2019 GMC Acadia vs. 2019 Chevrolet Traverse

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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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 Traverse doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the Acadia and the Traverse have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, front seat center airbag, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, 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.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the GMC Acadia is safer than the Chevrolet Traverse:





5 Stars

4 Stars




5 Stars

5 Stars




Neck Stress

162 lbs.

198 lbs.

Neck Compression

16 lbs.

77 lbs.




4 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.9 inches

Leg Forces (l/r)

10/95 lbs.

258/133 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the GMC Acadia is safer than the Chevrolet Traverse:





Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.9 inches

.9 inches

Abdominal Force

155 G’s

161 G’s


Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

14 inches

Spine Acceleration

33 G’s

34 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

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 154 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Traverse has not been tested, yet.


To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Acadia has a standard 660-amp battery. The Traverse’s 600-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 Acadia’s reliability 14 points higher than the Traverse.


The Acadia’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 5 lbs.-ft. more torque (271 vs. 266) than the Traverse’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the GMC Acadia V6 is faster than the Chevrolet Traverse V6:




Zero to 30 MPH

2.2 sec

2.5 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

6.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.2 sec

17.3 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.4 sec

6.8 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

15.1 sec

Top Speed

131 MPH

130 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Acadia FWD 4 cyl. gets better city fuel mileage than the Traverse RS FWD 4 cyl. (21 city/26 hwy vs. 20 city/26 hwy).

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

Brakes and Stopping

The Acadia’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Traverse are solid, not vented.

The Acadia stops shorter than the Traverse:





70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

176 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

126 feet

135 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

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 Traverse’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Acadia Denali AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Traverse High Country AWD pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Acadia SLT AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Traverse Premier AWD (26.9 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 27.8 seconds @ .61 average G’s).


The GMC Acadia may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 900 pounds less than the Chevrolet Traverse.

The Acadia is 10.7 inches shorter than the Traverse, making the Acadia easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.


The Acadia’s optional front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches. The Traverse’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to lower them fully.

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 Traverse’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Acadia has a standard center folding armrest for the middle row passengers. A center armrest helps make middle row passengers more comfortable. The Traverse doesn’t offer a middle row seat center armrest.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Acadia is less expensive to operate than the Traverse because typical repairs cost less on the Acadia than the Traverse, including $95 less for a water pump, $13 less for a starter, $129 less for fuel injection, $71 less for a fuel pump and $65 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the GMC Acadia will be $126 to $2696 less than for the Chevrolet Traverse.

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

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