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Although the Acadia morphed from a full-size to a midsize crossover SUV with the arrival of the second-generation for the 2017 model year, the 2021 GMC Acadia is still a three-row SUV capable of comfortably seating up to seven people in very stylish surroundings.
It recently gained a lively four-cylinder turbocharged engine that further enhances a package that has always been stylish, desirable and packed with the latest comforts and technology. The handsome styling sets the Acadia apart from the crowd, and its all-important infotainment system is one of the better ones on the market right now.
There are currently five different trim levels to choose from in the 2021 GMC Acadia lineup or four if you have to have the extra capability of all-wheel-drive. The only model in the lineup that’s only available in front-wheel-drive format is the entry-level SL. After that, the range goes to the SLE, SLT, AT4 and the all-singing-all-dancing Acadia Denali.
SLE, SLT and Denali versions of the 2021 Acadia are standard front-wheel-drive with all-wheel-drive available as an option, but the off-road-focused AT4 is understandably an AWD-only offering for obvious reasons.
It would have been easy for Chevy to drop one or two of its tried and tested four-cylinder engines into the Trailblazer, but instead, the manufacturer has decided to put a couple of compact powerplants under the hood of the new model that are as modern and fresh as the exterior styling.
The first of the pair is a 1.2-liter turbo-three that develops 137 horsepower and 162 lb.-ft. of torque, and it’s the standard engine in the L, LS and LT trim levels of the 2021 Trailblazer. This engine is only available with front-wheel-drive, so if you want the added capability of all-wheel-drive you’ll have to go for the more powerful engine option.
That more powerful engine is another turbo-three, but this one is a 1.3-liter unit which then gives the Trailblazer 155 horsepower and 174 lb.-ft. of torque to play with. The 1.3-liter engine comes mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission, but the standard transmission for the 1.2-liter engine is a CVT.
If you don’t have a big family or a bunch of friends or colleagues you regularly have to carry around, the 2021 Acadia is happy to accommodate all sorts of different situations. You can configure your Acadia to accommodate five, six or seven people, and there’s still plenty of cargo space even when all seven seats are specified.
The only concession to price with the entry-level SL model is the base engine and front-wheel-drive because the standard feature set is anything but entry-level. The SL comes standard with an excellent 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system that’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible, LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, seating for up to seven people, four-way manually adjustable front seats, keyless start, and tri-zone automatic climate control.
Stepping up to the SLE adds the likes of selectable drive modes, satellite radio, and 18-inch alloys, but it’s the fact the SLE allows buyers to upgrade further to the V-6 or turbo-4 engines, all-wheel drive, a sunroof, heated and cooled power front seats, a power tailgate and a premium Bose audio that means this is likely to be a popular model.
SLT models are probably the sweet spot in the range for value due to the inclusion of a turbo-four engine, leather upholstery, six-passenger seating, a power driver’s seat, heated front seats, remote start, and that Bose audio system.
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the AT4 draws heavily on off-road styling and features to make it more capable off-road than any other Acadia model equipped with all-wheel-drive, but it does only come with five seats. And if heated and cooled front seats, heated second-row seats, wireless smartphone charging, the V-6 engine, all-wheel drive, adaptive cruise control and extra safety features are what you want, the Denali comes with all that and plenty more besides.
The 2021 GMC Acadia has a style, presence and quality all its own that sets it apart from the competition. It delivers a prestige look and feel for a more attractive price than its European and Japanese rivals, so it’s a great option for those who want top-quality without a luxury price ticket to go with it.
Come and experience the 2021 GMC Acadia for yourself by visiting us for a test drive today here at GR Chevrolet, conveniently located at 930 Fairystone Park Hwy, Stanleytown, VA.