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When you start considering a new SUV, you’ll recognize immediately that some models are unique in their design and presentation, like those intended for off-road adventures or performances. The Mazda CX-5, for example, is a fun-driving performer, while the Toyota 4Runner craves off-pavement excitement. 

But there’s another category of SUV, where premium models strut their stuff and where practicality isn’t so much the focus. These premium SUV entries, which include the popular Nissan Murano and GMC Acadia, tend to be more expensive when compared to other siblings in the brand’s portfolio. But consumers love their unique looks, exquisite features, and high-end creature comforts. So, what is the best out of these premium SUV contenders right now? Let’s dive in for a head-to-head comparison of two leading contenders, the 2023 GMC Acadia and the 2023 Nissan Murano!

1. More seating space

A GMC logo, maker of the 2023 GMC Acadia.
GMC logo | Getty Images

Starting with the basics, the GMC Acadia is just bigger, with more room to offer passengers. The 2023 Acadia has a seating capacity of six, with roomy dynamics. The 2023 Nissan Murano, while also comfortable for all passengers, has a seating capacity for five. So, if you have a family of six, there’s no reason to look beyond the Acadia.

2. Better fuel economy in the 2023 GMC Acadia

Nissan says the Murano can earn up to 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Alternatively, GMC says the Acadia will earn 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway for the SLE and SLT trims. Considering the size of both SUVs, these EPA ratings are better than average. But if you want to save a few bucks at the pump, the GMC Acadia will be your best bet.

3. More torque on the base engine models

Regarding torque, let’s compare the base engines of the Nissan Murano and the GMC Acadia. Car and Driver say all Murano variations will come with the same 3.5-liter V6 engine, capable of harnessing 260 hp and cranking 240 lb-ft of torque. Car and Driver shares that the Acadia comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder, entry-level engine, offering 310 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque. The Acadia proves to be more powerful and responsive when you hit the gas.

4. More towing and payload capacity

Edmunds‘ spec sheet details the towing and payload capacities for the GMC Acadia as 3,500 pounds of towing and 1,846 pounds of payload. For the Nissan Murano, Edmunds says the max towing is only 1,500 pounds with a payload capacity of just 1,245 pounds. Depending on what you need to haul or tow, these metrics might help make the SUV-purchasing decision reasonably easy.

5. More max cargo space

The maximum cargo capacity for the Nissan Murano is 67 cu-ft. Cargo capacity with all seats in place is 32.1 cu-ft. Cargo capacity for the GMC Acadia is 79 cu-ft, and all seats in place is 12.8 cu-ft. The Acadia wins hands-down if you’re looking for a grocery room, sports gear space, or pet comforts in the back.

6. More ground clearance in the 2023 GMC Acadia

Nissan News reminds consumers that the Murano is available with both front and all-wheel drive, along with standard 18-inch wheels and optional 20-inch wheels. It has a ground clearance measurement of 6.9 inches. On the flip side, while GMC Media says the Acadia also comes with front and all-wheel drive options, its ground clearance measures 7.2 inches. You may not be doing much off-roading with your premium SUV. But it’s nice to know that the Acadia sits a little higher off the ground if you want to venture out for a camping trip or off-pavement adventure.

Deciding which is the absolute best in premium SUV models will certainly depend on your personal needs and preferences. But if you’ve narrowed your decision down to the GMC Acadia and the Nissan Murano, these six reasons might have you leaning toward parking the new GMC in your garage.


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