2019 GMC Acadia vs. 2019 Lexus NX Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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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 Lexus NX Series 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 NX Series 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 NX Series doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Forward Automatic Braking optional in the Acadia as “Superior.” The NX Series scores only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

Compared to metal, the Acadia’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Lexus NX Series has a metal gas tank.

Both the Acadia and the NX Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee 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, available all-wheel drive, 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 Lexus NX Series:



NX Series


5 Stars

4 Stars




5 Stars

4 Stars




Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

162 lbs.

509 lbs.

Neck Compression

16 lbs.

24 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

112/392 lbs.

480/609 lbs.




4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

152 lbs.

295 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

10/95 lbs.

442/307 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 Lexus NX Series:



NX Series


Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Hip Force

253 lbs.

352 lbs.


Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

42 G’s

49 G’s


Into Pole


5 Stars

4 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

15 inches




Spine Acceleration

33 G’s

38 G’s

Hip Force

673 lbs.

828 lbs.

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


There are over 7 times as many GMC dealers as there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Acadia’s warranty.


To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Acadia has a standard 660-amp battery. The NX Series’ 580-amp battery isn’t as powerful.


The Acadia’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 75 more horsepower (310 vs. 235) and 13 lbs.-ft. more torque (271 vs. 258) than the NX 300’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the GMC Acadia V6 is faster than the NX 300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.:



NX Series

Zero to 30 MPH

2.2 sec

2.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

7.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.2 sec

20.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.4 sec

7.7 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.3 sec

3.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

15.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

89 MPH

Top Speed

131 MPH

126 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the GMC Acadia uses regular unleaded gasoline. The NX 300 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Acadia FWD’s standard fuel tank has 4.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the NX Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (19.4 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Acadia AWD’s standard fuel tank has 5.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the NX Series’ standard fuel tank (21.7 vs. 15.9 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 NX Series doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

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 NX Series are solid, not vented.

The Acadia stops much shorter than the NX Series:



NX Series


70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

183 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

126 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Acadia has larger standard tires than the NX Series (235/65R18 vs. 225/65R17). The Acadia’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the NX Series (255/65R17 vs. 235/55R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Acadia offers optional 20-inch wheels. The NX Series’ largest wheels are only 18-inches.

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

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Acadia’s wheelbase is 7.8 inches longer than on the NX Series (112.5 inches vs. 104.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Acadia is 2.5 inches wider in the front and 2.5 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the NX Series.

The Acadia Denali AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the NX 300 F Sport AWD pulls only .76 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 NX 300h AWD (26.9 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 27.8 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Acadia has a greater minimum ground clearance than the NX 300h (7.2 vs. 6.7 inches), allowing the Acadia to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Acadia All Terrain’s minimum ground clearance is .9 inch higher than on the NX 300 (7.8 vs. 6.9 inches).


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 NX Series 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 NX Series doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the Acadia Denali AWD is quieter than the NX 300 F Sport AWD (68 vs. 69 dB).

Passenger Space

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

The Acadia has 72.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the NX Series (143.8 vs. 71.6).

The Acadia has 2.9 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front hip room, 2.1 inches more front shoulder room, 1.6 inches more rear headroom, 3.6 inches more rear legroom and 3.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the NX Series.

Cargo Capacity

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



NX Series

Third Seat Folded

41.7 cubic feet


Third Seat Removed


17.7 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

79 cubic feet

54.6 cubic feet

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



NX Series

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







The Acadia’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the NX Series’ (1000 vs. 0 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Lexus NX 300h AWD is only 2000 pounds. The Acadia offers up to a 4000 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The Acadia has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The NX Series doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.


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 NX Series’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Both the Acadia and the NX Series offer available heated front seats. The Acadia also offers optional heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the NX Series.

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 NX Series doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Acadia is less expensive to operate than the NX Series because it costs $225 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Acadia than the NX Series, including $58 less for a water pump, $209 less for a muffler, $183 less for a starter, $272 less for fuel injection, $62 less for front struts and $155 less for a timing belt/chain.


The GMC Acadia outsold the Lexus NX Series by 43% during 2018.

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

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