2021 GMC Acadia vs 2021 Honda Pilot

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  • 2021 GMC Acadia

    A black 2021 GMC Acadia is angled left.

    Starting at


    2021 Honda Pilot

    A grey 2021 Honda Pilot LX is angled right.

    Starting at


    310Horsepower (hp)280
    22/29Fuel Economy (city/hwy mpg)20/27
    8Infotainment Display (in.)5

    Midsize SUVs cover a wide range of models and designs – and even though it might seem like they should all be pretty uniform, there are some important distinctions between them. For example, while some models have only two rows of seats, others like the GMC Acadia offer three rows for more passenger seating and comfort. Choosing the right midsize SUV is not always easy and really comes down to finding just what you need. Looking at the 2021 GMC Acadia vs 2021 Honda Pilot, we can see that they are both great vehicles, but the Acadia has a few things that give it the edge.

    For starters, the Acadia has three different engines for you to choose from, while the Honda Pilot has only one. That alone might not seem like much, but it is worth noting that the Acadia also has a more powerful engine available, so if you want improved performance, then the Acadia is the way to go. Since there are three options to choose from, you can also go with the turbocharged engine from GMC, which gives you better fuel economy than the single Honda engine can deliver. While "more options" does not always mean something is better, in this case, it lets you choose between affordability, fuel efficiency, and performance – a choice the Honda Pilot does not offer.

    Inside both of these SUVs, you will find great comfort and technology options, but again the GMC Acadia simply gives you more. It offers a better standard infotainment system, stunning available Bose speakers, and refined comfort and luxury throughout. It is worth noting that the highest trims for these two SUVs have different amounts of seating available, so your passengers can remain more comfortable within the GMC Acadia. Come visit Rick Hendrick Buick GMC Duluth today to find out more and see the Acadia for yourself.

  • Performance

    A black 2021 GMC Acadia is driving at night after winning a 2021 GMC Acadia vs 2021 Honda Pilot comparison.

    No matter what kind of vehicle you are interested in, looking at the engine and the kind of performance it has to offer is always a great place to start. Even with a midsize SUV, the engine is the heart of everything else, so if it is lacking, then the driving experience will be underwhelming. With the 2021 GMC Acadia, you have three different engines to choose from, compared to only one engine with the 2021 Honda Pilot.

    GMC Engine Options

    The starting engine for the Acadia is a 2.5L four-cylinder producing 193 hp and 188 lb-ft of torque. For greater power and efficiency, you can opt for the 2.0L Turbo that offers 230 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. If you want even higher performance, then there is an available 3.6L V6 engine that delivers 310 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque. All of these engines come with a 9-speed automatic transmission for a smooth and responsive driving experience, and while front-wheel drive is standard, all-wheel drive is available.

    The Honda Engine

    On the 2021 Honda Pilot, there is a single engine available: a 3.5L V6 that offers 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. You can see that this is more powerful than the Acadia's two four-cylinder options, though it offers only a bit more torque than the 2.0L Turbo. However, when you compare this to the available V6 engine from GMC, the Pilot definitely falls short. So if you want the best performance possible, then the Acadia is going to be a much better option with more to offer.

  • Fuel Economy

    A black 20201 GMC Acadia shows a close up of a tire.

    With three different engines available, the 2021 GMC Acadia not only offers better performance than the Honda Pilot, it also beats it in terms of fuel economy. This is a major advantage for the Acadia since it allows you to choose the engine that best meets your needs. If you want the best performance and power available, then choose the 3.6L V6 engine; if you are looking for efficiency, the 2.0L Turbo is your best bet.

    Pilot Efficiency

    The 2.0L Turbo engine for the Acadia gets an estimated 22 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg combined. If you go with the available V6 engine, then you get an estimated 19 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined fuel economy. The standard 2.5L engine sits in between those two options. You can see that the difference here is not huge, but it is still significant, especially if you tend to do a lot of city driving. These numbers are for models with front-wheel drive; if you choose all-wheel drive, then you lose a bit of fuel efficiency.

    Pilot Efficiency

    By comparison, the 2021 Honda Pilot offers similar fuel economy to the Acadia's V6 engine but falls short of the Acadia's other two engines. With its one available engine, the Pilot gets an estimated 20 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 23 mpg combined fuel efficiency – again, this is with front-wheel drive. These numbers are almost identical to the more powerful engine of the Acadia, so you can get about the same fuel economy and better performance from GMC.

  • Interior

    The interior of a 2021 GMC Acadia shows the steering wheel and infotainment screen.

    In terms of interior features, the 2021 Honda Pilot certainly has a lot to offer, especially when you look at its higher trims. The reality, however, is that the GMC Acadia simply gives you more – both in terms of what comes standard and what is available at higher trims. This is not much of a surprise when you consider the reputation that GMC has for luxury, comfort, and impressive technology found inside their vehicles.

    Acadia Features

    For example, the starting features on the 2021 GMC Acadia include an 8-inch infotainment display with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Acadia comes with six-passenger premium cloth seating standard, so all of your passengers are incredibly comfortable. You get a 4.2-inch driver display on the starting trim of the Acadia, along with keyless open and start, tri-zone automatic climate control, and interior lighting.

    On the highest trim of the Acadia, the legendary Denali, you will find a number of impressive upgrades, including a navigation system and an 8-speaker Bose premium audio system. The Denali also features perforated leather-appointed seating, with an 8-way power driver's seat and 8-way power front-passenger seat, both of which are heated and ventilated. There is a wireless charging pad in the Acadia Denali, along with a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel, an 8-inch driver display, and a head-up display projected onto the windshield.

    Pilot Features

    The 2021 Honda Pilot has some good features across its various trims, but they fall short in some key ways. For example, the starting trim only has a 5-inch infotainment display, significantly smaller than the standard display in the GMC Acadia. Similarly, it lacks Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as SiriusXM satellite radio and a wireless hotspot - all features the Acadia offers standard. The Elite features heated, ventilated front seats, but the front-passenger seat is just 4-way power-adjustable – much less comfortable than in the Acadia Denali.

  • Safety

    A black 2021 GMC Acadia is shown from the side parked in the desert.

    Any time you are looking at vehicles, you should have safety in mind. Fortunately, both the 2021 GMC Acadia and the Honda Pilot are very safe models with a lot of great safety features. While Honda is well known for its standard safety features, the Acadia keeps up with everything it has to offer. For example, the Honda Pilot has a collision mitigation braking system, a lane keeping assist system, and auto high-beam headlights - all standard. Other standard safety features on the Pilot include a forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and brake assist – but a blind spot information system and cross traffic monitor are only standard on higher trims.

    Acadia Safety Features

    Standard safety features on the GMC Acadia actually surpass what comes on the Pilot. For example, a forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking and lane keep assist with lane departure warning are all standard. Similarly, you get front pedestrian braking, a following distance indicator, and a Teen Driver safety system also standard.

    A lane change alert with side blind zone alert and a rear cross traffic alert system are both standard on the Acadia, while similar features are only standard on high trims of the Pilot. The highest trim for the Acadia, the Denali, has even more impressive available features, such as a rear camera mirror, enhanced automatic emergency braking, and an HD Surround System. This provides you with enhanced visibility at low speeds, giving you an incredibly safe driving experience.

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Current Vehicle Disclaimers:

*Not all vehicles will qualify for maximum discount. Must finance with GM Financial. Not compatible with special finance, lease and some other offers. Stock number vary in discount. Prices do not include tax, title, license and Dealer Installed Options. See the team at Rick Hendrick Buick/GMC Duluth for details and availability. *Not all vehicles will qualify for maximum discount. Must finance with GM Financial. Not compatible with special finance, lease and some other offers. Stock number vary in discount. Prices do not include tax, title, license and Dealer Installed Options. See the team at Rick Hendrick Buick/GMC Duluth for details and availability.

*Well-qualified customers who purchase a new, used, or certified preowned vehicle, 5 model years or newer with less than 72K miles between August 26, 2022 and September 30, 2022 and finance through a participating dealer and Ally have an option to defer monthly payments for 120 days from contract date. Finance charges begin to accrue on the date you sign the Retail Installment Sale Contract at the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the contract. May not be combined with other Ally financing offers. 72 months maximum term limit. Non-commercial transactions only. Equal monthly payments only. Dealer participation required. Not available to Pennsylvania residents, see your dealer for details. Must take retail delivery by September 30, 2022.

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