2022 Honda Pilot vs GMC Acadia
While you shop around for a shiny new third-row SUV to replace your old (and possibly smaller) ride, you might be shocked to find out just how many of them are on the market at this very moment. As far as segments go, this is one of the most competitive, as all of these large SUVs strive to top one another in terms of available space, power, and included technological features. The 2022 Honda Pilot vs 2022 GMC Acadia are two such rivals that will command your attention.
The 2022 Honda Pilot axed the LX and EX trim levels for the model year, leaving you with the EX-L, Special Edition (SE), Touring, Elite, and Black Edition. No matter which one you buy, you'll get a spacious interior with a versatile design complete with a bunch of different storage compartments for stashing your small items. The Pilot achieves a better fuel economy than many vehicles in its segment, and the ride quality remains composed and smooth.
However, the Pilot has tight third-row access, so adults will have trouble getting back there. Adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning are too sensitive and will issue a lot of false warnings. On top of that, the Pilot's starting MSRP is higher than many of its rivals.
The 2022 GMC Acadia offers up a refined ride quality and snappy acceleration from its optional V6 engine. The cabin's design is modern and makes things easy for the driver to use. The included technology echoes this simplicity. On the downside, the Acadia isn't exactly luxurious in design, even on the line-topping Denali trim. You can also find rivals with more space in the third row and cargo area.
Which one of these two SUVs is going to be the best people hauler? Does one offer significantly more value than the other? Which vehicle fits into your budget the most easily? Let's compare these two vehicles to find out, then you can make an informed decision.
A strong powertrain can make owning a huge SUV an enjoyable experience. They have to be able to haul a lot of weight around. However, an under-powered powertrain can leave you feeling as though you're being left in the dust by every other vehicle sharing the road with you.
The 2022 Honda Pilot has a standard 3.5-liter V6 that serves up a power output of 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. Matched up to it is a nine-speed automatic transmission. The EX-L, SE and Touring trim levels come with standard front-wheel drive (FWD) or optional all-wheel drive (AWD), if you'd like it. On Elite and Black Edition models, AWD is standard issue.
As far as performance goes, the Pilot is capable. This big SUV can zip from 0-60 mph in just 7.0 seconds, which is slightly faster than most other midsize three-row SUVs. You can also brake easily due to how consistent the brakes feel. The Pilot feels more nimble than you might expect, navigating winding mountain roads with ease. Steering comes off as being precise but lacks road feel. The available AWD system does well enough on slick road surfaces, but without hill descent control and not a lot of ground clearance, the Pilot isn't meant to be an off-roader.
As far as fuel economy goes, the Pilot with AWD equipped is EPA rated for 22 mpg in combined city and highway driving, which is just about average for a vehicle in this segment. Rea-world tests show that the Pilot can get about 25.2 mpg on the highway, showing those EPA estimates to be pretty accurate.
The 2022 GMC Acadia axed the former base SL model and 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, so now the standard engine is a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that generates 228 hp. FWD is standard on most trims while AWD is an option. The AT4 and Denali are upgraded to a V6 engine that musters up 310 hp. AWD is standard on the off-road oriented AT4 trim level.
The V6 never leaves the Acadia at a loss for power. It has a 0-60 mph time of 6.3 seconds, which is good for this segment. The braking system has an easy-to-modulate pedal and supple stopping power. The Acadia's steering is light, which makes maneuvering it simple enough at any speed. There just isn't much = road feel when you're rounding through turns. The Acadia wants to push out widely during turns, which is normal given its size, but this SUV handles its massive weight with ease. The AT4 is the trim level to buy if you want to go off-roading since it is equipped with most of the usual off-roading features and designs.
On the base engine with FWD, you get an EPA-estimated 25 mpg combined. The AT4 and Denali with AWD get a combined 21 mpg while the Denali with FWD gets 22 mpg combined. This puts it right about on par with what you get on the Explorer, possibly even a little bit better if you stick with the base engine.
Drivability is an all-encompassing term that we use to describe how well-rounded a vehicle works as a daily driver. How comfortable are the seats to sit in for hours on end? Is the ride quality plush enough without coming off as too drifty? Are the materials used of high quality? Are the cabin's controls intuitively laid out? Are the tech features easy to use? How much cargo space is available, and how many small item storage areas can you utilize? These are some of the major factors we talk about when discussing a vehicle's drivability status.
The 2022 Honda Pilot excels at providing comfort for those who ride in it. Its body motions are kept well under control, but all-around ride comfort does not suffer for it. Small bumps are quickly and effortlessly dispatched. The Pilot's front seats give you supportive structuring on the seatbacks and bottoms, delivering hours and hours of comfort. Also, the second-row seats are padded much like those up front and have the ability to slide and recline.
The Pilot showcases the signature Honda sense of efficiency with its clever usage of space and features oriented toward practicality. The first and second rows are both incredibly spacious, and while the third row is large enough for sporadic use by adults, it isn't quite as spacious as the VW Atlas. The accessway to the third row is slightly too narrow for adults, too. Pilot drivers will have very little issue finding a good seating position if they're average height, but taller drivers will yearn for a little more adjustability from the steering wheel. The seat's upright position does at least give the driver a clearer view out of the vehicle than the Honda Odyssey mini-van.
The Honda Pilot's touchscreen system is straightforward and user-friendly. Also, the integrated navigation system responds quickly to your inputs, and the available 10-speaker sound system produces high-quality sound. WIFI hotspot connectivity is included on the higher Touring and Elite trim levels. Also, you can use the Honda CabinControl app to connect to the in-vehicle WIFI; this allows you to control specific features like the Pilot's music playlists and rear cabin temperature.
The Honda Pilot is a vehicle that is utterly oriented for maximum utility. Cargo space rings in at 16.5 cubic feet behind the third row and achieves a max volume of 83.8 cubes when the second- and third-row seats are folded down. However, it does lag behind a few segment leaders. At any rate, there is an abundance of under-floor storage, and that space is extremely easy to use. The door pockets are clever and massive in size, and there is a configurable small-item storage spot located inside of the center console. The second row makes it easy to install child car seats due to all the space in the second row, and there is easy access to the LATCH anchors. However, the rear tether points are easy to overlook; you will have to look closely for them on the bottom of the second-row seats. Accessing the third row to install seats back there is easier thanks to the one-button slide function. On the AWD-equipped Pilot, maximum towing capacity sits at 5,000 pounds, which is on-point for a V6-powered mid-size third-row SUV. Pilots with FWD are restricted to 3,500 pounds in towing.
Meanwhile, the 2022 GMC Acadia is a capable daily driver. The front seats lack the extra bolstering but are cozy for hours on end. The rear seats have shorter cushions but are smartly contoured for the human body. The third row still a bit tight for adults, so they're best left for kids. The Acadia absorbs road imperfections well, letting in only minimal noise amounts. The ride feels firm enough and certainly well controlled. Engine noise never intrudes, and wind and road noise are hushed enough for the liking. The dual automatic climate control system is simple with just a few buttons. The lowest speed is decently low, but there are seven more speeds above it. The dual seat heaters and ventilation that come on higher trims feel quite nice.
The Acadia's minimal knobs and buttons makes it easy to figure out what's what, although it doesn't look very high-end. The low step-in height makes getting in and out simple. The light doors open wide, but the door handles can pinch fingers. The Acadia feels car-like, and there is plenty of room up front for heads and knees. Forward visibility is reduced by a steep windshield, and the rear pillars are thick. The available surround-view camera system will help with visibility. There are some quality issues as the parking button is off-center and the quarter panels don't line up inside or out.
The Acadia's touchscreen technology interface is one of the user-friendly, emphasizing those features you will use most often. Bluetooth pairing is simple, and smartphone app integration is standard. The touchscreen has simple menus and huge, well-labeled icons. There are separate knobs for tuning and volume.
You get a fair amount of space with the second row folded down, but the Acadia isn't particularly superb on utility. You get a modest amount of storage spaces up front. The center console is deep but has a squarish shape, which is awkward. The door bins also seem a touch shallow. With the third-row seat folded down, you get a huge cargo floor to work with. The remote-release handles make it folding the second row effortless. The easy-to-locate LATCH anchor points make strapping car seats in a cinch if you stick to using the outboard seats. The middle seat is a bit more difficult to reach.
Safety is a main concern for virtually every driver on the road. Auto manufacturers are aware of the demand for advanced safety features and designs. Both Honda and GMC are know full well how to create functional driver aids and equip quite a few of them on their SUVs.
The 2022 Honda Pilot is outfitted with the Honda Sensing suite of driver aids. This bundles together a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision mitigation, a lane keeping system, and adaptive cruise control. Parking sensors get added to the Touring trim level. Adaptive cruise control only works at 20 mph and over, so it is not helpful in stop-and-go traffic like other systems. Lane keeping can get intrusive as you wind along on twisting roads.
Similarly, the 2022 GMC Acadia gets the GM Pro Safety Plus bundle of advanced driver aids standard. This gives the vehicle automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, front and rear parking sensors, and a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert. The expensive line-topping Denali adds a head-up display, but you'll have to pay more for the Technology package, which gives the Acadia a surround-view camera system, adaptive cruise control, enhanced automatic braking for forward collision mitigation system, and a digital rearview mirror - things that should come standard at this price point.
Which Has the Best Value?
As you go about finalizing your decision on which vehicle to buy, think about what brings the most to the table for you. Which vehicle has the most overall value? Buyers need to do their research and hear about owners' experiences since taking a vehicle for a test-drive can only tell you so much.
The 2022 Honda Pilot is one of the more expensive vehicles in its class. It offsets this by delivering enhanced comfort, a premium feel throughout, and a better-looking cabin than many rivals. For a non-luxury vehicle, the build quality seems pretty luxurious. There are some nice soft-touch plastics along the dash that look nice with the high-gloss trim and matte-finish on the secondary controls. You get basic warranty coverage for three years/36,000 miles and a powertrain warranty for five years/60,000 miles, which is average for this class. The three-year/36,000-mile roadside assistance coverage is pretty standard as well.
2022 GMC Acadia don't get a ton of driver aids on the higher trims. At least the GM Pro Safety Plus was made standard for this year. But this definitely detracts from a higher value. The quality of materials isn't all that exceptional either, and there isn't as much space behind the second row as what you get in some rivals. The Acadia fails to feel as expensive as it really is.
Which is Better?
While the 2022 GMC Acadia is the more spacious option regarding the third row and cargo area, the powertrain isn't nearly as likable. There aren't all that many driver aids on the higher trim levels, and you just won't feel like you get enough value from the Acadia. Sure, the Pilot is more expensive than most of its rivals, but you get a more premium ownership experience.