2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV

#11
in Midsize Suvs
2020 MODEL
$43,395
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7.9

Overall Rating

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2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: July 13, 2020
Krishna Choubey's image

Krishna Choubey

Automotive Journalist

Dressing style reflects character and personality. As for humans, this phrase is indeed equally true for cars these days. Pumped-up engine, painted brake calipers, lowered suspension, numerous air-intakes and spoilers are very common elements today of sportier versions of many popular cars. 

Ever wondered what an SUV’ treated with a similar equation would look like, where the exterior attire highlights ‘ruggedness’, instead of sportiness ? Well, GMC have just come up with an answer to this question, with the first ever 2020 Acadia AT4.

See detailed review »

Pros

Comfortable ride quality

Potent V6 engine

Well equipped with modern features

Convenient friendly interior layout

Easy to use infotainment

Cons

Sub-par interior arrangement

Average interior space

Cramped third row seats

What's New?

All new off-road focused model


2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV Latest Update

Features

vehicle bio

base price

$43395

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

AWD

engine type

displacement

222 cu.in.

horsepower

310 hp @ 6600 rpm

torque

271 lbs.-ft. @ 5000 rpm

transmission

9-speed shiftable automatic

chassis

frame type

Ladder Frame

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension

brake rotors (f/r)

12.6/12.6

dimensions

wheelbase

112.5 in.

length

64.5 in.

width

75.4 in.

height

68.7 in.

curb weight

4306 lbs.

ground clearance

7.2 in.

capacity

passenger volume

143.8 cu ft.

cargo volume

79 cu ft.

towing capacity

4000 lbs.

payload capacity

1695 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

6.1 sec.

standing ¼-mile

15.2 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

17/25/20 mpg

highway range

550 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

corrosion warranty

6 yr. /100000 mi.

roadside assistance

5 yr. / 60000 mi.


Pictures & Videos

Exterior
Interior
Videos
2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV Detailed Review video
2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV Exterior video

Styles

2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV in Summit White color 2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV in Red Quartz Tintcoat color 2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV in White Frost Tricoat color
Summit White

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

7.8

Engine And Performance

8.5

Fuel Economy

7.5

Interior

7.0

Exterior

7.9

Safety

8.1

Competition

8.0

7.9

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV AT4

AT4

power
310 hp @ 6600 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
20 combined

$43,395


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
AT4 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 9A) Starting at $43,395 MSRP (17/20/25) 310 hp @ 6600 rpm, 3.6 L, V-6, regular unleaded
9-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 5

Expert Review

7.9

Overall Rating


We are quite used to seeing AT4 moniker on GMC trucks by now, but GMC had some exploratory plans as well. GMC updated the entire Acadia line-up for 2020 along with the new ‘muscular’ AT4 version which basically replaces the discontinued All-Terrain trim level in the Acadia line-up.

The AT4 distinguishes itself from the regular Acadia with its darker exterior highlights and more pronounced body lines. No changes have been made on the mechanical front, that means a heavy-duty operation that is as serious as its outfit, remains a question though. Apart from the masculine xterior highlights, the AT4 also comes with a host of off-road features as standard.

However, the 2020 Acadia AT4 is vocal enough to pierce the ear-drums of those obsessed with a sense of ‘bluntness’. At an MSRP of $41,300, the 2020 Acadia AT4 stands up against the Ford Explorer, Subaru Ascent and Toyota Highlander. These three strong boys in the midsize-SUV segment might not be as boasty as the Acadia AT4, but they surely carry some serious ability within them.

2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV Front View
2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV Rear View

7.8/10
Features

 

8.5/10
Engine and Performance

 

7.5/10
Fuel Economy

 

7.0/10
Interior

 

7.9/10
Exterior

 

8.1/10
Safety

 

8.0/10
Competition

 
 

2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV Features

7.8/10

Projected as an off-road specific variant, the AT4 stands alone in the Acadia family, thanks to its ‘disguiseful’ exterior outfit. Priced at $41,300, the AT4 sits just below the full-fledged ‘Denali’ trim and comes equipped with most of the advanced necessities. 

Trims

GMC Acadia AT4

MSRP

$43,395

Engine

3.6 Liter V6

Features

All-terrain “17” inch tires

 

Hands-free programmable power liftgate

 

Heated power-adjusted mirrors

 

AT4 grille and badging

 

Gloss black roof rails

 

Cargo management system

 

Heated and ventilated front seats

 

Dual SkyScape sunroof

 

8.0 inch diagonal GMC infotainment with navigation

 

8-speaker Bose premium audio system

 

Front and rear ventilated discs brakes with ABS

 

Three zone climate control

 

Blacked out exterior highlights

 

Leather upholstery

We recommend

Well, as the most rugged avatar of the already mighty Acadia, the AT4 is certainly a good pick for those who are equally vocal about their ambitions. As an offroad specific variant, the AT4 gets AWD, All-terrain tires and hill-descent control as standard.

2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV Engine and Performance

8.5/10

The 2020 Acadia sources all its power from the familiar 3.6 Liter V6 engine that is now mated to a new and refined 9-speed automatic transmission. No complaints on the power front and the 310 horses and 271 ft-lbs of torque feel more than adequate to pull this boxy machine all day long.

The engine packs solid thrust within itself and the new 9-speed transmission effortlessly caters all the pulse to all four corners. The shifts are quick and smooth, and the brisk throttle response fills you up with strong confidence, no matter what terrain you are driving on. 

Models

GMC Acadia AT4

Ford Explorer XLT 4WD

Subaru Ascent Limited 8-P/Tech Pkg

Toyota Highlander Limited AWD

MSRP

$43,395

$38,675

$42,295

$45,600

Engine

3.6 Liter V6

2.3 Liter Turbo Inline-4

2.4 Liter Turbo Flat 4

3.5 Liter V6

Transmission

9-speed shiftable automatic

10-speed shiftable automatic

CVT

8-speed shiftable automatic

Horsepower

310 hp @ 6600 rpm

300 hp @ 5500 rpm

260 hp @ 5600 rpm

295 hp @ 6600 rpm

Torque

271 ft-lbs. @ 5000 rpm

310 ft-lbs @ 3500 rpm

277 ft-lbs. @ 2000 rpm

263 ft-lbs. @ 4700 rpm

The only disappointment is the new pack of shift buttons similar to the new Terrain, that sit below the climate control knobs. The new shift buttons do open up some extra space in the center console but their positioning makes them inconvenient and distractive to operate.

Acceleration

The AT4 is everybit an Acadia and one which is dressed in a proper off-roading suit. There would hardly be anyone looking for some rapid-fire sessions in this big bulky SUV. However, for those who do, the 2020 GMC Acadia crosses the 0 mph mark from a stand still in just 6.1 seconds.

2020 GMC Acadia SUV 0-60 MPH in Just 6.1 sec

Models

GMC Acadia AT4

Ford Explorer XLT 4WD

Subaru Ascent Limited 8-P/Tech Pkg

Toyota Highlander Limited AWD

0-60 MPH

6.1 sec

6.8 sec

6.9 sec

7.2 sec(est)

Quarter mile

NA

15.3 sec

15.5 sec

15.5 sec(est) 

Emission (Tons/yr of CO2 emissions @ 15k mi/yr)

8.5

7.7

8.0

7.8

Among the competition, the AT4 overshines everything else with its best-in class acceleration. Thanks to its comparatively smaller mass and more powerful engine than its competitors. The smooth and quick shifting 9-speed automatic transmission added to the Acadia line-up for 2020, also helps the AT4 with some extra swiftness. 

Ride and Handling

On the move, the AT4 feels surprisingly composed yet solid as a rock. The chunkier treads of the all-terrain tires, do account for some road noise, but they offer surprising grip and traction on almost every surface. The tires team up efficiently with the retuned suspension to offer a smooth and poised ride. The steering wheel is nicely weighed and it offers satisfactory levels of control and directness for an SUV of this class. 

To substantiate its serious pretensions, it gets a dual -clutch AWD system with an automatic locking rear differential seamlessly looks after traction needs on adverse terrains. A drive mode selector lets you choose between front-wheel, all-wheel and sport mode, based on your driving conditions. However, it's better off to keep up with the AWD system.

2020 GMC Acadia SUV Front View

In the front-wheel drive setup, the AT4 seems a bit hazy with laidback responses from the throttle and power train. Switch to the AWD setting and the entire mechanical arrangement lightens up. The throttle feedback, traction control, shift control and gear holds get as appropriate as it could be. For mud-slinging duties, the Sport mode is the most ideal set-up which makes the shifts faster, providing stronger acceleration and more freedom to the wheels. 

When it comes to ride quality, the Acadia AT4 is a mixed bag of several elements fused together in somewhat proper proportions. It's comfortable, controlled and more refined than ever. However, it's not the most capable off roader in business, but is surely potent and blunt enough to indulge in some dirty talking.

Braking

All the muscle and flair of the 2020 Acadia AT4 is monitored by ventilated discs along with ABS at all corners. The brake pedal feels solid and linear, no matter what the braking situations are and there is barely any signs of brake fading. During sudden applications though, the AT4 does tend to nosedive a bit, but that's not a big complaint in bulky SUVs like the Acadia.

2020 GMC Acadia SUV Has Front Brake is 12.6 in.

Models

GMC Acadia AT4

Ford Explorer XLT 4WD

Subaru Ascent Limited 8-P/Tech Pkg

Toyota Highlander Limited AWD

Brake Front (in.)

12.6

NA

13.1

13.3

Brake Rear (in.)

12.4

NA

13.0

13.3

60-0 MPH (ft)

125 (est)

121

119

128 (est)

Precise braking data is noy yet available for the 2020 Acadia AT4 but we do have handy estimation based on earlier data. GMC heavily updated the Acadia in 2017 for its second generation, and since then it has remained mostly the same. However, over the years, it has put up some extra 350 lbs with some minor revisions. The 2017 Acadia took 119 feet to freeze itself from 60 mph and with the added weight, we expect the 2020 Acadia AT4’s 60-0 distance to be around 125 feet. 

2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV Fuel Economy

7.5/10

The updated 2020 Acadia does add three more gears on the transmission, but thankfully though that doesn't affect its fuel economy. The new 9-speed transmission is more refined and smoother than the previous 6-speed unit and is tuned for efficiency as well. 

Models

GMC Acadia AT4

Ford Explorer XLT 4WD

Subaru Ascent Limited 8-P/Tech Pkg

Toyota Highlander Limited AWD

MPG (city)

18

20

20

20

MPG (highway)

25

27

26

27

MPG (combined)

20

23

22

23

The 2020 Acadia AT4 delivers a fuel economy of 20 mpg combined which is pretty much in-line with the class average. However in terms of sheer number, the AT4 lags behind the other three, but only by a small margin though. The Ford Explorer takes a slight edge over the other competitors with its 23 mpg combined economy. Efficient dynamics and better weight distribution, does the job for the Ford here. 

2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV Interior

7.0/10

On the inside, there is barely any noticeable difference from the regular Acadia. The dashboard layout and interior arrangements are done in typical Acadia style. However, you do get some exclusive AT4 treatments like front head restraints with AT4 stitching, sill plates with AT4 badging and AT4 exclusive floor mats and rear cargo mat.

2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV Front Seats

The overall interior ambience is not as rich as a Ford Explorer or the Toyota Highlander, but its conventional approach works well with its character. Positioned right below the Denali in the Acadia hierarchy, the AT4 comes standard with most of the premium features that you would need on a daily basis. 

Models

GMC Acadia AT4

Ford Explorer XLT 4WD

Subaru Ascent Limited 8-P/Tech Pkg

Toyota Highlander Limited AWD

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

40.0/59.4/41.0

40.7/61.8/43.0

40.1/61.1/42.2

39.6/59.0/42.0

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

39.6/58.7/39.7

40.5/61.9/39.0

38.7/60.3/38.6

39.4/58.4/41.0

Compared to the three row seating on the regular trims, the AT4 comes standard two rows to open up more space for your trekking gear. However, you can pack in the extra third row as an option. Space is not at all a concern as both the benches offer ample space for occupants to relax themselves.

No leather though, but the premium cloth wrapped seats feel nice to touch and are adequately supportive as well. Heated front seats are standard with the AT4, along with 8-way power adjustment for the driver’s seat and 4-way manual for the passenger.

Infotainment

At the core of 2020 Acadia AT4’s infotainment, lies an 8.0 inch touch-screen stashed into the dashboard. The system comes standard with Navigation, satellite radio, USB connectivity and a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot. 

The screen is not the sharpest among its segment, but it's clutter free interface and clear menu, makes it quite easy to operate. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also a part of the standard equipment and the response from the system is also fairly good.

Cargo

Even with all its spruced-up character, the Acadia AT4 falls short to its competitors in terms of cargo space. With the optional third row seats installed, the Acadia offers a meager 12.8 cu-fts of cargo area which is the smallest in its class. A body which is shorter in length than its rivals and a greater concentration on seating space in the Acadia leads to a cramped trunk.

Models

GMC Acadia AT4

Ford Explorer XLT 4WD

Subaru Ascent Limited 8-P/Tech Pkg

Toyota Highlander Limited AWD

Cargo Volume (cu.-ft)

12.8

18.2

17.6

16.0

Maximum Cargo capacity (cu-ft)

79.0

87.8

86.0

84.3

Among the competition, it's the Ford Explorer that takes the lead with its 18.2 cu-ft of cargo area, even with the third row of seats up. Thanks to its body length which is greater than the other three rivals. All the four SUVs in competition do offer the practicality of folding the second and third row down. However, even with 2-rows laid flat, the Acadia still ends up at the bottom of the table with its 79.0 cu-ft of max cargo space. 

Interior Features

  • 8.0 inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Premium cloth upholstery
  • Heated, leather steering wheel
  • Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel
  • Front, rear and 3rd row cup holders
  • Keyless ignition
  • Climate control
  • Dual illuminating vanity mirrors
  • Electrochromatic inside rearview mirror
  • Front door pockets
  • 6-speaker GMC audio system
  • 8-way power driver and 6-way manual passenger seat
  • Heated front seats
  • Rear Seat Infotainment System w/DVD Player
  • Universal Tablet Holders
  • Rear ventilation ducts
  • Split-folding rear seatback
  • Folding center armrest
2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV Interior
2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV Interior
2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV Interior
2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV Interior
2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV Interior
2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV Interior

2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV Exterior

7.9/10

It's the exterior sheet that differentiates the AT4 from the rest of its line-up. Instantly noticeable is the intensive “black” treatment throughout its body, to give it a more furious stance. First up, the large signature front grille has been blacked out and so is the front fender. 

The side profile is highlighted by a flat-black lower body cladding that runs across its body, integrating with the wheel arches, front and rear fenders. There is also a bold AT4 logo below the side-view mirrors that are also blacked out. However, its the standard ‘17’ inch all-terrain tires with 6-spoke black alloys and black roof rails that add extra jist to its side profile. You can also pair up the AT4 with the optional ‘20’ inch alloys. 

2020 GMC Acadia SUV Three Quarter View

At the rear, things are kept pretty simple with GMC’s new C-shaped LED tail lamps, black rear bumpers and a matt metallic rear fender. Overall the 2020 AT4 is just the regular Acadia with a darker skin to add some extra weight and presence in its personality. Like it or not, but the Acadia does look a lot more meaner with this aggressive outfit. 

Models

GMC Acadia AT4

Ford Explorer XLT 4WD

Subaru Ascent Limited 8-P/Tech Pkg

Toyota Highlander Limited AWD

Length (in)

193.6

198.8

196.8

194.9

Width (in)

75.4

78.9

76.0

76.0

Height (in)

68.7

69.9

71.6

68.1

Ground clearance (in)

7.2

7.9

8.7

8.0

Wheelbase (in)

112.5

119.1

113.8

112.2

Track width (in) F/R

64.5/64.5

66.9/66.9

64.4/64.2

65.3/65.4

Curb weight (lbs)

4306

4345

4499

4450

The Acadia is based on the GM Lambda platform which is also used in the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave. However, at 193.6 inches, it is not only shorter than the Traverse, but is also the shortest among its competitors. Rivals like the Ford Explorer does have an ambitious version known as the ‘ST’, but it focuses more on sportiness, unlike the AT4’s off-road lineage.

Exterior features

  • Turn signal mirrors
  • Daytime running lights
  • LED headlamp
  • hands-free entry
  • Heated mirrors
  • Front and Rear Splash Guards
  • Blacked roof rails
  • AT4 badging
  • Blacked front and rear bumpers
  • LED tail lamps
  • Black body cladding
  • ‘17’ inch all terrain tires with 6-spoke black alloys
  • Black side-view mirror caps
2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV Exterior
2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV Exterior
2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV Exterior
2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV Exterior
2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV Exterior

2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV Safety

8.1/10

An SUV with an aggressive intent like the Acadia AT4, that wishes explore the unexplored, needs proper safety gear as well. Needless to say, in comparison to the regular Acadia line-up, the AT4 comes standard with some extra safety features that are optional on other trims. 

Since its update in 2017, the Acadia has been receiving an overall ‘good’ rating from IIHS and the 2020 Acadia is no different. NHTSA rating for the 2020 Acadia is not available yet, but the popular safety regulator awarded the 2019 Acadia with 5-star overall safety rating. Since there has been barely any change on the mechanical and dimensional front, we expect the 2020 Acadia’s NHTSA rating to be similar to its previous model year. Some of the major safety features of the 2020 Acadia include - 

Safety Features

  • Stability control
  • Dusk sensing headlamps
  • Traction control
  • Blind spot warning accident avoidance system
  • Post-collision safety system
  • Emergency braking assist
  • Front and rear ventilated disc brakes
  • 4-wheel ABS
  • Front, rear and third row head airbags
  • Dual front side-mounted airbags
  • Passenger airbag occupant sensing deactivation
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Rear view camera
  • Universal remote transmitter

2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV Competition

8.0/10

2020 GMC Acadia vs Ford Explorer

Not as audacious as the AT4, but the Explorer hides similar might underneath its skin and has been one of the most successful Ford SUV. With its redesigned 2020 model, the new Explorer has further evolved, polishing its niceties. It rides and handles well, has a smooth and efficient transmission and a great steering feedback than the AT4 as well. The Explorer also dons an edgy and more stylish outfit than the AT4 and also has a modern interior layout. Above all, the Ford also promises best in class cargo space and better interior room and fuel economy than the AT4. Where the AT4 races ahead of the Explorer, is a powerful engine and brisk performance than the Explorer. 

2020 Ford Explorer

2020 GMC Acadia vs Subaru Ascent

In a very short time since its launch in 2019, the Subaru Ascent has earned a great deal of acclaim for its raw character and simplicity. The Ascent does look like an estate, but don't undermine it because of the way it looks. It does have a noisy set of powertrains, but with standard three row seating, 23 mpg combined economy and a smooth ride make it a value product in its highly competitive segment. The Ascent is also a better off-roader than the AT4, with a higher ground clearance and Subaru’s trademark AWD system. The Subaru’s interior might not have the same vibe as the GMC, but there's plenty of room for passengers and cargo inside. Where the Acadia AT4 outshines the Ascent is its better handling and power, more comfortable ride and a refined smooth transmission.

2020 Subaru Ascent

2020 GMC Acadia vs Toyota Highlander

Unlike the robust Acadia AT4, the Toyota Highlander focuses more on comfort and premiumness. The redesigned 2020 Highlander, only takes those aspirations a notch higher.The Highlander packs a refined and powerful V6 engine and a smooth shifting 8-speed transmission and a much more comfortable ride quality than the AT4. With its length and weight reduction in its 2020 model, the Highlander is also a better handler than the AT4. The Toyota also offers better cargo room and fuel economy than the AT4. However, the Acadaia does flaunt more power, briskness along with a muscular presence. 

2020 Toyota Highlander

 

2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV Final Verdict

If you are looking for a comfortable mid-size SUV that looks as rugged as the Hulk, with an intent of exploring its capability only on occasional weekend expeditions, the 2020 GMC Acadia AT4 is the perfect pick for you. However, if you broaden your desire, ther certainly are more promising and better driving products at the same price range, like the Subaru Ascent and Ford Explorer.

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2020 GMC Acadia Overall Reviews


RP

Ryan K. Parker

2020 GMC Acadia AT4 SUV

AT4 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 9A)

9

User Overall Rating

Posted On: August 10, 2020

At4, a name lost somewhere

Pros - AWD traction system, Tires, Cargo space

Cons - Foot gesture tail gate, suspension, No diesel trim

Overall Review

9 /10 Overall Rating

Bought an AT4 back in Feb, 6th Feb to be precise for one thing only, offroading and terrain driving. I have an another car for daily commuting and I'm not going to start counting the not so easy pointer of city driving in Acadia, which not to mention isn't the case. Coming back to the point, if we talk about regular highway driving, I found myself straching my head to get even one minor flaw. As soon as it leaves the plush tarmac, a few things start making sense and a few others start losing as well. Handling for instance is pretty good on highways but at low speed manuevers, it feels nothing but a piece of heavy weight not ready to move easily. Suspension being stiff actually may help while offroading, or maybe not, but I pretty much believe it needs to be reworked to have a good balance between driving on asphalt and rocky surfaces. Tires that were making significant noise on highway( not an issue for me though) start to grip whatever is underneath in an efficienct manner. And ast but not least, AWD traction system takes care of traction between all 4 wheels to make sure those tires are helped in every possible way. So, in other words, Acadia is a very good suv but it needs to be a little precise with the blend between highway and terrain driving which at the moment has room for improvment. I'm not going to bash GMC for all this and I appreciate and understand how hard it is to do what they have done already. Also, I'm no expert of vehicles but I pretty much believe AT4 should have diesel option as well for better torque at low end.

8/10
Features
9/10
Interior
9/10
Design
8/10
Safety
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Deal Value
10/10
Dealer Review

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Top User Reviews

9

User Overall Rating

At4, a name lost somewhere

Bought an AT4 back in Feb, 6th Feb to be precise for one thing only, offroading and terrain driving. I have an another car for daily commuting and I'm not going to start counting the not so easy pointer of city driving in Acadia, which not to mention isn't the case. Coming back to the point, if we talk about regular highway driving, I found myself straching my head to get even one minor flaw. As s...

by Ryan K. Parker

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