Car Buyer Labs

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A white 2022 GMC Acadia AT4 is shown from the front at an angle during a 2022 GMC Acadia vs 2022 Chevy Traverse comparison.

Ready for a Road Trip? Should You Choose the GMC Acadia or Chevy Traverse?

What makes a really great road trip car? If you have long trips planned with the family or your whole friend group, you need to ask yourself that question. It’s not as simple as it being large. There are plenty of big cars out there. And you might think that the details don’t matter, but after several hours or days on the road, you realize that they do. When back seat passengers start to bicker about discomfort, and you have to pull over more often than planned because people can’t take another minute in the car, you see just how much the details matter. Anyone who knows this knows that there are only a few truly great road trip cars. And they might just be comparing the 2022 GMC Acadia vs 2022 Chevy Traverse.

These are both formidable choices with a lot to offer and are ready for extended rides. Your road trip car is like your home on wheels, and if the driver or passengers aren’t content, what was once the American dream to see the great open road becomes the American nightmare. So let’s get into the nitty-gritty and really see which one of these could get you from California to Rhode Island and have you still be friends with the other passengers when you reach your destination.

Comfortable Seating

The GMC Acadia can seat between six and seven people, depending on if you opt for a second-row bench seat or second-row captains’ chairs. The Chevy Traverse has the same choice but can seat between seven and eight passengers. Of course, more seats aren’t always better. Packing out the Chevy Traverse with eight adults for a long car ride will leave some feeling cramped. Its back seats are fine for children but a little too small for grownups––especially for extended periods of time in the car. Those bucket seats in the back of the GMC Acadia ensure everybody has tons of room. If you are traveling with small children and packing out the car, the Chevy Traverse should do.

Getting into the third row of either vehicle is a breeze, thanks to a sliding second row. Heated and ventilated front seats are available in both vehicles. However, you’re going to have to go with the GMC Acadia if you want heated seats in the second row. And if you’ll be traversing dynamic climates, your backseat passengers will appreciate that upgrade.

a white 2022 Chevy Traverse is shown from the front at an angle while driving on a city street.

Roomy Storage

Both vehicles have split-folding rear seats that allow for a variety of cargo options and folding back rows. If you’re only loading the first two rows with passengers, folding down the third row will allow for plenty of room for everyone’s luggage, adventure gear, and a cooler full of refreshments. Each vehicle also has convenient and hidden storage compartments, which are ideal for stashing valuables––especially when you make a spontaneous stop for a hike and don’t want to carry your belongings.

However, the storage is in a slightly less conspicuous place in the GMC Acadia––it’s tucked away behind the second-row storage console. In the Chevy Traverse, it’s behind the infotainment screen. Thieves doing a smash-and-grab might be more inclined to look around the front of the car, making items in the Traverse slightly more vulnerable in such incidents. Both SUVs boast under-floor storage in the back, creating extra room for more stuff without infringing on the precious passenger area. All in all, each vehicle is rich with storage space, so everyone can load up with several bags and other items.

Modern Infotainment

No matter how much you love your car companions, you can’t talk to them the entire trip. That’s why a good road trip car will boast systems to keep you entertained. They also have features that keep you on track––literally. Navigation is essential when traveling unknown paths. Each of these SUVs holds up pretty well in these departments.

The Chevy Traverse and the GMC Acadia have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, letting you use your favorite apps from either of these smartphones right in your car. That’s a blessing when you’ve got hours on the road and want to listen to audiobooks, podcasts, or that one passenger’s mixtape they keep pushing on everyone.

Both models also have built-in Wi-Fi hotspots. These come in handy when the crew can’t decide on one podcast to listen to, as each person can use their personal devices to stream separate programs. Hotspots are also useful for those passengers who have to work during the trip. Additionally, each SUV is rich with USB ports to ensure everyone can keep their smartphones, laptops, tablets, and more charged. Nobody will be fighting over what to listen to or who gets to charge their phone in either of these SUVs, making them a road trip dream.

A white 2022 GMC Acadia AT4 is shown from the rear at an angle on a lakeshore.

Those Special Touches

It really is those little details that make all of the difference between a road trip crew that arrives at their destination perky and ready for adventure…and a crew that’s ready to call it quits. There are a couple special features to appreciate in each of these SUVs. There is an available two-panel sunroof in both the GMC Acadia and Chevy Traverse. These are great for taking in the surroundings as you explore gorgeous new landscapes. And each vehicle has a shade on the rear panel, so when the back seat passengers want a nap, they can block out some of the sun.

The GMC stands out with a few more features that really enhance the road trip experience. For instance, it has driver memory settings on all but the base trim. This means the seat, mirror, and steering wheel can automatically adjust to your preferred position when you switch drivers. So if you and the other passengers are taking turns behind the wheel for this long trip, everybody should be able to do so comfortably. The GMC Acadia is also known for its sound-dampening materials and being very quiet on the inside. And while the sounds of the road might not bother passengers for short trips, it starts to get to you after many hours on the road. Catching those naps between sites is critical to enjoying the adventure, after all.

Enjoy the Ride With the Right Road Trip Car

Everyone sets out on a road trip with the best of intentions, excited for adventure and new experiences. But if you don’t select the right car for your journey, spirits can be killed quickly and what was meant to be a bonding experience for the whole family becomes the reason you all need counseling. Too many hours together in a car that’s uncomfortable is a recipe for disaster.

Both the 2022 GMC Acadia and the 2022 Chevy Traverse were made with those long trips in mind. They’re loaded with features and special touches that make many hours and days on the road more bearable––and even enjoyable. It’s hard to say that one is better than the other. But if we must choose…

The 2022 GMC Acadia is the better choice for long trips. Though it can’t hold eight passengers like the 2022 Chevy Traverse, you probably don’t want to pack that many adults into one car for multi-day trips. Its six-passenger choice gives everyone spacious captain’s chairs with lots of legroom, minimizing the need to pull over for everyone to stretch their legs. And because it is so quiet inside, it’s great for backseat passengers to nap in between pit stops.