An east coast road trip in the 2022 GMC Acadia AT4

by W. Andrew Powell
GMC Acadia AT4

As summer turned into fall I had an epic east coast road trip that took me 14 hours, and it was one of the best driving adventures I’ve had in a while thanks to the 2022 GMC Acadia AT4, not to mention the scenery and the destination.

I left Toronto early on September 20, and made it to Quebec City for supper, before driving on to Fredericton, New Brunswick the next day with enough time to explore the city for a few hours. My family and I then drove on to Saint John for a few days, before we drove back through the United States to Toronto.

We had all kinds of weather, from rain and wind to sun and calm, and it ended up being such a great trip.

King's Square in Saint John, NB
King’s Square in Saint John, NB

The end of September and beginning of October is a great time for an east coast road trip because it’s so much quieter than the summer, and the leaves have just started to turn between Quebec and New Brunswick. Along the route I saw bursts of colour every so often, and in NB the colour had really spread out.

From start to finish the Acadia AT4 was a dream to drive, and it really made the whole trip so easy. Some of it was the little things, but there is major technology in the SUV that makes every trip safer, beyond all the other features.

Interior & Technology

Starting out though, one of the best things about the SUV is that it’s so roomy and comfortable. The Acadia AT4 has excellent, supportive, and durable black leather front seats featuring Kalahari accents, and depending on the time of year you can turn on the seat warmers, or seat ventilation to cool you down.

The steering wheel itself has real aluminum trim with all the controls you need, and it’s extremely comfortable for long drives thanks to the leather wrapping, overall design, and you can keep your fingers warm with built-in heating for those colder days.

The dual skyscape sunroof also makes a big difference, bringing in more light to the SUV and making the interior feel larger. You can also open the panel over the front seats for a nice breeze while you’re driving.

GMC Acadia Infotainment system
GMC Acadia Infotainment system

Out of all the features, I probably used the infotainment system the most, especially between the navigation, hands-free features, Android Auto, and of course the built-in Sirius XM radio (I’ll get into that in another story). With the big, bright 8″ diagonal display, it’s easy to keep an eye on directions too, and I also used the built-in Wi-Fi hub a number of times so my daughter could stream video.

The Acadian AT4 is also compatible with Alexa, Apple CarPlay, and it offers wireless charging for your compatible smartphone.

The Acadia AT4 has a third row of seats so you can comfortably fit up to 6 people in the SUV, or those two seats fold down for lots of storage. We had no problem travelling with three suitcases and a number of bags, with lots of room to spare for shopping and anything that we had to put in the back. Overall too, the mid-size SUV has a lot of legroom and space, so your family will never feel cramped on long road trips.

On top of that, the V6 engine is a dream on the road. The SUV has power to spare, and when you need it, that makes a big difference, whether it’s just for passing, or if you’re towing something.


GMC Acadia AT4 driver seat

All of that is great, and it made me love the drive, but the features that are less obvious, and more vital, are the safety and emergency features.

For one thing, GMC Pro Safety Plus helps ensure that the driver is aware of potential hazards with collision alerts, and the SUV also offers a distance indicator for the vehicle in front of you, plus automatic emergency braking if the vehicle detects a potential front-end collision.

Lane Change Alert and Side Blind Zone Alert make sure the driver is also aware of moving vehicles in the side blind zone, while helping to alert the driver to unintentional lane changes. With the lane change alert, the steering wheel offers gentle feedback to alert you that you should return to your lane.

And that’s not even all of the safety features; there are lots more.

However my favourite all around feature on the Acadia AT4 are the cameras. GMC’s High-Definition Surround Vision uses multiple cameras around the SUV to give you an overhead view of the area around the vehicle, making it not only easier to park, but also safer.

You can pick two views, including the overhead view, and one other, so if you’re backing up or pulling forward into a parking space, the SUV will show you how much room you have to navigate. And of course the SUV also provides alerts when you’re getting close to objects.

Exterior & traction control

GMC Acadia AT4

And the SUV looks fantastic inside and out. The exterior features a black chrome grille, 17″ gloss black painted aluminum wheels, all terrain tires, and a fun little LED logo projected under the rear liftgate so you know where to wiggle your foot for it to automatically open.

Finally, the SUV’s traction system was one of the best features when it came to two specific days of driving. The Acadia AT4 has four modes to help in different situations including 2-wheel and all-wheel drive, sport, off-road, and trailer/tow mode.

I didn’t get a chance to go offroading with the Acadia, but during a major rain storm in New Brunswick I used all-wheel drive most of the day so I didn’t have any issues with the torrential rain on the roads.

That made a huge difference driving on the highway, and I never had a single issue. The Active Torque Control AWD system also automatically works to provide the best traction in any condition.

When all was said and done, returning the Acadia AT4 back to GMC was a bit of sad day as I got back into my regular SUV. It’s amazing how you can get used to all of these features, and what a difference they make even in day-to-day driving.

I had a great road trip in the vehicle, and after more than a week driving it, I would highly recommend it for families looking for a reliable, robust, and feature-packed SUV that’s great for road trips. The Acadia AT4 is a great all-around mid-size SUV, and it will get you around town easily, but wait until you take it out for a long drive.

Watch a recap of my road trip in the 2022 GMC Acadia AT4 below.

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