|310-415||Max Torque (lb-ft)||258-271|
|87.8||Max Cargo (cu.ft.)||79.0|
It is no secret that SUVs have taken over the auto industry in the last couple of decades and come to dominate sales. While some customers look for small and compact models to get great functionality on a diminutive scale, there are still some fantastic three-row models that offer the kind of robust size and performance you expect from an SUV. Choosing the right three-row SUV can be tricky, however, which is why it helps to narrow your options and focus on just one or two at a time. Looking at the 2022 Ford Explorer vs 2022 GMC Acadia, for example, you can see that while the GMC model has some good features, the Explorer gives you a lot more.
For starters, there are four engines available for the Ford Explorer, compared to just two engines offered by GMC. If the two GMC engines put the Ford options to shame, then this might not be a big deal, but Ford gives you more to choose from, and they are superior options. For example, you can get far greater horsepower and torque from the available 3.0L turbo engine on the Ford Explorer, plus there is even a hybrid option that you will not find with the Acadia. This results in superior performance plus greater capability. The Explorer offers much better towing capacity than the GMC Acadia, no matter which engine you choose for the Ford SUV.
Although both of these models are three-row SUVs with seating for up to seven people, there are still some significant differences. For starters, you get much more cargo space inside the Ford Explorer compared to the Acadia, which makes it easier to load up for a weekend of camping, a day of tailgating, or a long road trip. The Ford Explorer also has a number of impressive interior features that surpass what is offered from GMC, despite the Acadia being available in the Denali trim. You can get a larger infotainment screen in the Explorer, plus an available 12-inch driver cluster display that you can configure to perfectly meet your needs.
The engine is, arguably, the most important part of any vehicle since so much else depends upon it, and it essentially acts as the heart of a car, truck, or SUV. In a large, three-row SUV like these, the engine is even more vital since you want enough power to have a great driving experience. The 2022 Ford Explorer not only gives you more engines to choose from than the GMC Acadia, but they are also more impressive overall.
There are just two engines available for the Acadia, though they are both decent. The starting option is a 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder engine that offers 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. GMC also offers a 3.6L V6 engine for the Acadia, which delivers 310 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque for a better overall driving experience. Both engines come paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission, but if you want more power or better performance, then you are out of luck.
Ford offers four different engines for the 2022 Explorer, all of which are superior to the Acadia’s engines across the board. The starting option for the Explorer is a 2.3L EcoBoost turbo I-4 engine that delivers 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, which you can see is quite a bit better than the starting engine from GMC. You can also choose a 3.0L EcoBoost turbo V6 engine that delivers an impressive 365 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque, again much more powerful than the best engine offered on the Acadia.
If you really want incredible power, then the Explorer ST trim has you covered with a performance-tuned version of the 3.0L engine that delivers a stunning 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque. This provides a breathtaking driving experience that is a lot of fun and gives you much more power in your three-row SUV. For optimal fuel efficiency, there is also an available 3.3L hybrid V6 engine that still offers an impressive 318 hp and 322 lb-ft of torque while also giving you fantastic fuel economy, especially in the city. No matter which engine you choose with the Ford Explorer, it comes paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission that is incredibly responsive and provides you with a fantastic time on the road.
One of the best reasons to choose a large vehicle like a three-row SUV is for the ability to load up with everything you need to take with you. While that might open you up to occasionally being asked to help move a piece of furniture, this is a small price to pay for the incredible convenience and functionality this type of vehicle offers. Although these are both three-row models, the difference in how much “stuff” they can help you lug around is substantial.
You might think that since both of these vehicles have room for seven people, then they probably have about the same amount of cargo space too. In reality, however, you get much more interior cargo space with the 2022 Ford Explorer compared to the GMC Acadia. Inside the Acadia, there is almost 13 cu.ft. of cargo space behind the rear seats, nearly 42 cu.ft. of space behind the second row of seats, and up to 79 cu.ft. of total cargo volume behind the front row of seats, with everything adjusted for the most room possible.
With the Ford Explorer, you get a lot more space, not just overall but across the board. Behind the rear seats, the Explorer gives you more than 18 cu.ft. of cargo volume, while you get nearly 48 cu.ft. of space behind the second row of seats. With everything adjusted for optimal cargo space, you get more than 87 cu.ft. of total cargo volume behind the front row of seats in the 2022 Ford Explorer. When you picture this in three-dimensional space, because these are volumes, you can see that there is significantly more room for you to take advantage of with the Explorer compared to the Acadia.
If you have a trailer, boat, or anything else that you are interested in towing, then the Ford Explorer is a better option for that too. Based on the engines available, maximum towing capacities for these two SUVs are:
As you can see, the Ford Explorer starts with greater towing capacity compared to even the best engine offered on the Acadia. So no matter which engine you choose, even the hybrid, you can pull more weight behind the Explorer than is possible with GMC’s vehicle. With a difference of more than 1,000 lbs, this can be a significant issue and really impacts the type of trailer or other items you can tow behind you.
A powerful engine and great functionality are important, but most of your time with your vehicle will be spent with you inside it. This means you want to find an SUV with a terrific interior that you will enjoy for many years to come. The GMC Acadia has a lot to offer, but it simply falls behind everything the Ford Explorer has, both standard and available.
Standard features on the GMC Acadia include an 8-inch infotainment display, which is good, but there is no option for something larger, along with a 6-speaker audio system and cloth seating. The Acadia has a 4-way manual driver and front-passenger seat standard, with a 4-inch digital driver information screen, tri-zone automatic climate control, and power windows and door locks. Looking at the highest trim, the Denali, there are some notable improvements, including an 8-speaker sound system, leather-appointed seats, and an 8-inch driver display.
The Ford Explorer starts with some similar features, though there are a number of superior options worth noting. For example, you get an 8-inch infotainment display standard in the Explorer, but a 10-inch display is available, which you will not find on the Acadia. Tri-zone automatic temperature control is standard, along with cloth seating, a 6-speaker sound system, and much more. Looking at the Platinum trim for the Explorer, you get amazing features, including tri-diamond perforated leather seating, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 12-inch customizable digital driver cluster, and a 14-speaker B&O sound system.