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  5. Side by Side: Nissan Murano vs. GMC Acadia

We know cross-shopping vehicles can be stressful, especially when it comes to midsize SUVs because there are so many to choose from. That's why we focused on two of them, the 2021 Nissan Murano and the 2022 GMC Acadia, and highlighted some of their important characteristics and key differences so that you'll know more about them before you even step foot into an AutoNation dealership.

What's New

The 2021 Murano benefits from minor cosmetic changes and a significant safety update. Magnetic Black Pearl, Boulder Gray Pearl and Scarlet Ember Tintcoat join the list of available exterior colors, which expands to a total of nine. Nissan dropped the SV Premium Package and replaced it with a new Special Edition Package which includes heated front seats, panoramic moonroof and the Intelligent Around View Monitor's 360-degree bird's-eye view. All four Murano trim levels now come standard with the Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, and other features bundled into the Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite of technologies. For a full breakdown of Nissan trim levels, check out this guide 

Aside from dropping the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine from the lineup, GMC incorporated similar updates into the 2022 Acadia. Light Stone Metallic is the newest addition to its color palette. There are also new 18- and 20-inch wheel designs to choose from. All Acadias receive the convenience and reassurance of the Traction Select system and the GMC Pro Safety Plus array of features, which includes Automatic Emergency Braking, Front and Rear Park Assist, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, and more.

The Space Between

In terms of exterior dimensions, the Murano and Acadia are almost identical. They both have the 75.4-inch width and there are marginal differences between their wheelbase lengths, overall lengths, and heights. But there's a major difference between them inside. The Murano has two rows that seat five people; the Acadia is a three-row that provides room for six or seven passengers, depending on configuration. The GMC also provides more maximum cargo space, besting the Murano's 67 cubic feet with 79 cubic feet behind its first row of seats.

Smashing Success

The Murano and Acadia have the same cumulative crash test scores, too. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) gave them both five-star Frontal Crash, five-star Side Crash, four-star Rollover, and five-star Overall Safety ratings.

The Power to Move People

Nissan keeps things simple under the hood. No matter which trim level you choose and whether you go with front- or all-wheel drive, you get a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 that generates 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque, and routes it through an Xtronic CVT (continuously variable transmission). That combination delivers fuel economy figures of 20 city, 28 highway and 23 combined mpg.

GMC offers two engines in the Acadia. The base power plant is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Its larger, more potent sibling is a naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V6 with 310 horsepower and 271 lb-ft. Both engines send their power through a nine-speed automatic and either the front or all four wheels. 

Regardless of engine choice, the Acadia is capable of towing significantly more than the Murano. The Nissan hits its max towing capacity at 1,500 pounds. Properly equipped, the four-cylinder Acadia can pull up to 3,300 pounds; V6 models max out at 4,000. Opting for the I4 and FWD pays off at the pump with fuel economy as high as 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. Choosing all-wheel drive reduces highway gas mileage to 27 mpg. The Acadia AT4, which comes exclusively with the V6 and all-wheel drive, is the thirstiest model in the lineup and gets 19 city and 26 highway mpg.

Music and Maps

The Murano and Acadia share another important dimension inside. All Muranos and the SLT, AT4 and Denali versions of the Acadia come standard with an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen that supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Amazon Alexa Built-In, which enables you to do things such as play music, check the weather forecast, and control smart home devices, is available on Acadia SLE, SLT, AT4 and Denali models.

Going Further

Nissan only offers its rugged PRO-4X package on its Frontier and Titan trucks. GMC is much more liberal with its off-road goodies. Every one of its pickups and SUVs is available in the outdoorsy AT4 trim. That equips the Acadia with black 17-inch wheels wrapped in P255/65R17 all-terrain tires, Hill Start Assist, Hill Descent Control and an Active Torque Control all-wheel drive system that sends available torque to the wheel that needs it the most to keep the Acadia AT4 going through the wilderness.

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*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

**Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending on specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.