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2022 Ford Explorer vs GMC Acadia

2022 Ford Explorer vs GMC Acadia

2022 Explorer vs Acadia - How Do They Stack Up? Which is Better?

The 2022 GMC Acadia and 2022 Ford Explorer are both large SUVs with room for up to seven people. They both offer three rows of seats and a spacious interior for passengers to ride comfortably in. There's plenty of room for cargo in these cavernous SUVS too. The Acadia has 79 cubic-feet of storage space with the rear seats folded down. The Explorer offers even more, with 87.8 cubic-feet of storage space once the rear seats are let down.

The Ford Explorer is a little larger in general, measuring 199-inches long, 79 inches wide and 70-inches high. The GMC Acadia comes in at 193-inches long, 75-inches wide and 67-inches high. They both have similar starting prices, with the Ford coming in at just a bit more when comparing the base trim levels. These two SUVs have a lot in common, so it's easy to see why they're often compared to one another. They really are two of the best choices in this crowded class of vehicles.

GMC's Acadia has an attractive exterior design and a cozy, well-equipped cabin. Ford's Explorer has a sporty look and offers a comfortable ride quality. Here's a head-to-head comparison on how these two vehicles stack up in some key categories. This will hopefully help buyers decide which offers the most value, and which is the better choice for their specific needs.

The Powertrain

The base model of the 2022 GMC Acadia is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo engine with four cylinders. It produces 228 horsepower with 258 pound-feet of torque. This engine uses Spark Ignition Direct Injection and Variable Valve Timing. It also makes use of Start/Stop technology for better fuel efficiency. Speaking of fuel efficiency, an Acadia with this powertrain has a combined fuel-economy rating of 25 miles-per-gallon.

All of the higher trim levels come equipped with a 3.6-liter V-6 engine that produces 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque. Acceleration is significantly quicker with this engine. The V-6 also has the same ignition system, Variable Valve Timing and Start/Stop Technology as the 2.0-liter engine. The extra power comes at the expense of fuel efficiency, but not by too much. An Acadia with this powertrain has a combined fuel-economy rating of 21 miles-per-gallon.

Both powertrains get a 9-speed automatic transmission. Every model of the Acadia has four-wheel disc, anti-lock brakes. All models get StabiliTrak Electronic Stability Control and Traction Control. There's an independent suspension up front with MacPherson strut coil springs and a stabilizer bar. The front strut modules are side-load compensated, and there's a 5-link rear suspension.

The 2022 Ford Explorer is available with three different powertrains, including a hybrid option. The base engine is a 2.3-liter, 4-cylinder EcoBoost Engine that produces 300 horsepower. It's significantly stronger than the base engine for the Acadia. Even the base model of an Explorer accelerates with authority. Higher trim levels like the King Ranch, Platinum and ST models, get a 3.0-liter, V-6 EcoBoost Engine.

The V-6 is turbocharged and has direct injection for efficient power. An Explorer with this engine cranks out 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. This gives the Explorer a top speed of 143 miles-per-hour and a 0-60 time of 5.6 seconds. This engine also gets Auto Start/Stop technology. All models get a 10-speed automatic transmission regardless of the engine.

Most trim levels of the Explorer are available in both Rear-Wheel Drive and Intelligent All-Wheel Drive variations. The Acadia also offers Rear-Wheel Drive and All-Wheel Drive models. Like the Acadia, the Explorer has sophisticated Stability Control and Traction Control systems. Every Explorer has an Anti-Locking Brake System. There's an independent strut front suspension and a multi-link rear suspension.

Ford's hybrid powertrain is only available on the top two trim levels of the Explorer. It combines a naturally aspirated V-6 engine with an electric motor. This combo produces 318 horsepower and can get you to 60 miles-per-hour in just about 7.7 seconds. Rear-Wheel Drive models should get around 27 miles-per-gallon in the city and 28 miles-per-gallon on the highway in combined electric- and gasoline-powered driving. Those are the best fuel-economy numbers for any Explorer model, which is to be expected.


Acceleration and passing power is just adequate in a GMC Acadia with its base engine. It can, unfortunately, get sluggish when there's a full load of passengers or cargo in the vehicle. Things get much better, however, when one moves up a trim level to get the 310 horsepower V-6 engine. Steering and handling are good, and the available AWD makes things even better in this category. The Acadia deals with rain or slippery pavement quite well, and can even tackle some light off-road duties.

The Acadia's suspension system does a good job of mitigating rough roads. The overall ride quality is quite nice inside of the Acadia. GMC has done a great job with sound-proofing the interior too. Brake power is smooth and strong. The automatic transmission system shifts smoothly and accurately.

The Ford Explorer has much better acceleration when comparing its base engine to the base engine of an Acadia. It gets even better when comparing the Ford's 400 horsepower, turbocharged V-6 to the Acadia's V-6 engine. For raw power, acceleration and speed, the Ford Explorer wins hands-down here. The Explorer has an equally refined ride quality and is also nice and quiet on the inside.

The Explorer has the better All-Wheel Drive system and offers superior off-road capabilities. The Explorer's 10-speed automatic transmission performs comparably to the Acadia's 9-speed automatic transmission, howbeit with an extra gear. Braking power is comparable, but the steering dynamics are a little more accurate and refined for the Ford.

The GMC Acadia keeps everyone comfortable with a Tri-Zone Automatic Climate-Control System. This system also has controls for the rear-seat passengers so they can adjust things to their liking. The Ford Explorer has a similar Tri-zone Electronic Automatic Temperature-Control System. The Acadia has an 8-way power driver's seat with available heating and ventilation. The Explorer gets a 10-way power driver's seat and available heating and ventilation.


Both the GMC Acadia and the Ford Explorer have a good amount of features to protect their driver and passengers. This incorporates both active and passive safety features. It also includes some modern, high-tech driver-assist aids. The Acadia has an advanced airbag system with front and seat-mounted, side-impact airbags for the drover and front passenger. It also gets knee protection up front and head-curtain airbags for all three seat rows.

The Ford Explorer also has front and side-impact airbags for the driver and front passenger. It adds on knee protection up front as well as Ford's proprietary Safety Canopy® System. This is a curtain-airbag system that deploys downward and outward to protect all rear outboard passengers. Both vehicles offer child safety locks and windows in the rear. Both also have the LATCH system for tethering down child safety seats.

Some of their other mutual safety features include a Rear-View Camera that makes backing up safer and a Tire-Pressure Monitor to help prevent accidents due to under- or over-inflation. Both vehicles also have their aforementioned Stability Control, Traction Control, ABS brakes and available AWD systems. These all make for a safer driving experience.

When it comes to the more unique safety features, The Acadia offers a Teen Driver feature that's great for anyone who will be allowing a younger or inexperienced driver to take the SUV out for a drive. This technology allows the owner to enable or disable certain vehicle functions and to save these settings. The settings get attached to a key FOB and are automatically implemented when someone enters the vehicle with that FOB. The system also provides feedback on the habits of the driver, so the owner can then provide them with some feedback and coaching of their own.

One of the Ford Explorer's unique features is called AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™. This provides even more stability and better control during conditions such as ice, rain or gravel. This is part of Ford's comprehensive Co-Pilot360™ Technology which includes a wealth of high-tech features for safety, driver assistance and convenience. This tech package has advanced features like a Forward Sensing System and a Lane-Keeping System with Lane-Keeping Assist, Lane-Keeping Alert and Driver Alert.

The Ford's Rear-View Camera has its own washer to ensure there's always a clear view behind the vehicle. A 360-Degree Camera with a Split View is optional. The Ford has Automatic Emergency Braking as well as a Reverse Brake-Assist feature. A Post-Crash SOS System sounds the horn and flashes the exterior lights after an airbag has been deployed. A head-restraint system protects passengers from potential whiplash during a collision.

When it comes to security, the Ford Explorer has a SecuriLock® Passive Anti-Theft System as well as a Perimeter Alarm. There are also some extra, optional security features. These include a SecuriCode™ Keyless-Entry Keypad and a Remote Keyless-Entry System. Ford also offers Active Park Assist 2.0, an advanced system that helps with forward, reverse and parallel parking. This comes standard on the highest trim level, but is otherwise optional.

The GMC Acadia also has a wealth of driver-assist tech such as a Front-Collision Alert, a Following-Distance Indicator and Enhanced, Automatic Emergency Braking. The Acadia has a Front and Rear Park-Assist feature that while not as advanced as Ford's Active Park Assist 2.0, it is at least standard on every trim level. Remember, the Ford parking system requires an additional cost or the purchase of the most expensive model of the Explorer.

The Acadia has a lot of tech designed to increase the driver's awareness of their surroundings. There's Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. There's also a Side Blind-Zone Alert. Front Pedestrian Braking kicks in automatically when sensors detect a person in front of the vehicle. An HD Surround-Vision Camera is available as an upgrade to the Rear-View Camera. If a collision should occur, the Acadia is OnStar® & GMC Connected-Services capable.

Which Has the Best Value?

The 2022 GMC Acadia has a starting MSRP of $36,195. This is the starting price of an SLE model with Rear-Wheel Drive. The price goes up significantly for an All-Wheel Drive model and as options and packages are added onto the vehicle. The most expensive model would be an All-Wheel Drive Denali. This trim level and configuration starts out at $49,995.

The GMC Acadia AT4 model will offer the best value for most buyers. It starts out at $42,795. It comes stock with AWD and the more powerful V-6 engine. It offers vastly superior performance over the previous trim levels. It's well worth the extra cost, while still remaining lower in price than the Denali.

The AT4 comes loaded with convenience and safety features too. It gets an 8-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system, as well as an integrated navigation system. This is only optional for previous trims. It also comes with a premium audio system by Bose, complete with eight speakers, including a subwoofer.

The base model of the 2022 Ford Explorer starts out at $34,010, making it the cheapest option by over $2,000. The top trim level, which Ford calls their Platinum model, starts out at $52,125. This time, the Ford comes in over $2,000 higher than the GMC's top-tier Denali model. The best trim level for the Explorer is probably the Limited model, as it gives buyers the option for the most powerful engine, as well as the hybrid powertrain.

The Limited trim comes with a great array of convenience features and technology. It also offers a 12-speaker B&O® Sound System and an 8-inch touchscreen display for the infotainment system. The Limited starts out at $46,820. Ford offers more horsepower and better powertrain options, but the buyer will have to go up rather high in the trim-level chain to get them.

When comparing the Acadia AT4 with the Explorer Limited, their best-value trim levels, the Acadia comes out on top. It's not only cheaper, but it offers more features overall. The Ford does still have more horsepower and arguably the better audio system. However, the Acadia isn't too far behind in these categories and has superior safety features, integrated navigation and a more upscale interior at this trim level. The GMC Acadia is the better value here.

Which Is Better?

While the 2022 GMC Acadia offers the most value, the 2022 Ford Explorer is the better vehicle here. You will just end up having to pay a little more to get it. That's okay, as it's completely worth it if you have the funds. Also, keep in mind, that the price differences aren't outrageously different here. The Ford Explorer way more horsepower and torque. It offers better performance in almost every way, too.

When it comes to capabilities, the Ford Explorer wins again. It has far more cargo space. It has far superior off-road capabilities. It can tow significantly more than the Acadia. All of these things make the Explorer an excellent vehicle for families, as it's perfect for long road trips and outdoor adventures. It will also keep everyone comfortable, connected and entertained during daily commutes.

View Comparisons for other Years:

2021 Ford Explorer VS GMC Acadia