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2021 GMC Acadia vs Terrain

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2021 GMC Acadia vs Terrain

2021 Acadia vs Terrain - How do they stack up? What are the differences?

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Are you looking for a reliable model that offers a little pizzazz and an upscale line with premium accents? GMC is a brand to follow if this describes your goal in a future vehicle purchase. Combine this model with the popularity of SUVs, and you will quickly understand why the 2021 GMC Acadia and the 2021 GMC Terrain are such popular options among consumers. Bold appearances and capable performance are a few attributes buyers love so much about these two SUVs, but they each have so much more to offer. Serving as the pinnacle for what every other traditional automaker hopes to accomplish, GMC has found a way to balance luxury and practicality in all their current models. The 2021 GMC Acadia and the 2021 GMC Terrain are SUV models that are like no other, but they are both like one another in all the features they have to offer.

Bold and beautiful, the 2021 GMC Acadia and the 2021 GMC Terrain prove that accommodating multiple passengers does not have to be drab and boring. Sophistication is the top attribute of all GMC models, but the Acadia and the Terrain put their own take on this traditional facet. Everything these two SUV models have to offer revolves around this concept. The 2021 GMC Acadia and the 2021 GMC Terrain are equally as high class, but the 2021 GMC Acadia's larger than life attitude and excess seating will promote advantages buyers will be thankful for. With a look that mirrors one another, one of these two SUVs is perfect for families in search of a safe and durable option.

To properly compare these SUV models, a detailed description of the accident and nearby surrounding can help build their consumer base prior to filing a claim.

Size and Styling

One of the main reasons consumers select an SUV model to purchase is because of its sheer size. Seen as safer, more powerful, and inspiring, SUVs offer all the basic desires of buyers in a complete package. Similar in size and stature, the 2021 GMC Acadia and the 2021 GMC Terrain look nearly identical. Not only do the 2021 look the part of sophisticated and sleek SUVs, but they are also accented throughout with details that confirm this appearance. While the 2021 GMC Terrain has two rows of comfortable seating for passengers to enjoy, the 2021 GMC Acadia extends its interior to accommodate three rows of seating. Despite these differences, the Acadia and the Terrain are both flexible enough to accommodate the stowage of larger items in the rear.

The general size of these two models is comparable, but the 2021 GMC Acadia is a larger model all around. While we already know this SUV has third-row seating, it is also longer, taller, and wider in its body than the 2021 GMC Terrain. It is no wonder why this vehicle has more storage space. After all, it is almost ten inches longer, an inch taller, and nearly four inches wider than the GMC Terrain. This results in 16 more cubic feet of cargo space for the 2021 GMC Acadia. For families who are always on the road or friends who travel consistently, the extra space of the 2021 GMC Acadia is much appreciated.

In terms of the exterior appearance of the 2021 GMC Acadia and the 2021 GMC Terrain, each of these SUVs has their own personality that is conveyed through their very designs. The 2021 GMC Acadia focuses more on attributes that will improve the driving experience for passengers within. This SUV incorporates heated and adjustable power mirrors, a hands-free liftgate, and signature LED headlights to do so. In comparison, the 2021 GMC Terrain puts a greater focus on premium attributes and integrating them into models to make the Terrain more appealing. HID headlamps with X-shaped lights, roof rails, and chrome accents set the upscale Terrain apart from the more practical Acadia.


Do you need an SUV that easily absorbs any bumps in driving surfaces? Do you need a model that will glide down city streets with ease? Your driving preference will ultimately drive the way in which you shop for new SUVs to purchase. Thankfully, the 2021 GMC Acadia and the 2021 GMC Terrain feel different when they are taken out on the open road. The 3.6-liter V-6 engine of the 2021 GMC Acadia demands more power production and ends up generating 310 horsepower and 271 lb.-ft. of torque as a result. Not holding back, the 2021 GMC Acadia shows off when it can but ultimately reserves power for when it is needed the most. Comparatively, the 2021 GMC Terrain relies on a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine with a bit of pep and spunk. With all the energy that is required for a smaller model, the 2021 GMC Terrain can produce 170 horsepower and 203 lb.-ft. of torque.

While the size and style of the engine utilized in each SUV makes a big difference in how it performs, what they are paired with under the hood also impact their overall drive quality and capability. Three engines are available for the 2021 GMC Acadia, which puts it ahead of the 2021 GMC Terrain that offers just a single engine. A nine-speed automatic transmission and choice between front-wheel or all-wheel drive accompany all 2021 GMC Acadia models. This makes the Acadia more versatile than most and allows it to max out at a 4,000-pound towing capacity. The sole engine of the 2021 GMC Terrain is similarly paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive is offered as standard with the potential to upgrade to all-wheel drive. The 2021 GMC Acadia offers a more customized ride thanks to all its powertrain options and enhancements.

For those who spend a lot of time on the road, fuel economy is an important consideration to make. A larger take with better fuel efficiency will mean less time is spent at the pump fueling up. As the result of larger engine options, the 2021 GMC Acadia is slightly less fuel efficient than the 2021 GMC Terrain. Averaging 27 mpg, the 2021 GMC Acadia is also more powerful, which is a trade-off buyers will have to find acceptable to select this SUV model for purchase. Averaging a slightly higher fuel economy, the 2021 GMC Terrain manages to go 30 mpg with its smaller engine. This fuel economy also varies less thanks to a single engine selection in the Terrain.

Comfort, Options and Performance

Although we have already determined the 2021 GMC Acadia larger overall, how does this transcend to its general comfort compared to the 2021 GMC Terrain? Passengers certainly appreciate the extra space, but it is the interior amenities that make the biggest difference in the comfort and convenience of the Acadia. A Skyscape moonroof sets the mood in the cabin with an open sky up above, while the 2021 GMC Acadia also features heated and ventilated premium leather seats and a heated steering wheel wrapped in leather. The 2021 GMC Terrain is also quite comfortable but in a value-driven way. Cloth seats are standard with an available upgrade to leather. Dual-zone automatic climate control in the Terrain also takes the place of the tri-zone climate control in the 2021 GMC Acadia. Based on these points, the 2021 GMC Acadia would be preferred for comfort and convenience over the 2021 GMC Terrain.

Buyers love options in a potential vehicle purchase. In fact, more is better when it comes to personalization in an SUV. The 2021 GMC Acadia excels in providing buyers with choices the 2021 GMC Terrain simply cannot live up to. From the value-based SLT to the sporty AT4 to the upscale Denali, buyers can select any persona they wish in each SUV model. Yet, the 2021 GMC Acadia takes it a step further and adds in available real wood accents, Smart Slide seats in the second row, and fold flat seats throughout the cabin. Offering a few upgrades of its own, the 2021 GMC Terrain can be upgraded to include universal tablet holders, all weather cargo mats, and a SkyScrape sunroof.

One concept buyers enjoy about the 2021 GMC Acadia and the 2021 GMC Terrain is the integration of premium attributes and the proximity of these models to luxury vehicle territory. Barely falling into a more conventional market space, these GMC SUVs are more equipped and high class than most other options. Buyers who are on the line between the conventional and luxury market will find these models to fit their expectations well.

Buying Tip:

To avoid overpaying on a new car, shop prices online first. Get up front pricing before you walk into a dealership. We recommend the following free services; Car Clearance Deals, NADAguides, CarsDirect & MotorTrend.
These free services will offer you the lowest prices and supply you with multiple competing price quotes. You will know the best price before you visit the dealer.


GMC has equipped all their vehicles with an array of driver-assistive safety features. Known as the GMC Pro Safety System, this comprehensive suite of safety amenities is comprised of functionalities that collaborate with one another to produce the best safety suite possible. This package comes standard on the 2021 GMC Terrain and consists of features like forward collision alert, Intellibeam auto high beam headlights, and a following distance indicator. Lane-keeping assist and forward collision warning can also be thrown in to help mitigate losses and avoid potential hazards. While this is not always possible, the 2021 GMC Terrain seeks to minimize losses when this time comes.

The 2021 GMC Acadia moves to a more equipped type of safety suite that is known as GMC Pro Safety Plus. You may have guessed it, but this safety suite builds upon the foundation already set forth by the lower level GMC Pro Safety. Lane change alert, side blind zone monitoring, and rear parking assist are extra amenities that can be found within this safety suite's composition. The Denali trim even throws in adaptive cruise control and HD Surround Vision.

A few national safety rating agencies try their hand at providing rankings and accolades that are based on the performance of these SUVs in crash testing and an evaluation of their safety-enhancing features. The NHTSA must see what we do in the 2021 GMC Acadia and the 2021 GMC Terrain, because it awarded each of these SUV's a five-star safety ranking.

Despite this highlight, the 2021 GMC Acadia and the 2021 GMC Terrain have also experienced a few pit falls. Each of these models missed out on a Top Safety Pick designation from the IIHS. For the 2021 GMC Acadia, it was the lackluster car seat LATCH system that was a concern. Yet, for the 2021 GMC Terrain, the terrible performance of this vehicle's headlights led to the near miss of a Top Safety Pick+ designation.

Which Model to Choose?

Every SUV has strengths that cater to a specific type of buyer, and the 2021 GMC Acadia and the 2021 GMC Terrain are no different. Although each are reputable as a solid purchase, every buyer needs to evaluate their advantages and determine how they will fit into their lifestyle. In general, the 2021 GMC Terrain is smaller and more sophisticated but far less equipped than the 2021 GMC Acadia. The Terrain is a practical, and cheaper alternative to the GMC Acadia, as well.

The purchase of a 2021 GMC Acadia is an easy decision to make for those with large families or buyers who need the extra space. Its third-row seating configuration is a desirable attribute, as is the Acadia's exceptional power over the 2021 GMC Terrain. The Acadia is also the only SUV between these two to offer more than one engine option, which is a must-have for some buyers. It is this reason why we prefer the 2021 GMC Acadia over the 2021 GMC Terrain. It is slightly more equipped and upscale than the Terrain, too. In all, the 2021 GMC Acadia is a well-rounded model that is spacious, powerful, and convenient. It would be our top choice over the 2021 GMC Terrain any day.

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