GMC Acadia Vs Toyota Highlander: An In-Depth Comparison

For many, the choice between the GMC Acadia and Toyota Highlander is akin to picking between two highly impressive SUV juggernauts. 

Both these vehicles offer powerful performance, spacious interiors, and cutting-edge tech features, making the decision tough. But worry not, because we’re here to simplify it all.

A Brief Comparison Table

FeatureGMC AcadiaToyota Highlander
Base Engine2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder, 228 hp3.5L V6, 295 hp
Optional Engine(s)3.6L V6, 310 hp2.5L four-cylinder Hybrid, 243 combined hp
Interior SpaceSeating for seven; upscale interiorSeating for eight; functional interior
Safety FeaturesStandard with optional advanced featuresComprehensive standard safety features
TechnologyStandard Android Auto/Apple CarPlayStandard Android Auto/Apple CarPlay
Fuel Efficiency22 mpg city/29 mpg highway21 mpg city/29 mpg highway or better with hybrid
PriceStarting around $33,000Starting around $35,000

Proven Performance: GMC Acadia vs Toyota Highlander

GMC Acadia
GMC Acadia

The GMC Acadia features a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine as its base option, giving it a robust 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It’s an engine that delivers smooth performance, coupled with excellent fuel efficiency. 

If you’re someone who demands more, the Acadia also offers a 3.6-liter V6, capable of a more robust 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque.

In contrast, the Toyota Highlander comes with a 3.5-liter V6 as its standard engine. It outputs a powerful 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque, making it a slightly more potent option. 

Toyota also offers a hybrid model, combining a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with two electric motors, which pushes out 243 combined horsepower while significantly enhancing fuel efficiency.

While both vehicles offer all-wheel-drive, the GMC Acadia goes a step further, featuring a Traction Select System allowing for mode changes based on driving conditions.

Spacious and Comfy: Inside the Interiors

When it comes to interior space, the GMC Acadia offers a comfortable environment for up to seven passengers. On the flip side, the Toyota Highlander outdoes it by offering room for eight, making it a better choice for large families

. However, the question to ponder is, “Is Acadia bigger than Highlander?” The answer is no. The Highlander has a slightly larger interior space and more cargo volume than the Acadia.

But it isn’t all about the numbers. The Acadia’s interior design has a luxurious feel, with high-quality materials, an intuitive infotainment system, and ample legroom in the first two rows. 

The Highlander, on the other hand, is more function than fashion, prioritizing space utilization over luxury. That’s not to say it doesn’t feel premium, but the Acadia certainly has a more upscale vibe.

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Safety and Tech Features: Advanced and Practical

Toyota Highlander
Toyota Highlander

Both the GMC Acadia and Toyota Highlander come with impressive tech and safety features. 

They have standard infotainment systems with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. In terms of safety, they have a plethora of driver assistance features, but the Highlander edges out with its Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ system, offering more standard safety features.

Choosing between the GMC Acadia and Toyota Highlander essentially boils down to personal preference. The Acadia leans more towards luxury and style, while the Highlander focuses on practicality and utility. They both compete with similar vehicles in the SUV market, such as the Honda Pilot and Ford Explorer. So, “What does Acadia compete with?” or “What SUV is equivalent to Highlander?” – these are versatile vehicles that hold their own in a competitive segment.

Key Differences Between GMC Acadia and Toyota Highlander

  1. Performance and Engine Options

GMC Acadia

  • Base Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, 228 horsepower
  • Optional Engine: 3.6-liter V6, 310 horsepower
  • Available all-wheel drive with Traction Select System

Toyota Highlander

  • Base Engine: 3.5-liter V6, 295 horsepower
  • Hybrid Option: 2.5-liter four-cylinder with two electric motors, 243 combined horsepower
  • Standard all-wheel drive

The Highlander offers more horsepower in its base engine, while the Acadia provides a turbocharged option for better fuel efficiency.

  1. Interior Space and Comfort

GMC Acadia

  • Seating Capacity: Up to seven passengers
  • Upscale, luxurious interior
  • Ample legroom in the first two rows

Toyota Highlander

  • Seating Capacity: Up to eight passengers
  • Functional, utility-oriented interior
  • Slightly more cargo volume

While the Highlander can accommodate more passengers, the Acadia offers a more luxurious interior experience.

  1. Safety Features

GMC Acadia

  • Standard safety features like automatic emergency braking and lane-keep assist
  • Offers advanced options such as adaptive cruise control

Toyota Highlander

  • Standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ system
  • More comprehensive standard safety features

The Highlander has a more extensive list of standard safety features, making it potentially a safer option for families.

  1. Technology and Infotainment

GMC Acadia

  • Standard infotainment with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • Available high-end audio system
  • Wi-Fi hotspot

Toyota Highlander

  • Standard infotainment with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • Available JBL premium sound system

While both vehicles offer similar tech, personal preference will determine which system appeals to you more.

  1. Fuel Efficiency

GMC Acadia

  • 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway with base engine
  • Optional engines offer varying fuel efficiency

Toyota Highlander

  • 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway with base engine
  • Hybrid option for significantly better fuel economy

The Highlander’s hybrid option makes it an attractive choice for those prioritizing fuel efficiency.

  1. Price

GMC Acadia

  • Starting Price: Around $33,000

Toyota Highlander

  • Starting Price: Around $35,000

The Acadia has a slightly lower starting price, which might be a determining factor for budget-conscious buyers.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Acadia bigger than Highlander?

No, the Toyota Highlander is slightly larger and offers more interior space and cargo volume than the GMC Acadia.

What does GMC Acadia compare to?

The GMC Acadia often gets compared to SUVs like the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer, and Chevrolet Traverse due to their similar size and features.

What SUV is equivalent to Highlander?

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

What does Acadia compete with?

The GMC Acadia competes with a range of midsize SUVs, including the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer, and Toyota Highlander.

What car is comparable to Acadia?

The Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander, and Chevrolet Traverse are all comparable to the GMC Acadia in terms of size and features.

Is a GMC Acadia considered a large SUV?

The GMC Acadia is considered a midsize SUV. It is smaller than full-size SUVs like the Chevrolet Suburban or Ford Expedition.


Remember, while both the GMC Acadia and Toyota Highlander have their strengths and weaknesses, your final choice should hinge on your specific needs, budget, and personal taste. Happy hunting!

The choice between the GMC Acadia and Toyota Highlander hinges on personal needs and preferences. Whether it’s the Acadia’s luxury touch or the Highlander’s practical focus, both these SUVs stand tall in their respective domains. 

Carefully consider these differences and take each vehicle for a test drive to find your perfect match!

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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