for style. The Ford Explorer, while providing basic comfortable options, does not prioritize design features and does not have as luxurious an interior. More elegant and eye-catching features like leather upholstery are available, but these options are only found in the higher trim levels.

Hi-Tech Options in the GMC Acadia vs Ford Explorer

Each of these SUVs from GMC and Ford have much to offer in the realm of special features. They each incorporate some of the latest technology so that drivers and passengers alike can enjoy their time on the road without having to sacrifice access to comfort, information, or entertainment.

The 2019 GMC Acadia and 2019 Ford Explorer each come with standard tech features, such as multiple charging outlets and a stellar audio system. Bluetooth capabilities and a rearview camera are some additional components that provide extra safety (for example, utilizing Bluetooth enables drivers to keep their hands on the wheel while accessing several phone features).

When looking at the new GMC Acadia drivers will see that the Acadia comes with a few more standard features that they would have to upgrade to in the Explorer. For instance, the base level Acadia offers a Wi-Fi hot spot and touch-screen that automatically provides Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. The Explorer can also provide these features, and it also has an available rear-seat DVD entertainment system, but these are not included in the standard trim level.

Which SUV Is Better?

When comparing the 2019 GMC Acadia vs the 2019 Ford Explorer, these midsize SUVs come neck-to-neck in some areas but there are also some categories where it’s clear that one offers more than the other. Which SUV is the better choice comes down to personal preference. If a vehicle that offers stellar performance and can handle towing and moving a lot of weight is necessary, the new Ford Explorer is the clear front-runner. On the other hand, the 2019 GMC Acadia starts off at a more budget-friendly price and also offers more stylish and hi-tech features as standard options. Regardless of the option chosen, drivers have two dependable options to consider.