The GMC Acadia manages to offer ample space for up to seven without being too large to easily maneuver. For that reason alone, this is a strong midsize SUV choice for families. Its appeal gets broadened further by its modern and easy-to-use tech layout as well as its smooth ride. The 2021 GMC Acadia offers significant upgrades, making now a great time for buyers to check it out.
What's New for 2021?
This year's Acadia is part of the second generation of the SUV, which first hit the market in 2017. In 2021, both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto go wireless. Both the SL and SLE get a new steering wheel design that includes audio controls. Finally, an Elevation package joins the list of available features. Offered on the SLE and SLT, it adds 20-inch alloy wheels with black accents, gloss-black roof rails, a black grille, and jet black leather upholstery.
GMC offers buyers variety when it comes to the powertrain options in 2021. For the SL and SLE models, the standard is a 2.5L four-cylinder making 194-horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque. For the SLT trim, the standard becomes a turbo 2.0L four-cylinder making 230-horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque.
The ultra-luxurious Denali and off-roading AT4 trims both get a 3.6L V6 that generates 310-horsepower and 276 lb-ft of torque. Although all powertrains are more than adequate, the V6 is definitely the most fun. All three of the engines benefit from a smooth-shifting nine-speed automatic transmission.
The 2021 GMC Acadia offers respectable fuel economy numbers when its size is factored in. With the base engine, which can only be had with front-wheel drive, it is estimated to get 21mpg city and 27mpg highway. The turbocharged 2.0L gets 21mpg city and 28mpg highway with front-wheel drive and 21mpg city and 27mpg with all-wheel drive.
With the hearty V6 engine, the Acadia is looking at 19mpg city and 27mpg when paired with front-wheel drive. A model that has all-wheel drive is estimated to get 18mpg city and 25mpg highway. The Acadia does better than many rivals, particularly when buyers stick with the first two engine options.
An impressive list of technology features help the Acadia keep drivers stay connected and entertained on the road. An 8-inch touchscreen is standard, along with satellite radio, five USB ports, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Smartphone integration can be done using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Bluetooth is also an option for connecting the Acadia to a compatible device.
The SLT is a midlevel option for the Acadia that adds nice upgrades like navigation and an eight-speaker sound system. This is also the trim level where buyers will find nice upgrades like a household-style power outlet in the middle row and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. For an Acadia that pulls out all of the stops, the Denali is the way to go, giving buyers a wireless charging pad and digital instrument panel.
With standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, the Acadia is a good choice for families. SLE models equipped with all-wheel drive, as well as the SLT, AT4, and Denali, also have forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking. SLT models are the first where the safety alert seat becomes standard. This feature can vibrate on the left, right, or middle to let the driver know if they are drifting out of their lane or if the vehicle senses an impending collision.
A head-up display is standard for the Denali trim. Designed to project key information directly into a driver's line of sight, this feature can dramatically cut down on distracted driving. Other advanced safety aids found on select models include a surround-view camera system, adaptive cruise control, and front pedestrian braking.
When all three rows of the Acadia's seats are up, there are 12.8 cubic feet in the cargo hold. That is not terribly impressive when compared to rivals. When the back rows are folded down, however, things start to look better. Behind the second row, drivers get over 41 cubic feet. Maximum cargo capacity sits right at 79 cubic feet, which should be plenty of space for a run to the hardware store or to help a friend move across town.
Five main trim levels of the Acadia are out there. The SL is the most affordable but does not skimp on comfort or convenience features. Highlights from the standard equipment list include tri-zone automatic climate control and keyless ignition. The next option up is the SLE and it primarily unlocks packages that can be added to the Acadia.
The SLT is a trim that seats only six due to having second-row captain's chairs. Notable upgrades here include things like a hands-free power liftgate and power-adjustment for the driver's seat. The rugged AT4 trim gives the SUV all-wheel drive standard and is the only model with two rows of seating instead of three. Denali models have all of the luxury features offered by the Acadia, including heated and ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel.
Choosing the 2021 GMC Acadia will mean getting a well-rounded SUV with room for the whole family. Multiple trim and engine choices mean that there is a good option for nearly anyone.
Formula for Calculating Dealer Cost:
Total Dealer Cost - Rebate and Incentive + Taxes / Licensing Fees = True Dealer Cost. (You can get rebates and incentives here.)
Note: All GMC Acadia MSRP, invoice and dealer cost dollar figures above are approximate amounts. Prices are subject to change without notice.
A note about rebates: Most rebates are subtracted from the "on the road" figure. In most cases, you can have the rebate if you are arranging your own financing or you are paying cash. If you decide to use the manufacturer’s low interest financing, you do not usually get the rebate. Ask your dealer for details.