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The three-row SUV segment is packed full of several worthwhile choices, so it would be understandable to feel overwhelmed with all the options. However, one vehicle stands out above the best: the 2024 GMC Acadia. If you’re in the market for a new three-row midsize SUV and can’t decide between the 2024 GMC Acadia or the 2024 Ford Explorer, use this guide to compare some aspects of these two powerful vehicles and learn why the Acadia is your best choice.

Trims and Price

The 2024 model year marks the beginning of the GMC Acadia‘s third generation, offering a complete overhaul of the outgoing model. This new version will boast new styling inside and out, an enhanced powertrain, and various tech upgrades. It’s expected to be available in four trims: the Elevation, Elevation Premium, AT4, and Denali. GMC has yet to announce the price of the 2024 Acadia. While the 2024 Explorer has been in production for more than 30 years, it’s starting to show its age. Its sixth generation made its debut during the 2020 model year. Production of this model is only expected to last a handful of months so Ford can focus on the vehicle refresh planned for the 2025 models. The current iteration of the Explorer has eight trims: the Base, XLT, ST-Line, Limited, Timberline, ST, King Ranch, and Platinum, and we expect those to be repeated in the latest model. Ford has yet to announce the price of the 2024 Explorer.

Fuel Economy

Even though the 2024 Acadia is expected to have just one engine option, it’ll be a powerful one. GMC is removing the previous V-6 engine and replacing it with a turbocharged 2.7-liter inline-four that sends 328 horsepower and 326 pound-feet of torque to either the front wheels or all four via an eight-speed automatic transmission. All trims will come standard with front-wheel drive, except for the AT4, which will come standard with all-wheel drive. The EPA hasn’t announced gas mileage for the 2024 models, but the 2023 ones earn 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. With the 2024 Explorer, drivers can expect to choose from three different engines: the base 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the available 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine, and the available 3.3-liter V-6 hybrid system putting out 318 horsepower and 322 pound-feet of torque. Expect to get a combined 23 mpg with the hybrid system. All models are expected to use a 10-speed automatic transmission with most having standard rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive will be an option for all trims, except for the Timberline, which will come standard with all-wheel drive. The EPA hasn’t released official gas mileage numbers for the 2024 models, but most of the 2023 ones earn 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. If you’re looking to save money at the gas station and achieve better gas mileage, opt for the Acadia.

Interior Features and Dimensions

The 2024 Acadia will be substantially larger than the previous model, making it almost big enough to qualify as a full-size SUV. Its wheelbase will be 8.4 inches longer as well as having an additional 10.6 inches added to its overall length and 3.2 inches added to its height. As a result, the vehicle’s interior will be larger; no other vehicle in its class will provide as much front-row legroom. Thanks to its larger size, the Acadia will have room for all travelers to stretch their legs, so those riding in the front aren’t the only ones who will benefit from the additional space. The SUV also has plenty of additional storage, including under the floor behind the third row. According to the automaker, the Acadia will have 36% more storage behind the second-row seats, and almost 80% more cargo space behind the third row, compared to the 2023 model. The base trim for the 2024 Ford Explorer offers the most seating with room for eight travelers, while the XLT trim will have second-row captain’s chairs, which will lower the capacity to seven. Regardless, all trims will feature plenty of legroom, with 43 inches for front-row passengers, 39 inches for second-row passengers, and 32.2 inches for those in the third row. Cargo space will be just as ample with 18.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third-row seats and 87.8 cubic feet with both rows folded down.

Infotainment Systems

GM knows how important it is to stay connected, which is why it’s adding some premium tech updates to the 2024 Acadia, including a standard 15-inch portrait-mounted infotainment screen and an 11-inch driver information center. Drivers will be able to customize the display to their own preferences and use Google built-in software with voice activation. The infotainment screen is flanked by vertical air ducts with a row of toggles and buttons beneath so climate settings are changeable without scrolling through menus on the screen. Audio will come via a standard 12-speaker Bose system or an available 16-speaker theater system. Ford also added a few key technology features, although its infotainment screen is significantly smaller at just 8 inches. It offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity through a similar setup found in Ford’s F-150 pickup truck. The Explorer will also include satellite radio and a six-speaker stereo system. Like many Ford vehicles, the Explorer will have FordPass Connect, which includes a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. Several add-on packages will include upgrades such as a 10.4-inch touch-screen display, a 12-speaker premium sound system, a wireless smartphone charger, and a navigation system.

Take the 2024 GMC Acadia for a Test Drive

Now that you know why the 2024 GMC Acadia is a better choice than the 2024 Ford Explorer, you should still get behind the wheel of the Acadia to see what it’s like out on the road. Luckily, our team of professionals at Spruce Pine Chevrolet in Pine, North Carolina, will be able to schedule a test drive in the Acadia as soon as it’s released in early 2024. View our available inventory online, or contact us so we can help you drive home in this amazing SUV.

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