GMC Acadia vs. Terrain: Which Is the Better Family SUV?

Jane Lu
Dec 4, 2021 · 3 min read
When buying a family SUV, you should consider whether it has enough room for everyone, its reliability, fuel efficiency, and pricing, among other things.
GMC has several great options for a family SUV, including the 2020 Acadia and Terrain. They have similar looks on the outside, but different engine capacities and cabin space. We took a look at the differences to help you choose between the two.
Wide shot of red GMC Terrain Denali driving on a road
The GMC Terrain has better fuel efficiency but less space than the Acadia.

Acadia vs. Terrain: size

GMC's Terrain is a compact crossover with a capacity similar to the Toyota RAV4. It can comfortably fit five people in its cabin. The cargo capacity is around 63.3 cubic feet, enough to carry over six suitcases for the family.
However, if you are looking for lots of space, the Acadia is your best pick. It has seven seats with lots of legroom to keep everybody comfortable. In addition, its maximum cargo capacity stands at a whopping 79 cubic feet, over 15 cubic feet more than the Terrain. You can also keep the third-row seats down if you need more space to carry your luggage.
Both vehicles have similar headroom and allow you to adjust passenger seats comfortably. However, the third-row seats on the Acadia have significantly shorter legroom compared to the second row.

Acadia vs. Terrain: power and efficiency

We found that both models' engines are suitable for everyday driving on city roads and highways. However, the Acadia has more power. It runs on a 3.6-liter V-6 engine that delivers a whopping 310 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque.
According to Motor Trend, you have a choice of two more engines: a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 230 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque and a 2.5-liter four-cylinder option that delivers 193 horsepower and 188 lb-ft of torque.
The Terrain has two engine options including a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder that offers 252 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque and a 1.5-liter, turbo-four engine that delivers 170 horsepower and 203 lb-ft of torque.
If you are interested in fuel efficiency, the Terrain is your best choice. It delivers 27 mpg combined for the front-wheel-drive, 1.5-liter engine. The most efficient Acadia engine is the 2.0-liter option combined with front-wheel drive that delivers 24 mpg combined.

Off-road capabilities for both models

Both vehicles are not hardcore off-roaders. However, they have impressive features if you want to drive off the beaten path.
They both feature Traction Select systems with various drive modes to cater to sand, snow, and muddy surfaces. The Terrain can tow up to 3,500 pounds, while the Acadia's maximum capacity stands at 4,000 pounds.
Motor Trend recommends the Acadia AT4 for off-roading since it has all-terrain tires for the mud.

Which is the best family SUV?

You’ll want to pick an SUV based on your needs. If you have a large family or need lots of cargo space, the Acadia is your best pick. However, if you have a small family and require a fuel-efficient, compact SUV, the Terrain is a better option.
Finally, if you are budget conscious, a 2020 Terrain sells at $26,195 for the base model and $39,495 for the luxurious Denali model. On the other hand, the Acadia starts at $30,195 for the base model and $46,695 for the Denali trim.
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