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A red 2020 GMC Acadia is parked facing forward in a driveway.

Everything You Need to Know About the 2020 GMC Acadia

This rugged midsize SUV from General Motors is back again with a vengeance for the new year. The 2020 GMC Acadia is now available as five impressive trim levels, with a starting MSRP of $29,800. It’s well-equipped to compete in a market that’s inundated with SUV models hovering around a similar price point. The Chevy Transverse, Dodge Durango, and Honda Pilot are expected to be the Acadia’s main competitors. The Acadia stands out from its rivals with a new nine-speed transmission, high-tech infotainment features, and rugged off-road enhancements. Customizable packages and options help the Acadia fit perfectly in different households around the country.

Engine Options

Every engine option for the 2020 GMC Acadia is paired with its smooth, nine-speed automatic transmission. This is a major upgrade from last year’s six-speed unit, offering superior ride quality, acceleration, and fuel efficiency. For the front-wheel-drive variants, choose between the 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine or the more powerful 3.6-liter V6 engine (available on SLE trims and above).

The bigger engine provides 310 horsepower and 271 pounds per foot of torque. Upgrading to the SLT trim (still with front-wheel drive) gives you the option of a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine which produces 230 horsepower. If you opt for all-wheel drive (available on every trim except the SL) you get the option of a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, starting lower at the SLE trim level. Does all this seem like a lot to consider? Don’t worry, there’s more!

Five Trims to Choose From

The first trim is the SL, which includes an 8-inch standard infotainment system complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Onstar and onboard WiFi are also included in the standard package. The only engine option available for the SL trim is the 2.5-liter, which comes with a front-wheel drivetrain. With 193 horsepower and 188 pounds per foot of torque, there’s not too much to complain about in this standard, economical set-up.

Next in line is the Acadia’s SLE trim, which provides additional traction control modes and the ever-popular satellite radio. All-wheel-drive, along with all three engine options, becomes available when you go for the SLE. If you plan to be driving in snowy conditions, this is a great choice to get all-wheel-drive and improved traction. In slippery conditions, a smartly appointed SLE has got you covered.

Midway through the five trims is the SLT. If you enjoy convenience luxury features, like leather seats and remote start, this is the trim choice for you. A power liftgate and power-adjustable front seats are nice perks that you’ll find in the SLT. Instead of a bench, you can opt for 2nd row captain’s chairs. The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is part of the SLT’s standard package.

A birds eye view of the tan leather interior that can be found inside of a 2020 GMC Acadia Denali.

All-new for 2020 is the adventurous AT4 trim. For off-roading, helpful features that come with the AT4 include hill descent control and automatic hill hold. There’s a little extra storage in this model with only two rows of seating in the standard model. Less seating reduces the overall vehicle weight, powering up the V6 and all-wheel drive that much more (both of which come standard with the AT4). If you still want enough seating for seven passengers, the extra row can always be added back in as an option.

Finally, the fully-loaded Denali tops the charts with a stylish presentation of high-tech safety features including lane keep assist, automatic emergency braking, and forward collision warning. A Bose stereo system, heated front and second row seating, and an included navigation system make this a tempting purchase. Front-wheel drive and the V6 engine come as standard, but all-wheel drive can be added if you prefer. If you’re shopping for a luxurious SUV with the rugged power of a truck, the 2020 Acadia Denali is certainly a tough one to beat.

Top Off Your Acadia With These Perfect Packages

The 2020 GMC Acadia comes with several packages to sweeten the deal of whichever trim you happen to choose. Here is a sample of what’s available.

Are you looking for a bit of added luxury? The Driver Convenience Package provides an eight-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar control and heated seats for the front passenger and driver. A remote start and hands-free liftgate make life just a little bit easier in your new SUV. This package also adds a 120-volt power outlet so you can stay fully charged and connected. On the SLE and SLT, brushed aluminum roof-mounted side rails are included. On the AT4, side rails come in gloss black.

Plan on using your new SUV for heavy towing? The Trailering Package offers some utility changes, making it easier to tow as you go. It removes the 3.80 axle ratio, replacing it with a 3.49 axle ratio. Instead of the 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine, you get the 3.6-liter V6 for added power. Several other additions include a dual-outlet exhaust, 170 amp alternator, Hitch Guidance, heavy-duty cooling system, and trailering assist guidelines. With the Trailering Package, your Acadia will be prepared to handle anything.

Are you searching for top safety features? The Driver Alert Package II adds several desirable tech features for more protection on unpredictable roadways. Lane keep assist with lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, and forward collision alert help you avoid accidents before they happen. The following distance indicator, front and rear park assist, and safety alert seat give you every advantage you could hope for as a driver. Intellibeam headlamps make it easier to avoid blinding other drivers at night. On the Denali, the Driver Alert Package II also adds rear cross traffic alert and lane change alert with side blind zone alert.

An all-new white 2020 GMC Acadia AT4 is driving on a dirt trail.

Are you heading out on an adventure? The Adventure Package is the ideal complement to the rugged Acadia. Have fun without getting the inside of your new SUV all muddy. All-weather floor liners in the first and second row will protect your new vehicle (third row and cargo liners are also included for some trims). Roof rack cross rails make it easier to bring all of your gear along for your trip. An AT4 with the Adventure Package also comes with a cargo stabilizer in the five-passenger standard model.

Want to make the most of your show-stopping Denali? On the highest trim level, you have the option of adding the Denali Technology Package. This offers a heads-up display, advanced adaptive cruise control, HD surround vision, enhanced automatic emergency braking, and a rearview camera mirror with a washer. Take the Technology Package up another notch with the Denali Ultimate Package. This includes everything from the Technology Package and adds a dual skyscape 2-panel power sunroof, trailering package, and adaptive ride control. What more could you ask for?

Additional packages to consider include the Bright Accent Package, Floor Liner Package, Hit the Road Package, Interior Protection Package, Roadside Safety Package, Premium Carpet Floor Mat Package, and the Cargo Package. With so many possibilities to choose from, you can truly customize the 2020 Acadia to suit your budget, preferences, and personal style.

Who Is the Acadia For?

The new Acadia has a wide range of selections. Depending on what you choose, it works well for any lifestyle. The first four trims can be boosted with packages or upgraded as needed. Depending on your engine preferences and fuel economy needs, it’s easy to find the right configuration. With the nine-speed automatic transmission offered across the board, a smooth and thrifty ride is a given in this roomy, three-row SUV.

GMC holds to its rugged background in trucks by offering the AT4 trim. For off-roading, trailering, or sporty pursuits, the AT4 has everything you could want in a truck, along with the convenience, interior space, and driveability of an SUV. If you’re looking for a luxurious SUV that doesn’t break the bank, the Denali offers a comprehensive array of impressive features. Go ahead, schedule a test drive and see for yourself.