2018 GMC Acadia vs. 2018 BMW X5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Acadia Denali’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The X5 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the GMC Acadia’s middle seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The BMW X5 doesn’t offer height adjustable seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Acadia are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The X5 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Acadia has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The X5 doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

To help make backing safer, the Acadia (except SL)’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The X5 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Acadia and the X5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Acadia the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 148 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The X5 has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

GMC’s powertrain warranty covers the Acadia 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X5. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the X5 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 5 times as many GMC dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Acadia’s warranty.

Engine

The Acadia’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 10 more horsepower (310 vs. 300) than the X5 s/xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the GMC Acadia uses regular unleaded gasoline. The X5 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Acadia has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The X5 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

The Acadia stops shorter than the X5:

 

Acadia

X5

 

70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

126 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The GMC Acadia’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The BMW X5 only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Acadia has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The X5 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Acadia Denali AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the X5 xDrive35i xDrive pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Acadia’s turning circle is 3 feet tighter than the X5’s (38.7 feet vs. 41.7 feet).

Chassis

The GMC Acadia may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 650 to 700 pounds less than the BMW X5.

The front grille of the Acadia FWD 4 cyl. uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The X5 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Acadia uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The X5 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Acadia has 12.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the X5 (143.8 vs. 131.2).

The Acadia has .5 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front legroom, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, 3.1 inches more rear legroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the X5.

Cargo Capacity

The Acadia’s cargo area provides more volume than the X5.

 

Acadia

X5

Behind Third Seat

12.8 cubic feet

12 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

41.7 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

35.8 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

79 cubic feet

76.7 cubic feet

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Acadia’s second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The X5 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

The Acadia’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X5’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Acadia Denali’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The X5 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its tailgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

The Acadia offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The X5 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Acadia SLT/Denali has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The X5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Acadia owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Acadia will cost $570 to $3655 less than the X5 over a five-year period.

The Acadia will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Acadia will retain 46.28% to 52.71% of its original price after five years, while the X5 only retains 44.2% to 46.16%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Acadia is less expensive to operate than the X5 because typical repairs cost much less on the Acadia than the X5, including $284 less for a water pump, $1443 less for a muffler, $33 less for front brake pads, $302 less for a starter, $226 less for fuel injection, $115 less for a fuel pump, $389 less for front struts, $657 less for a timing belt/chain and $961 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the GMC Acadia will be $22210 to $27157 less than for the BMW X5.

Recommendations

The GMC Acadia outsold the BMW X5 by over two to one during 2017.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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