GMC Acadia Vs. Ford Explorer: The Ultimate Showdown

The SUV market is filled with options that can leave even the savviest buyer overwhelmed. Among the top contenders, the GMC Acadia and Ford Explorer have made quite an impression. When you’re on the prowl for the perfect family-friendly SUV, these two models are likely to catch your eye. 

But which one is right for you? Let’s dive into an engaging and insightful comparison between GMC Acadia and Ford Explorer to find your perfect ride.

A Brief Comparison Table

FeatureGMC AcadiaFord Explorer
Base Engine2.5L four-cylinder2.3L EcoBoost
Top Engine Option3.6L V6 (310 hp)3.0L EcoBoost V6 (400 hp)
Fuel Efficiency (city/hwy)21/27 mpg20/27 mpg
Cargo Space12.8 – 79 cubic feet18.2 – 87.8 cubic feet
Towing CapacityUp to 4,000 lbsUp to 5,600 lbs
Seating6 or 76 or 7
Starting PriceAround $29,800Around $32,225

GMC Acadia: A Fresh Take on Luxury

GMC Acadia
GMC Acadia


  • Stylish Interior

The GMC Acadia, known for its well-appointed cabin, offers a luxurious feel. With comfortable seating and high-end materials, the Acadia provides a touch of elegance that makes every ride a pleasure.

  • Advanced Technology

Equipped with the latest in infotainment systems, the Acadia includes features such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. You and your passengers will never get bored on the road.

  • Fuel Efficiency

For an SUV, the GMC Acadia boasts impressive fuel efficiency. If you’re mindful of your carbon footprint, this might be the ideal vehicle.


  • Cargo Space

Despite its luxury, the GMC Acadia comes up short in cargo space. If you need to haul a lot of gear, this could be a limiting factor.

  • Towing Capacity

Towing heavy loads? The Acadia might not be your first choice, as its towing capacity falls short when compared to the Ford Explorer.

Ford Explorer: Built for the Adventurous

Ford Explorer
Ford Explorer


  • Powerful Engine Options

Ford Explorer is synonymous with performance. With several engine options, including an EcoBoost variant, the Explorer provides an exhilarating ride.

  • Spacious Interior

The Explorer offers more room for passengers and cargo compared to the GMC Acadia. If space is a priority, the Explorer has got you covered.

  • Proven Reliability

The Ford Explorer has a long-standing reputation for reliability. If you’re looking for a car that will last, this is a strong contender.


  • Fuel Consumption

While powerful, the Ford Explorer can be a bit thirstier at the gas pump. If fuel efficiency is a key concern, you might want to consider the Acadia.

  • Price Tag

The Explorer’s strong attributes come at a cost. Depending on the trim and options, the Explorer can be pricier than the Acadia.

Key Differences Between GMC Acadia and Ford Explorer

  1. Performance and Engine Options

The GMC Acadia offers several engine options, including a fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine. The Ford Explorer, on the other hand, tends to focus on power with its EcoBoost engine options and a rear-wheel-drive platform.


  • 2.5L four-cylinder (193 hp)
  • 2.0L turbo-four (230 hp)
  • 3.6L V6 (310 hp)


  • 2.3L EcoBoost four-cylinder (300 hp)
  • 3.0L EcoBoost V6 (400 hp)
  • 3.3L Hybrid V6 (318 hp)
  1. Interior Space and Comfort

When it comes to interior space, the Ford Explorer clearly outshines the GMC Acadia.


  • Cargo Space: 12.8 – 79 cubic feet
  • Seating: 6 or 7 passengers


  • Cargo Space: 18.2 – 87.8 cubic feet
  • Seating: 6 or 7 passengers
  1. Towing Capacity

Towing capacity is a significant difference, with the Ford Explorer capable of pulling heavier loads.


  • Up to 4,000 lbs with V6


  • Up to 5,600 lbs with certain engine options
  1. Fuel Efficiency

Here, the GMC Acadia takes the lead, offering a more fuel-efficient ride.


  • 21 mpg city / 27 mpg highway


  • 20 mpg city / 27 mpg highway
  1. Technology and Features

Both the GMC Acadia and Ford Explorer offer advanced technology, but the Acadia emphasizes luxury, while the Explorer focuses on utility.


  • Standard 8-inch touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Advanced safety features


  • Available 10.1-inch touchscreen
  • Terrain Management System
  • Ford Co-Pilot360 safety features
  1. Price

Price varies based on trims and options, but generally, the Ford Explorer tends to be more expensive.


  • Starting at around $29,800


  • Starting at around $32,225

Also Read: Differences Between Altra Olympus 4 And Hoka Speedgoat.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which is better Acadia or Explorer?

The choice between Acadia and Explorer depends on your priorities. If you want luxury and fuel efficiency, the Acadia might be for you. But if you value power, space, and reliability, the Explorer could be the better option.

Is a Ford Explorer bigger than a GMC Acadia?

Yes, the Ford Explorer is generally larger than the GMC Acadia, offering more passenger and cargo space.

What is the Ford version of the GMC Acadia?

While not a direct counterpart, the Ford Explorer is often compared to the GMC Acadia due to its similar size and market segment.

What does GMC Acadia compare to?

The GMC Acadia is often compared to SUVs like the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, and Toyota Highlander.

Is Ford Explorer reliable?

Yes, the Ford Explorer has a solid reputation for reliability and has been a trusted choice among SUV enthusiasts for years.

Is the Ford Explorer the best selling SUV?

The Ford Explorer has consistently been one of the top-selling SUVs in the market. Its combination of performance, space, and reliability makes it a popular choice.

Also Read: Differences Between Altra Olympus 4 And Hoka Speedgoat.


When it comes to choosing between GMC Acadia and Ford Explorer, it’s a matter of preference. Both models offer a blend of features that cater to different needs. By assessing your priorities and considering the pros and cons, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your lifestyle. Whether it’s the sleek elegance of the Acadia or the rugged versatility of the Explorer, your perfect SUV awaits. 

The GMC Acadia and Ford Explorer, while similar in many respects, differ in areas like performance, space, towing capacity, fuel efficiency, technology, and price. The choice ultimately depends on individual preferences and priorities. If a luxurious feel and fuel efficiency are more appealing, the Acadia could be the way to go. 

However, for those in need of power, space, and off-road capability, the Ford Explorer may be the better choice. The comparison table encapsulates these differences, making it easier for potential buyers to weigh their options. Whether leaning towards the elegance of the Acadia or the rugged functionality of the Explorer, both models offer compelling reasons to take a closer look.

Clayton S. Johnson

Well, I am Clayton who writes, manages, and does overall stuff for this website. I live somewhere in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and used to have a full-time job. But the pandemic taught me to do more do with my life. So, I quit my job and travel a lot! Since I have tons of time now, I write about all the stuff I have done, used, and have first-hand experiences.

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