2019 GMC Terrain vs. 2019 Jeep Cherokee

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 Jeep Cherokee 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 Cherokee doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Terrain Denali offers an optional Surround Vision to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Cherokee 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 Cherokee 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, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the GMC Terrain is safer than the Cherokee:

 

Terrain

Cherokee

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

POOR

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

4 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

.7/.1 kN

3.5/1.6 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

1%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Tibia index R/L

.47/.51

.84/.45

Tibia forces R/L

1.2/.2 kN

1.5/1.1 kN

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 149 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Cherokee was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

The Terrain’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Cherokee’s (6 vs. 5 years).

GMC pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the Terrain. GMC will pay for the first oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance in the first year. Jeep doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Cherokee.

Reliability

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 Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks GMC 18th in reliability. With 32 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 28th.

Engine

The Terrain’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 21 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 239) than the Cherokee’s optional 3.2 DOHC V6.

The Terrain’s 1.6 turbo diesel produces 69 lbs.-ft. more torque (240 vs. 171) than the Cherokee’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the GMC Terrain 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Jeep Cherokee V6:

 

Terrain

Cherokee

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

7.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15.4 sec

15.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89 MPH

87.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

Terrain

Cherokee

 

FWD

1.6 turbo 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

28 city/39 hwy

22 city/31 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

AWD

1.6 turbo 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

28 city/38 hwy

21 city/29 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

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

 

 

Terrain

Cherokee

 

2WD

 

n/a

22 city/31 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

 

1.5 turbo 4 cyl./9-spd. Auto

26 city/30 hwy

23 city/31 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

 

 

n/a

20 city/29 hwy

3.2 V6/Auto

4WD

 

n/a

21 city/29 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

 

1.5 turbo 4 cyl./9-spd. Auto

24 city/28 hwy

21 city/29 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

 

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./9-spd. Auto

21 city/26 hwy

20 city/27 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

 

 

n/a

20 city/27 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

Brakes and Stopping

The Terrain stops much shorter than the Cherokee:

 

Terrain

Cherokee

 

60 to 0 MPH

128 feet

138 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

136 feet

153 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

The Terrain Denali AWD handles at .79 G’s, while the Cherokee Trailhawk 4x4 pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Terrain Denali AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the Cherokee Trailhawk 4x4 (27.5 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.6 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

Chassis

The GMC Terrain may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 300 pounds less than the Jeep Cherokee.

Passenger Space

The Terrain has .6 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front hip room, 1.9 inches more rear hip room and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Cherokee.

Cargo Capacity

The Terrain has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the Cherokee with its rear seat up (29.6 vs. 24.6 cubic feet). The Terrain has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Cherokee with its rear seat folded (63.3 vs. 54.9 cubic feet).

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

Ergonomics

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 Cherokee 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 Cherokee does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Terrain’s front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Cherokee’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open them fully.

On a hot day the Terrain’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Cherokee can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Consumer Reports rated the Terrain’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the Cherokee’s headlights, which were rated “Poor” to “Fair” (depending on model and options).

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 Cherokee’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 Cherokee offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

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

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