2021 GMC Acadia Full Review: Turbo, Denali, AT4

2021 GMC Acadia at4

Acadia SUV has just been redesigned. So, we won’t see big updates in the next few seasons. The 2021 GMC Acadia will still be exciting and capable to compete with Honda Pilot and Ford Explorer. Whatsoever, the SUV still misses on the hybrid drivetrain, which is a huge downside. The good thing about this model is its trim level offer. Premium version is Denali, while you can go off-road with the AT4 model.

For the 2020 season, the company redesigned the SUV. So, the 2021 GMC Acadia will come with a fresh look thanks to the grille, LED headlights, and tail updates. Cosmetic modifications are not the only changes on the Acadia. From now on, the mid-size SUV will also offer a turbo-four engine. GM also added it to the luxury Cadillac XT5. The new trim level for next season is AT4. Top of the line model is still Denali, with the most luxurious features GMC is offering.

Here is the full review of the Acadia.

2021 GMC Acadia denali

2021 GMC Acadia Engine

Acadia is a mid-size three-row SUV, but it still offers a four-cylinder engine. Well, the 2.5-liter is not the best performer, although it can produce 193 horsepower. The towing capacity of the model with this engine is only 1,000 pounds. On the other hand, the good thing about the four-pot unit is the best-in-class fuel economy.

A V6 heats up the outputs to 310 horsepower. A nine-speed automatic gearbox is standard for both powerplants. With the larger one, the towing capacity jumps to 4,000 lbs. The drivetrain consumes the same amount of fuel at the highway, while the urban drive is harmed. The V6 makes 2021 Acadia speeds up to 0-60  mph in only 6 seconds.

The new 2021 GMC Acadia is going to get the turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It is a 2.0-liter drivetrain with the capability to create 230 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. Sadly, the engine is powertrain is going to be available only for top trim levels – SLT and Denali. That means the price is not going to be so affordable. Towing capacity and fuel economy numbers are not available yet.


Acadia comes with plenty of options, but the company still misses the point. Hybrid engines are already available in the market, and the GM is not in the stories about the competition. Toyota and Ford are the frontrunners, while Honda is preparing Pilot PHEV. In the premium class, we have even more models with a hybrid drivetrain – Lexus RX, Acura MDX, Lincoln Aviator, Mercedes GLE, Volvo XC90… Still, General Motors is not offering electric support to its V6 units in XT-class.

Acadia and its twin, Chevy Traverse, are slowing down with sales. The redesign will help, but the carmaker needs to keep pace with modern technology. Definitely, the hybrid engine is going to take over the market from the conventional powerplants. It is already happening with more and more electrically-supported drivetrains available in dealerships.

2021 GMC Acadia
2021 GMC Acadia Denali model

2021 GMC Acadia Trim Levels

Options are making the 2021 GMC Acadia so special. Besides the engine range, there are also five trim levels to choose from. The base SUV is SL. However, you can buy it only with a four-pot unit. The standard package includes cloth upholstery, three-row layout, and an 8-inch infotainment screen. Blind-zone alert improves safety.

The SLE adds a V6 engine and traction select system if you select the all-wheel drive. What’s more, the Acadia SLE comes with larger wheels and carpeted floor mats. The SLT drops a naturally-aspirated powerplant and steps up with a turbo-four unit. Leather upholstery and heated front seats are also part of the package. Fog lamps and a power liftgate are things that make the SLT different from the SLE.

2021 GMC Acadia interior

Denali and AT4 Packages

The most impressive models in the lineup are Denali and AT4. Well, the choice depends on the buyer’s preferences. If you are looking for the premium SUV, then Denali will definitely meet the criteria. Heated seats, steering wheel, and mirrors are standard on this model. Advanced features are the wireless charger, Bose audio system, and navigation. The safety is on the highest level thanks to the Driver Alert Package II.

The 2021 GMC Acadia AT4 is an off-roader that will downgrade fancy options. So, the SUV comes with cloth upholstery. Also, if you are going off the asphalt, you won’t need three rows, unless you really want it. The bench in the second row could be turned into two captain’s seats. AWD is standard, while 17-inch all-terrain tires will help you solve all the challenges.

2021 GMC Acadia Price

The base model after the revisit will cost slightly higher than before. So, we will see the 2021 GMC Acadia starts at $31,000 with the front-wheel drive. SLE and a V6 will add 5 grand. Another $5,000 is the cost of the SLT package. A turbo engine is slightly more affordable. For the off-road oriented AT4 buyers must pay $43,500 and the Denali model costs $47,500.

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