Does GMC Acadia Have 4 Wheel Drive? [By Trim Level]

Car manufacturers tend to catch the attention of potential buyers of vehicles mainly used for daily driving. One addition car companies usually offer is 4WD. So, if you're wondering whether or not GMC Acadia has this 4WD option, you're in the right place. We've consulted automotive experts on the topic, and here's what they have to say.

The GMC Acadia has no 4WD, but it does have AWD. Vehicles such as the GMC Acadia typically won't have 4WD since this drivetrain is usually used on larger trucks and SUVs. The GMC Acadia does not need this drivetrain since it is not meant to be used for hauling or off-roading.

What is great about the 2022 GMC Acadia, even if it does not have 4WD, is you can choose in some trims whether you want to have your vehicle in AWD or stick to FWD. To learn more about the GMC Acadia, keep reading below.

GMC SUV display at a Buick GMC dealership,Does GMC Acadia Have 4 Wheel Drive? [By Trim Level]

Why Doesn't The GMC Acadia Have 4WD?

The new luxury 2021 GMC Acadia Denali with all black details

The GMC Acadia is classed as a crossover SUV. Vehicles that are classed as crossover SUVs are meant to be driven as a daily car and are not used for heavy towing or hauling. Though the GMC Acadia can tow around 3,500 pounds, this is not its main purpose.

Another purpose for 4WD is off-roading—even though GMC offers the Acadia with an off-road package, this is still not its main purpose. The GMC Acadia is meant to be a somewhat luxurious vehicle.

The GMC Acadia is built to rival vehicles like the Lincoln Aviator, Ford Explorer, Acura MDX, Toyota Highlander, and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Most of the GMC Acadia's competitors are vehicles that focus on comfort and luxury.

These vehicles including the GMC Acadia are not meant to do any heavy work but are meant to get their users to their destination comfortably and safely. Though if you really want to tow or go off-roading with the Acadia, it is also offered in an AWD drivetrain.

If you want a GMC vehicle with 4WD you can check out the Yukon, Canyon, and Sierra. These vehicles offer great off-road and towing capabilities while keeping their users comfortable.

GMC Acadia Trims With AWD

 2013 GMC Acadia Denali world premiere

AWD is a great drivetrain. It adds to the performance of the vehicle, mainly acceleration and traction. This is very useful, especially on loose surfaces and snowy weather. It also helps keep the value of a vehicle even if it is an older model. Below are brief descriptions of GMC Acadia trims with AWD. 


For the new 2022 Acadia, GMC has opted to make the SLE the new base model replacing the SL trim. Here are the key features of the Acadia SLE:

  • 2.0-liter turbocharged engine
  • Drive mode selector
  • Deep-tinted glass 
  • HD rear vision camera
  • 3,500-pound towing capacity
  • Premium cloth seat trim
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • 8-inch GMC infotainment system

This trim is an overall great option, since it is the cheapest out of all the trims but does not lack quality and comfort. One thing to note is that the SLE is the only Acadia with an inline four engine.


The SLT is the middle-level trim for the GMC Acadia. It has most of the SLE's features but adds a few premium amenities:

  • 3.6-liter V6 engine
  • 18-inch aluminum wheels
  • LED fog lamps
  • Navigation
  • Heated front seats
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Perforated leather-appointed seat trim
  • Safety alert seat

The Acadia SLT is a great option if you want a premium SUV without having to spend a lot of money. Though the GMC Acadia still has a higher premium trim, the SLT is more than enough to keep you safe and comfortable.

GMC Acadia AT4 AWD

The AT4 is a trim directed to people who want a more adventurous or sporty Acadia. With the AT4 you can go off-road with some of the features this trim has:

  • 3.6L V6 engine
  • Active torque control AWD 
  • Hill descent control
  • Hill start assist
  • Traction select system with off-road mode
  • 17-inch machined aluminum wheels  
  • All-terrain tires
  • Traction select system with off-road mode

Out of the dealership, the Acadia AT4 has the ability to go off-road. The AT4 is a good middle ground between fun and comfort.

GMC Acadia Denali AWD

The Denali is Acadia's most luxurious trim. It's also the most expensive trim available. This is the trim for you if you want an Acadia that offers maximum comfort with these specs:

  • 3.6L V6 engine
  • 20-inch ultra bright aluminum wheels
  • Heated, power, auto-dimming outside mirrors
  • Eight-way power front passenger’s seat
  • Memory settings
  • Head-up display
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • 8-inch multicolor reconfigurable driver information screen
  • Wireless charging

The Denali will also have a different grill and wheels compared to the other three trims. With all the luxurious amenities plus the space that the Acadia Denali has, it is an excellent vehicle to daily drive, or to take on long trips. 

Is The GMC Acadia Good In Snow?

a black car drives up a dune in the desert, off road

Yes, the GMC Acadia is very capable in the snow with its two available drivetrains which you can choose from, FWD and AWD. Though the AWD does have some advantages, the Acadia FWD can still keep up.

A modern vehicle like the GMC Acadia has a lot of safety features that can help with driving in the snow. Features like traction control really help two-wheel-drive cars—in this case, an FWD, to avoid slipping when driving on icy roads.

One great advantage of an AWD drivetrain is it can sometimes help itself get unstuck when driving on deep snow. This is because all four wheels are moving, giving the vehicle more traction on the road. But be careful when driving on deeper snow since the Acadia only has 7.2 inches of ground clearance.

Also, the GMC Acadia has an off-road trim called the AT4 which may perform better in snowy or icy conditions in comparison to the other three trims. The AT4 has an active torque control AWD system, hill climb/start assist, and a set of 17-inch wheels wrapped with all-terrain tires.

With higher trim models, you may get more features that can help keep you warm and safe while driving, such as heated seats, steering wheels, mirrors, and LED fog lamps. Staying comfortable helps keep you safe since you are not worrying about your temperature but instead keeping focused on the road.

To be extra safe while driving in snowy or icy weather, make sure your vehicle has the right set of tires and is all fueled up. For the tires, you either want a set of winter tires, snow tires, or all seasons tires to help give traction.

Having your vehicle all fueled up is also a good thing since this makes sure that you don't get stuck out in the cold. When driving you should always think about safety, that's why it's important to prepare your vehicle for travel in extreme conditions to keep you and other motorists safe.

What Engine Does The GMC Acadia Have?

 Chevrolet Traverse II engine

The GMC Acadia is a vehicle with decent speed and torque. The two engines available for the GMC Acadia include a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four and a 3.6-liter naturally aspirated V6.

The 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four has a power output of 228 horsepower at 5,000 RPM and 258-pound feet of torque at 1,500-4,000 RPM. This engine is capable of towing 3,500-pounds and is only available for the SLE trim.

While the 3.6-liter naturally aspirated V6 has a power output of 310 horsepower at 6,600 RPM and 271-pound feet of torque at 5,000 RPM, this engine is capable of towing 4,000 pounds and is available for the SLT, AT4, and Denali.

Though the GMC Acadia's torque is not as high, it has a gasoline engine. Usually, it is a diesel engine that produces more torque which then increases the vehicle towing capabilities.

The GMC Acadia is not a fast vehicle but is it not also slow. It has enough power to get up to speed when merging onto the highway and to pass other motorists on the road.

Which Is Bigger: The GMC Acadia Or The Ford Explorer?

Ford's New 2020 Explorer Poses In Front Of Mountains During A Sunset

Exterior dimensions-wise, the Ford Explorer is larger with a few-inch advantage over the GMC Acadia

Here is the side-by-side comparison of the exterior dimensions of both vehicles.

  • Wheelbase - 112.5 inches Acadia / 119.1 inches Explorer
  • Length - 193.4 inches Acadia / 198.8 inches Explorer
  • Width - 75.4 inches Acadia / 78.9 inches Explorer
  • Front Track Width - 64.5 inches Acadia / 66.9 inches Explorer
  • Rear Track Width - 64.5 inches Acadia / 66.9 inches Explorer
  • Minimum Ground Clearance - 7.20 inches Acadia / 8.2 inches Explorer

Though the Ford Explorer is a bit bigger, both vehicles can seat a total of six people inside the car. When it comes to cargo space and passenger space, the Explorer still takes the cake.

The Explorer has 152.7 cubic feet of passenger space and 18.2 cubic feet of cargo space. The cargo space can be extended by folding down both the third row and second-row seats to get 47.9 and 87.8 cubic feet.

Even if the Explorer is a larger vehicle compared to the Acadia, this does not mean it is the better option. You could live or work in a place with limited parking space, and the smaller size of the Acadia may be the best option for you.

In Closing

The GMC Acadia has an AWD option, and this is available for all trim levels. GMC has made a lot of trims that can best suit you from a base model daily drive, off-road vehicle, and luxury SUV. You'll surely find one that will fit your needs.

When in snowy or icy the GMC Acadia is a great vehicle to have. It has all the comfort and safety features you will need for your travel. Just make sure to have proper tires when driving on snow.

For more automotive topics and tips, check out the following posts:

What's The Best Oil and Oil Filter for a GMC Acadia? 

What Should The Tire Pressure Be On A GMC Acadia? 

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