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2022 GMC Acadia Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.

2022 GMC Acadia Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: SLE vs SLT, AT4 and Denali

Compare the 2022 GMC Acadia Trims - SLE vs SLT, AT4 and Denali. What is the difference between them?

Positioned between the smaller Terrain and the larger Yukon, the 2022 GMC Acadia is a mid-size third-row SUV that aims to be family friendly without being a snooze-fest. There used to be more trim levels, but GM trimmed the fat this model year, choosing to ditch the base SL trim and its underwhelming 193-horsepower 4-cylinder engine. Getting rid of that trim level leaves just four: the SLE, SLT, AT4, and ever-popular Denali.

Other changes for this model year include the newly standard GMC Pro Safety Plus package, which equips a slew of advanced driver aids. A new body color (Light Stone Metallic) and new wheels come as part of the line-up now.

What does not change is the level of comfort you can derive from the Acadia. Its seats are extremely cozy, and even the third row is not terrible to sit in. There just isn't much space back there or in the cargo area. But you do get a refined ride quality, which makes up for the lack of luxurious feel on the higher trim levels.

Which Acadia is the right one for you? These trim levels offer different options for power and features. Depending on what you need, the base trim might suit you. Or, if you want something a little more high-tech, the Denali could best suit your needs. Let's go over all four trim levels so that you can know exactly what you might be buying if you stick with the 2022 GMC Acadia.

Price Tip
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Compare the SLE vs SLT Trims. What is the difference?

The base trim level on the 2022 GMC Acadia is now the SLE since the SL was removed. Following it up on the next trim level rung is the SLT. Both are powered by a standard 2.0-L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that serves up 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It also comes with a 220-amp alternator and a 9-speed automatic transmission. Automatic stop/start is included, as are Drive Mode Selector (which lets you pick from Normal, Snow, Sport, and Trailer/Tow on the FWD or, on the AWD, 4x4, 2x4, Sport, Off-Road and Trailer/Tow), and bright stainless steel tips on the dual exhaust system. An electronic parking brake is standard, and an engine block heater and heavy duty cooling system are optional for both trims.

If you plan on doing some trailering, you can opt to get either Hitch Guidance or Hitch Guidance with Hitch View. Along with the 5-link independent rear suspension, the MacPherson strut coil spring front suspension has a large-sized stabilizer bar and front strut modules that are side-load compensated. StabiliTrak with traction control and electronic stability control help keep the Acadia from sliding off the road or moving securely along off-road surfaces.

As far as the exteriors go, there are some noticeable differences. The SLE comes with 18-inch machined aluminum wheels while the SLT is upgraded to aluminum wheels of the same size. Both have options for 20-inch Sterling Silver aluminums, 20-inch bright machined wheels with High Gloss Black paint, and 20-inch machined aluminum wheels. Body-colored door handles, brushed aluminum roof-mounted side rails, deep-tinted glass, intermittent front windshield wipers, and heated power side mirrors with built-in turn indicators come standard. The SLT adds a hands-free power liftgate for extra convenience. Intellibeam headlights grace the front fascia along with LED headlamps. The SLT adds on LED fog lamps.

Inside, you will see more changes. The similarities include a 4.2-inch diagonal multi-color information display, seating for six passengers, and an eight-point digital compass. The SLE has a six-speaker sound system and 8-inch diagonal GMC Infotainment System while the SLT upgrades with a built-in navigation system and eight-speaker Bose sound system. Other standard interior features include active noise cancellation, cruise control, electronic precision shift, an engine air filtration monitor, capabilities for GMC Connected Access, an HD rear vision camera, interior lighting, a cabin humidity sensor, keyless open and start, the LATCH system for the rear seats, and a manual tilting and telescoping steering wheel.

On top of that, you get power door locks and a passenger sensing system to help keep occupants safe. There are also two power outlets: one on the center console and the other located in the cargo area. Regular cloth seats come on the SLE, but the SLT gets premium cloth instead. Remote start is also standard on the SLT but optional on the SLE. There are a number of USB ports throughout the cabin, including one USB-A port in the third row. A universal garage door remote and WiFi connectivity come standard on both trims, as does smartphone app connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

There are quite a few standard safety features. The SLE and SLT come with automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, a follow distance indicator, front and rear park assist, front pedestrian braking, a blind zone alert with the lane change warning, teen driver, and rear cross traffic alert. Options include a first aid kit and roadway safety kit.

Both have quite a few optional packages available. There are choices for a "Hit the Road" Package, Adventure Package, Black Accent Package, Bright Accent Package, Preferred Package, and Technology Package - to name a few. The Technology Package adds an HD surround view camera and head-up display. The Preferred Package includes an eight-way power adjustable driver's seat with memory settings, power lumbar control for the front seat passenger, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear outboard seats, a power tilt and telescoping steering column, auto-dimming on the side mirrors, and an automatically heated steering wheel.

Compare the SLT vs AT4 Trims. What is the difference?

Of course, the AT4 turns things up a few notches. It is the only trim in the Acadia's line-up that comes with standard all-wheel drive. It also has a lot of different components under the hood. Those upgrades include a 155-amp alternator and 3.6-L V6 engine that generates a power output of 310 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque. It features active fuel management, variable valve timing, and a variable displacement oil pump. This engine comes with its own 9-speed automatic transmission, hill descent control, and hill descent control.

On the exterior, you will see a few more upgrades. The AT4 has standard 17-inch machined wheels and adds gloss black roof mounted side rails. Other additions include the red GMC logo on black center caps. However, the AT4 still highly resembles the SLT.

Inside, the AT4 is similar to the SLT. However, it loses the electric heater and defroster and leather-wrapped steering wheel. Instead, the AT4 gets its own unique leather-wrapped steering wheel. It also downgrades to the cloth seating. In other words, it is basically the SLE's cabin with a few moderations. And, as far as safety features go, there are absolutely no changes to be found. This trim level is all about delivering an off-road performance.

Compare the AT4 vs Denali Trim. What is the difference?

The Denali trim is always a popular choice among GMC's models. It offers a little more in the way of creature comforts, which many buyers want. A number of previously optional packages become standard on this trim level, thereby justifying the price jump for most buyers.

The Denali is powered by the 3.6-L V6 engine that comes on the AT4, so its 9-speed transmission also accompanies it. Along with it comes the option for adding enhanced automatic emergency braking and the heavy-duty cooling system. You do have the ability to swap in the FWD system if you want it.

On the outside, the Denali looks quite a bit different from the three other trim levels. It rides on top of 20-inch ultra bright machined aluminum wheels outfitted with all-season tires. Satin chrome accents adorn the body-colored door handles, and the bright roof mounted side rails come standard. Also, the heated power side mirrors gain auto-dimming on this trim. As is the case with the other trims, you can choose to get a keyless entry key pad on the front driver's side door. The biggest difference is the massive Denali grille that adorns the front fascia.

Inside of the Denali trim level, you will find a few more standard features equipped. The Denali gets an 8-inch diagonally positioned multi-colored and reconfigurable driver information screen. An eight-way power front passenger seat comes standard, as does an automatic heated steering wheel. You are able to opt for a chic upgraded perforated leather seating trim done in Dark Galvanized/Light Shale. A Jet Black option also exists. The head-up display and heated and ventilated front seats all come equipped, and the rear outboard seats in the second row gain a heating function too. There are also memory settings for the front seats.

A rear camera mirror is optional, giving you a less obstructed view of what is behind you as you drive. It does let you switch between the digital view and the traditional one. It comes with vertical tilt, brightness, and zoom adjustments. Carpeted floor mats are added to the third row, and wireless charging is standard.

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,   Edmunds,   CarsDirect,   NADAguides  &  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.

Which Trim to Choose?

Now that we have gone through all four of the 2022 GMC Acadia's trim levels, the question becomes "Which one is the best option for the average buyer?" While each trim has something going for it, we would go with the SLT.

Of course, if you plan on doing some towing, the Denali is the trim to get. With the trailering package and V6 engine equipped, this trim level has no problem towing up to 4,000 pounds. This bests the lower trim levels by far.

But you might not be planning on towing much of anything, and that is perfectly alright. That is why we recommend the SLT trim level. The SLT has way more standard equipment on it than the base SLE trim, and the price difference between these trims is not exactly staggering. Buying up one trim level therefore makes a lot of sense for the practical purchaser. And, if you feel up to it, you can add the Technology and Preferred Packages for reasonable enough prices, still keeping the vehicle below the Denali's somewhat staggering (for this class, at least) price point.

With so many options available for customizing the 2022 GMC Acadia, you can buy the SLT and select a few different ways to make the Acadia uniquely yours. Overall, buyers tend to enjoy the amount of power offered from the 2.0-L turbo 4-cylinder, and the cabin provides comfort for days. The downsides are few and far between (mostly having to do with the lacking third-row and cargo space), and the Acadia makes for a strong and capable family-oriented SUV. It shows that "family-friendly" does not equate with boring, mixing comfort and safety with a bit of fun from the engine and tech features.

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2021 GMC Acadia Trim Levels
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