2019 Ford Explorer vs 2019 GMC Acadia – Cincinnati, OH

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  • 2019 Ford Explorer

    A blue 2019 Ford Explorer is facing left.

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    2019 GMC Acadia

    A blue 2019 GMC Acadia is facing right.

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    3Available Engines2
    280-365 HPHorsepower193-310 HP
    255-350 lb-ftTorque188-271 lb-ft
    3,000-5,000 LBSTowing Capacity1,000-4,000 LBS

    In comparing the 2019 Ford Explorer vs 2019 GMC Acadia, the versatility, comfort and cargo space make them prime examples in their class of larger SUVs. From hauling the kids to sports practice to carrying building materials for a home project, or bringing all your outdoor adventure gear with you, both the Explorer and Acadia are well suited for drivers who need a little more out of their vehicles.

    Choosing which one is right for you will come down to a number of factors including price, space, safety, technology, performance and fuel efficiency. These factors will all determine which one will best serve your personal style and driving needs. We know that a decision between various vehicles can be a difficult and time-consuming one to make. While the Acadia is a capable contender and neither vehicle is a slouch, let's look at a few reasons why the 2019 Ford Explorer would be a better overall choice.

  • Performance

    A white 2019 Ford Explorer is driving along a tree lined road outside Cincinnati, OH. Check out performance when comparing the 2019 Ford Explorer vs 2019 GMC Acadia.

    One of the major reasons for choosing a larger SUV is its power and performance. These vehicles are meant to carry people and cargo, often at the same time. A top consideration of buyers is fuel economy and the power to get both people and cargo to where they need to go. Let's take a look at what the 2019 Ford Explorer and 2019 GMC Acadia offer in terms of performance.

    2019 Ford Explorer

    The Explorer comes equipped with a hearty 3.5-liter V6 that provides an impressive 290 hp and 255 lb-ft of torque, married to a six-speed automatic transmission. This combines to generate enough power to carry a full load and then some and results in fuel economy numbers of 17 mpg city, 24 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined. If you are looking to pull a boat or trailer, the Explorer's robust power is combined with a 5,000 LB towing capacity. Optional all-wheel drive and a terrain-management system ensure a sure-footed ride on all kinds of road conditions, including sand, mud, grass, and gravel. A unique sport-tuned front and rear suspension provide for a ride that is smooth, stable and controlled. The Explorer also offers balanced handling helped along by well-weighted and well-tuned electronic power steering which also provides excellent tactile feedback from the road.

    2019 GMC Acadia

    Powering the Acadia is a 194 horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 190 lb-ft of torque. This is coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission. While the engine should prove adequate for daily driving situations, it will have a tougher time hauling full loads. Fuel economy numbers for this engine come in and 21 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, for a combined average of 23 mpg. The Acadia is a capable vehicle for hauling a boat or trailer, but its towing capacity is less, tapping out at 4,000 LBS. A steady suspension system ensures a smooth ride, and the Acadia's braking system offers plenty of stopping power in all road conditions. While it is quite maneuverable, the Acadia falls behind other SUVs in this class. While the Acadia's fuel economy numbers are better, the Explorer's more powerful engine and higher towing capacity make it the clear winner when it comes to moving both people and cargo with ease.

  • Interior

    The white interior of the 2019 Ford Explorer Platinum is shown with two seats folded down. Check out the interior when comparing the 2019 Ford Explorer vs 2019 GMC Acadia in Cincinnati, OH.

    You spend a lot of time inside your vehicle, so comfort and convenience are important factors. With a larger SUV, you are most likely looking for a vehicle with room to carry everything, perhaps even a kitchen sink. Neither the Explorer nor the Acadia skimp on space, so let's take a look at what each has to offer.

    2019 Ford Explorer

    Stepping inside the Explorer you will find an enormous 41.4 inches of headroom for front seat passengers combined with 42.9 inches of legroom. Folks in the second-row get 40.6 inches of headroom and 39.5 inches of legroom, and third-row passengers see 37.8 inches of headroom combined with 31.1 inches of legroom. Whether it's just you or the full complement of seven persons, you'll find more than enough room with the Explorer's spacious interior. In addition to room for people, there is also plenty of space behind the third-row for cargo, with an available 21 cubic feet. Fold down the third-row and that increases to 44 cubic feet, then jumps up to a whopping 81 cubic feet with both the second and third-rows folded down.

    The Explorer also offers a wealth of features including rearview camera, Ford's SYNC infotainment interface—an integrated in-vehicle communications and entertainment system which allows drivers and passengers to make hands-free telephone calls, control music and perform other functions with the use of voice commands—a full color display, Bluetooth connectivity, four 12 volt outlets for easy charging, three USB ports, and a six-speaker audio system. The MyKey system is also included. This unique system assists parents in encouraging their teen drivers to be more responsible behind the wheel. MyKey can be programmed for a stricter driving mode which will help to promote better driving habits like increased seat belt use, putting a limit on the vehicle's top speed, and audio volume. The Explorer comfortably sets seven on plush cloth upholstery, with the driver getting an eight-way power adjustable seat. For the little ones, three complete sets of LATCH child seat connections are included.

    2019 GMC Acadia

    While on par with the Explorer, the Acadia offers less room overall. Front seat passengers get 40.3 inches of headroom and 41 inches of legroom, while the second-row offers 39.6 inches of headroom and 39.7 inches of legroom. For folks way in the back, Acadia's third-row offers 37.2 inches of headroom and 31.1 inches of legroom. The bigger difference is the reduced amount of cargo space behind the third-row, although, with the second and third-row of seats down, total capacity is similar. For overall space and cargo area though, the Explorer definitely has the upper hand here.

    The infotainment offerings are a bit more robust on the Acadia, including a larger color display and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. The Acadia also seats seven, but the second-row seats aren't as spacious as up front, and the third-row will prove tight for most adults but should be fine for children. Speaking of children, the Acadia only offers two LATCH connections as opposed to the Explorer's three. Also, the lower anchors in the second-row are located deep with the seat, and the third-row anchors might be confused with other hardware. Despite these shortcomings, the Acadia's LATCH system is easy to use and will keep children securely in place. While being overall similar in regards to interior comfort, the greater options in child safety, more spacious interior room an innovative MyKey system put the Explorer on top.

  • Safety

    A white 2019 Ford Explorer with black trim is parked on a gravel driveway with a family walking towards it outside Cincinnati, OH. Check out safety when comparing the 2019 Ford Explorer vs 2019 GMC Acadia.

    Safety is another prime consideration if you are carrying your family around. Both the 2019 Explorer and Acadia offer advanced safety features, which we will look at below.

    2019 Ford Explorer

    Standard safety features on the Explorer include anti-lock braking and stability control, which will detect when the vehicle's handling limits have been exceeded, taking steps to remedy it. A system of seven airbags is standard which offer protection for front and side collisions, rollovers and against lower extremity injuries. In combination with the airbags, seat belt pre-tensioners automatically tighten in the event of a collision to keep the occupant in place. In the event of a collision, Ford's SOS Post-Crash Alert System is designed to help draw attention by flashing the lights and sounding the horn. The Explorer is also equipped with an ignition disabling device which will prevent the engine from being started with anything other than the original manufacturer key.

    2019 GMC Acadia

    Most of the above features are also available on the Acadia, including a similar airbag system, with the addition of a means of anticipating and/or detecting unwanted vehicle intrusion, lane change alert system, rear cross traffic alert, and GMC's OnStar system. When it comes to keeping you and your passengers safe, the Explorer and Acadia are evenly matched here.

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