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Why should you get a mid-size SUV? This question is one that you may already have the answer to, but it’s a deeper question than it may seem. Those in the market for a brand new SUV have some exciting choices this year, but one that has stood out amongst the crowd for various reasons is the 2022 GMC Acadia. As the latest rendition of the long-serving Acadia, this vehicle, in particular, has been a fundamental part of GMC’s lineup for years starting in 2006, with the introduction of the 2007 Acadia.
How has this mid-size SUV performed against its chief competitors over the years? The Acadia has garnered praise for a few notable distinctions, and to this day, this SUV has remained at the top of the wishlist for many drivers. To better understand what makes this year’s Acadia tick, it’s important to learn about the performance and features that you can expect with this year’s latest offering from GMC.
There are four Acadia models to select from, much like some of the previous years. This year, you can expect to see the return of the SLE and SLT trims that now make up the two entry-level Acadia models. Last year, and before that, the Acadia was accompanied by a trim level called SL, and this was the previous base model that has since been dropped in favor of enhancing the SLE experience by a significant margin. This also means the 2022 Acadia starts at a higher price than its predecessor, but at a starting price of $34,800,* it’s more in line with last year’s SLE model. Next, the AT4 trim is slated as the perfect off-roading companion, the only one of the bunch, and the Denali trim is easily the most luxurious of the lineup.
One of the first immediate changes that you’ll notice compared to last year’s Acadia is the base engine has also received the boot, much like the trim level it was paired with. No more is the 2.5L 4-cylinder engine offered, and what was previously the middle-ground of the three engines is now the new standard offering. This engine is a turbocharged 2.0L 4-cylinder that pairs with a 9-speed automatic transmission for a smooth yet punchy driving experience.
Acadia models that include the turbocharged engine will have 230 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. We should emphasize the importance of this performance increase by comparing it to last year’s base engine, in which we see an 18.5% jump in horsepower and a 35.8% increase in torque output. Adding a trailering package to this combo will net you a maximum towing capacity of 3,300 lbs. This is plenty for those basic hauling tasks, whether it’s a cargo container or a boat to bring to the lake during summer vacation.
Like last year’s Acadia, the 3.6L V6 engine has also made a triumphant return, and it comes paired to the same 9-speed automatic transmission for enhanced gear shifting. This engine is quite the upgrade from the turbocharged offering, where upgrading to this V6 will give your Acadia 310 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque. Compared to the turbocharged engine in the SLE and SLT trims, this one has 34.8% more horsepower and 5% greater torque. Towing is also improved upon, especially with the same trailering package, giving Acadia models equipped with this engine the ability to tow 4,000 lbs, which is a 21% improvement over the turbocharged one. You’ll find this engine in both the AT4 and Denali trims.
What drawbacks does this engine have in comparison to the base one? The answer is simple, and that’s fuel efficiency. For those who are using this vehicle as a commuter, or more specifically a carpool, you’ll want the turbocharged engine for its EPA-estimated ratings of 22 MPG city and 29 MPG highway with front-wheel drive. The V6, in turn, will only give you ratings of 19 MPG city and 27 MPG highway, which isn’t as detrimental as it could have been. Ultimately, those who purchase the V6 instead of the turbocharged 2.0L 4-cylinder won’t miss out too much on efficiency but will benefit greatly in regards to performance.
Wherever it is that you’re heading, your vehicle needs an interior that’s more than a box to sit in. An interior can be a comfortable, safe, and even entertaining environment, and this is something that manufacturers have only improved upon over time, including the new Acadia. Larger vehicles such as the Acadia can sometimes go above and beyond expectations, and this model earns its spot amongst mid-size SUVs that not only can seat seven people but seat them well too. This large and spacious interior has other advantages, too, most notably a total of 79 cubic feet of space when you need the space the most. If you need all of the seats to be occupied, you'll still get 12.8 cubic feet of cargo area in the trunk.
We are impressed by how open the cabin is, with every row of seats comfortably seating adults. In the front row, 40-inches of headroom is complemented by 41-inches of legroom, and in the second row, 39.6-inches of headroom is met with 39.7-inches of legroom. Finally, the third row of seating has 37.2-inches of headroom and 29.7-inches of legroom. We were, however, perhaps more impressed by the abundance of technology that GMC has implemented into the Acadia over the years.
Every Acadia model can be fitted with an 8-inch infotainment screen with built-in navigation, even the base model though it’s an optional upgrade there and standard on every other trim. This infotainment center brings forth many different features, two of which are Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This is the same Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that you may already know, but vehicles such as the Acadia allow you to detach the wires and still use the same functions. Additionally, Bluetooth connectivity is here for wireless devices that you want to stream from without Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot is available to those who want it for wireless internet on any device.
Today’s vehicles are undoubtedly safer than those in the past, and this can be because of a high-quality frame and top-notch safety features that are implemented directly into the vehicle itself. In the case of the 2022 Acadia, GMC includes their Pro Safety Plus with every Acadia trim that you can purchase. With Pro Safety Plus, there are a handful of safety features that you will receive, and each of them serves a distinctive purpose. For example, Automatic Emergency Braking is included along with Front Pedestrian Braking. With these, your vehicle can attempt to come to an immediate stop in the event of an emergency, such as a foreseeable fender-bender or a pedestrian crossing the street. Combined with the Forward Collision Alert, these features are a useful extra set of eyes.
Every 2022 Acadia model also includes Front and Rear Park Assist. By utilizing cameras and sensors, you’ll be notified if you’re too close to another parked vehicle or obstructing object. Reversing from a parking space is also made easier thanks to Rear Cross Traffic Alert, which is another alert system that will warn you if a bypassing vehicle is in your way before you leave your spot.
For highway travel, you’ll find Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning. Staying in your associated lane will be easier when your vehicle can warn you if you are drifting and gently correct your course if you are. Similarly, there is the Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert. This system will alert you if there is a vehicle in your blind spot, which is a crucial feature to have when switching lanes. If you have a family, you can feel better driving them around in the 2022 GMC Acadia, knowing that there is a whole suite of safety features to help you navigate the busy roads.