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A black 2021 GMC Terrain is parked in front of a gallery angled left.

GMC SUVs – A Beginner’s Guide

When you first start out on your car buying journey, the odds are good that you’ve settled on a general type or size of vehicle, such as a car, an SUV, a van, or a truck. Different types of vehicles are appealing for different reasons, so settling on a general size is not that difficult. However, once you’ve decided what type of vehicle you want, such as an SUV, you now have to choose between brands and models. So, let’s help you narrow down your SUV search and check out the lineup of GMC SUVs.

Different car manufacturers offer multiple styles of the same type of vehicle because people want different things. With all of the possible lifestyles and vehicle needs people have, it would be virtually impossible to make one perfect car that would appeal to absolutely everybody in the world. Some people prefer power and speed and others prefer off-road capability or cargo space. This is why SUV manufacturers, GMC included, tend to offer multiple SUV options. The idea is that once you’ve settled on a brand, you’ll easily be able to decide on a specific SUV that meets your individual needs. There are currently three available GMC SUV: the GMC Terrain, the GMC Acadia, and the GMC Yukon.

GMC Terrain

The GMC Terrain is GMC’s smallest SUV and is ideal for those who enjoy the feeling of being higher up but who don’t want to drive around a gigantic beast of a vehicle. The Terrain can comfortably seat five and starts at a friendly price-point of $25,000, making it the cheapest of the three GMC SUVs. Furthermore, while the Terrain is the smallest GMC SUV, the model-standard flat-fold seats mean you don’t have to sacrifice cargo space just because you went with the smaller model. Each vehicle offers second-row seats that fold down completely flat, allowing you to transport items up to eight feet long without ever hooking up a trailer.

Each Terrain comes standard with a 1.5L turbocharged engine, meaning your Terrain can get up to 25 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway with FWD. Although you likely won’t need any extra towing capacity with all the interior cargo space, the GMC Terrain can tow up to 1,500 lbs, so that additional capability is there should you need it. Depending on the specific trim you choose, you could end up with high-intensity discharge headlights or LED headlights, but both versions feature a very attractive and modern C-shaped headlights style.

GMC installed a lot of premium safety features into the Terrain SUVs. Between each of the specific trims, your Terrain could come equipped with multiple features that were designed to keep drivers and passengers safe on the road at all times. The Terrain SLE and SLT trims come standard with adaptive cruise control, which will automatically adjust in response to vehicles that the SUV is approaching too quickly, all without the driver having to set or reset anything.

Multiple cameras on the GMC Terrain can alert drivers to multiple hazardous situations and prevent dangerous accidents and mishaps. For example, lane change assist keeps an eye on the area directly behind and to each side of the vehicle and alerts drivers when there is another vehicle that is quickly approaching or if there is something in the Terrain’s blind spot, thus preventing collisions during an otherwise routine lane change. Additionally, parking lots are much safer with the Terrain’s rear park assist and cross traffic assist cameras that watch for obstacles in the area directly behind the Terrain when backing into or out of a parking spot.

A popular GMC SUV, a red 2021 GMC Acadia, is shown in front of a modern house.

GMC Acadia

The GMC Acadia is GMC’s mid-size SUV. The Acadia comes with three trim options, and each option can seat up to seven comfortably. The most basic Acadia starts at $33,600, making GMC’s mid-sized SUV a comfortable choice for budget-conscious families. Depending on the trim you choose, you could end up with either a 2.0L engine, a 2.5L engine, or a 3.0 L engine, each with a 9-speed automatic transmission.

While each Acadia comes standard with safety features such as lane change alert, rear parking assist, and cross traffic alert, certain trims also come with even higher-end safety features. For example, Acadia AT4 and Denali trim options include premium braking assist options. The automatic emergency braking feature can detect if your Acadia is approaching another vehicle too quickly and will apply extra force to the brakes or brake for you in order to prevent a front-end collision. Front pedestrian brakes will apply the Acadia’s brakes if an upcoming pedestrian is detected and the driver does not react. These kinds of safety features do wonders in preventing accidents.

If you are looking for the Acadia with the best fuel efficiency, you will want to choose a model with the 2.0L engine and front-wheel drive. This model can get up to 22 MPG in the city and 29 MPG on the highway. The other engine options are still great for fuel economy, though. They offer anywhere from 19-22 MPG in the city and 26-27 MPG on the highway.

Each Acadia comes standard with a beautiful 8 inch GMC Infotainment system, as well as the optional navigation package. The navigation package allows drivers to keep an eye on their vehicle’s location and keep track of where they need to go without having to fiddle around with a cell phone. Your Acadia will also have the option of a rear camera so you can see exactly what’s behind you when you are backing out of a parking space or your driveway.

A black 2021 GMC Yukon is driving down a shady wood-lined road.

GMC Yukon

The GMC Yukon is GMC’s biggest SUV. This full-size SUV starts at $50,700 and can seat up to nine passengers, depending on the options you choose. You can also upgrade your Yukon model to the Yukon XL if you need to capitalize on the most amount of space. The Yukon can almost double as a truck with an impressive maximum towing capacity of 8,400 lbs.

Each GMC Yukon comes with either a 5.3L engine or a 6.2L engine, with the 6.2L engine offering best in class horsepower of 420. GMC continues to lead the entire class of SUVs with nine available camera views, offering drivers the utmost in safety and security, as well as a unique power-sliding center console, which car shoppers are incredibly excited about. With the power sliding center console, you can move the center console that sits between the driver and front passenger seats back several inches with just a flip of a switch. This unique option allows drivers and passengers to access even more storage space within the vehicle.

Final Thoughts

Each GMC SUV offers different features for different situations, so the SUV that’s right for you won’t necessarily be the SUV that’s right for your neighbor or your coworker. Weigh the pros and cons of each vehicle and decide for yourself which features are most important to you. But whatever vehicle you choose, rest assured that each GMC SUV comes with the proven track record of safety and reliability that comes standard with each and every GMC vehicle.

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