2019 GMC Terrain vs. 2019 BMW X3

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 X3 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 X3 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Both the Terrain and the X3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, 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.

Warranty

GMC’s powertrain warranty covers the Terrain 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X3. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the X3 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.

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 X3 s/xDrive30i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the GMC Terrain 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the X3 s/xDrive30i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.:

 

Terrain

X3

Zero to 30 MPH

2.8 sec

3.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.2 sec

7.7 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.7 sec

5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93 MPH

92 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Terrain Diesel gets better fuel mileage than the X3:

 

 

Terrain

X3

 

2WD

Auto

28 city/39 hwy

23 city/30 hwy

 

AWD

Auto

28 city/38 hwy

22 city/29 hwy

 

On the EPA test cycle the Terrain gets better fuel mileage than the X3:

 

 

Terrain

X3

 

2WD

1.5 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

26 city/30 hwy

23 city/30 hwy

4 cyl.

4WD

1.5 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

24 city/28 hwy

22 city/29 hwy

4 cyl.

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 X3 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 X3.

Brakes and Stopping

The Terrain stops shorter than the X3:

 

Terrain

X3

 

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

136 feet

138 feet

Consumer Reports

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 X3 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Terrain w/17” wheels’ turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the X3 xDrive30i’s (37.4 feet vs. 39.4 feet).

Chassis

The GMC Terrain may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 to 600 pounds less than the BMW X3.

The Terrain is 3.6 inches shorter than the X3, making the Terrain easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Terrain uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The X3 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Terrain has .6 inches more front legroom and 3.3 inches more rear legroom than the X3.

Cargo Capacity

The Terrain has a larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the X3 with its rear seat up (29.6 vs. 28.7 cubic feet). The Terrain has a larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the X3 with its rear seat folded (63.3 vs. 62.7 cubic feet).

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Terrain’s available liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The X3 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 X3 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 X3 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 X3 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 X3 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

Consumer Reports rated the Terrain’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the X3’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

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 X3 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 X3 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Recommendations

The GMC Terrain outsold the BMW X3 by over two to one during 2017.

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

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