Though not known for its competitive midsize SUVs, GMC is making headway with the Acadia, which debuted in 2006. Today this crossover boasts power and capability while offering flexibility and convenience.
Recently, the Acadia has been likened to a minivan in its roominess, and that seems to be what’s needed these days. The main competition for GMC’s midsize crossover includes the Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer, Honda Passport, and Toyota Highlander.
For the 2021 model year, GMC has added a few more standard features to the Acadia to up its game in value and price-competitiveness.
What does the 2021 GMC Acadia offer?
The 2021 GMC Acadia is considered a midsize crossover. It seats up to seven yet isn’t too cumbersome to drive around town. The standard Acadia features a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Optional upgrades include a turbocharged 2.8-liter four-cylinder and a 3.6-liter V6. Also standard is front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is available with engine upgrades.
Chevrolet’s 2021 Traverse seats up to eight and offers a standard 3.6-liter V6 engine. Like the Acadia, the Traverse has front-wheel drive, although it does offer all-wheel drive as an upgrade.
What the Acadia has that the Traverse lacks are GMC’s Pro Safety Plus features. They include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, front and rear parking assist, lane-keep assist with lane-departure warning, and smart headlamps. Plus, the Acadia boasts a following-distance indicator, blind-spot system, forward-collision alert, and rear cross-traffic alert, Kelley Blue Book reports.
New standard features on the Acadia
New standard equipment on this year’s GMC Acadia includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
With Apple CarPlay, digital car keys offer the ability to unlock and start the vehicle before you enter it. According to Apple, the keys will work beyond the life of a battery charge on your iPhone for up to five hours. Inside the Acadia, Apple CarPlay allows you to get hands-free directions, send and receive messages, dial, answer calls, and enjoy your choice of music.
Android Auto offers similar features. So no matter which brand of smartphone you use, you can keep your hands on the wheel while accessing many of your phone’s features.
Standard price comparisons for 2021 midsize SUVs
GMC’s suggested retail price for the standard 2021 Acadia SL, with a 2.5-liter engine and front-wheel drive, is $29,800. The standard 2021 Chevy Traverse carries a similar MSRP of about $30,000. The 2021 Ford Explorer costs a bit more at $33,225. The Honda Passport starts at $32,950, and the Toyota Highlander carries a $34,910 MSRP.
Each model’s standard trim is pretty basic. They also vary a bit, so shop around to ensure you get all the features you want. Once you decide, research the best price. The MSRP isn’t necessarily the out-the-door price, so look for bargains while knowing what you’re looking at.
As of this writing, the 2021 GMC Acadia has an average of 4 stars out of 5 based on 37 consumer reviews on Kelley Blue Book. The Chevy Traverse has a 4.2-star rating based on the same number of consumer reviews on Kelley Blue Book, so the two SUVs are pretty much neck-and-neck.
Though it’s great that GMC has added features to the 2021 Acadia, they should’ve been available in the past few model years. Yes, these features add value, but they’re not unique to the brand. Other midsize SUVs have been offering Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for a while.
But the GMC Acadia does stand out (at least above the Traverse) for its safety features. And that should be a major factor when purchasing any vehicle.