2019 Dodge Durango vs. 2019 GMC Acadia

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Dodge Durango are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The GMC Acadia doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.

The Durango has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Acadia doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Durango and the Acadia have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front and rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

There are over 36 percent more Dodge dealers than there are GMC dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Durango’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Durango has larger alternators than the Acadia:

 

Durango

Acadia

Standard Alternator

160 amps

150 amps

Optional Alternator

180 amps

155 amps

2nd Optional Alternator

220 amps

170 amps

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Durango has a standard 850-amp battery (700 V8). The Acadia’s 660-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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 Durango’s reliability 21 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 Dodge vehicles are better in initial quality than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Dodge 19th in initial quality. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 20th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Dodge vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Dodge 2 places higher in reliability than GMC.

Engine

The Durango has more powerful engines than the Acadia:

 

Horsepower

Torque

Durango 3.6 DOHC V6

293 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Durango Dual Exhaust 3.6 DOHC V6

295 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Durango 5.7 V8

360 HP

390 lbs.-ft.

Acadia 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

193 HP

188 lbs.-ft.

Acadia 3.6 DOHC V6

310 HP

271 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Dodge Durango V8 is faster than the GMC Acadia V6:

 

Durango

Acadia

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

6.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

15.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.9 MPH

92.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

Durango

Acadia

 

2WD

3.6 V6 (295 HP)/Auto

19 city/26 hwy

18 city/25 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

4WD

3.6 V6 (295 HP)/Auto

18 city/25 hwy

17 city/25 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Durango V8’s fuel efficiency. The Acadia doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Durango has 5.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Acadia FWD’s standard fuel tank (24.6 vs. 19.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Durango has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Acadia AWD’s standard fuel tank (24.6 vs. 21.7 gallons).

Transmission

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

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Durango V6

Durango V8

Acadia

Front Rotors

13 inches

13.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13 inches

12.4 inches

The Durango stops shorter than the Acadia:

 

Durango

Acadia

 

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Durango has larger tires than the Acadia (265/60R18 vs. 235/65R18). The Durango SXT/GT’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Acadia (265/60R18 vs. 255/65R17).

The Durango SXT/GT’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Acadia’s standard 65 series tires. The Durango’s optional tires have a lower 50 series profile than the Acadia’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Durango SXT/GT has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Acadia.

Suspension and Handling

The Durango offers an optional automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Acadia doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Durango’s wheelbase is 7.3 inches longer than on the Acadia (119.8 inches vs. 112.5 inches).

The Durango’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50% to 50%) than the Acadia’s (56.5% to 43.5%). This gives the Durango more stable handling and braking.

For greater off-road capability the Durango has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Acadia (8.1 vs. 7.2 inches), allowing the Durango to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Durango’s minimum ground clearance is .3 inch higher than on the Acadia All Terrain (8.1 vs. 7.8 inches).

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Durango GT 4x4 is quieter than the Acadia Denali AWD:

 

Durango

Acadia

At idle

38 dB

41 dB

Full-Throttle

76 dB

78 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

68 dB

Passenger Space

The Durango has 1.3 inches more front hip room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 2.2 inches more rear hip room, .6 inches more third row headroom and 2.4 inches more third row legroom than the Acadia.

Cargo Capacity

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

 

Durango

Acadia

Behind Third Seat

17.2 cubic feet

12.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

43.3 cubic feet

41.7 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

85.1 cubic feet

79 cubic feet

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

Towing

The Durango’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Acadia’s (6200 vs. 1000 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the GMC Acadia is only 4000 pounds. The Durango offers up to a 7400 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the Durango 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

The Durango’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Acadia does not have an oil pressure gauge.

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

On a hot day the Durango’s driver can lower the front 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 Durango has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Acadia doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Durango’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Acadia’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Durango is less expensive to operate than the Acadia because it costs $288 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Durango than the Acadia, including $160 less for a water pump, $78 less for a muffler, $51 less for front brake pads, $71 less for fuel injection, $219 less for a timing belt/chain and $434 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Durango second among midsize 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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