GMC’s mid-size Acadia crossover gets a hefty update for 2020. A refreshed look including a massive front grille, smarter tech in the cabin, and a new optional turbo engine set the SUV on a new path the company feels will help it compete with popular rivals like the new Ford Explorer.
Depending on the model, the new Acadia will carry five, six or seven passengers; trims available include the SLE, SLT, the best-selling Denali, and for the first time, a new AT4 variant.
Looking to buy a new GMC Acadia? Here’s are 7 key changes for 2020:
1. New Acadia AT4
Flossing a darker look both inside and out, the more aggressive AT4 is a nice alternative to the more premium Acadia Denali most shoppers opt for. Powered by a 3.6L V6, this bolder trim with its black chrome-accented grille and more rugged, off-road look riding on 17-inch wheels wrapped in all-terrain rubber (20-inch wheels optional), looks to put down 310-hp and 271 lb-ft of torque.
Everybody’s jumping on the ‘adventure-seeking, off-road’ train these days, but the Acadia AT4 seems to posses the chops to pull it off.
2. New 2.0L Turbocharged engine
GMC’s promoting the new turbo to have “an innovative tripower valvetrain and dual-scroll turbocharging technologies to help optimize performance and efficiency in all driving conditions.”
Jargon aside, we just know it will make the most of the engine’s available power at all speeds while offering good low-speed torque that’s always welcome in mid-size family crossovers, especially those looking to tow.
GMC projects the new 2.0L turbo engine to make 230-hp and 258 lb-ft of torque.
The 2020 Acadia now finds 3 engines in total: the new 2.0L along with the previous 2.5L and optional 3.6L.
3. New 9-speed transmission replaces 6-speed
All three engines are paired to a new 9-speed tranny with extra clutches and gears offering better optimized acceleration and efficiency — a feature that’s almost a given these days as we say goodbye to the old 6-speed.
4. New Head-Up Display
Not much info here from GMC except that a new HUD makes its way into the 2020 Acadia. Expect late availability for this feature.
5. New Shifter
Replacing your conventional shifter, GMC introduces Electronic Precision Shift — an electronic control that frees up interior room, including a more versatile centre console with greater storage space.
6. Improved Cabin Tech and Infotainment System
Those long family road trips will offer more personalization with new interior features that will be more intelligent and intuitive. It’s all about connectivity these days — 2020 Acadias now get a higher resolution touchscreen with an 8-inch-diagonal screen. The interface, according to GMC, will be more simple allowing tasks to be ordered quicker without having to fiddle around a bunch of menus. We’ll see for ourselves.
The rear and front consoles will get a couple USB ports as well, including a USB-A charging port for the third-row seating area.
7. Burlier exterior design
Overall, the new Acadia looks bolder than ever, but without losing that premium look. The Denali is still all luxury while the AT4 is a nice addition with its more rugged design features.
The entire range gets a design refresh to include a new grille, new front and rear fascias and GMC’s signature C-shaped lighting.
If you’re looking at last year’s Acadia model, check out our 2018 Acadia review here.