2020 GMC Acadia Preview

Liz Kim | Feb 20, 2019
  • Refreshed exterior styling
  • New 230-horsepower, turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine
  • New 9-speed automatic transmission with push-button shifter
  • AT4 trim level replaces All Terrain
  • Upgraded infotainment system
  • On sale fall of 2019


Three years ago, GMC downsized the full-size Acadia crossover into a midsize utility vehicle. While it doesn’t offer the massive amount of cargo space that it used to, it still provides three rows of seating for up to 7 passengers.

The 2020 Acadia is full of practical and useful features and competes in the popular family hauler category. Its new look, which is reminiscent of its stablemate, the full-size Sierra pickup truck, will keep it relevant.

Exterior Features

GMC gives the new Acadia a shot of testosterone by making the front fascia more angular and aggressive. The front lighting elements and grille are composed of right angles, and the Acadia SUV looks more truck-like than last year’s version. The updates continue in the rear, with an altered bumper and taillamp design. New 18- and 20-in. wheels are available.

2020 GMC Acadia AT4 photo
2020 GMC Acadia AT4

The new Acadia AT4 beefs up the look even further with a blacked-out grille, roof rack, and side mirrors, as well as unique 17-in. wheels. Available 20-in. wheels fill out the wheel wells nicely.

Interior Features

The 2020 Acadia offers new upholstery choices, along with an open-pore wood trim on the Denali trim level. A new hands-free power liftgate is available, while a redesigned center console provides more space for your gear.

Inside the new AT4 you’ll find distinctive badging and heavy-duty floor and cargo mats.

Behind the third-row seats you’ll find a tiny 12.8 cu. ft. of space. Fold the seats and cargo space increases to 41.7 cu. ft., while maximum cargo volume is 79 cu. ft. That’s in line with other midsize crossovers. Every 2020 Acadia comes with triple-zone climate control, which is a much-appreciated feature for rear-seaters.

Optional Features

The 2020 Acadia is available in four trim levels: base SLE, SLT, new-for-2020 AT4 (replacing the All Terrain), and top-of-the-line Denali.

Depending on trim level, the Acadia can seat 6 with second-row captain’s chairs, or 7 with the middle-row bench seat.

Under the Hood

The 2020 Acadia now has three engine choices. Carrying over from the 2019 model year are the base 2.5-liter inline-4 cylinder that makes 193 horsepower, as well as the 3.6-liter V-6 that produces 310 horsepower.

New for the 2020 model year is a turbocharged, 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder that is responsible for churning out 230 horsepower. As of publication, no fuel-economy numbers were provided by GMC.

Connecting the power from the engine to the wheels is a new 9-speed automatic transmission, commanded by a whimsical horizontally arranged row of buttons located under the climate controls. It allows for the space otherwise used for a traditional shifter to be used as storage.

The new AT4 trim not only looks more rugged, it’s equipped with a twin-clutch all-wheel-drive (AWD) system and 17-in. all-terrain tires so that it harbors a modicum of off-road aspirations.

GMC also says that there are suspension refinements for improved ride quality for the Acadia but declined to specify what those were.


The 2020 GMC Acadia can be equipped with a full array of active safety features, but few come standard, or are even available on lower trim levels. These include blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-change monitoring, and low-speed forward automatic emergency braking.


The Acadia’s 8-in. infotainment system is enhanced with more modern graphics, better voice recognition, and an interface that’s easier to use, GMC says. Like most GM vehicles, a Wi-Fi hotspot subscription is available, as is a new, easier-to-use navigation system.

New for 2020, you’ll get five USB charging ports, including one for the third row. A wireless charging pad and a head-up display that projects relevant information on your windshield also make the options list.

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