Acadia or Terrain: Which is Right for You?

May 15th, 2020 by

A black 2020 GMC Acadia is parked next to a white AT4 in front of a rocky hill after leaving a GMC dealer near Waco, TX.

Choosing the right SUV isn’t always as simple as it should be – even if you’ve narrowed down all of your options to a single manufacturer, like GMC, then there are still some big decisions to make. Since you’ll find so many great SUVs at your GMC dealer near Waco, it can help to look at just a couple of them and see what they both have to offer. For example, you might be trying to decide between the 2020 GMC Acadia and the GMC Terrain – and that’s a tough choice to have to make.

While these are both fantastic SUVs, some pretty significant design differences between them can make one of them a better fit for you than the other. This isn’t about one of them being better overall than the other one; it’s about choosing the right SUV for what you need, specifically. That means you’ll need to figure out what all of your needs are and get a good sense of what you’re looking for in an SUV. Then, with that in mind, you can see what each of these has to offer and determine which is perfect for you.

Let’s take a closer look at these two SUVs in a few different categories to see which will best deliver on what you’re looking for.

Size – Cargo and Passenger Room

One of the most significant differences between these two SUVs and one of the simplest ways to decide on which one is right for you is how large they are. Not only are they significantly different in terms of overall size, just when you look at their dimensions, but also in terms of how this translates into functionality for you. So if you know what size SUV, how many passengers you typically have, and about how much cargo space you need, then this can make picking the right one pretty straightforward.

The 2020 GMC Acadia is a midsize SUV that measures about 193 inches in length and is about 75 inches wide. Inside the Acadia, you get three rows of seats; the second row is available as either a three-person bench seat or a pair of seats so that the Acadia can be configured for either six passengers or seven. You get almost 144 cu.ft. of interior passenger space in the Acadia, and all the room translates into a lot of cargo area too. The GMC Acadia offers up to 79 cu.ft. of cargo space behind the front row of seats, about 42 cu.ft. of space behind the second row, and almost 13 cu.ft. behind the third row.

By comparison, the 2020 GMC Terrain is a small SUV that measures about 182 inches in length and is about 72 inches wide. While that is not a huge difference in terms of width, the Acadia is almost a foot longer than the Terrain. Inside, you get seating for up to five people with the Terrain across two rows of seating; there is no option for additional seating or a third row. If you choose the Terrain, then you get about 63 cu.ft. of cargo space behind the front row and almost 30 cu.ft. of cargo area behind the second row. So you can see you get significantly more interior room with the larger 2020 GMC Acadia – but if the Terrain meets your needs, and you prefer something a bit smaller, then it’s a great choice.

Off-Road Capability

If you’re interested in going off-road, then a GMC SUV might not be the first vehicle you think of, but they can be quite a good option for an off-road machine. However, you need to consider what kinds of trails you’re looking to conquer, and then choose accordingly. With the 2020 GMC Terrain, for example, you can select AWD for better off-road performance, but there aren’t many off-road options available beyond that. When properly equipped, the Terrain offers up to 3,500 lbs of towing capacity, which can make it suitable for camping and taking your boat to the lake, but it’s probably not the best off-road option available.

With the 2020 GMC Acadia, however, there is an AT4 trim available for the first time on this model, which is designed with greater off-road functionality in mind. In addition to other features on the Acadia, the AT4 has a powerful 3.6L V6 engine with a 9-speed automatic transmission, an advanced twin-clutch AWD system, exclusive 17-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, and a traction select system with an off-road mode. Of course, you still need to be sure this is sufficient for the kinds of trails you want to hit, but overall, the Acadia has a slightly better package for going off-road.

Interior Features and Luxury

Both the 2020 GMC Acadia and the 2020 GMC Terrain are available with the prestigious Denali trim, which is the final word in luxury and sophistication in vehicles from GMC. While this means slightly different things for each model, you can be confident that the Denali trims are a cut above what else is out there. There are also other trims available if the Denali has more than what you’re looking for, but in terms of luxury, they’re both quite impressive.

The Acadia Denali features an 8-inch infotainment system with navigation, a Bose premium 8-speaker audio system, and 8-way power, heated and ventilated front seats. It also features a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel, numerous USB ports throughout the inside, and a wireless charging area for compatible devices. The Acadia Denali has an 8-inch digital driver display, keyless open and start, remote start, tri-zone automatic climate control, and a hands-free programmable rear liftgate.

By comparison, the Terrain Denali features an 8-inch infotainment system with navigation, a Bose premium 7-speaker audio system, an 8-way power driver seat, and a 6-way power front passenger seat. It has a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel, numerous USB ports, and a wireless charging pad. The Terrain Denali also features a 4-inch digital driver display, keyless open and start, remote start, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a hands-free programmable rear liftgate.

Safety Features

With any vehicle, safety features will depend on the trim and packages you choose. With that in mind, both of these SUVs have excellent safety features available and include comprehensive airbag systems. The Acadia Denali features a following distance indicator, forward collision alert, front pedestrian braking, and front and rear park assist. It also has a lane change alert with side blind zone alert, lane-keep assist with a lane departure warning, and available safety features include HD Surround Vision and enhanced automatic emergency braking.

The Terrain Denali features automatic emergency braking, a following distance indicator and forward collision alert, front pedestrian braking, and front and rear park assist. It has similar features to the Acadia, including the lane change alert, lane-keep assist, and rear cross-traffic alert – with available safety features including HD Surround Vision and automatic parking assist. Overall, both SUVs have a number of great safety features, both standard and available.

Which One is Right for You?

So, now the big question: which one of these SUVs is the right one for you? Ultimately, as you can see, only you can answer that; it really depends on just what you’re looking for and which one checks all of your boxes. Size, capability, and features vary between the two vehicles and their trims. They are both great vehicles; it is just a matter of finding out which one suits your needs.

Posted in GMC Dealer, Tips