2016 Ford Explorer vs. 2016 GMC Acadia

The market is downright saturated with mid-size crossover vehicles this model year. Car dealerships in Indianapolis have seen great sales of the Durango, Pilot, Pathfinder, and Grand Cherokee. While these are popular models, there are two unexpected 2016 crossover SUVs that stand out among the crowd. The 2016 Ford Explorer and the 2016 GMC Acadia are popular vehicles that may surprise you.

ford explorer

When it comes to SUVs, the Ford Explorer is a name that is well known, the vehicle has been through many incarnations, and it has evolved into a family-focused vehicle that is affordable and comfortable, and which offers plenty of options. The Acadia is a bit less reputed, but is making quite a name for itself with this newest model.

Comfort and Utility

The 2016 Explorer has comfortable, shaped front seats, a great deal of head and shoulder room, and fold-away third row seating to allow more cargo room. In comparison, the 2016 Acadia is a bit longer and narrower than the Explorer, which gives a bit more cargo space, but also reduces comfort for third row seating, and gives less head and shoulder room than the Explorer.

Engine Options

No matter how many people you can cram inside a vehicle, it doesn’t really matter if you don’t have some power for going places.  This is an area where the 2016 Ford Explorer moves way ahead of the Acadia. The Acadia offers a sole drivetrain configuration six-speed automatic with 288 horsepower. In comparison, the Explorer offers everything from a basic V-6 to a turbocharged four, or a twin turbo V-6 with paddle shifting. Essentially, you can choose your performance in an Explorer, while the GMC offers take it or leave it performance with very few options.


It would seem that the longer wheelbase of the Acadia would make it a frontrunner in this competition, but the electric power steering in the Explorer makes for quick adaptations and smooth handling. The adjustable traction modes in the 2016 Ford Explorer helps make it clear that while it is not a full-sized SUV, the Explorer is also not a minivan. The Acadia tends to come across more as a “grocery getter” than an SUV crossover, when it comes to performance and handling.


Technology has been upgraded and changed over the past few years in both of these vehicles, but the tried and true Ford technology and design once again comes out in front of the less equipped Acadia. Virtually everything in the 2016 Explorer can be operated by steering wheel controls or voice control. This includes streaming audio, in-car Twitter, voice to text capability, and navigations systems. The MyFord Touch connectivity suite is head and shoulders above the basic IntelliLink system in the Acadia.

There are many similarities, and a great deal of competition between all the newest crossover mid-sized SUVs available today. Visit your Indianapolis car dealerships to see which one meets your family’s needs best. Don’t just look inside; make sure you test drive the vehicles you are interested in to make sure the performance and handling match the style and technology included, or you may miss out on the best part of driving a crossover, which is being able to hold the entire family while driving like a car!

gmc acadia

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2016 Ford Explorer vs. 2016 GMC Acadia