2019 BMW X5 vs. 2019 GMC Acadia

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The X5 has standard Active Protection, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Acadia doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the X5. But it costs extra on the Acadia.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the X5 helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Acadia doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The X5’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Acadia doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the X5 and the Acadia have standard driver and passenger frontal 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 and available around view monitors.

The BMW X5 weighs 422 to 1214 pounds more than the GMC Acadia. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the X5 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 47 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Acadia was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

The X5 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Acadia’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The X5’s corrosion warranty is 6 years and unlimited miles longer than the Acadia’s (12/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X5 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. GMC only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Acadia.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the X5’s reliability 22 points higher than the Acadia.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 39 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 22nd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 17 places higher in reliability than GMC.

Engine

The X5 xDrive40i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 142 more horsepower (335 vs. 193) and 142 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 188) than the Acadia’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The X5 xDrive40i’s 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 25 more horsepower (335 vs. 310) and 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 271) than the Acadia’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6. The X5 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 146 more horsepower (456 vs. 310) and 208 lbs.-ft. more torque (479 vs. 271) than the Acadia’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the BMW X5 is faster than the GMC Acadia V6:

X5 xDrive40i

X5 xDrive50i

Acadia

Zero to 60 MPH

4.9 sec

4.2 sec

6.1 sec

Quarter Mile

13.6 sec

12.7 sec

15 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101 MPH

109 MPH

94 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the X5 gets better fuel mileage than the Acadia:

MPG

X5

AWD

xDrive40i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

xDrive50i 4.4 turbo V8

17 city/22 hwy

Acadia

FWD

3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/25 hwy

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/25 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the X5’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Acadia doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Regardless of its engine, the X5’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) GMC only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Acadia 4 cyl.

The X5 has 2.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Acadia FWD’s standard fuel tank (21.9 vs. 19.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW X5, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Acadia.

The X5’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Acadia doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the X5’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Acadia:

X5 xDrive40i

X5 M Sport

Acadia

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

15.6 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

14.6 inches

12.4 inches

The X5 stops much shorter than the Acadia:

X5

Acadia

70 to 0 MPH

158 feet

173 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the X5 has larger standard tires than the Acadia (265/50R19 vs. 235/65R18). The X5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Acadia (F:275/40R21 & R:315/35R21 vs. 255/65R17).

The X5’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Acadia’s standard 65 series tires. The X5’s optional 275/35R22 front and 315/30R22 rear tires have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile than the Acadia’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X5 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Acadia. The X5’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the Acadia.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the X5 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Acadia doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The X5 offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The Acadia doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The X5 offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. GMC doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Acadia.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X5’s wheelbase is 4.6 inches longer than on the Acadia (117.1 inches vs. 112.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X5 is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 2.4 inches wider in the rear than on the Acadia.

The X5’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.1% to 49.9%) than the Acadia’s (56.5% to 43.5%). This gives the X5 more stable handling and braking.

The X5 xDrive40i handles at .89 G’s, while the Acadia Denali AWD pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the X5 has a 1.5 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Acadia (8.7 vs. 7.2 inches), allowing the X5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The X5’s minimum ground clearance is .9 inch higher than on the Acadia All Terrain (8.7 vs. 7.8 inches).

Passenger Space

The X5 has .5 inches more front headroom and .6 inches more front shoulder room than the Acadia.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the X5’s available third row seats recline. The Acadia’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the X5 easier. The X5’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 30.8 inches, while the Acadia’s liftover is 32 inches.

Both the X5 and the Acadia offer second row automatic folding seats. The X5’s optional third row seats also fold down at the press of a button. The Acadia doesn’t offer automatic folding third row seats.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the X5. The Acadia doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

The X5’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Acadia’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Towing

The X5’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Acadia’s (6603 vs. 1000 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the GMC Acadia is only 4000 pounds. The X5 offers up to a 7209 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the X5 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Acadia. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors optional at extra cost in the Acadia (except SL/SLE), the X5 xDrive50i has a passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The X5’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the Acadia, and is not available on all models.

The X5 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Acadia doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The X5’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Acadia’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its front windows open automatically. The Acadia’s optional windows’ passenger windows don’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the X5 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Acadia can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The X5’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Acadia’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The X5’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Acadia’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the X5 has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Acadia doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The X5’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Acadia doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW X5, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X5 third among midsize premium SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Acadia isn’t in the top three.

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

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