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Shopping for a three-row SUV is getting more challenging. Every year, another automaker adds another three-row model to its lineup. They’re also all so shockingly luxurious it’s difficult to choose. A few popular options are the 2022 Honda Pilot and the 2023 GMC Acadia. Both have their advantages over one another and other three-row midsize SUV rivals. But what are the advantages of the 2022 Honda Pilot over the 2023 GMC Acadia?

The 2022 Honda Pilot base model is feature-rich

A 2022 honda pilot driving near a beach. It has a few advantages over the 2023 GMC Acadia.
2022 Honda Pilot | Honda

According to Kelley Blue Book, the 2022 Honda Pilot has a “feature-rich base model.” Newly, the Pilot Sport is now the base model for the three-row midsize SUV. Making it the entry-level offering gives buyers a chance at a well-equipped yet affordable option. Apple CarPlay/Android Auto are standard, along with a few other outstanding amenities. For example, three-zone climate control, heated front seats, an eight-inch infotainment screen, and Honda Sensing active safety features.

Advanced safety features include adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation, a lane-keeping system, and blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert. Every Pilot also comes with a standard 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. Finally, all-wheel drive is optional for the bottom three trims, but standard for the Elite and Black Edition variants.

Alternatively, the 2023 GMC Acadia also has some standard tech. Bluetooth, five USB ports, 3-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry and start, onboard Wi-Fi, and an 8-inch touchscreen center display come standard with the base model Acadia. In addition, base models use a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes just 228 horsepower.

Pilot beats Acadia for space

Red 2023 GMC Acadia Posed
Red 2023 GMC Acadia | GMC

For passenger and cargo space, the 2022 Honda Pilot has the advantage. KBB named it as one of the highlights of the Pilot, stating it “has a more usable third row and a more useful second row, with the ability to carry two additional passengers.” Nearly every dimension of passenger space goes in favor of the Pilot. For example, the second-row headroom is 40.2 inches compared to the Acadia’s 39.6 inches. Additionally, shoulder room is 62 inches in the Pilot’s second row and just 58.7 inches in the Acadia.

The numbers display a clear winner for total passenger and cargo space measurements. While three-row midsize SUVs are good for many things, carrying passengers and cargo might be the most vital. At the end of the day, do features even matter if the SUV can’t carry everything you need it to? That’s why the ample space inside a 2022 Honda Pilot helps it beat the 2023 GMC Acadia.

Measurement (Cubic feet)2022 Honda Pilot2023 GMC Acadia
Passenger volume152.9143.8
Cargo volume16.5/46.8/83.912.8/41.7/83.9

Does the off-road TrailSport beat its opponent?

New for the 2022 model year is the Honda Pilot TrailSport. It’s an off-road trim level that allows three-row midsize SUV owners to take their entire family off-roading in style. It’s got plenty of features to bolster its capabilities, but is it enough to beat the off-road 2023 GMC Acadia AT4? Every Pilot TrailSport has traction control, all-terrain tires, a front and rear stabilizer bar, a four-wheel independent suspension, intelligent traction management with snow, sand, and mud modes, all-wheel drive, road departure mitigation, a multi-angle rearview camera, and collision mitigation braking system.

Are these off-road-oriented items worth more than the Acadia can offer? According to Edmunds, the AT4 model adds off-road capability to the SLT trim. It’s the cheapest version of the GMC three-row SUV with a V6 engine. Additionally, it gets all-terrain tires, all-wheel drive, hill descent control, hill hold assist, and black exterior trim. For the most part, we think that leaves the Pilot as the more capable model. You’ll only be doing light off-roading in these midsize SUVs, so Honda’s offering is better equipped.

2022 Honda Pilot advantages

In conclusion, the 2022 Honda Pilot has a few advantages over the 2023 GMC Acadia. It has more base model features, more space inside the cabin for passengers and cargo, and a better off-road-oriented trim level. Both models beat one another in certain ways, but the Pilot excels in these three areas.


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