2020 GMC Acadia vs. 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

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 2020/05/26

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 Cross Sport 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 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport has only front 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 Atlas Cross Sport 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 Cross Sport doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Both the Acadia and the Atlas Cross Sport have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

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 202 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Atlas Cross Sport has not been tested, yet.

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 2020/05/26

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

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 2020/05/26

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 28 points higher than the Atlas Cross Sport.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 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 12th in initial quality. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that GMC vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks GMC 5 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

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 Cross Sport’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Acadia gets better fuel mileage than the Atlas Cross Sport:

MPG

Acadia

2WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/28 hwy

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

3.6 DOHC 6 cyl.

19 city/27 hwy

4WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

3.6 DOHC 6 cyl.

18 city/25 hwy

Atlas Cross Sport

2WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/24 hwy

3.6 DOHC 6 cyl.

17 city/23 hwy

4WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

18 city/23 hwy

3.6 DOHC 6 cyl.

16 city/22 hwy

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

The Acadia AWD’s standard fuel tank has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Atlas Cross Sport (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 Cross Sport doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the GMC Acadia higher (5 to 6 out of 10) than the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport (3 to 5). This means the Acadia produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Atlas Cross Sport every 15,000 miles.

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 Atlas Cross Sport.

Tires and Wheels

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The GMC Acadia’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport 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 Cross Sport 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 Cross Sport’s 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 Cross Sport’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For better maneuverability, the Acadia’s turning circle is 1.8 feet tighter than the Atlas Cross Sport’s (38.7 feet vs. 40.5 feet).

Chassis

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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 Cross Sport 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 Cross Sport doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

© 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 2020/05/26

The Acadia has standard seating for 7 passengers; the Atlas Cross Sport can only carry 5.

The Acadia has 31.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Atlas Cross Sport (143.8 vs. 112).

Cargo Capacity

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The Acadia has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Atlas Cross Sport with its rear seat folded (79 vs. 77.8 cubic feet).

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

Ergonomics

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

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 Atlas Cross Sport has 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 is only available on the Atlas Cross Sport SE/SEL.

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 2020/05/26

The GMC Acadia outsold the Volkswagen Atlas by 22% during 2019.

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