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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 Fiat 500X doesn’t offer comfort guides on its rear 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 500X 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 500X scores only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”
When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Terrain’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The 500X doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.
The Terrain Denali offers an optional Surround Vision to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The 500X 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.
Both the Terrain and the 500X 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, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
GMC’s powertrain warranty covers the Terrain 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Fiat covers the 500X. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the 500X ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
The Terrain’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the 500X’s (6 vs. 5 years).
GMC pays for scheduled maintenance on the Terrain for 2 years and 24,000 miles. GMC will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance (up to 2 oil changes). Fiat doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the 500X.
There are over 4 times as many GMC dealers as there are Fiat dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Terrain’s warranty.
To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Terrain has a standard 700-amp battery. The 500X’s 500-amp battery isn’t as powerful.
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 31 points higher than the 500X.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that GMC vehicles are more reliable than Fiat vehicles. J.D. Power ranks GMC 18th in reliability. With 36 more problems per 100 vehicles, Fiat is ranked 29th.
The Terrain’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 75 more horsepower (252 vs. 177) and 50 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 210) than the 500X’s 1.3 turbo 4 cyl.
The Terrain’s 1.6 turbo diesel produces 30 lbs.-ft. more torque (240 vs. 210) than the 500X’s 1.3 turbo 4 cyl.
On the EPA test cycle the Terrain 4 cyl. diesel AWD gets better fuel mileage than the 500X (28 city/38 hwy vs. 23 city/29 hwy).
The Terrain’s standard fuel tank has 2.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the 500X (14.9 vs. 12.7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Terrain’s standard fuel tank has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the 500X (15.6 vs. 12.7 gallons).
For better stopping power the Terrain 2.0T’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 500X:
The Terrain stops shorter than the 500X:
60 to 0 MPH
60 to 0 MPH (Wet)
For better traction, the Terrain has larger standard tires than the 500X (225/65R17 vs. 215/60R17). The Terrain’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 500X (235/50R19 vs. 215/60R17).
The Terrain’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 500X AWD Trekking/Trekking Plus’ optional 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Terrain offers optional 19-inch wheels. The 500X’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.
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 500X doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Terrain’s wheelbase is 6.1 inches longer than on the 500X (107.3 inches vs. 101.2 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Terrain is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear than on the 500X.
The Terrain Denali AWD handles at .79 G’s, while the 500X Trekking pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
The Terrain Denali AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the 500X Trekking (27.5 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.7 seconds @ .59 average G’s).
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 500X 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 500X doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The Terrain has 11.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 500X (103.2 vs. 91.7).
The Terrain has .9 inches more front headroom, 1.1 inches more front hip room, 2.9 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 4.9 inches more rear legroom and 2.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the 500X.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Terrain’s rear seats recline. The 500X’s rear seats don’t recline.
The Terrain has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the 500X with its rear seat up (29.6 vs. 12.2 cubic feet). The Terrain has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the 500X with its rear seat folded (63.3 vs. 32.1 cubic feet).
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Terrain SLE/SLT/Denali’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The 500X doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Terrain (except SL) offers an optional power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The 500X doesn’t offer a power liftgate.
The Terrain’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the 500X’s (1500 vs. 0 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Fiat 500X is only 1000 pounds. The Terrain offers up to a 3500 lbs. towing capacity.
When two different drivers share the Terrain (except SL/SLE), the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The 500X doesn’t offer a memory 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 500X 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 500X does not have an oil pressure gauge.
On a hot day the Terrain’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the 500X can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The Terrain has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The 500X only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.
When the Terrain with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The 500X’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.
The Terrain SLT/Denali has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The 500X offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
Both the Terrain and the 500X 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 500X.
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 500X doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
On extremely cold winter days, the Terrain’s optional (except SL/SLE) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The 500X doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
The Terrain has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The 500X doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.
For greater rear passenger comfort, the Terrain has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The 500X doesn’t offer rear vents.
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 500X doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
The Terrain Denali’s optional Automatic Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The 500X doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The Terrain is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The 500X doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.
The Terrain will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Terrain will retain 45.99% to 49.47% of its original price after five years, while the 500X only retains 35.57% to 36.62%.
The GMC Terrain outsold the Fiat 500X by almost 22 to one during 2018.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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