Trucks & SUVs

The 2020 GMC Acadia Denali Is Nothing to Write Home About

If there ever was an SUV you make you say, “Meh,” then it could have been the 2020 GMC Arcadia Denali. For a vehicle that is often mistaken for the smaller GMC Terrain, there is pretty much nothing exciting about this vehicle. 

The 2020 GMC Acadia Denali Is Nothing Special 

The 2020 Acadia was designed to have a roomy, boxy look that invites families to enjoy its luxurious cabin that incorporates three rows of seats. However, for a larger SUV that seats up to seven-passengers, the Acadia is falling flat. 

2020 GMC Acadia Denali
2020 GMC Acadia Denali

The Acadia Denali is the highest trim option available and raises the price tag to around $52k. This is quite the jump from the base model that starts around $29k, and we aren’t sure that the extra cash is worth it at all. 

GMC Acadia Denali Performance 

In the Denali Acadia, the base engine is a little 2.5-liter four-cylinder option that only pumps out 193 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque. This small engine can only tow up to 1,000 lb, making it weaker than compact SUV options like the Honda CR-V. 

Some people suggest choosing this engine for an improved fuel economy, but we don’t see it. The Acadia gets an average of up to 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. That doesn’t seem worth the lack of power. 

You can upgrade to the 3.6-liter V6 engine to receive 310 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque, however, acceleration and power with this engine are still lacking. The Acadia Denali can only tow up to 5,000 lb, placing it behind its competitors. 

However, it can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in only 6.1 seconds, which is fast for a larger SUV. But this speed seems to have a delay. People report that the acceleration lags, causing you to have to time pulling out into traffic carefully. 

Another issue with the GMC Acadia’s performance is the fact that it isn’t available in four-wheel drive. 

It is only available in all-wheel drive (AWD) and front-wheel drive. So, while this SUV can handle snow and other slippery conditions, we wouldn’t feel confident in storms or off-roading in it. 

GMC Denali Acadia Features 

The interior of the GMC Denali Acadia doesn’t feel like it’s worth $52k. Instead, it feels like an SUV with a cheap quality build. 

Plastic materials cover the dash with sparse strips of wood paneling aren’t exactly attractive. It looks like a failed attempt at a classic luxurious design. 

However, drivers have reported that the cabin is incredibly quiet. But other vehicles also have noise-canceling materials in the cabin. 

The cabin also feels cramped. It lacks space for passengers, and there isn’t much space behind the rear seats to utilize. 

Along with a cramped, cheap-feeling cabin, the Acadia Denali isn’t very agile. People have complained about this SUV being challenging to park and handle in tight spaces. 

Also, the infotainment center is best described as average. Sure, it can connect to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but what vehicle made in 2020 can’t do that? 

The Acadia does have a built-in LTE Wi-fi hotspot and a generous amount of USB ports for charging devices, but it isn’t equipped with power plugs like it’s competitors.