2020 GMC Acadia vs. 2020 Toyota Highlander

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 2020/06/05

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 Highlander doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the GMC Acadia are height-adjustable, and the 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 Toyota Highlander doesn’t offer comfort guides on its middle seat belts.

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 Highlander doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Both the Acadia and the Highlander have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

© 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 2020/06/05

The Acadia’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Highlander’s (6 vs. 5 years).

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

Engine

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The Acadia’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 15 more horsepower (310 vs. 295) and 8 lbs.-ft. more torque (271 vs. 263) than the Highlander’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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Regenerative brakes improve the Acadia 2.0 Turbo’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Highlander doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The Acadia FWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Highlander (19.4 vs. 17.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Acadia AWD’s standard fuel tank has 3.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Highlander (21.7 vs. 17.9 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 Highlander doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the GMC Acadia, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Highlander.

Brakes and Stopping

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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 Highlander are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Acadia AT4’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Highlander (255/65R17 vs. 235/65R18).

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

Suspension and Handling

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

The Acadia has variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Highlander doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Acadia SLT AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Highlander XLE AWD (26.9 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 27.4 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

Chassis

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The GMC Acadia may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 50 to 200 pounds less than the Toyota Highlander.

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 Highlander 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 Highlander doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Acadia has 2.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Highlander (143.8 vs. 141.3).

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 Highlander doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Servicing Ease

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The Acadia uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Highlander uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

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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 Highlander doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Acadia (except SL/SLE/AT4)’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 Highlander 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 Highlander’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Acadia SLT/AT4/Denali’s standard rear view mirror and optional side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Highlander offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

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