Any car enthusiast knows that Ford and GMC are two of the most respected automakers in the industry, and when it comes to performance, these two brands know what drivers want. Although there are many factors that come into play when ride quality is concerned, it all starts with the engine selection. After all, if the engine isn’t powerful enough, the vehicle it’s inside of won’t be able to deliver the kind of performance drivers require. If ride quality is a priority, there are few vehicles out there that can compete on a level playing field with Ford. Comparing the 2022 Ford Explorer vs 2022 GMC Acadia, for example, it’s clear which vehicle offers the more satisfying ride, and it all starts with what resides beneath each model’s polished hood.
The quality of the ride depends on the engine, and the more options drivers have to choose from, the better the performance will be in that particular vehicle. After all, if the engine can’t perform optimally, tasks can’t get completed effectively, ride quality suffers, and there’s a sense of disappointment in the air. Well, there’s no need to worry about that with Ford because with the engine selection that you can expect from most of its vehicles, finding the right powertrain combination is effortless. Today, we’re comparing two of the larger options from each brand, options that offer plenty of space, plenty of capabilities, and an abundance of features to appeal to any type of driver.
The 2022 Explorer showcases multiple engines to choose from, including a hybrid variant to offer maximum efficiency. There’s also a powerful 3.0 EcoBoost Turbo V6 and a versatile 2.3L EcoBoost Turbo four-cylinder. Having a selection of options appeals to drivers everywhere because the last thing anyone wants is to feel like they’re limited as to what they can accomplish in their vehicle. Unfortunately, for the 2022 GMC Acadia, the selection is more limited. There are only two engines in its lineup: a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder and a 3.6L V6. Ride quality is perhaps the most important aspect of the ride, at least for most drivers, and the engine is what sets the tone for the feel of the drive.
What a vehicle needs to achieve in a day varies, depending on the driver. No two journeys are alike, and no two drivers want the same thing out of their trusty travel companion. When it comes to options like the Explorer and the Acadia, power tends to be a priority, especially when it comes to towing. These are tough, rugged vehicles, and the drivers of these vehicles need to be able to trust in them to do their part during the journey. As you already know, Ford’s lineup of engines is exquisite, which means that there’s potential for more power when a Ford is involved.
Its 3.0L EcoBoost V6 showcases top towing numbers, able to tow up to 5,600 lbs, making this three-row SUV a top choice for drivers who have some lofty expectations during their travels. From hauling a camper out for a weekend in nature with the family to pulling materials home from the hardware store for a home improvement project, the Explorer can handle anything. The Acadia can’t keep up here, and it stems from the lack of engine options. Only able to tow a maximum of 4,000 lbs, the Acadia is severely limited in what it can accomplish. Towing numbers can make or break a vehicle, and if GMC would offer a few more options in the Acadia’s lineup, maybe it would be a fair competition, especially going up against a tough Ford model.
Fuel Economy Favorites
Everyone knows that gas just keeps getting more expensive, which means that there is a list of favorites out there that drivers are gravitating toward to harness maximum efficiency in their travels. Large vehicles are continuously stereotyped as gas guzzlers, and the last thing people want right now is to overspend on fuel. Thankfully, the Ford Explorer, and its variety of engines, wins again, especially the hybrid powertrain that’s not found in the Acadia. Able to get up to 28 MPG on the highway, the 3.3L Hybrid V6 places the Explorer securely on the fuel economy favorites list for large vehicles. Even as you look closely at the other engines in the Ford Explorer lineup, it’s apparent that they offer superior marks, making any of them perfectly capable of delivering efficiency in any type of travel scenario.
The Acadia does have something going for it…its base engine, although severely lacking in power, it makes up for it with efficiency, able to get up to 29 MPG on the highway. Unfortunately, it’s not as exciting to drive or as capable as GMC’s more powerful 3.6L V6 engine, but the larger engine gets abysmal gas mileage. Only getting up to 19 MPG in the city means many more stops at the gas station for this hefty traveler. It’s apparent that Ford wins again with its outstanding selection of high-performing and efficient engines, which makes this model perfect for commuters, road trippers, and a myriad of drivers all over the nation.
Handling & Control
How a vehicle drives matters more than anything. Being able to crest over hilly terrain with agility, take turns with precision, and revel in comfort along the way means something in a vehicle. Anyone who’s familiar with the Explorer or the Acadia knows that these vehicles are rugged and ready for anything, including uneven terrain, bad road conditions, or even adventures on the trails. This is where it pays to have a selection of engines paired with a smooth-operating transmission to deliver the level of performance expected by drivers.
Ford arms all of the Explorer’s engines with a responsive 10-speed automatic transmission. In addition, with all-wheel drive capabilities available, traversing dangerous terrain is easy when the Explorer is involved. Opting for the Terrain Management System amplifies the experience even more, with seven selectable drive modes to ensure maximum control, traction, and confidence in any situation.
Unlike the Explorer, the Acadia is limited in the level of excitement it can bring to the ride. It pairs the only two engines drivers are able to choose from with a 9-speed automatic transmission, but although the ride is easy and controlled, it lacks the thrill many are seeking in their ride. Of course, all-wheel drive can be added to increase its expertise in navigating tricky terrain, and for off-road enthusiasts, opting for the AT4 model is advised. Since we’re talking about off-roading, it’s important to note that Ford has its own off-road-ready warrior, the Explorer Timberline, offered with increased ground clearance, enhanced shocks, and rugged features to allow for ultimate adventuring potential.
It’s All About the Engine
The engine is the backbone of your vehicle, and if you want a ride quality that’s unlike the others on the road, you’ll need to pick the right engine. Ford beats out GMC in every single way when it comes to the ride, offering a series of engines to appeal to virtually any driver, built with power at their core and a level of efficiency that’s unparalleled. Add to this the fact that the Explorer displays expert handling and control on any terrain, and it’s clear that Ford knew exactly what it was doing when it chose to arm the Explorer with so many engine options.