No, this story is not about taking the Acadia and the Land Cruiser on a trail to see which one is the better off-roader. Nor is it going to see which is faster at the track or a better drive on the highway. Capabilities aside, neither the vehicles' sizes nor their pricing make them competitors. But, believe it or not, the GMC Acadia and the Toyota Land Cruiser have more in common than you may think. They're both eight-seat, three-row vehicles, with a high priority on high-quality interiors and customers looking for luxury. Another aspect they share: both have been significantly updated for 2013, and were seen for the first time in person at the Chicago auto show.
Both the Land Cruiser and Acadia have new styling cues, with the Acadia's being much bolder than the subtle new sculpting of the Toyota. The Acadia design adds a square nose and grille to an aerodynamic crossover, while the Land Cruiser is a box that now has more character lines. The interiors of both were refreshed as well, adding extra touches of luxury and refinement. And both receive improved touch-screen-based audio features: Entune for the Toyota, Color Touch Radio from the Terrain and the option of IntelliLink for hands-free use of smartphones and iPods. Safety: both upped their game there, too. The Acadia gets the very first front center airbag in the industry. It's mounted in the side of the driver's seat to help reduce neck injuries in side collisions. The Land Cruiser (already with 10 airbags) focused on making off-roading safer with a Multi-terrain Select system, which regulates wheel slip to match the surface you're driving on.
But the most important thing both have in common for 2013 is that the improvements each company made were to appeal even more to their core buyers. According to Toyota, 98 percent of Land Cruiser buyers opted for the Upgrade Package, so the company made it standard for 2013. For the Acadia, 30 percent of buyers purchase the Denali, so GMC made a point of introducing the Denali at the same time as the Acadia and making sure both go on sale simultaneously, too. No, you'll never see these two in the same comparison story, but there certainly are some interesting parallels.
So -- if you had to choose between these two vehicles, which one would you want?