GMC Acadia vs. GMC Terrain

By

Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009, and has seen himself published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also works as editor in chief for a large performance car online publication. His specialty lays in the high-performance realm, but has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Prior to being an automotive writer, he was an automotive technician and manager for six years, but spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

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, Automotive Editor - January 9, 2018

With the crossover realm growing so quickly, it is easy to lose oneself at the dealership. There are so many options, but you don’t even know where to start. You may run into this a bit at a GMC dealership when comparing the larger Acadia to the recently redesigned Terrain.

Sure, there are obvious size differences, but which one is the better buy for the typical family?

Continue reading to find out.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Acadia & Terrain »

What the Acadia Gets Right

The Acadia immediately places itself atop the lists of buyers with larger families, especially those who are taller than average. The Acadia’s second row has an extra 1.1 inches of headroom, and it also has a third row for smaller children or teens, in a pinch.

Cargo room is also a plus, as the Acadia can swallow up to 41.7 cubic feet of cargo with the third row folded – this is 12.1 cubes more than the Acadia can handle with its second row up. The same holds true with all the rear seats folded, as the Acadia’s 79 cubes of cargo room bests the Terrain by 15.7 cubic feet.

Some traditional buyers will find the performance of the Acadia’s optional 3.6-liter V6 engine with 310 horsepower favorable to the turbocharged options on the Terrain.

What the Terrain Gets Right

The Terrain starts off dramatically cheaper than the Acadia, as its $26,385 (including $995 destination charge) leaves $3,610 in a buyer’s bank account relative to the Acadia. Buyers can put this extra cash toward some high-end features or just pocket it for a rainy day.

The Terrain also boasts a brand-new look that makes it feel more modern than the more restrained Acadia. Not to say the classic looks of the Acadia are repulsive, but the younger generations will likely gravitate toward the new Terrain.

While it has no V6 option, the plethora of engine choices the Terrain offers is a benefit. Its base powerplant is a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that delivers 170 horsepower and 28 miles per gallon combined, which is five mpg better than the base Acadia. The optional turbocharged 2.0-liter engine delivers V6-like performance with its 252 hp and 260 pound-feet of torque while outdoing the base Acadia by one mpg combined. Finally, there is a 1.6-liter turbocharged diesel engine that injects 137 hp and delivers up to 32 mpg combined but pushes nearly 40 mpg on the highway.

Best Suited for Larger Families

Got a large family or one that you’re planning to grow? The Acadia with its three rows of seating and extra cargo room is the best option for you.

Verdict: GMC Terrain

Though it lacks the cargo room, the third row, and the rear headroom of the Acadia, the Terrain hits everything else spot on. It has plenty of engine options, an easier-to-maneuver footprint, a comfortable ride, good fuel economy, and more. And this is why we recommend it over its larger sibling.

Take a closer look at the GMC Acadia »

Take a closer look at the GMC Terrain »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009, and has seen himself published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also works as editor in chief for a large performance car online publication. His specialty lays in the high-performance realm, but has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Prior to being an automotive writer, he was an automotive technician and manager for six years, but spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Google+ | Website