Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2016 GMC Acadia VS 2016 Toyota Highlander Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2016 GMC Acadia

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VS

2016 Toyota Highlander

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the GMC Acadia are height-adjustable, and the middle and rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Toyota Highlander doesn’t offer comfort guides on its middle or rear seat belts.

The Acadia offers an optional front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The Highlander doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Both the Acadia and the Highlander have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, collision warning systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the GMC Acadia is safer than the Toyota Highlander:

Acadia

Highlander

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

29%

47%

Neck Stress

366 lbs.

509 lbs.

Neck Compression

62 lbs.

73 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

277

291

Neck Stress

188 lbs.

219 lbs.

Neck Compression

51 lbs.

55 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

221/280 lbs.

387/392 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the GMC Acadia is safer than the Toyota Highlander:

Acadia

Highlander

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

52

54

Chest Movement

.4 inches

.6 inches

Hip Force

318 lbs.

348 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

110

111

Spine Acceleration

34 G’s

41 G’s

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

16 inches

HIC

285

372

Spine Acceleration

40 G’s

43 G’s

Hip Force

677 lbs.

829 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

The Acadia’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Highlander’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are over 86 percent more GMC dealers than there are Toyota dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Acadia’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The Acadia has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Highlander doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

Engine Comparison

The Acadia SLE/SLT’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 96 more horsepower (281 vs. 185) and 82 lbs.-ft. more torque (266 vs. 184) than the Highlander LE’s standard 2.7 DOHC 4 cyl. The Acadia SLE/SLT’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 11 more horsepower (281 vs. 270) and 18 lbs.-ft. more torque (266 vs. 248) than the Highlander’s optional 3.5 DOHC V6. The Acadia Denali’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 18 more horsepower (288 vs. 270) and 22 lbs.-ft. more torque (270 vs. 248) than the Highlander’s optional 3.5 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Acadia has 2.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Highlander (22 vs. 19.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Acadia’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Highlander are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Acadia has larger tires than the Highlander (255/65R18 vs. 245/60R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Acadia Denali has standard 20-inch wheels. The Highlander’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

The GMC Acadia’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Toyota Highlander only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Acadia SLT/Denali has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Highlander doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Acadia’s wheelbase is 9.1 inches longer than on the Highlander (118.9 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Acadia is 2.9 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than on the Highlander.

The Acadia SLT AWD handles at .79 G’s, while the Highlander LE pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Acadia has 6.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Highlander (151.8 vs. 144.9).

The Acadia has .8 inches more front hip room, 2.3 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear hip room, 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.5 inches more third row headroom, 5.5 inches more third row legroom, 2.7 inches more third row hip room and 2.8 inches more third row shoulder room than the Highlander.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Acadia’s cargo area provides more volume than the Highlander.

Acadia

Highlander

Behind Third Seat

24.1 cubic feet

13.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

70.1 cubic feet

42.3 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

116.1 cubic feet

83.7 cubic feet

Ergonomics Comparison

The Acadia offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Highlander doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Acadia (except SL/SLE)’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Highlander doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Acadia (except SL/SLE) offers an available heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Highlander doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the Acadia and the Highlander have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Acadia is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Highlander prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Acadia offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Highlander offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Acadia owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Acadia will cost $145 less than the Highlander over a five-year period.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends both the GMC Acadia and the Toyota Highlander, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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