With the COVID-19 pandemic still keeping the vast majority of Americans close to home, chances are most are actively day-dreaming of getting back to normal work and play, especially as warmer weather arrives. Perfect for those dreams, and the reality that is bound to follow, is the revamped 2020 GMC Acadia.

2020 marks the a midcycle refresh for the 2nd generation Acadia, and GMC has made significant improvements to toughen up its image with the new AT4 package. AT4 extras include a unique grille, black chrome accents, and 17-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, with even nicer looking 20-inch rims optional. 

The AT4 comes with the V6 only, as neither of the Acadia’s 4-cylinders are available. But, the 3.6-liter would be our choice anyway, with its 310-horsepower and 271 lb-ft. of torque, it’s more than up for the job of moving this 4,000-lbs. plus utility around. 

Naturally, all-wheel-drive is standard. It’s GMC’s latest automatic twin-clutch system that includes a dedicated off-road mode, as well as tow/haul, and the ability to lock it into two-wheel-drive for fuel economy. The new part of the powertrain for all 2020 Acadia’s, is a 9-speed automatic transmission which makes this new effort feel decidedly quicker. With it, comes the removal of the console shifter however, replaced by a row of buttons at the base of the center stack. The plus is more small item storage and convenience.

Since the AT4 is fitted with all-terrain tires with more flexible sidewalls, it takes a small step back in handling, but not so much that most buyers would notice the difference. Steering is still very tight and direct, so you should have no problem staying on top of things. 

All 2020 Acadia’s get unique styling tweaks; there’s a new 230–horsepower I4 turbo engine available; and the infotainment system gets an upgrade and is more user-friendly, including easier to use navigation and higher resolution for the back-up camera display. Other technology improvements include a clearer Head-Up display, and GM’s rear camera mirror. 

Save for some AT4 logos, not much else changes inside the Acadia. You can outfit an AT4 with either 5,6, or 7-passenger capacity. There is plenty of space for all number of passengers plus their gear. On that, cargo capacity remains unchanged at 41.7 cubic-ft.; expanding to 79.0 with the rear seatbacks folded. 

For our complete road test of the 2020 GMC Acadia AT4, be sure to catch MotorWeek episode #3918 that begins airing May 29, 2020. For a listing of the public television stations that broadcast MotorWeek, go to motorweek.org and click the “About The Show” tab at the top. MotorWeek is also seen Tuesday evenings and throughout the week on the MotorTrend cable network.

So, the 2020 GMC Acadia AT4 may not be a serious off-road machine. But it is a new, rugged-looking, yet attractive Acadia option that comes with little to no compromise for all the summer family outings we hope arrive sooner rather than later.