GMC Acadia 3-row SUV Got a Stunning Makeover. And It’s Just What You Needed

The 2024 GMC Acadia offers space and storage solutions galore, multiple trim levels with the features you need and a realistic 3rd row. No more minivan envy.

The Gmc Acadia Denali Edition Offerd Distinct Luxury. Photo: Scotty Reiss
The GMC Acadia Denali edition offerd distinct luxury. Photo: Scotty Reiss

GMC Acadia: The SUV for Those of Us with Minivan Envy

We have long loved the GMC Acadia. It’s sporty, nicely appointed, has a third row, AWD capability, and is priced just right. 

But the more time we spend in our SUVs, many of us realize that just a little more would mean a lot. A little more space, a few more conveniences, a bit more storage. And more capability for rear-facing child passenger car seats.

So, GMC obliged.

For 2024, the Acadia, which will be delivered to dealers in early 2024, is nearly 11” longer. It’s also 3” to 4” taller and has a much larger 3rd row, more storage space, and GMC’s best offerings, like Super Cruise hands-free driving, head-up display, and quilted leather seating.

Related: Why We’re Crazy about the GMC Sierra 1500 AT 4X 

A Girls Guide To Cars | Gmc Acadia 3-Row Suv Got A Stunning Makeover. And It’s Just What You Needed - The Rear Of The Gmc Acadia At4

The rear of the GMC Acadia AT4. Photo: Scotty Reiss

A Renamed GMC Lineup — So You Know What You’re Getting

This may be one of my favorite things of all: GMC tossed out the code names of its trim levels (SLE, SLT) and went with a simplified system: Elevated, Elevated Premium, AT4 and Denali. 

Elevated reflects the GMC philosophy: Everything you need in a 3-row SUV, just a bit more elegant and thoughtful. So, comfortable seating, USB ports for everyone, a large touch screen multimedia system with Google’s operating system, and standard safety features. 

Elevated Premium takes it all up a notch, AT4 adds all-terrain (and rough weather) capability, and Denali, well, that’s the pinnacle of GMC design and luxury. We looked at the AT4 and Denali editions just before they were revealed at the Detroit Auto Show, and this is what the company has in store for 2024.

Related: Is the GMC Hummer a Family-Friendly Electric Car?

A Girls Guide To Cars | Gmc Acadia 3-Row Suv Got A Stunning Makeover. And It’s Just What You Needed - The Gmc Acadias Cabin

The dreamy GMC Acadia cabin is spacious. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What’s New Inside the GMC Acadia for 2024? 

A lot — of space. More front seat space and legroom; more 3rd-row legroom and more flexibility for seating configurations. The Elevated model features a second-row bench seat; the others have captain chairs that slide forward or back and a slide-and-tilt function for rear seat access. Slide and tilt seats are designed to be able to function with a forward-facing child car seat installed using the lower and top anchor LATCH system. 

The third row is also larger and easy to access either via the center pass-through or the slide-and-tilt function. I found it easy to manage either way. 

The third row has a few nice features: First, it seats 3— though realistically, it seats 2. It has vents in the ceiling that are right in front of passengers and can be positioned to point down — I really liked these— and there are USB-C ports and cup holders. 

And then, there is more cargo space. GMC says 80% more storage behind the 3rd row, which is under the cargo floor — hello, answer to minivan envy. It’s great that under-floor storage has become a thing in SUVs in recent years, but in many instances, it’s small. This bin is huge. And, it comes out to access the spare tire— so you don’t have to forgo that in order for cargo space. 

Related: Cargo Space Galore in the Jeep Grand Cherokee L 

A Girls Guide To Cars | Gmc Acadia 3-Row Suv Got A Stunning Makeover. And It’s Just What You Needed - The Front Seat In The Gmc Acadia

The front seat in the GMC Acadia. Photo: Scotty Reiss

A Large New Screen Anchors the GMC Acadia Cabin

This is what strikes you when you enter the GMC Acadia: The entire front seat has been redesigned for a more elegant look and feel, and a large 15” screen dominates it. The screen houses most functions, from navigation to entertainment, and at the foot of the screen are climate controls. Then, there is a row of buttons for additional functions.

A Girls Guide To Cars | Gmc Acadia 3-Row Suv Got A Stunning Makeover. And It’s Just What You Needed - The Huge New Center Touch Screen In The Gmc Acadia

The huge new center touch screen in the GMC Acadia. Photo: Scotty Reiss

The GMC Acadia also features the new Google operating system. The one with “Hey Google” functionality. Just ask Google for what you want, and boom, there it is. 

The system also has a selection of apps, cameras with up to 9 exterior views, Wi-Fi, and more.

Just below the screen is a cubby for wireless phone charging, cup holders, and, under the console, a storage space. This is because the gear selector has been moved to a stalk on the steering column, freeing up the space. 

A Girls Guide To Cars | Gmc Acadia 3-Row Suv Got A Stunning Makeover. And It’s Just What You Needed - The Gmc Acadias Headlights Are Graphic And Distinct

The headlights on the GMC Acadia are graphic and distinct. Photo: Scotty Reiss

An Evolved Exterior Look on the GMC Acadia

I really love this: The new look is just a modernized, more toned version of the existing model. No reinventing the wheel here, just refining it. The headlights and taillights are brighter, more graphic versions of the current design. The front grille is larger and more expansive, and the tailgate is more streamlined; the tail lights frame a logo bar with the GMC name. 

A Girls Guide To Cars | Gmc Acadia 3-Row Suv Got A Stunning Makeover. And It’s Just What You Needed - The Gmc Acadia At4 Is Distinct With Red Tow Hooks

The GMC Acadia AT4 is distinct with red tow hooks. Photo: Scotty Reiss

More Capability in the AT4 Edition 

Introduced in 2023, the AT4 brings the Acadia into the adventure realm with skid plates, tow hooks, and more off-road capability. The 2024 edition takes it all up a notch with cloth and leather seating, all-terrain tires, and a suspension designed for off-roading. 

Related: Eleven Adventurous SUVs We Adore 

A Girls Guide To Cars | Gmc Acadia 3-Row Suv Got A Stunning Makeover. And It’s Just What You Needed - The Gmc Acadia Denali Edition

The GMC Acadia Denali edition offers distinct luxury. Photo: Scotty Reiss

A More Luxurious Denali

This is where you’ll want to go and stay. Slide into quilted leather seats and relax, even in the rear seats. The interior design of the display model we saw had light gray upholstery (which really looks like cream to me) with dark brown accents and, when delivered to customers, will also have gray carpeting. It’s all so elegant, but that’s the meaning of “Denali,” which is the top-of-the-line for GMC.

Denali models will also come with Super Cruise hands-free highway driving, a video-view rearview mirror, and a head-up display (all of which will be available on other models for a price).

A Girls Guide To Cars | Gmc Acadia 3-Row Suv Got A Stunning Makeover. And It’s Just What You Needed - 3Rd Row Access In The Gmc Acadia

3rd row access in the GMC Acadia. Photo: Scotty Reiss

How Many Child Passenger Car Seats Fit in the GMC Acadia?

Technically, 5 or 6. But how they are best positioned is the question. 

There are 2 sets of lower anchor tethers — in the center outboard seats. The anchors have been redesigned to be easy to access and great for seats with rigid anchor connectors. 

All seats have upper tethers, and those without lower anchors require seatbelt installation. The center seats slide forward and back and can easily accommodate a rear-facing toddler seat or move forward to make room for a car seat in the 3rd row.

Installing car seats in the center row should be easy enough; the rear doors open wide, and there is ample room to maneuver. Installing seats in the 3rd row may be more of a challenge, though this is a great option for a child who can easily buckle his own seatbelt or kids who have graduated from car seats. 

A Girls Guide To Cars | Gmc Acadia 3-Row Suv Got A Stunning Makeover. And It’s Just What You Needed - Under Floor Storage In The Gmc Acadia

Underfloor storage in the GMC Acadia. Photo: Scotty Reiss

The GMC Acadia Has More of What You Need

There is a good selection of smaller 2 and 3-row SUVs on the market, but most are a squeeze or don’t work for people with rear-facing child passenger car seats. They leave us looking at and thinking about it but reluctant to buy a minivan. 

With more 3rd row space, more capability for configuring seats, and more storage, the GMC Acadia, which has yet to be priced, tackles the pain points nicely. Add the large multimedia screen, “Hey Google” voice assistance, and quilted leather, and my envy is gone. 

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Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss

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