What Is the Best GMC SUV?

GMC is well known in the SUV category thanks to popular models like the Terrain and Yukon—learn which is best here!
Written by Drew Waterstreet
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
SUVs are GMC's bread and butter. Since they don’t make four-door passenger cars, they can put all their research and development into popular models like the
, and
. Of course, GMC makes trucks too, but let’s keep the spotlight on the SUVs.
You’d think
SUVs would be best in class with their narrowed segment focus. But unfortunately, that’s not really the case. Many GMC models struggle to balance features with price, which can deter customers.
Don’t get us wrong—GMC still makes solid SUVs. But the value is sometimes up for debate. 
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To settle the score, the
car insurance
experts at
analyzed “the best” GMC SUVs in four categories: best overall, best-used model, best for families, and best for off-roading. We cover what makes the models advantageous in the given category and how well (or not so well) they stack up to the competition.

The best GMC SUV overall: Terrain

Starting price: $31,045 (2022)
Number of seats: 5
J.D. Power rating: 82 (2022)
GMC Terrain
is one of the most interesting compact SUVs in terms of aesthetics. It simultaneously imposes a trucklike stance while flaunting an elegant body style. Partner this profile with decent fuel economy, all-wheel drive, and a long list of standard tech features, and you get a well-rounded vehicle.
Since its debut in 2009, the GMC Terrain has managed to break the 100,000 mark for units sold on four separate occasions—the latest being 2019. However, these numbers have declined over the past couple of years. 
It’s certainly not due to the features mentioned above, because J.D. Power ranked the Terrian as the #4 Best Compact SUV of 2022, behind only the
Buick Envision
Kia Sportage
, and
Honda CR-V
But it could be due to the relative price point. Terrains typically cost around $3,000 to $5,000 more than the average price of their main competitors. For the price, some critics say the engine performance is lackluster and the luxury trims are a little overvalued.
The bottom line: There may be better values on the compact SUV market, but the Terrain is GMC’s trendiest buy.

The best GMC SUV to buy used: 2020 Terrain

Price Range: $20,000 - $30,000 avg used price
Number of seats: 5
J.D. Power rating: 83
Whoever ran the design department for the
GMC Terrain
in 2020 should probably speak up. This model year adequately addressed our previously mentioned issues: price and performance.
Not only did the 2020 GMC Terrain have starting price below $30,000, but with a few years of depreciation under its belt, the vehicle's used price is even more attractive.
Also, the 2020 model offered an exciting 252-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Unfortunately, this impressive setup was discontinued in the 2022 model. We don’t understand why. 
Hopefully, it makes a return. But until then, you can still access the benefits of a better 0-69 mph speed and greater towing capacity by opting for a used 2020 GMC Terrain—and for a lower price, too!
The bottom line: The 2020 model is one of the best values you can find throughout the history of the GMC Terrain.
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The best GMC SUV for families: Acadia

Starting price: $36,145 (2022)
Number of seats: 6 to 7
J.D. Power rating: 80
The cargo space and seat configuration options make the
GMC Acadia
a versatile SUV for families who value efficiency and safety.
Whether carrying a team's worth of soccer gear or a big load of groceries, cargo space is essential for family schedules to run smoothly. Here’s how much space you're working within the 2022 model:
  • 12.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third-row seats
  • 41.7 cubic feet with third-row seats folded down
  • 79.0 cubic feet with both rear rows folded down
Unfortunately, this is below the market average. For example, the
Hyundai Palisade
offers 18 cubic feet behind the third row and 86.4 cubic feet at maximum cargo capacity.
The next impactful feature is the second-row captain's chairs, an optional no-cost feature on the base trim. This means you’ll have two isolated seats instead of a bench seat in the second row. You may lose a seat, but the middle space between the captain's chairs allows easy access to the third row. 
Lastly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2022 GMC Acadia an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. As a result, families around the nation trust the Acadia to provide them with peace of mind on the road.
The bottom line: the GMC Acadia offers some positive features for family use, but they aren’t the best on the market.

The best GMC SUV for off-roading: Yukon AT4

Starting price: $71,000 (2022)
Number of seats: 7 to 8
J.D. Power rating: 81
The 2022
Yukon AT4
is built for the outdoors in every way you can imagine. No wonder it received an Editor’s Choice Award from Car and Driver! Let’s break down each feature that will help make your adventure one to remember:
  • Leather seats and weatherproof floor lining. These mess-resistant features are essential for the mud and dirt you’re sure to track in.
  • Drivetrain modes. AWD, FWD, and off-road mode are available drivetrains at your necessity.
  • Hill descent control enables a smooth descent without the need to push the brake repeatedly.
  • Air ride adaptive suspension adds 2 inches of ground clearance.
  • A front steel skid plate protects the underbody of your vehicle while scaling obstruction-ridden off-road terrain.
  • Goodyear® Sport Terrain tires offer enhanced traction.
  • Smart Slide second-row seats allow you to adjust the vehicle's cargo space to fit all your camping gear.
  • Technology features  Hitch Guidance with Hitch View, an in-vehicle trailering app, and Trailer Side Blind Zone Alert are designed to make your drive easier and safer.
Pretty awesome, right? Well, be prepared to pay about $15,000 more for the AT4 trim level compared to the base SLE model.
The bottom line: When it comes to the off-road driving experience of the Yukon AT4, you get what you pay for—and we say that in the best way possible! This is the pride and joy of the GMC lineup.

The best way to shop for GMC insurance

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