Every day is an adventure in sporty three-row crossovers like the 2019 Ford Explorer and GMC Acadia. But the question remains: which is the best contender for your daily drive? Our comparison guide delves into the details to help you make the right choice for your daily drive.
Premium Family Hauler: 2019 Ford Explorer
The 2019 Ford Explorer stands apart from other three-row crossovers with its elegant design and high-quality cabin materials. You may even settle into the driver seat and forget that you're not at the helm of a luxury SUV. With space for up to seven passengers, there's head- and legroom to go around on family road trips.
Like the Explorer, the GMC Acadia is a smooth, capable family hauler. The Acadia is even easy to handle in a tight spot, so there won't be any awkward situations in the school drop-off loop. But, though the GMC mostly keeps wind and road noise in check, the Acadia isn't as luxuriously quiet as the Explorer.
Tows More: 2019 Ford Explorer
This was really not much of a competition. If you've got an especially big boat at home-or a medium-size family camper-you're going to need the Explorer. With the proper equipment and its base V6 engine, the Explorer tows max loads of 5,000 pounds. With the fuel-efficient turbocharged four-cylinder, that figure drops to 3,500 pounds.
The GMC Acadia tows max loads with its optional V6 engine-up to 4,000 pounds. With its base four-cylinder engine, the Acadia only tows 1,000 pounds' worth of boat or Jet Ski. When it comes to family-sized adventure, these capabilities fall a bit short.
Best Fuel Economy: It's (Kind of) a Tie!
Okay, so the 2019 Ford Explorer offers the best highway mileage and the GMC Acadia gets more mileage around town. The crossover that speaks to you in terms of fuel economy is really the one that best suits your daily drive. If you've got a long highway commute, you'll like that the Explorer earns up to 19 city/27 highway mpg. If you don't get on the highway much, you'll appreciate the Acadia's top fuel ratings: 21 city/26 highway mpg.
Savviest Standard Tech Lineup: GMC Acadia
Although both crossovers offer many of the same features-like USB charging ports and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration technology-the Acadia wins the day by making these tech features standard equipment. We also like GMC's OnStar emergency telematics system, which gives you safety net features like on-demand roadside assistance and automatic collision notification. So, in addition to total hands-free use of your smartphone, you also get some extra peace of mind.
Of course, the Ford Explorer isn't far behind the Acadia. The Explorer's got all the latest tech advances; you just have to upgrade to the Limited (or the mid-grade XLT with the Driver Connect package) to get them. We're also big fans of Ford's SYNC 3 infotainment system, whose 8-inch touchscreen interface is quick to react and easy to figure out.
In this competitive segment, there certainly aren't any lemons. But even in the midst of everything other three-row crossovers have to offer, the 2019 Ford Explorer manages to stand out, besting rivals with its classy cabin and sporty capabilities.