When you think about a family-sized SUV, you might be hesitant to jump behind the wheel of one of these land yachts since they have a reputation for handling poorly and underperforming. But what if we told you that the 2021 GMC Acadia isn’t like other family-sized SUVs. Would you believe it?
GMC raises the standard for mid-size SUVs with the all-new 2021 Acadia. Affordably priced with a starting MSRP of $29,000, the Acadia has a lot to offer, from its three rows of seats and innovative technology to its outstanding performance and smooth handling. GMC, however, doesn’t stop there and proves the Acadia is more than your average family SUV by offering the rugged AT4 and the luxurious Denali trims, as well as the stealthy Elevation Edition package that puts the Acadia in a class of its own.
All About Stealth: Acadia Elevation Edition
Say goodbye to what you think a family-friendly SUV should look like with the Acadia Elevation Edition. Available on the SLE and SLT trims, the Elevation transforms the Acadia into a stealthy road beast by exchanging the standard 18-in machined aluminum wheels for larger, 20-in black wheels with black accents. With the wheels updated, the Elevation adds a black grille insert and surround to the Acadia as well as black headlamp and taillamp details, black mirror caps, black roof rails, and black GMC emblems for a completely blacked-out appearance.
Drivers who opt for the Elevation Edition on the SLE trim will find the Acadia powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 193 horsepower. On the SLT, drivers get more power with the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that produces 230 horsepower. The SLT also offers more luxury than the SLE, with leather first and second-row seating as well as a hands-free programmable power liftgate. Both models come standard with LED headlamps and taillamps, the 8-in GMC Infotainment System, and the GMC safety suite that includes Rear Park Assist, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.
All About Adventure: Acadia AT4
While the Elevation Edition puts the Acadia in stealth mode, the AT4 readies the SUV for any adventure that comes its way. The AT4 has a distinct exterior with exclusive 17-in gloss back wheels and all-terrain tires paired with a black chrome grille, black accents, and black-capped exterior mirrors that ensure it stands out from every other vehicle on the road. But what makes it off-road ready?
The Acadia AT4 boasts a powerful 3.6-liter V6 engine with a 9-speed automatic transmission that delivers 310 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque. From there, GMC added an Active Torque Control All-Wheel Drive System with a Traction Selection System that includes modes like Sport and Off-Road. The Active Torque Control is especially helpful in off-road conditions since it enhances the Acadia’s off-road capability by delivering the torque to the wheel or axle that needs the most traction.
Beyond its off-road capability, the Acadia AT4 also offers plenty of comfort, convenience, and safety features. The 8-in GMC Infotainment System includes navigation and connectivity features like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. The AT4 also comes with the GMC Pro Safety Plus suite, which is packed with innovative technology like Automatic Emergency Braking, IntelliBeam, Front Pedestrian Braking, Rear Park Assist, and Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning.
All About Luxury: Acadia Denali
For drivers looking for fewer off-road adventures and more luxury, the Acadia Denali is an exceptional choice with its distinctive exterior and interior that offers drivers the utmost comfort and convenience. The same 3.6-liter V6 engine and 9-speed transmission on the AT4 are found under the hood of the Denali, just as the models share the GMC Pro Safety Plus suite. After that, the differences end with the Denali unleashing its luxury throughout the SUV.
The Denali’s exterior is noticeably distinct, beginning with the 20-in ultra-bright machined aluminum wheels with black accents. The exclusive chrome Denali grille sets the front of the Denali apart from other models and mirrors the chrome accents around the vehicle from the body molding to the door handles. GMC also makes sure the exterior is clearly labeled with sleek Denali badging.
Like the distinctive exterior, the Denali’s interior features real ash wood accents and burnished aluminum trim with the leather seats detailed with French seam stitching that compliments the embroidered Denali headrests on the driver and front passenger seats. The luxury continues throughout the SUV with heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, an 8-in GMC Infotainment System with navigation, and a 6-in color Head-Up Display that displays information such as speed, navigation, safety alerts, fuel levels, cruise control, and more. Drivers can also opt for a rear camera mirror as well as a dual skyscape sunroof that gives both the front and second-row a clear view of the sky.
The convenience features on the Denali are also worth mentioning, and start with the hands-free programmable power liftgate that makes accessing the cargo area easy. The Denali also includes heated and power-adjustable folding mirrors, LED headlights and taillights, and keyless entry and start. Drivers can add High-Definition Surround Vision to the Denali, which uses multiple cameras to give drivers an overhead view of the area around the vehicle. Additional convenience and connectivity features include an available 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, a premium 8-speaker sound system from Bose, and Amazon Alexa Built-In.
Pricing and Stats
By now, you’re probably wondering how much these models cost as well as important stats like capability and fuel economy. Fortunately, whether you choose the stealthy Elevation Edition, the rugged AT4, or the luxurious Denali, GMC ensures every trim option is affordably priced, beginning with the SLE and SLT models that start at $33,600. These two trims deliver an impressive fuel economy of 21 miles per gallon in the city and 27 miles per gallon on the highway and can tow up to 4,000 pounds when the powertrain is upgraded to the 3.6-liter V6 engine.
The adventure-ready AT4 starts at $41,100 and can tow 4,000 pounds right out of the gate since it comes standard with the 3.6-liter V6. It averages 19 miles per gallon in the city and 26 miles per gallon on the highway. Last but far from least, the Denali starts at $46,300 and also tows up to 4,000 pounds. Its fuel economy comes close to the AT4 at 19 miles per gallon in the city and 27 miles per gallon on the highway.
Which 2021 GMC Acadia will you choose? Whether you’re eyeing the stealthy Elevation Edition, the adventure-ready and rugged AT4, or the luxurious Denali, you’ll find every trim in the Acadia lineup has a lot to offer. Thanks to GMC’s innovation and their commitment to offering their customers only the best, the Acadia is loaded with comfort, convenience, safety, and technology features that set the SUV apart from the competition and make it one of the best-selling SUVs on the road. Whichever trim or package you choose, you won’t be disappointed with the Acadia, a family-sized SUV that truly takes on a personality of its own!