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Car Overviews | Carz

GMC Acadia


Score: 8.5/10


Related Vehicles

Hyundai Palisade

Toyota Highlander

Honda Pilot


The Kia Telluride is so great, we named it our SUV Of The Year two times in a row. The exterior brings a rugged, yet luxurious charm, and the interior is very enjoyable for the price. The interior space is excellent; you won't be cramped, and you won't feel like you are driving a bus either. Cargo space is also decent, even when all three rows are up. In fact, it surpasses its Hyundai counterpart, the Palisade. The rugged Nightfall Edition brings in a dark, truck-like look with a mesh grille design and black leather upholstery. The color options are nice as well, varying from green to maroon to gray. No trim level lacks too much; all of the Telluride's trim levels feel perfect, as if you didn't just buy the base LX. Also, you can opt for all-wheel drive in any trim level. Overall, you'll feel great in a Telluride. 


Pros and Cons


+ Stylish exterior

+ Precise interior details​

+ Offers a trim level for everyone

+ Fun tech features

+ Tons of hidden storage​


The GMC Terrain has a very stylish exterior compared to most competitors, and there is a style for everyone. There's the Denali for those who favor luxury, the AT4 for those who crave off-road-ready SUVs, the SLT for those seeking a more premium feel, and the SLE for buyers on a budget. 


The GMC Terrain is perhaps the most stylish crossover among its Chevrolet and Cadillac siblings, with C-shaped lighting units, and a slim greenhouse that seamlessly connects to the rear windshield. The SLT may not have lavish chrome accents and paint-colored bumpers like the high-end Denali, but it still retains an attractive design throughout the remaining trim levels.


The GMC Terrain offers six exterior colors, with most of which replacing last year's options. You can opt for Summit White (SLE, SLT, AT4, Denali), Quicksilver Metallic (SLE, SLT, AT4, Denali), Ebony Twilight (SLE, SLT, AT4, Denali), Marine Metallic (SLE, SLT, Denali), Cayenne Red (SLE, SLT, AT4, Denali), Desert Sand Metallic (AT4), Hunter Metallic (Denali), and White Frost (SLT, AT4, Denali). All colors cost an extra $495 or more with the exception of Summit White. 

       Summit White                                                           White Frost                                                           Quicksilver Metallic


  Ebony Twilight                                                        Hunter Metallic                                                          Marine Metallic


                                      Cayenne Red                                                         Desert Sand Metallic


Exterior Gallery

*Images from Kia


The GMC Terrain's interior is an enjoyable place to be, with plenty of smart storage solutions, admirable details, great color choices, and a well-integrated screen.


The Acadia's interior is, to us, the nicest out of its other GM siblings from Buick, Chevy, and Cadillac. We love the abundance of the nice wood trim and shiny silver chrome details. The 8" touchscreen goes rather well with the rest of the dashboard. Many smartly located nooks are also found by the doors the dashboard, such as the small "cove" near the center console, plus water bottle holders and several other little storage areas. Charging ports were also placed throughout the cabin for easy access.

Storage and Space

The GMC Acadia is very spacious (specifically in the second row) and there is decent room behind the third row. But, if you are packing the car for a week-long trip, look no further than the empty captain's chair sitting right behind you (we had captain's chairs in our Acadia). The third and second rows also fold down for extra storage, and for less occupants, the bench seat option will be easier. We were able to stuff a few bags and luggages in the trunk, while everything else went into the second row. But, seating is limited to six or, with bench seating, seven. The Kia Telluride or Hyundai Palisade will offer eight. Our captain's chair seating option was very comfortable. The fold-up armrests and snug leather material created an enjoyable experience. But, heads up, the third row is tight and the seats are stiff.




Like most other vehicles, the Kia Telluride's interior colors aren't as cool as the exterior colors, but the color scheme goes well with the materials and other elements. In the lowest trim, LX, the only color available is Black. Moving up the spectrum, the S offers both Black and Gray. For the highest trim levels (EX and SX), you can choose from Black, Gray, Butterscotch, or Expresso Brown, and in the SX Prestige Package, the headliners can be Black, Gray, or Dune Brown. But for more color, Kia added ambient lighting to the interior in all trims. The brightness and color of the lighting can be adjusted through the Telluride's UVO infotainment system. Of course, the SX features 64 different colors to choose from, but this feature can still be enjoyed in the LX, S, and EX with eight different colors included. 


The Kia Telluride offers two different materials primarily for the seats. In the LX and S trims levels, the seats are wrapped in a synthetic leather called SOFINO. It is known to be comfortable, and it replaces what would have been cloth seats. The EX and SX get more prestigious with genuine leather surrounding the occupants. All of the seating materials feel sturdy and high quality, while still being soft and comfortable. This is just one great interior highlight that makes the ride better than most competitors. 

Interior Gallery

*Images from Kia

Trim Levels





Fuel Type


3.8 L V6








Fuel Type


3.8 L V6









Fuel Type


3.8 L V6









Fuel Type


3.8 L V6









Despite offering only one engine, a 3.8 liter V6, that doesn't mean the Kia Telluride doesn't perform well on the road. Drivers will like the V6 compared to the turbocharged engines that competitors are turning to. There is never a time when the Telluride feels a lack of power. Just don't expect it to be a Dodge Durango, since the Telluride reaches 0-60 miles per hour in about 7.5 seconds. When on the highway and at top speed, the Telluride feels comfortable and smooth. Each Telluride trim can be either front- or all-wheel drive. Towing capacity reaches a decent 5,000 pounds in all variants and specifications of Kia's largest SUV. 

Engine and Transmission

We're slightly surprised that Kia brought the Telluride into its second year without adding any new engine options. That's fine, as long as the performance is smooth and powerful enough, but we would have liked to see an upgraded version of the SUV's V6 on the 2021 model year Nightfall Edition to bring things up a notch, or even a hybrid to compete with Toyota's Highlander and help families inch their way towards electrification. Well, maybe next year. The 2021 Telluride's 3.8 liter V6 is enough to comfortably haul a large family at 70 miles per hour on the highway, or even tow a small camper through the desert...if that's even possible. This Kia's engine produces 291 horsepower, as well as 262 pound-feet of torque, which is enough to tow up to 5,000 pounds. Acceleration from 0-60 mph takes 7.5 miles per hour, so drivers might have to be patient when entering the highway, but despite that small issue, daily commutes aren't a major problem. Moving on to the transmission, it faces a similar problem. Just like the engine, the Telluride's eight-speed automatic transmission is your only choice. But there are no big problems with it so far, since it is no different than the Hyundai Palisade, since it offers the same transmission. 


From what we've said so far, don't think everything in the Telluride only offers one version of itself. The Kia Telluride's drivetrains are quite the opposite. The SUV offers both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, though AWD is optional, while FWD comes standard. Each trim level, LX through SX, can be opted for front- or all-wheel drive, allowing buyers to fit their needs in any trim. Even though the two drivetrains do create weight differences, neither option alters the towing capacity. Just be warned that despite the fact the Kia (and almost every other automaker) mostly advertises the Telluride going off-road, the family SUV isn't capable of tough, rocky terrain, and doesn't offer the hardcore 4-wheel drive system that Jeeps utilize. You can take your AWD Telluride to a softer off-road trail, though. Also, opting for all-wheel drive in your Telluride will raise the price by almost two thousand dollars. 

Ride & Handling

We were rather impressed with the Acadia's smooth ride and remarkable pickup. It makes entering the highway at 70 mph easier. Although, we were not amused with the noise reduction. It was unusually loud, and we could hear most of the bumps and other surfaces on the road and the hum of surrounding vehicles. The Acadia can have optional all-wheel-drive, which allows it to be able to endure any obstacles (snow, mud, sand) that may get in the way of a family outing. Other models offer FWD as standard, but we prefer the more capable AWD drivetrain. The ride is comfortable enough in all three rows, at least without the excessive wind noise and stiff third row seats.


We shouldn't have to tell you that the Telluride runs on gas, but we should tell you about the mileage. Obviously, Kia didn't waste their 2021 Telluride updates on improving mileage, so it remains the same as when it came on sale for the 2020 model year. The Telluride's mileage keeps up with the competition, at least in the standard front-wheel drive variant. For the FWD Kia Telluride, the EPA rates it at 20 city, 26 highway, and 23 combined. Unsurprisingly, the AWD Kia Telluride's MPG rating drops my a few numbers, at 19 city, 24 highway, and 21 combined. To compare, the Palisade comes in at 19 city, 26 highway, and 22 combined. The Kia Telluride's fuel tank can hold a decent 18.8 gallons, so on a family trip that includes both driving through the city and cruising down the highway, you shouldn't have to revisit the gas station for about 400 miles.    

*Stats based on Kia Telluride LX FWD/AWD according to the EPA. Real-world mileage comes in at approximately 400 miles, but results may vary.


Ratings for reliability are decent for the GMC Acadia. J.D. Power rates it as 82 out of 100 (also known as "great") in dependability, and the average Acadia is expected to last 200,000 miles. GMC's midsize three-row offering is ideal for families that need a family hauler that lasts, but the top brands in reliability could last you even longer.  

GMC Acadia Warranty

Basic                                                            3 Years                                                36,000 miles

Powertrain                                                    5 Years                                              60,000 miles

Corrosion                                                     5 Years                                              100,000 miles

Roadside Assistance                                  5 Years                                           60,000/unlimited


Much like reliability, the Kia Telluride proves that safety is one of its strong suits. The Telluride has even won some prestigious awards related to safety. The NHTSA has given the Kia Telluride an overall five star rating, while the Frontal Crash Test received four stars, the Side Crash Test got five stars, and another four stars were given for the Rollover Test. The IIHS also gave the Telluride great safety ratings, with almost all of the crash test categories receiving 'Good.' For 2020, Telluride models with LED headlights were awarded the IIHS Top Safety Pick award, which is something you want your car to have. 

Safety Features

Kia loaded the Telluride with key safety features to make sure that families stay safe. Even the base LX is filled to the brim with advanced safety features. Another game-changer is that Kia offers some features standard in the Telluride that buyers pay extra for in more expensive SUVs. The safety features that the Kia Telluride includes are lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, lane following assist, lane departure warning, blind spot detection, forward collision warning and avoidance, safe exit assist, rear view camera, and rear cross-traffic alert. A head-up display is optional. But safety features aren't all technology. The Kia Telluride's airbag layout includes dual front airbags, driver's knee, front side, and side curtain airbags, which adds up to seven airbags. This is the standard setup, so customers may be able to choose a different layout at some point.



Frontal Crash

Side Crash


*Based on NHTSA ratings

Features & Infotainment

The Kia offers many beneficial features in the Telluride, making it more of a no-brainer. Even the base LX boasts things that buyers would pay extra for in competitors such as the Honda Pilot. On the outside, opening the trunk is easier than what the minivans feature, with the automatic tailgate's key recognition. Inside, you'll find an abundance of USB ports, easy access to the third row, six speakers and push-button start. What's not to like?


The Kia Telluride's notable features start inside, where all occupants will enjoy the SUV's five USB charging ports and 12-volt outlets for plugging in their smartphone or tablet. Six USB ports are available, with two in each of the three rows. Speaking of third row seating, Telluride models with second-row bench seating feature one-touch third row access, where passengers entering the third row simply push a button by the door, and one of the second-row seats folds and moves forward. With most competitors, owners have to manually push the seats forward. Also, if you need more space to place a large item in the trunk, several buttons at the side wall of the Telluride's trunk allow the second and/or third row seats completely fold and stow away. On higher trim levels, like the SX, a power sunroof and front perches are available, as well as heated and ventilated seats in the first and second rows, three-zone climate control (separate temperature knobs in the first, second, and third rows), automatically dimmed rearview mirror, and six power outlets. Another feature that proves helpful at times is Kia's Speaker Mode, available on the EX and SX, which amplifies the front passenger and driver's voices through the rear speakers. Quiet Mode mutes the rear speakers, so the front occupants can listen to music while rear passengers are sleeping, or just relaxing in silence. The only notable feature that is not located in the Telluride's cabin is the automatic lift gate, which senses the owners key fob in his/her pocket, and opens the trunk. This is helpful if your hands are full, since you don't have to make any gesture...not even waving your foot under the rear bumper.  


The GMC Acadia had an impressive software setup, not to mention the large number of included features. The infotainment system was easy to navigate; it didn't take a while to learn how to control the screen. It included a GPS, radio, clock, backup camera/sensors, phone system, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, built-in WiFi, and more. Second-row occupants can control the temperature thanks to dual climate control, like most new vehicles. But, passengers can also control the blast power of the AC/heat and whether it should blow from under the seats, on the ceiling, or both. Another notable feature is the ability to choose where the audio should be strongest via the speakers (first, second, or third row). The SUV's bountiful features are actually entertaining for bored occupants.

Key Specs

Base Price                                                                                                                       $34,800

Trim Levels                                                                                                 SLE, SLT, AT4, Denali

Engines                                                                                                2.0 L 4-cylinder, 3.6 L V6

Transmission                                                                                                  9-speed automatic

Drivetrains                                                                                                                 FWD / AWD

Dimensions                                                                                              193" (L) 75" (W) 67"(H)

Fuel Economy                                                                                              22 city / 29 highway

Basic Warranty                                                                                          3 years / 36,000 miles

5-Year Cost to Own                                                                         $40,798 (est via Motortrend)

Seating                                                                                                                                6 or 7

Performance                                                                                          228 hp / 258 lb-ft torque

Customer Ratings

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What's New For 2022?

As the facelifted second-generation GMC Acadia enters its third model year, several things get dropped. The base SL trim level, as well as its 2.5 liter inline-four engine, are no longer offered for 2022. That leaves the SLE as the cheapest version, raising the base price from $29,800 to $34,800, which is a hefty $5,000 increase. The rest of the lineup adds a new color called Light Stone Metallic that costs an extra $495, as well as more standard safety equipment, updated 18- and 20-inch rims, and altered pricing. 

More Coming Soon

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