2020 Kia Telluride vs. 2019 GMC Acadia

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Kia Telluride are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The GMC Acadia doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.

Both the Telluride and Acadia have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Telluride has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Acadia’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Telluride’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Acadia doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Telluride and the Acadia have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

Warranty

The Telluride comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Acadia’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Telluride 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than GMC covers the Acadia. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Acadia ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Telluride has a standard 800-amp battery. The Acadia’s 660-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Kia vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 35 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 22nd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 20 places higher in reliability than GMC.

Engine

The Telluride’s 3.8 DOHC V6 produces 98 more horsepower (291 vs. 193) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (262 vs. 188) than the Acadia’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Telluride gets better fuel mileage than the Acadia:

MPG

Telluride

FWD

3.8 DOHC V6

20 city/26 hwy

AWD

3.8 DOHC V6

19 city/24 hwy

Acadia

FWD

3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/25 hwy

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/25 hwy

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Kia Telluride, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Acadia.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Telluride’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Acadia:

Telluride

Acadia

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

12.6 inches

The Telluride stops much shorter than the Acadia:

Telluride

Acadia

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

173 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Telluride has larger tires than the Acadia (245/60R18 vs. 235/65R18).

The Telluride LX/EX’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Acadia’s standard 65 series tires. The Telluride S/SX’s tires have a lower 50 series profile than the Acadia’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Telluride LX/EX has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Acadia.

Suspension and Handling

The Telluride has a standard automatic load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Acadia doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Telluride’s wheelbase is 1.7 inches longer than on the Acadia (114.2 inches vs. 112.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Telluride is 2.7 inches wider in the front and 3.1 inches wider in the rear than on the Acadia.

For greater off-road capability the Telluride has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Acadia (8 vs. 7.2 inches), allowing the Telluride to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Telluride’s minimum ground clearance is .2 inch higher than on the Acadia All Terrain (8 vs. 7.8 inches).

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Telluride SX 4x4 is quieter than the Acadia Denali AWD:

Telluride

Acadia

At idle

36 dB

41 dB

Full-Throttle

75 dB

78 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

68 dB

Passenger Space

The Telluride has standard seating for 8 passengers; the Acadia can only carry 7.

The Telluride has 11.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Acadia (155 vs. 143.8).

The Telluride has .6 inches more front headroom, 3.1 inches more front legroom, 3.2 inches more front hip room, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom, 2.7 inches more rear legroom, 4.7 inches more rear hip room, 2.5 inches more rear shoulder room, .9 inches more third row headroom, .3 inches more third row legroom, .8 inches more third row hip room and 1 inch more third row shoulder room than the Acadia.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Telluride’s middle and third row seats recline. The Acadia’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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

Telluride

Acadia

Behind Third Seat

21 cubic feet

12.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

46 cubic feet

41.7 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

87 cubic feet

79 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Telluride easier. The Telluride’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 30.7 inches, while the Acadia’s liftover is 32 inches.

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

Telluride

Acadia

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

20.4”/49.8”/83.8”

18.5”/48”/83”

Max Width

54.4”

50”

Min Width

43.5”

42.5”

Height

34.5”

33”

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Telluride. The Acadia doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

The Telluride’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Acadia’s (5000 vs. 1000 pounds).

Ergonomics

The Telluride offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Acadia doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Telluride’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Acadia’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its front windows open automatically. The Acadia’s optional windows’ passenger windows don’t close automatically.

The Telluride SX’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Acadia’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

The Telluride EX/SX has standard front air-conditioned seats and the Telluride SX offers them optionally in the second row. This keeps the passengers comfortable and takes the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Acadia doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats for the second row.

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

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