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Family SUVs: Comparing the GMC Acadia and Chevy Traverse

Midsized SUVs are a great balance between comfort and economy in our experience, especially when you need more room for passengers. As an authorized GM dealer, we get a lot of questions from customers about how to choose two standout vehicles from this class—the GMC Acadia and the Chevy Traverse.

The short answer is, the Acadia is designed for those who navigate tight city spaces with more than 5 passengers while the Traverse satisfies some with its larger size, more space, more passengers and increased towing capacity. The long answer is, it depends what you're looking for! We'll discuss this throughout.

Chevrolet Traverse vs GMC Acadia Results

  • The Acadia is smaller and more urban-oriented getting a combined 11.3 L/100km in the city, decent cargo capacity and seating for up to 7 passengers.
  • While the Traverse is larger, with a combined 11.8 L/100km, more cargo space and seating for 8 passengers.
  • Both SUVs are strong in performance; the Acadia can tow up to 4,000 lb with its turbocharged engine, while the Traverse can tow up to 5,000 lb with an optional trailer package.
  • The Chevy Traverse and GMC Acadia produce 328 horsepower and torque of 326 lb-ft with the 2.5L turbocharged engine they have in common.
  • Tech features, heads up display, and safety are top-notch in both models, with the Acadia featuring an 11-inch driver info display, 15-inch screen; the Traverse has a standard 17.7-inch infotainment screen.

Size Differences Between the GMC Acadia and Chevy Traverse

The GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Traverse show a distinct difference in their dimensions! The Acadia sports a smaller stature, which might appeal to those who navigate urban environments frequently. Its overall length measures 193.4 inches coupled with a wheelbase of 112.5 inches, making it relatively smaller.

On the other hand, if size is what you’re after, the Chevrolet Traverse stands out with its generous proportions; it’s not just longer but also broader and taller than its GMC cousin, coming in at 78.6 inches wide and standing at an impressive height of 70.7 inches tall.

This vehicle runs a length of 204.3 inches and stretches across a wheelbase of 120.9 inches—allowing for easier maneuverability when parking in confined spaces.

The extra space translates into greater headroom along with an elevated perspective while cruising down the road—definitely advantageous for anyone valuing spaciousness within their vehicle.

Performance and Towing Capacity

Chevrolet Traverse in upper trim with inflatable stand up paddle board on roof rack off-roading beside water. The Chevrolet Traverse Z71 makes off-road trips with towing or rooftop loads easy. When our customers say they want a vehicle for bringing friends to the lake in summer, there's a lot this model offers.

When considering a vehicle for family trips or transporting heavier loads, our typical customer at CMP Auto values performance even while towing. The GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Traverse have both got you covered there.

When you select all the right towing configurations for a vehicle off our lot, you can get the Acadia up to a towing capacity of 4,000 lb. On the other hand, the Chevrolet Traverse can meet and beat that impressive capability, reliably towing up to 5,000 lb since they announced the 2024 models. It's worth noting, however, that Let's look at the key contributing factors for those performance benchmarks.

GMC Acadia

The GMC Acadia comes equipped with an impressive turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-four cylinder engine, producing 328 horsepower—plenty for most people. This new standard replaces the V6 on older models and offers a substantial torque output of 326 lb-ft, promising drivers more performance for less engine.

No matter which version of the Acadia you get from us, this powerful turbocharged engine comes standard equipment along with an efficient 8-speed automatic transmission. Together they deliver seamless acceleration, but also enable the vehicle to reach that max towing capacity of 4,000 lb—ideal for hauling gear on weekend getaways.

Chevrolet Traverse

The Chevrolet Traverse nearly matches the Acadia in terms of power-to-weight ratio, boasting a 3.6L DOHC V6 that incorporates direct injection along with automatic stop/start capabilities.

With this engine, drivers can experience a hefty 328 horsepower with an agile 326 lb.-ft. of torque. Paired with the same 2.5L turbocharged four cylinder and 8-speed automatic transmission for seamless gear transitions.

When equipped with the optional towing package, the Traverse's towing capacity becomes fully available, rated for up to 5,000 lb. It can easily stand out in the midsize SUV category among strong competitors in its class for towing capability. Think Traverse if you've got recreational watercraft!

Interior Comfort and Seating Capacity

Chevrolet Traverse shot of interior cargo space, with two of the third row seats erected. The third row on both vehicles but especially the Traverse RS makes family outings a breeze, even for larger families, seating up to 8. We often recommend the Chevrolet Traverse for groups and families heading out of town in one vehicle.

But how's the ride? GMC Acadia and Chevy Traverse both provide generous room and comfort for those on board.

For excursions with a larger group, the Traverse comes out slightly ahead as it can fit up to 8 passengers when equipped with an optional bench seat. On the other hand, the Acadia is designed to comfortably seat 7. Your family's headcount may decide between these models for you!

The area where the Acadia really stands out is in offering 39.7 inches of legroom in its second row—beating out the Traverse’s 38.4 inches in that category. Regarding space in the third-row seats, it’s actually behind. While also ensuring better headroom all around within its cabin compared to competitors' models.

The Traverse outdoes itself with more spacious 33.5-inch legroom measurement. Added convenience to be had during boarding or installing child safety seats are features such as Smart Slide seating functionality—found within seconds rows along specific tipping functions unique to itself.

Cargo Space and Versatility

In terms of transporting large items or equipment, the Traverse emerges as a superior choice with its substantial cargo capacity reaching 98.2 cubic feet when you fold down both back rows. It provides an ample 23 cubic feet for storage even while all three rows are occupied due to its innovative Smart Slide functionality.

The GMC Acadia, despite its size, remains competitive in this aspect by offering:

  • Maximum cargo space of 79.0 cubic feet
  • Storage beneath the console
  • A drawer for second-row storage
  • Additional under-floor cargo areas

With a considerable increase providing 80% more room behind the third row since 2023, it does make quite an improvement—the front seat area becomes noticeably airier and spacious in comparison.

Exterior Design and Features

Cheverolet Traverse in red showcasing beautiful exterior near luxury woodland home. The Traverse has excellent design features in basic or premium trims. Our customers often gravitate to the look of GMC Acadia models especially in AT4 or Denali trims.

The GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Traverse are both SUVs that will turn heads with their impressive exterior aesthetics and features, including:

  • Privacy glass
  • Power liftgates operated hands-free
  • Signature grilles
  • State-of-the-art illumination systems

Featuring a Dual Skyscape Sunroof to bring in the sky above, the Acadia delivers an expansive overhead view. In contrast, unique wheel designs and trim options give the Traverse its own flair.

The Traverse RS stands out with its black accents coupled with 20-inch dark aluminum wheels while Redline Edition pushes boundaries with striking gloss Black-painted 20-inch wheels highlighted by red markings.

Offering a diverse spectrum of paint colors allows for ample customization opportunities within the Chevrolet Traverse lineup.

Advanced Technology and Driver Assistance

Technology can make or break the driving experience but neither model falls short in this category. The GMC Acadia and Chevy Traverse both come equipped with state-of-the-art features that include touch screen infotainment systems capable of integrating with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The infotainment system in the Traverse stands out for its rapid response times and sharp graphics, which considerably improve interactions. On selected models, the GMC Acadia takes it up a notch by offering a 15-inch (diagonal) Driver Information Center along with an 8-inch Head-Up Display, making critical information readily accessible to drivers. The Traverse has a 17.7-inch (diagonal) information screen!

The Acadia also has a new and exciting Super Cruise driver assist mode! If you're on compatible roads in the USA or parts of Canada, get set up by following all directions on GMC's website.

As you conduct your test drive of either vehicle at CMP Auto, you can judge each with your own ear; check out the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections as well as how intuitive the navigation system is to use.


In the hunt for a new or used family SUV, the GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Traverse stand out with their commitment to protecting passengers. Equipped with features such as Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist, the Acadia also offers optional Hitch Guidance with Hitch View.

Its array of safety technologies includes Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Front Pedestrian Braking among others.

The Chevrolet Traverse reinforces this focus on security by integrating Chevy Safety Assist as a standard feature across its models. This suite comprises essentials like Automatic Emergency Braking and Lane Keep Assist while upper-level trims expand protective measures through options like HD Surround Vision and Rear Park Assist.

Shared between both vehicles are advanced systems including Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, and Lane Change Alert to bolster overall vehicle safety during travel. As products of GM subsidiaries GMC and Chevrolet, they both benefit in this category.

Fuel Efficiency and Environmental Impact

older Chevrolet Traverse gas gauge, tachometer, and RPM guage with tire pressure reading visible in centre. The Traverse does better on the highway but the GMC Acadia consumes less fuel in the city. We often recommend the Acadia for getting around town with 1-7 passengers in one vehicle.

The Chevy Traverse delivers commendable fuel efficiency of approximately 13.8 L/100km in urban settings and 9.4 L/100km for highway driving when equipped with All-Wheel Drive (AWD). The Front-Wheel Drive (FWD) versions see a slight decrease in efficiency to 13.1 L/100km in cities and 9.0 L/100km on highways.

On another note, while older V6 versions of the GMC Acadia was rated by the US government's EPA, enhancements leading to better gas mileage are expected for newer models with the inline-four cylinder. Natural Resources Canada has published that the turbocharged 2.5L with 8-speed automatic gets 12.4 L/100km in the city and 9.9 L/100km on the highway L/100km.

When these vehicles hit the road, their performance will be thoroughly evaluated under realistic conditions using tests such as sustained driving at speeds around 120 km/h specifically designed for assessing highway fuel economy.

Pricing and Trim Levels

The process of making a decision about purchasing heavily depends on key elements such as the cost and the variety of model features available. Though the specific pricing for each new GMC Acadia variant changes each year, prospective buyers can anticipate choosing from four different trims.

There's always the entry-level SLE, the intermediate Elevation Premium, the AT4, designed with off-road capabilities in mind, and the luxurious top-tier Denali. Denali models can approach $80,000 but an SLE can reliably cost $20K less!

For a new Chevrolet traverse, there are trims like LS, LT, Z71 (also for off-roading) on our lot. RS trims and AWD Z71s can approach $70,000 but for just over $50,000 you can get into an LT as well.

To get an indication of what might be anticipated price-wise for newer models, feel free to browse CMP Auto's inventory for both GMC Acadia SLE and Chevrolet Traverse LS. These lower trims are a great place to get into mid-sized SUVs, and with a test drive you may find they're exactly what you're looking for.

Test Drive Experience

GMC Acadia test drive taker engaging limited-availability Super Cruise hands-free driver assistance technology. The GMC Acadia has advanced features that make getting around Canada and US highways and freeways a pleasure. We often recommend this vehicle for a premium driving experience. But you can be the judge for yourself when you test drive at CMP Auto! Please note, Calgary may have limited availability of the Super Cruise feature. Ask your sales advisor for details.

Taking a GMC Acadia out on the road for a test drive allows you to evaluate its capabilities directly rather than relying on second-hand reviews. Our sales advisors can tell you about the vehicle's history if used or show you exciting new vehicle features in both models from year to year!

For those considering both a GMC Acadia and Chevy Traverse, conducting test drives of each vehicle back-to-back within one day will facilitate an immediate and comprehensive comparison; our sales advisors are always happy to answer any questions about how they'll best fit into your lifestyle.

Visit CMP Auto to Shop for Our Inventory of the Traverse and the Acadia

The GMC Acadia and Chevy Traverse stand out in their own ways. Each vehicle shines across various assessment categories, including size, performance prowess, interior luxury, storage capacity, aesthetic appeal, technological advancements, safety features, fuel economy considerations as well as pricing options and available trims.

Deciding which of these SUVs aligns best with your individual requirements hinges on what you value most. Both are exceptional vehicles for family use and their manufacturers are both part of the GM family. It always depends on the model, but comparing GMC and Chevrolet more generally helps too!

To choose wisely among them, one must book test drives through CMP Auto today to help you decide. We stand ready to help you with a difficult choice! Get in touch with our finance department, and you can get one that works for your budget as well as your lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Chevy Traverse or GMC Acadia better?

Should you require the most passenger room available, opt for the Chevy Traverse. But if your preference is for a higher-end SUV with less than 7, the GMC Acadia offers great city-mileage and luxury in the deluxe trims. Each excels in its own way!

What is the GMC Acadia comparable to?

When in the market for a midsize crossover, it’s worth comparing two leading options: the GMC Acadia and some Toyota crossover SUVs.

Both of GM's midsize SUVs offer an accommodating three-row layout, with expansive interiors, cutting-edge safety features, and indispensable technological advancements. The main differences include size and cargo capacity, with the Acadia maxing out at 2,761 L and the Traverse holding up to 2,763 L.

Is the GMC Acadia smaller than the Chevy Traverse?

Yes! The GMC Acadia is smaller to the Chevy Traverse, which extends a total of 204.3 inches from end to end and possesses a wheelbase spanning 120.9 inches—as opposed to the Acadia’s overall length of 193.4 inches coupled with its shorter wheelbase that measures at 112.5 inches.

How much can the GMC Acadia and Chevy Traverse tow?

When outfitted with the appropriate trailering package, the Chevy Traverse boasts a towing capability of up to 5,000 pounds with the optional trailering package. The GMC Acadia possesses a maximum towing capacity of 4,000 pounds when it is adequately equipped.

Of course, trailering capacity can be affected by many factors, so aiming for lower than maximum, accounting for passengers and cargo in the back, and only towing according to your owners' manual is best.


Family SUVs: Comparing the GMC Acadia and Chevy Traverse

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