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2020 GMC Acadia Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

2020 GMC Acadia Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: SL vs SLE vs SLT, AT4 & Denali

What 2020 GMC Acadia Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

The midsize SUV market is overwhelming. These vehicles have become the ultimate family go-to. They have more than enough room for your average family plus typically include the latest safety features. Most models even have an off-roading version for those who like to travel off the beaten path.

GMC offers consumers the Acadia as a midsize option that can seat up to seven. In 2020, this vehicle sees significant changes. You have a brand new engine option to consider, bringing the powertrain choices up to three. Gone is the previous six-speed transmission in favor of a nine-speed. The infotainment system gets an upgrade to make it more competitive. Plus, there is a brand-new trim level to look at.

There are now five trim levels for the Acadia. The entry-level SL is well-equipped is some aspects but a bit lacking in others. New for 2020 is the AT4, which is your off-road option that gives you things like all-terrain tires and other performance-oriented features. The ultimate Acadia is known as the Denali, a common name in the GMC family. It adds almost every option available for this vehicle.

In this guide, the differences between all five trim levels are thoroughly explored in hopes of helping you to find the model that will work best for you.


Compare the 2020 GMC Acadia SL vs SLE Trims. What is the difference?

Your first option to consider with the 2020 Acadia is the SL. It is powered by a 2.5L four-cylinder engine that will provide 193-horsepower in addition to 188 lb-ft of torque. This is paired with the newly-standard nine-speed automatic transmission. For this trim, front-wheel-drive is standard and all-wheel-drive is not available.

This trim rides on 17" painted aluminum wheels. There are no available wheel upgrades. The SL features what GMC calls "C-shaped LED signature lighting." This includes daytime running lights and headlights that are designed to give you better-than-average visibility. Even this entry-level trim of the Acadia features heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals.

The SL is only available with seven seats. Both the driver and front passenger seat have four-way manual adjustment. The seats are cloth and the steering wheel is leather-wrapped. The back seat features its own climate controls and vents.

In the front row, you get one standard USB port and one USB-C port. The third row gets one standard USB port. As for infotainment, you get an 8" diagonal GMC touchscreen that is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You get a six-speaker audio system. There is also a 4.2" multi-color driver information screen which tells you important data on fuel consumption, oil life, safety warnings, and more.

You get a decent number of safety features on the SL trim level of the Acadia. Coming standard is an HD rearview camera, lane change alert featuring side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, rear park alert, and the rear seat reminder. You also get a tire fill alert feature as well as a tire pressure monitoring system.

Next up in the trim list is the SLE. It is powered by the same engine. You do get the option of going with a larger 3.6L V6. With this, the Acadia gives you 310-horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel-drive remains standard on this trim level, but you get the option of upgrading to all-wheel-drive.

This trim gives you the option of adding dual-exhaust ports. You can also add many features to help tow your toys, including a trailer hitch, the trailering assist system, and a heavy-duty cooling system. When adding these features, the towing capacity of the Acadia goes up to 4,000 pounds from 1,000 pounds. This trim adds the roadside emergency tool kit, which is simply a jack and lug nut wrench.

For this trim, you move up to 18" wheels. You can add the Adventure package to this trim, which will give you cross roof rails and all-weather floor mats for the first and second rows of seating. This is the first trim to offer the dual-pane sunroof, which gives you one pane over the front row and one over the second and features manual sunshades for each pane.

This trim also has seating for seven but is the first to give you the option of going with six seats. Doing so means you have two seats in all three rows. The second-row seats have a smart-sliding feature to easily allow access to the third-row. This trim also is the first to give you available heated front row seats. You can add eight-way power adjustment as well as lumbar adjustment to the driver's seat with this trim.

There are a few more tech options available for the SLE. You can add a universal home remote which can be programmed to work with your garage door opener and home security system. You can also add either a powered or non-powered universal tablet holder. Wireless charging is also an option for the SLE.

While there are some upgrades between these two trims, the main thing the SLE unlocks is more available features.

Compare the 2020 GMC Acadia SLE vs SLT Trims.  What is the difference?

The SLT gets a new engine underneath its hood. This trim level is powered by 2.0 turbocharged four-cylinder engine that generates 230-horsepower as well as 258 lb-ft of torque. If you prefer, you can also upgrade this to the V6 engine option. Again, you are looking at front-wheel but can also get all-wheel-drive.

This trim also sits on 18" wheels but gives you the option of choosing 20" ones in a couple different finishes. The SLT adds brushed aluminum side roof rails. A hands-free power programmable liftgate, which was an option on the SLE, becomes standard for the SLT trim. LED fog lamps become standard and automatic high beams become an option.

This trim switches things up and gives you the six-seating pattern standard but still allows you to choose the seven-seating configuration if desired. This trim level has a similar infotainment system to previous models but does add navigation. Eight-way power adjustment becomes standard for the driver's seat and optional for the front passenger seat. The heated front seats become standard and ventilation becomes optional. Heated rear seats are also available.

Going with this trim means you get the BOSE premium sound system. This system includes eight speakers and a sub-woofer to provide you with a surround-sound experience. HD radio also becomes standard. You get the handy auto-dimming rearview mirror when going with the SLT trim. A 120-volt power outlet becomes standard rather than optional, which it was on for the SLE.

Several safety features become available when going up to this trim level. Adding the Driver Alert Package II gives you automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, lane keep assist featuring lane departure warning, a following distance indicator, forward collision alert, front/rear park assist, and a safety alert seat. The package also adds the optional automatic high beams mentioned prior. Finally, this package will give you a head's up display aimed at minimizing distractions by projecting important info into your line of sight.

Jumping up to the SLT from the SLE means going up quite a bit in price. It does, however, add quite a few standard features to your Acadia.

Compare the 2020 GMC Acadia SLT vs AT4 Trims. What is the difference?

The AT4 is a different beast than the previous versions of the Acadia. It comes with the V6 engine and is only available with all-wheel-drive. You get hill descent control as well as hill start assist as standard features. Interestingly, you go back down to 17" tires when choosing the AT4.

Perhaps the biggest difference between this trim and the others involves the seating. The AT4 comes standard with only two rows of seats and room for five. The rear seat splits and folds for convenience. If desired, you can also have six seats for this trim level. The reason the standard version has five seats is to reduce the weight of the vehicle, thereby improving the performance.

This vehicle gives you cargo management system rails. This system uses sliding bars to help accommodate cargo of different sizes. There are a variety of available features for interior cargo as well. They include a flex divider, cargo net, cargo shade, and tie downs.

Several things that were available for the SLT are not options for your AT4. This includes ventilation for the front seats, heated second-row seats, and the head's up display. This trim level does get a specialized leather steering wheel design that it shares with the Denali.

You have the same available safety options for the AT4 that you did for the SLT. The one exception is an HD surround camera, which is deleted as an available option for the AT4. The AT4 may not be the ideal family vehicle, but it should appeal to more adventurous consumers.

Compare the 2020 GMC Acadia SLT vs Denali Trims.  What is the difference?

The ultimate version of the Acadia is known as the Denali. It has the V6 engine and goes back to being front-wheel-drive standard with the option of upgrading to all-wheel. The standard wheels for this trim are 20" ultra-bright aluminum ones. Coming standard on top of the Denali are bright roof-mounted side rails.

Your heated side mirrors keep turn signal integration and gain an auto-dimming feature for this trim. A rear camera mirror, which gives you the option of seeing the rearview camera display on your rearview mirror, becomes an option. A mirror washer also becomes available for the Denali. This handy feature can help remove snow, dirt, and moisture from the lens. This is the only trim level to get a specialized grille that helps give it a more upscale appearance.

The Denali goes back to having standard seating for six with the option of changing to seven. On top of the 8" infotainment screen with navigation, this trim also gets bumped up to an 8" multi-color reconfigurable driver information screen. The Denali regains the ventilated front seats and heated second-row ones. Memory settings for the driver's seat and mirror positions are a standard feature here as well.

Many of the previously available safety features become standard on the Denali. There are also a few more optional ones that can be added here. You can have adaptive cruise control, the HD surround vision, and enhanced automatic emergency braking. Available only for all-wheel-drive versions of the Denali is the Ultimate Denali Package. This gives you all of the mentioned safety features, the trailering package, and the dual-pane sunroof.

The Denali trim level of the Acadia is quite pricey but does bring along almost every feature you could possibly want.


Which Trim to Choose?

The Acadia is a vehicle that has many good options. It is worth it to skip over the entry-level 2.5L engine and go with at least the turbocharged option. This means forgoing the entry-level SL.

Although the Denali is attractive with its features, it is quite pricey. The SLT is a good option for most families. It gives you the better engine as the standard and allows you to upgrade to the V6 if you plan on towing. The SLT also unlocks many top-of-the-line features as available options.

Going with the SLT, particularly with all-wheel-drive and some of the extra advanced safety features is a good buy.

Save Money on a 2020 GMC Acadia:
Previous GMC Acadia Trim Configurations:

Compare the 2019 GMC Acadia Trim Levels