|21 / 27||Fuel Economy (MPG)||19 / 26|
|79||Cargo Space (cu.ft.)||68.3|
There was a time when SUVs weren't as common as they are now. Sure, the concept has been around almost since the very first motorized vehicles hit the roads, but the modern affection for spacious land cruisers is a fairly recent phenomenon. Today, drivers have many options when it comes to choosing an SUV for your family driver, and you may be considering the 2021 GMC Acadia vs 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The 2021 GMC Acadia is a three-row crossover SUV that is comfortable and consolidated, with an easy drive feel and responsive steering, braking, and acceleration. The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee isn't a three-row vehicle, but it does have a lot to offer. So how can you tell which one would make the most sense for your daily needs? A side-by-side comparison should help you decide which SUV to bring home and which to leave at the lot.
No two drivers are the same, much less two families. Both GMC and Jeep appreciate that drivers may be looking for different qualities in their SUVs. The automobile manufacturers, therefore, offer plenty of options and choices for drivers looking to choose a vehicle that truly suits their needs. The first instance of providing this level of customization is in the engine options. Both the 2021 GMC Acadia and 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee come with several potential engines, ranging from a very acceptable daily driver to turbocharged or supercharged options that bring plenty of zip.
The 2021 Acadia lineup includes three possible engines. The base engine is a very accommodating 2.5L inline-4 that provides 193 horsepower and 188 lb-ft of torque. Towing up to 1,000 pounds is possible with this engine, giving plenty of wiggle room for weekend recreational toys. Fuel economy is also very reasonable, with the base engine making 21 miles per gallon on city streets and 27 miles per gallon on the highway.
The 2.0L turbocharged inline-4 engine trim takes things up a notch. Not only can it tow more, with a 1,500-pound maximum, but it comes with 230 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque for a peppier ride. All-wheel drive becomes available with this engine, with all-wheel drive versions consuming about 22 miles per gallon of fuel city and 27 miles per gallon highway. Front-wheel drive versions have even greater highway range, bumping that number up to 29 miles per gallon.
The last powerhouse to feature in the 2021 GMC Acadia is a 3.6L V6 engine that provides a cruise-worthy 310 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque. If you need a vehicle that can pull bigger loads, this engine might be worth exploring, with its 4,000-pound towing limit. Despite the increase in power and capability, the V6 doesn't drop too drastically in fuel economy. Front-wheel drive models get 19 miles per gallon city and 27 miles per gallon highway, while all-wheel drive versions follow very closely at 19 miles per gallon city and 26 miles per gallon highway.
Jeep offers four engine options, with a 3.6L V6 as the base engine in their lineup. The Jeep V6 provides 295 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, which is a bit less than the V6 available from GMC. However, a 5.7L V8 is also available, with its zestier 360 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque.
The Grand Cherokee SRT and Trackhawk models have their own engines. Under the hood of the SRT trim is a powerful 6.4L V8 that zips along with 475 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. According to Jeep, this trim can rocket from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.8 seconds. If that seems too slow, the Trackhawk takes its engine inspiration from muscle cars, with a 707 horsepower, 645 lb-ft of torque-producing 6.2L supercharged V8 just waiting to make the same trip in just 3.4 seconds.
This extra power does sacrifice fuel efficiency, however. Even the base 3.6L V6 is only able to make 19 miles per gallon city and 26 miles per gallon highway if you pass on all-wheel drive. That means that the most efficient Grand Cherokee already burns as much gas as the least efficient Acadia - and things only get worse from there. The 5.7L V8 burns through 14 miles per gallon city and 22 miles per gallon highway, while the blazing-fast Trackhawk drops all the way down to 11 miles per gallon city and 17 miles per gallon highway. If you are looking to save money at the pump, the Grand Cherokee is not the vehicle for you.
The 2021 GMC Acadia is offered in five trim levels: the SL, SLE, SLT, the off-road-ready AT4, and the trim-topping Denali. Those looking for the most seats will gravitate towards the SL, which can provide a comfortable ride for up to seven adults. The base trim also includes an 8-inch infotainment screen, climate control for all three rows, five USB ports to keep everyone's devices charged, and wireless access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The SLE introduces all-wheel drive as an option, as well as second-row captain's chairs. Other features that are available on the SLE, including a power liftgate, navigation, and satellite radio. The SLT comes equipped with a turbocharged engine, along with comfort features like heated front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. An eight-speaker Bose audio system is on board to make the road tunes sound sweeter than ever.
As the off-road option, the GMC Acadia AT4 is prepared for the elements with a twin-clutch active torque control all-wheel drive system and traction select system, featuring an Off-Road Mode. Hill descent control and all-terrain tires are also on board to round out the experience. Finally, the luxurious Denali trim offers the V6 engine, 20-inch wheels, a 6-inch color Head Up display, a heated steering wheel, and handsfree power programmable liftgate, just to name a few of its top-shelf features.
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee is offered in ten different trims. The Laredo is the base trim, with a Laredo X package adding features like a heated steering wheel and front seats. The Limited comes with leather upholstery and a larger standard infotainment screen, along with a sunroof, with the Limited X adding slick, glossy black appearance details. A special 2021 trim, known as the 80th Anniversary Edition, is stocked with active safety features.
The Overland trim is incredibly tech-savvy, with Bi-xenon HID headlights, a dual panoramic sunroof, and rain-sensing windshield wipers standard. The Summit provides drivers with a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system and active noise cancellation for complete enjoyment of your auditory automotive experience. The SRT and Trackhawk not only offer their own powerful engines but also have features to help drivers manage that level of zoom, such as active damping, Quadra-Trac Active On Demand all wheel drive, and launch control.
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk trim is the most off-road-ready version of the lineup. It's equipped with 18-inch off-road wheels with all-terrain tires, the Selec-Terrain system with Quadra-Trac four-wheel drive, and Quadra-Lift air suspension for a smooth experience wherever the wheels lead you.
As family-focused vehicles, it's important that both crossover SUVs provide plenty of safety and driver assistance features to keep drivers and passengers safe and sound from point A to point B. GMC offers the Pro Safety Plus suite of features on the 2021 Acadia, which includes IntelliBeam automatic high beams, Front and Rear Park Assist, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, a Following Distance Indicator, Forward Collision Alert, Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. The full package is offered on the topmost trims, but lower share many of the most important features.
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee includes two possible safety feature packages. The ProTech I package is standard on all trims and includes blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-path detection, a rear backup camera, and rear parking assistance. The ProTech II option for Laredo and Laredo X provides forward collision warning with active braking as well as lane departure warning with lane keep assist. The advanced ProTech II package is standard on High Altitude, Summit, SRT, and Trackhawk trims and provides full speed forward collision warning with active brake assist and active braking, adaptive cruise control, parking assist for both perpendicular and parallel parking, as well as lane departure warning with lane keep assist.