2019 GMC Acadia vs. 2018 Volkswagen Atlas

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/05/29

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 Atlas 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 Volkswagen Atlas doesn’t offer comfort guides on its middle 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 Atlas 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 Atlas doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Both the Acadia and the Atlas have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front-wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, 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, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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The Acadia comes with free roadside assistance for 5 years 60,000 miles. GMC will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump-start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Volkswagen doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Atlas.

GMC pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the Acadia. GMC will pay for the first oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance in the first year. Volkswagen doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Atlas.

There are almost 3 times as many GMC dealers as there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Acadia’s warranty.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/05/29

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that GMC vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks GMC 20th in initial quality. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 24th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that GMC vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks GMC 18th in reliability. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 19th.

Engine

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The Acadia’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 34 more horsepower (310 vs. 276) and 5 lbs.-ft. more torque (271 vs. 266) than the Atlas’ optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the GMC Acadia V6 is faster than the Volkswagen Atlas V6:

 

Acadia

Atlas

Zero to 30 MPH

2.2 sec

2.9 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

7.9 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.2 sec

20.2 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.4 sec

8.2 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.3 sec

3.9 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.8 sec

5.2 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

89 MPH

Top Speed

131 MPH

116 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/05/29

On the EPA test cycle the Acadia AWD V6 gets better highway fuel mileage than the Atlas 4Motion V6 (17 city/25 hwy vs. 17 city/23 hwy).

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

The Acadia AWD’s standard fuel tank has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Atlas (21.7 vs. 18.6 gallons).

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 Atlas doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/05/29

The Acadia stops much shorter than the Atlas:

 

Acadia

Atlas

 

70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

174 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

126 feet

139 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/05/29

The GMC Acadia’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Volkswagen Atlas 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 Atlas doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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The Acadia has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Acadia flat and controlled during cornering. The Atlas’ suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Acadia offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Atlas’ suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Acadia Denali AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Atlas SEL Premium 4Motion pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Acadia SLT AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Atlas SEL 4Motion (26.9 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 27.9 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

Chassis

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The GMC Acadia may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 350 pounds less than the Volkswagen Atlas.

The Acadia is 4.7 inches shorter than the Atlas, making the Acadia easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 Atlas 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 Atlas doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Cargo Capacity

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

Ergonomics

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The Acadia (except SL/SLE)’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Atlas doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Acadia’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Atlas’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Acadia has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Atlas only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Acadia has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Atlas has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SE/SEL/SEL Premium.

The Acadia’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Volkswagen only offers heated mirrors on the Atlas SE/SEL/SEL Premium.

The Acadia SLT/Denali has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Atlas offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Acadia has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Atlas and isn’t available on the Atlas S.

The Acadia’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Atlas S doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

Economic Advantages

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/05/29

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Acadia is less expensive to operate than the Atlas because typical repairs cost much less on the Acadia than the Atlas, including $285 less for a water pump, $295 less for a muffler, $333 less for a starter, $209 less for fuel injection, $301 less for front struts, $233 less for a timing belt/chain and $27 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/05/29

The GMC Acadia outsold the Volkswagen Atlas by over four to one during 2017.

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

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