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2020 GMC Acadia gets smarter and tougher

by Ronan Glon

The updates include a new turbo four, and an AT4 model.

GMC has given the Acadia crossover a mid-cycle update that brings a new-look design, a third engine option, interior and tech enhancements, plus an off-road-focused AT4 model.

Up front, the visual updates consist of a bigger grille and rectangular lights with C-shaped LED inserts. They bring the Acadia in line with GMC's recent design language. Stylists also tweaked the rear lights. 18- and 20-inch wheel designs round out the major exterior changes.

Inside, the Acadia continues to offer seating for five, six, or seven passengers depending on how it's configured. GMC added an electronic shifter to free up real estate on the center console, and it fitted a new infotainment system billed as more intelligent and more intuitive to use thanks to a higher-resolution eight-inch touch screen, a simpler interface, and improved voice recognition.

The list of options includes a head-up display, though the feature won't be available at launch. Buyers can also add a 15-watt wireless phone charger, while those in the market for a Denali model can order a rear camera mirror that replaces the rear-view mirror with a screen.

Motorists want tech, but GMC also sensed a growing demand for a more ruggedness. To that end, an AT4 model aimed at adventurous buyers joins the line-up for 2020. It wears a trim-specific grille with black chrome accents, plastic body cladding, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Buyers can order 20-inch alloys at an extra cost. Sound familiar? It's likely because GMC already offers the AT4 package on the Sierra.

The 2020 Acadia gains an available turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 230 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque between 1,500 and 4,000 rpm. Bolted to a nine-speed automatic transmission, it's standard on SLT and Denali models. The naturally-aspirated, 2.5-liter four rated at 193 horsepower and the 310-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 carry over from the 2019 model. Both shift through the same nine-speed automatic as the new turbo four; it replaces the six-speed automatic offered through the 2019 model year, and promises to improve fuel efficiency.

The line-up includes front- and all-wheel drive models, though GMC hasn't revealed precisely which models come with which configuration. We know the AT4 trim comes exclusively with the V6 and all-wheel drive. The six-cylinder helps it tow up to 4,000 pounds when properly configured.

Made in Tennessee, the 2020 GMC Acadia will go on sale in the fall of 2019. Pricing information and full specifications will be released in the weeks leading up to its on-sale date.

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