2019 GMC Terrain vs. 2019 BMW X1

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 X1 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 X1 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking optional in the Terrain as “Superior.” The X1 scores at most only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

The Terrain Denali offers an optional Surround Vision to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The X1 only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The Terrain (except SL)’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The X1 doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Terrain (except SL)’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The X1 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Terrain and the X1 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive and lane departure warning systems.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the GMC Terrain is safer than the BMW X1:

 

Terrain

X1

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

159

328

Neck Injury Risk

17%

32%

Neck Stress

190 lbs.

360 lbs.

Neck Compression

10 lbs.

60 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

26%

31%

Neck Stress

153 lbs.

175 lbs.

Neck Compression

51 lbs.

68 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

264/236 lbs.

309/268 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the GMC Terrain is safer than the BMW X1:

 

Terrain

X1

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

109

143

Hip Force

357 lbs.

486 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

55 G’s

65 G’s

Hip Force

630 lbs.

637 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

13 inches

Hip Force

730 lbs.

815 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

GMC’s powertrain warranty covers the Terrain 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X1. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the X1 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 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

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Terrain’s reliability 21 points higher than the X1.

Engine

The Terrain’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 24 more horsepower (252 vs. 228) and 2 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 258) than the X1’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the GMC Terrain 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the BMW X1:

 

Terrain

X1

Zero to 30 MPH

2.8 sec

3.5 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.2 sec

7.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

16.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93 MPH

92.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Terrain diesel gets better fuel mileage than the X1:

 

 

Terrain

X1

 

FWD

1.6 turbo 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

28 city/39 hwy

23 city/32 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

AWD

1.6 turbo 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

28 city/38 hwy

22 city/31 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

On the EPA test cycle the Terrain FWD with its standard engine gets better fuel mileage than the X1 sDrive28i FWD (26 city/30 hwy vs. 23 city/32 hwy).

The Terrain 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 X1 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 X1.

Brakes and Stopping

The Terrain stops shorter than the X1:

 

Terrain

X1

 

60 to 0 MPH

128 feet

134 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

136 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Terrain’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the X1 (235/50R19 vs. 225/50R18).

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 X1 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Terrain’s wheelbase is 2.2 inches longer than on the X1 (107.3 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For greater off-road capability the Terrain SLT/Denali has a greater minimum ground clearance than the X1 (7.9 vs. 7.2 inches), allowing the Terrain to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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 X1 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 X1 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Terrain has .5 inches more front legroom, 1.6 inches more front shoulder room, 2.7 inches more rear legroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the X1.

Cargo Capacity

The Terrain has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the X1 with its rear seat up (29.6 vs. 27.1 cubic feet). The Terrain has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the X1 with its rear seat folded (63.3 vs. 58.7 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Terrain SLE/SLT/Denali’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The X1 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Towing

The Terrain has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The X1 has no towing capacity.

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 X1 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Terrain (except SL/SLE)’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The X1 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Terrain’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The X1 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Terrain has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the X1 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

Both the Terrain and the X1 offer available heated front seats. The Terrain Denali also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the X1.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Terrain Denali keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The X1 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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 X1 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Terrain owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Terrain will cost $295 to $1380 less than the X1 over a five-year period.

Recommendations

The GMC Terrain outsold the BMW X1 by almost four to one during 2018.

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

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