An East Coast road trip in the 2022 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 destination.

I left Toronto early on September 20th and made my way to Quebec City for dinner, 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 driving back across the US to Toronto.

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

King’s Square in Saint John, NB

Late September and early October is a great time for an East Coast road trip because it’s so much quieter than summer, and the leaves are just starting to turn between Quebec and New Brunswick. Along the route I saw bursts of paint from time to time, and in NB the paint had spread considerably.

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 great technology in the SUV that makes every trip safer, in addition to all the other features.

Interior & Technology

But for starters, 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 with Kalahari accents, and depending on the season, you can turn on the seat heaters 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 wrap, overall design, and you can keep your fingers warm with built-in heat for those colder days.

The double skyscape sunroof also makes a big difference, bringing more light into the SUV and making the interior feel bigger. You can also open the panel over the front seats for a nice breeze while driving.

GMC Acadia infotainment system
GMC Acadia infotainment system

Of all the features, I probably used the infotainment system the most, especially between the navigation, hands-free capabilities, Android Auto, and of course the built-in Sirius XM radio (I’ll get into that in another story). The large, bright 8-inch screen makes it 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 the two seats can be folded down for tons of storage. We had no problem traveling with three suitcases and a number of bags, with plenty of room for shopping and anything we had to put in the back. Overall, the mid-size SUV has plenty 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, it makes a big difference, whether it’s just passing or towing something.


GMC Acadia AT4 driver's seat

This is all good, and it made me love driving, but the features that are less obvious and more important are the safety and emergency features.

First, GMC Pro Safety Plus helps ensure the driver is aware of potential hazards with forward collision warnings, and the SUV also offers a distance indicator for the vehicle ahead, plus automatic emergency braking if the vehicle detects a potential front-end collision.

Lane Departure Warning and Side Blind Zone Warning ensure the driver is also aware of moving vehicles in the side blind zone, while helping to alert the driver to unintended lane changes. With the lane change warning, the steering wheel provides gentle feedback to alert you that you should return to your lane field.

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

But my favorite all-around feature on the Acadia AT4 is the cameras. GMC’s High-Definition Surround Vision uses multiple cameras around the SUV to give you an overview of the area around the vehicle, making parking not only easier, but also safer.

You can choose two views, including a top view, and another, so if you’re backing up or pulling forward into a parking spot, the SUV will show you how much space you have to navigate. And of course, the SUV also provides warnings when you get close to objects.

Exterior & traction control

GMC Acadia AT4

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

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 that help in different situations, including 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive, sport, off-road and tow/haul mode.

I didn’t get a chance to go off-road with the Acadia, but during a big rainstorm in New Brunswick I was in 4WD most of the day so I had no problem with the downpours on the roads.

It made a huge difference when I was driving on the highway, and I never had a single problem. The Active Torque Control AWD system also works automatically to provide the best grip in all conditions.

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

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

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

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