2018 GMC Terrain vs. 2019 BMW X4

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the GMC Terrain’s rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The BMW X4 doesn’t offer height adjustable seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Terrain are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The X4 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Both the Terrain and the X4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Terrain the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 148 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The X4 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

GMC’s powertrain warranty covers the Terrain 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X4. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the X4 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 5 times as many GMC dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Terrain’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Terrain first among compact suvs in their 2017 Initial Quality Study. The X4 isn’t in the top three in its category.

Engine

The Terrain’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 4 more horsepower (252 vs. 248) and 2 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 258) than the X4 xDrive30i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Terrain 4 cyl. diesel AWD gets better fuel mileage than the X4 M40i (28 city/38 hwy vs. 20 city/27 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Terrain AWD with its standard turbo 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the X4 M40i 6 cyl. (24 city/28 hwy vs. 20 city/27 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the GMC Terrain uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine for maximum performance). The X4 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Terrain Gas has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The X4 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the GMC Terrain, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the X4.

Tires and Wheels

The Terrain has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The X4 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Terrain w/17” wheels’ turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the X4’s (37.4 feet vs. 40 feet).

Chassis

The GMC Terrain may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 700 pounds less than the BMW X4.

The Terrain is 5.2 inches shorter than the X4, making the Terrain easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the Terrain uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The X4 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Terrain uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The X4 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Terrain has 5.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the X4 (103.2 vs. 97.8).

The Terrain has 1 inch more front headroom, .2 inches more front legroom, 1.3 inches more rear headroom and 4.2 inches more rear legroom than the X4.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Terrain’s rear seats recline. The X4’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Terrain has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the X4 with its rear seat up (29.6 vs. 18.5 cubic feet). The Terrain has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the X4 with its rear seat folded (63.3 vs. 50.5 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Terrain SLE/SLT/Denali’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The X4 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Terrain SLT/Denali’s cargo door can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The X4 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

The Terrain offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The X4 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Terrain (except SL) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The X4 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

The Terrain is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The X4 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

The GMC Terrain outsold the BMW X4 by over sixteen to one during 2017.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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