2019 GMC Acadia vs. 2019 BMW X3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 X3 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 X3 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 X3 doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Both the Acadia and the X3 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, 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

GMC’s powertrain warranty covers the Acadia 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X3. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the X3 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 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 62 more horsepower (310 vs. 248) and 13 lbs.-ft. more torque (271 vs. 258) than the X3 s/xDrive30i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Acadia FWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the X3’s standard fuel tank (19.4 vs. 17.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Acadia AWD’s standard fuel tank has 4 gallons more fuel capacity than the X3 M40i’s standard fuel tank (21.7 vs. 17.7 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 X3 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

The Acadia stops shorter than the X3:

 

Acadia

X3

 

60 to 0 MPH

126 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Acadia has larger standard tires than the X3 (235/65R18 vs. 225/60R18). The Acadia’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the X3 (255/65R17 vs. 245/45R20).

The GMC Acadia’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The BMW X3 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 X3 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Acadia SLT AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the X3 xDrive30i pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Acadia SLT AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the X3 xDrive30i (26.9 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Acadia’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the X3 xDrive30i’s (38.7 feet vs. 39.4 feet). The Acadia’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the X3 M40i’s (38.7 feet vs. 39.7 feet).

Chassis

The Acadia uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The X3 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Acadia has standard seating for 7 passengers; the X3 can only carry 5.

The Acadia has 42.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the X3 (143.8 vs. 101.4).

The Acadia has .7 inches more front legroom, 1.8 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, 3.3 inches more rear legroom and 2.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the X3.

Cargo Capacity

The Acadia’s cargo area provides more volume than the X3.

 

Acadia

X3

Third Seat Folded

41.7 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

28.7 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

79 cubic feet

62.7 cubic feet

The Acadia’s cargo area is larger than the X3’s in almost every dimension:

 

Acadia

X3

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

18.5”/48”/83”

n.a./36.5”/69”

Max Width

50”

47”

Height

33”

30.1”

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 X3 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, 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 X3 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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 X3 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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 X3 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Acadia Denali keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The X3 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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 X3 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 $140 less than the X3 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Acadia is less expensive to operate than the X3 because it costs $36 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Acadia than the X3, including $390 less for a water pump, $547 less for a muffler, $338 less for a starter, $230 less for fuel injection, $77 less for a fuel pump, $336 less for front struts and $396 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 $5550 to $9355 less than for the BMW X3.

Recommendations

The GMC Acadia outsold the BMW X3 by 44% during 2018.

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

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