|22 / 29||Fuel Economy (MPG)||21 / 28|
|39.7||Second Row Legroom (in)||39|
|GMC Infotainment System With Navigation||Base Infotainment||Ford SYNC 3 Infotainment System|
When vehicle shopping, the decisions are certainly plentiful. Once you narrow it down to the SUV/crossover category, you’ll see that larger SUVs are best if you plan on traveling a lot with the family. In short, large SUVs are ideal if you want the look of a truck but the cab space of a crossover or van. While this sounds ideal, in the past, large SUVs have struggled when it comes to fuel economy. Traditionally, large SUVs do not fare too well at the gas pump, but that’s not always the case now, thanks to modern innovations like those seen in the 2021 GMC Acadia vs 2021 Ford Explorer.
Newer large SUV models offer 4-cylinder turbocharged engines that provide plenty of horsepower and torque without being hard on mileage like the traditional V6 and V8 engines that used to dominate the large SUV lineup. Today, we’re going to look at the 2021 GMC Acadia vs the 2021 Ford Explorer to see which one of these modern SUV options is best for you. Both these models offer a lot of space, a lot of power, and a lot of fuel economy, which means one of them will be a perfect fit for your family.
Design is an important aspect of your new vehicle, and so is convenience. The good news is that the 2021 GMC Acadia really delivers on both of these fronts in the exterior design department. First, let’s take a look at its exterior design. It comes in 7 different colors, including White Frost Tricoat, Satin Steel Metallic, Hunter Metallic, Cayenne Red Tintcoat, Midnight Blue Metallic, Ebony Twilight Metallic, and Red Mahogany Metallic. You’ll get either 18-inch or 20-inch options as standard wheels, depending on which trim level you choose. The Denali trim even comes with its own 20-inch ultra-bright machined aluminum wheels, and the AT4 trim includes 20-inch gloss-black aluminum wheels.
As you can see, the 2021 GMC Acadia comes in several different trims and editions. One available trim is the AT4 trim, which comes with more than just its special black wheels. It also
includes all-terrain tires, black-capped exterior mirrors, and its own badging and chrome accents, and a black chrome grille. In addition to this, the Elevation Edition comes with a blacked-out aesthetic which includes a black grille, black headlamps and tail lamps, black mirror caps, optional black GMC emblems, and 20-inch machined aluminum wheels with black accents. There are definitely many ways to customize your 2021 GMC Acadia to suit whatever aesthetic you prefer.
Now it’s time to look at convenience options. On this model, you’ll get a hands-free liftgate. This works through motion sensors. All you have to do is swing your foot underneath the 2021 GMC Acadia’s rear bumper, and as long as you have your keys nearby, your back hatch will open. You’ll also get available heated power-adjustable and folding mirrors, which come standard on the Denali. Finally, you’ll also get keyless open and keyless start, along with LED lighting. If the 2021 GMC Acadia’s aesthetic appeal isn’t enough for you, these handy features put the icing on the cake.
The 2021 Ford Explorer comes in 7 different colors, including Agate Black, Carbonized Gray, Iconic Silver, Infinite Blue Metallic, Rapid Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Star White Metallic tri-coat, and Stone Gray. On the highest trim, you’ll get 21-inch bright machined-face aluminum wheels, but these differ on every trim. The lowest trim offers standard 18-inch painted aluminum wheels, and the mid-level XLT trim comes with 18-inch Sparkle Silver-painted aluminum wheels. You’ll get body-color door handles, deep-tinted glass, and roof rack rails with the 2021 Ford Explorer as well. Where convenience is concerned, the 2021 Ford Explorer offers a hands-free power liftgate, LED lights, and power heated side mirrors that manually fold unless you get the highest trim, which comes with power-folding mirrors. Overall, the 2021 Ford Explorer includes fewer aesthetic and convenience features than the 2021 GMC Acadia.
Your vehicle’s exterior is important because it speaks to the outer world, but at the end of the day, you’re the one who spends time on the Acadia’s inside. While the exterior is nice, you as an individual definitely want an appealing interior. If that’s the case for you, you’re in luck. There are a few different interior aesthetic options, and those depend on which trim you get. The SLE and SLT trims come with aluminum trim and a soft-touch surface feature. The SLE comes with premium cloth seating, but if you like that fancy leather look, you can upgrade to the SLT for leather seating and a leather steering wheel. Further, the AT4 trim includes either black cloth or leather seating and AT4 badging on the seats and the dash. Finally, the highest available trim is the Denali, and it offers legitimate Ashwood accent pieces, providing a lighter gray interior aesthetic.
Let’s take a closer look at the 2021 GMC Acadia’s interior convenience features while we’re here. On this model, you’ll get heated and ventilated leather seating if you opt for the SLT, the AT4, or the Denali. You’ll also get a heated steering wheel on these trims. Further, all 2021 GMC Acadia models come with advanced temperature control, which allows multiple temperature settings for passengers. The 2021 GMC Acadia also comes with a dual sunroof, and it has tons of cargo space thanks to fold-flat seating options and additional storage features. Plus, it comes with tons of entertainment features like a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, SiriusXM radio, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, several USB ports, power windows, cruise control, remote start, and GMC Connected Access compatibility. In the end, the 2021 GMC Acadia’s interior features make it both appealing and easily accessible.
The 2021 Ford Explorer comes with interior options that are similar to the 2021 GMC Acadia’s, such as a twin-panel moonroof, several cargo space options such as folding seats, storage pockets, and hidden cargo departments, power locks, and cloth or leather seating options. Higher trims include heated seating, a heating steering wheel, and voice-activated touchscreen navigation. The 2021 Ford Explorer also includes plenty of entertainment features, like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, FordPass Connect availability, and 12V power outlets for charging. This model offers both comfort and convenience, but its aesthetic options are not as diverse as the 2021 GMC Acadia’s.
When you’re purchasing a new vehicle, you definitely want something that will keep you safe first and foremost. Aesthetics are great, but they’re nothing without safety. Luckily for you, the 2021 GMC Acadia is well-equipped with many safety options that make it a great choice all around. Let’s take a look at these features.
Driver assist features are modern, helpful technologies. While they certainly don’t replace the driver, they do act as an extra set of eyes to help make driving safer and easier. The GMC Acadia offers many of these features, including Automatic Emergency Braking, a passenger sensing system, a Following Distance Indicator, Front and Rear Park Assist, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Teen Driver mode.
While some of these are self-explanatory, let’s take a closer look at the complex features. The Acadia’s Following Distance Indicator helps keep you from getting too close to the vehicle ahead of you by warning you if you are too far within your pre-set following distance, helping to prevent rear-end accidents. Rear Cross Traffic Alert can monitor traffic while you’re in a parking lot. This makes it easier to back up in crowded parking areas. Lastly, Teen Driver is a really neat system that allows you to put limits on speed and volume while also letting you put a curfew on the vehicle and also giving you tracking access to make sure your teen is safe and where they’re supposed to be. These driver assist features will make your ride even more secure, and to top it all off, the 2021 GMC Acadia comes with an overall 5-star crash test safety rating. With safety features like these, the Acadia is ideal for families and younger drivers.
The 2021 Ford Explorer comes with quite a few driver assist features, which include Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Active Park Assist, Lane-Keeping Assist with Lane Departure Warning, and a front camera, along with left, right, and backup cameras. Like the 2021 GMC Acadia, the Ford Explorer comes with a 5-star overall crash test safety rating, too. While it does include some handy driver assist features, it doesn’t offer unique options like GM’s Teen Driver. The 2021 Ford Explorer is a safe model, but if you’re really looking for tighter security, the 2021 GMC Acadia is your best bet.