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When the GMC Acadia came on stage back in December of 2006, it brought with it a new look at how full-size SUVs should behave. It gained momentum quickly as a consumer favorite, and the 2020 Acadia Denali continues to be a strong contender in its segment. We wanted to see how it measured up with the experts this year to see if it was still a top pick as it was in its early years.

What’s new for the GMC Acadia in 2020?

This full-size SUV still isn’t cutting corners on size and performance capability. New this year, however, GMC is offering a turbocharged four-cylinder engine option for those looking for increased fuel economy, as a base level.

Also new this year is the impressive and rugged AT4 trim. The former six-speed transmission configurations are replaced with nine-speeds this year, and the navigation and entertainment systems both have upgrades. The menu of standard features is more robust this year, too.

What the 2020 GMC Acadia Denali gets right

With the roomy capability for seven passengers and touch of class and luxury, the Acadia Denali continues to impress those who want bigger and better. For those who must have AWD and third-row seating, the bold and hearty Acadia is a fan-favorite in 2020 as well.

The reviews are favorable in several areas, including how the Acadia rides and handles. Acceleration is quick, and drivers find comfort in any driving condition. The technology is simple but easy to use for connectivity and infotainment. Despite its more robust size, the Acadia Denali enjoys decent fuel economy with 21 and 26 mpg averages.

Why you might prefer a competing SUV

While the 2020 GMC Acadia Denali continues to deliver what most expect from it, its competitors continue to improve and enhance their models too. For some reviewers, the Acadia falls short in the luxury department, as other SUVs offer plushier amenities as lower trim levels.

Some rivals also have improved cargo and third-row seating space. Predicted reliability is marginal for the Acadia this year as well, based on some of the repairs and maintenance of model years past.

How much does the 2020 GMC Acadia cost?

You’ll have plenty of choices when configuring the ideal Acadia for you if you’re interested in how the other trims stack up. The base engine, which is a 2.5L four-cylinder, while easier on gas, is pretty lackluster for go-power. You can also opt for a 3.6L V6 if you need more strength or tow up to 4,000 pounds.

The base-level SL trim is a reasonable $30,995. The mid-level trims, SLE, and SLT, will start around $34,995 and $39,995, respectively. Get the more adventurous AT4 for about $42,495 or the premium Denali for approximately $47,495.

The real reason people buy the GMC Acadia Denali

There are pros and cons to every new model on the market, and the GMC Acadia is no exception. However, despite getting bested by its competitors in a few categories, the Acadia is still on top. This full-size SUV brings just enough of what people want, into a capably packaged ride.

They have people, and the third row works. People like nice surfaces and functional connectivity and the Acadia brings both. AWD means there’s not a family adventure you can’t enjoy safely.

It’s big, but not GMC Yukon Denali big. It has leather, a Bose sound system, and its one of a kind grille. The Acadia is enough SUV without being too much. Aside from its few subtle upgrades for 2020, the Acadia is an SUV model upon which consumers have come to rely.

The 2020 GMC Acadia begs to be test-driven. If you need a full-size SUV that checks off all your boxes, you won’t be disappointed. Sure, you might find a plushier competitor or another badge with better gas mileage. But, falling in love with the classic Acadia Denali is just as easy.