2022 GMC Acadia AT4 may not be the newest kid in the block, but it is still a solid option.
SUVs have been always known as a boring family hauler. In a market where most SUVs are downsizing, using watered down AWD systems and boring drivetrains, driving the 2022 GMC Acadia AT4 feels like it is completely different experience.
2022 GMC Acadia AT4 may not be the newest entry in this segment, but there are people looking for that traditional American SUV experience which it combines rugged feeling with traditional drivetrain and practicality. As it is one of GMC’s bestselling models, let’s see why it is still very popular.
Exterior and Interior
Since it’s first released, the Acadia always have boxy profile with a lot of sharp body lines. This is not just specific to Acadia, but you can also find same design language with pretty much every other GMC product. Despite it’s age, it still looks modern and upscale with the huge chrome grille in the front.
It’s not just the front fascia, but it looks very boxy from the side profile as well. This is where you can easily see AT4 package upgrades, such as the 17″ gloss black wheels as well as all-terrain tires, and unpainted plastic trims which make it look more rugged.
The traditional GMC design language continues The rear end started to look a little bit outdated as it keeps the same design since 2017. Of course when you get closer you realize it is updated, but for an untrained eye, it just looks the same.
Though it looks relatively outdated, that’s also a good thing. The first thing comes to mind is that it has real exhaust tips. That’s something we started to see less often especially in an SUV segment, even some sporty entries come with fake exhaust tips.
If you like the exterior design of the 2022 GMC Acadia AT4, I am sure you will also like the interior design. There is nothing surprising here, it comes with traditional GMC interior design used in pretty much every other GMC model.
For a 3-row SUV, it has pretty versatile and usable interior space. Typical GMC fashion, the seats are comfortable but the cushions are on the firmer side. They come with memory seat option as well as heating and ventilating feature.
As expected from 3-row SUV, it has plenty of space for the second row seat passengers. It comes with captain’s chairs which is great for long trips. However, that also means you can’t have 7 seat combination and that may be a deal breaker for some people. Rear facing child seat can be installed without having to move the front passenger seat forward.
Accessing the 3rd row is always tricky, but if you have a front facing child seat in the second row, you don’t have to remove it which is an extremely convenient feature for families. 3rd row is relatively comfortable though not ideal for long trips.
From the exterior, GMC Acadia is significantly smaller than other corporate cousins – the Enclave and Traverse. As a result, you get significantly less cargo space even though it has 3rd row like them. Behind the third row, you get around 362L of cargo space, and it goes up to 1181 if you fold them down. Acadia’s cargo volume can go up to 2237 behind the first row.
Engine and Drivetrain
There are two engine options with the 2022 GMC Acadia. There is the 2.0L Turbo 4-cylinder engine that puts out 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. AT4 trim only comes with the 3.6L naturally aspirated V6 engine that pumps out 310 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque.
The V6 engine feels just like the traditional V6 engine. It is super smooth, quite peppy at the top end. Though it is an old platform, GM heavily updated it with the latest tech, including the Active Fuel Management, Variable Valve Timing, and variable displacement oil pump.
Regardless of the engine, all Acadias come with only one transmission option, and that’s the 9-Speed torque converted automatic transmission widely used in other GM offerings. In a market where all entries shifting towards downsizing and cutting corners using CVT, having traditional V6 and torque converted automatic is a blessing.
All Acadia trims comes standard with AWD, but off-road oriented AT4 trim comes with more sophisticated AWD system. Unlike many entries, you can manually choose if you want to run with FWD or AWD by just turning a knob, so you can just drive FWD for better fuel economy numbers and switch to AWD when needed.
Driving Impressions and Features
My expectations weren’t high as it is an off-road oriented crossover, and GMC Acadia is not pretending to be something that it isn’t. All the things that you expect from a family-friendly crossover is here, including comfort, practicality and interior space.
Though AT4 is an off-road trim, the drivetrain is pretty much the same. but AT4 trim includes Active Torque Control AWD system with hill descent control as well as hill start assist features. If you are looking for more serious off-road feature such as the locking differential, you won’t find them here.
AT4 trim comes with smaller 17″ rims and all terrain tires, but all terrain tires are louder than standard all season tires, therefore this is something to keep in mind if you are planning to drive on a highway. The ground clearance is also the same as the other models. Aside from extra tire noise, the car feels very comfortable pretty much in all surfaces.
Technically AT4 is not the top trim, but for a mid-trim it has decent features. For instance, I wasn’t expecting to see ventilated seats as well as memory seat function from an off-road oriented trim. As expected, you get all safety features available.
Speaking of features, the 8 inch screen is the first thing that comes to mind. It is decently sized, though it is not big by today’s standards. However, the good thing is that it has a good resolution and infotainment system works flawlessly. AT4 trim also comes with 360 camera and good rear view camera resolution.
2022 GMC Acadia AT4 comes with wireless smartphone integration, which makes it very easy to connect without having to plug the phone with a USB cable. The only feature missing is the Adaptive Cruise Control which should have been a standard feature for the price range.
Last but not least, I like the analog feeling of the Acadia. For some people, it indicates the age of its platform. For me, in a market where everyone tries to get more digital, more touch sensitive buttons and more electronics involved, having physical buttons for essential features is something that differentiates it from the others.
The digital screens including the infotainment screen and gauge cluster is easy to read and navigate through, and they give you a lot of information. Especially the digital gauge cluster gives a lot of technical info, including the transmission oil temp, something that you usually see in a performance car, not in an SUV.
Pricing and the Verdict
There are so many crossovers that makes it very hard for end users to choose the right product. If you are looking for a sharp looking 3-row SUV and don’t like downsizing trend, GMC Acadia would be a great option with it’s naturally aspirated V6 engine and transmission with actual gears.
2022 GMC Acadia starts at $41,398 with the base trim and 2.0 turbo engine. V6 engine upgrade is surprisingly a very small difference, which is around $600. If you want the most off-road capable Acadia, AT4 trim is priced at $48,698.
I think the AT4 trim offers the best value considering it has all comfort and luxury features, as well as off-road capability while still keeping the price tag below $50,000. For more details – please visit www.gmccanada.ca