For an entire generation now, the GMC Acadia, the brand’s largest unibody SUV, has sat in an unusual zone in between the typical midsize two-row and large three-row segments. But the completely redesigned 2024 Acadia is stepping confidently into the latter camp, growing to roughly match its cousin, the also fully redesigned 2024 Chevy Traverse. And adding to its greater size and performance, the Acadia brings unique exterior and interior design.
The size increase is impressive. The wheelbase has grown 10.6 inches, overall length by 8.4, and overall height by 3.2. GMC claims this has increased cargo space by 80% and second-row seat room by 27%. These changes all make it about the same size as the Chevy, too, instead of a smaller option.
That doesn’t mean the two look the same, though. The front fascia clearly borrows heavily from the GMC Sierra 1500 with a tall grille and C-bracket headlights. The flanks really depart from the aggressive shape of the Traverse. It also skips the fat C-pillar. GMC designers noted they specifically worked to reduce the size of that pillar, in part to improve visibility for third-row passengers. Conversely, the D-pillar is relatively large and is finished in body color to reveal it. But to keep it from looking overly large, there’s a black plastic panel that helps give the rear window a bit of a wraparound effect. The taillights also have a gloss black panel to blend them into the rear window area and reduce the visual mass of the hatchback.
The interior is the biggest differentiator between the Traverse and Acadia, though. The entire dashboard is unique to the Acadia. The 11-inch instrument display sits under a cowl that extends horizontally to meet the unique vertical 15-inch infotainment screen. That screen overlaps a squared-off, horizontal dash design, and it’s flanked by vertical air vents. The Acadia picks up a column-mounted shifter, too, freeing up space for storage in the center console. There are practically no parts directly pulled from other GM products. And unlike GM’s upcoming EVs, the Acadia will have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.
Individual Acadia models even have unique features. The luxury Denali trim and off-road focused AT4 trim both return. The AT4 stands out the most with an extra inch of ground clearance in part from the all-terrain tires on 18-inch wheels. It also features a different front bumper with a functional skid plate for better approach angle and more protection. Prominent tow hooks are added, too, and the wheel arches get the same kind of amber marker lights as the GMC Canyon and the heavy duty GMC Sierra models. It of course gets black-painted trim on the outside, and rugged cloth materials on the seats inside. Mechanically, it has off-road tuned shocks, a twin-clutch rear differential that provides torque vectoring and rear-axle lock-up, and a Terrain off-road mode plus hill descent control.
The Denali is more restrained on the outside, but it can be spotted by its body-color cladding and dark chrome trim on the grille and other exterior parts. It comes with 20-inch wheels as standard, but can be fitted with 22-inch examples. It even gets animated lighting when approached with sequential turn signal animations. The interior features real wood trim with laser-etched details and leather upholstery. A 16-speaker sound system and Super Cruise are also available, with Super Cruise also being available on AT4 and Elevation Premium trims.
Underneath all this is a single powertrain: a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder, which has similarities to the 2.7-liter engine in GMC and Chevy pickup trucks. It makes 328 horsepower and 326 pound-feet of torque, which is more than the V6 available on the outgoing model. This also helps bring maximum towing up to 5,000 pounds, an increase of 1,000. The only transmission available is an eight-speed automatic, and front- or all-wheel-drive are available. As previously mentioned, the AT4 gets the unique dual-clutch rear differential with its standard all-wheel drive.
Pricing has not been announced yet for the 2024 GMC Acadia. It’s likely that it will increase somewhat over the smaller model, particularly now that there’s only one powertrain available. Production starts next year, with Acadias reaching dealers early in 2024.