A black 2019 GMC Acadia All Terrain in front of a modern glass building

Luxury vs Power: The 2019 GMC Acadia vs 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee

If you are in the market for a new sport utility vehicle, you are certainly not alone. The SUV market is now the most competitive in the world, with new sizes and variations hitting the roads every year. Not only are automakers revealing new vehicles every year, they are starting to come in sizes ranging from subcompact to full-sized. However, the majority of those sold are still in the mid-sized class. Two of these, the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the GMC Acadia, offer drivers a host of diverse options. When thinking about the 2019 GMC Acadia vs 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee, it is important to look at your own driving habits and what each one offers you, in particular.

Both of these SUVs offer substantial perks and features., including versatile engines, loads of interior safety and infotainment options, and plenty of trim levels to choose from. Let’s check out both of these slick vehicles and what they bring to the table in each of these key areas.

 

Engines

The 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee offers five different engine options. The first is the base 3.6 liter V6 that gets 295 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. This one gets the best gas mileage of the gasoline engines, at 26 miles per gallon on the highway. Next up is the 5.7 liter V8 with 360 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque. That is already pretty powerful for an SUV of the Grand Cherokee’s size, but Jeep isn’t even close to done.

The third engine option is the 3.0 liter V6 turbocharged diesel engine. This one gets 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. It also has the best fuel economy of them all, getting up to 30 miles to the gallon on the highway. Things really start getting powerful with the next engine, which is the 6.4 liter V8 that pulls 475 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. The granddaddy of them all, though, is the 6.2 liter supercharged V8 that gets a whopping 707 horsepower and 645 lb-ft of torque. That is a ton of power for a mid-sized SUV. It is almost too much. Never the less, this engine can tow up to 7,200 pounds behind the2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The 2019 GMC Acadia only has two engine options. The base is a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder that gets 193 horsepower and 188 lb-ft of torque. The second is a much more respectable 3.6 liter V6 with 310 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque. The 26 miles per gallon on the smaller 2.5 liter engine, and the 25 miles per gallon on the larger 3.6 liter engine are both better averages than most of the Cherokee’s engine options. However, the 4,000 pounds of maximum towing the 2019 GMC Acadia brings falls well short of the 7,000 pounds the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee is capable of.

If you are looking for power and diversity in your engine options on a mid-sized SUV, the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee is your clear choice. If you are more interested in better gas mileage and are not as concerned with engine performance, the 2019 GMC Acadia may deserve a closer look.

 

Interiors

Part of the appeal of an SUV, particularly those in the mid-sized class, is what the interior can offer. SUVs are unique in that they can offer some of the performance of a pickup truck while still maintaining the interior feel of a sedan or other luxury vehicle. However, SUVs ramp up the interior cargo volume like no other class of vehicle.

The interior volume of the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee is about average for the class. It has 36.3 cubic feet of volume behind the second row of seats and 68.3 cubic feet when all rear seats are folded down. That is a little below some of its competitors, but still plenty of room for most people who need to haul around the random work project or camping gear.

The 2019 GMC Acadia, on the other hand, has 41.7 cubic feet of volume behind the second row and 79 cubic feet when all seats are folded down. So, if you frequently need to haul around the kids’ soccer gear or do a lot of big volume grocery shopping, the 2019 GMC Acadia offers significantly more space for just about anything you would need to carry around inside the cabin.

The 2019 GMC Acadia also adds a level of luxury to it’s interior that we didn’t find in the Jeep. For such an accessible SUV the Acadia certainly felt higher above its status in terms of comforts, features and overall luxury.

 

Trim Levels

A red 2019 GMC Acadia Denali in front of a stone house

Automakers have given us a shrewd way of being able to customize any vehicle to our particular needs by offering multiple trim levels of their vehicles. You can opt for the most basic packages, go all the way up to everything they have to offer, or choose a myriad of trim levels in between. These two vehicles both offer multiple levels to choose from.

The 2019 GMC Acadia has six trim levels to choose from – the SL, the SLE-1, the SLE-2, the SLT-1, the SLT-2 and, of course, the Denali. While they may not have been all that creative with the trim level names, they sure were creative and generous with the options each trim level offers. The base level, the SL, offers power adjustable, heated, auto-dimming outside mirrors as standard. That is a feature that would only come on higher vehicles on lesser vehicles. Moving all the way up to GMC’s signature Denali, you get a hands-free programmable liftgate, an automatic heated steering wheel, and everything else that the lower trim levels get.

The 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee has a total of seven trim levels – the Laredo, the Limited, the Trailhawk, the Overland, the Summit, the SRT and the Trackhawk. The Laredo is the base trim level and it offers fog lights and dual-zone climate control, among other perks. More features are added through the trim levels until, finally, the Trailhawk offers everything Jeep has, including skid plates, all-terrain tires, air suspension and nine-speaker Alpine premium audio system.

Of course, these are only a few of the literally hundreds of features these two mid-sized SUVs offer. The trim levels on each continually add and even subtract some features, replacing them with upgraded versions (7” touchscreen infotainment centers for 8” screens, 18” tires for 20” performance tires, etc.). Each automaker also offers additional packages to completely customize your new SUV. Most of these are geared toward off-road performance, while some offer additional safety features. See your local Jeep and GMC dealerships for full lists of specs and features.

 

Price

Both the 2019 GMC Acadia and the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee are competitively priced, not just within the mid-sized SUV market, but against each other. The base level of the Grand Cherokee starts out at $31,695, while the GMC Acadia SL has a starting price of $29,995. The prices move up as the trim levels do. The Acadia and its Denali trim level top out at a starting price of $46,095. Of course, there are plenty of additional packages to pad on to your Denali’s sticker price, if you so choose. The Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, on the other hand, will run you $86,650, for starters. However, the Trackhawk is a premium vehicle built specifically for off-road performance, while the Acadia Denali paid more attention to a luxury interior.

So, it really depends on what you are looking for. Both of these mid-sized SUVs are outstanding in their field, and both are worth looking into.