2019 GMC Terrain vs. 2019 Jeep Compass

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 Compass 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 Compass 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 Compass only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the Terrain and the Compass 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.

Warranty

The Terrain’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Compass’ (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). Jeep doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Compass.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Terrain has a standard 700-amp battery. The Compass’ standard 500-amp battery and largest (optional) 650 amp battery aren’t as powerful.

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 standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 28 lbs.-ft. more torque (203 vs. 175) than the Compass’ 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The Terrain’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 72 more horsepower (252 vs. 180) and 85 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 175) than the Compass’ 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

The Terrain’s 1.6 turbo diesel produces 65 lbs.-ft. more torque (240 vs. 175) than the Compass’ 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the GMC Terrain 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Jeep Compass (automatics tested):

 

Terrain

Compass

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

10.5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.4 sec

17.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89 MPH

76.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

Terrain

Compass

 

FWD

Manual

n/a

23 city/32 hwy

 

 

Auto

28 city/39 hwy

22 city/31 hwy

 

AWD

Manual

n/a

22 city/31 hwy

 

 

Auto

28 city/38 hwy

22 city/30 hwy

 

On the EPA test cycle the Terrain FWD with its standard engine gets better fuel mileage than the Compass FWD 6-speed Auto (26 city/30 hwy vs. 22 city/31 hwy).

Regardless of its engine, the Terrain’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Jeep only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Compass Auto.

The Terrain’s standard fuel tank has 1.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Compass (14.9 vs. 13.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Terrain’s standard fuel tank has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Compass (15.6 vs. 13.5 gallons).

Transmission

The GMC Terrain comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Compass.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Terrain 2.0T’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Compass:

 

Terrain 2.0T

Compass

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

11.3 inches

10.95 inches

The Terrain stops much shorter than the Compass:

 

Terrain

Compass

 

60 to 0 MPH

130 feet

144 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

136 feet

151 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Terrain has larger standard tires than the Compass (225/65R17 vs. 215/65R16).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Terrain has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Compass Sport.

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 Compass doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Terrain’s wheelbase is 3.5 inches longer than on the Compass (107.3 inches vs. 103.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Terrain is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 2.2 inches wider in the rear than on the Compass.

The Terrain Denali AWD handles at .79 G’s, while the Compass Trailhawk pulls only .73 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Terrain Denali AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.1 seconds quicker than the Compass Trailhawk (27.5 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 29.6 seconds @ .53 average G’s).

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 Compass 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 Compass doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Terrain has 3.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Compass (103.2 vs. 99.6).

The Terrain has .8 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front hip room, .5 inches more front shoulder room, 1.4 inches more rear legroom, 2.6 inches more rear hip room and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Compass.

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

Cargo Capacity

The Terrain has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the Compass with its rear seat up (29.6 vs. 27.2 cubic feet). The Terrain has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Compass with its rear seat folded (63.3 vs. 59.8 cubic feet).

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

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 Compass doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

The Terrain’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Compass’ (1500 vs. 0 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Jeep Compass 4x4 is only 2000 pounds. The Terrain offers up to a 3500 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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 Compass 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 Compass 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 Compass 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 Compass 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 Compass has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Latitude/Trailhawk/Limited.

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

Both the Terrain and the Compass 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 Compass.

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 Compass doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Both the Terrain and the Compass offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Terrain has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Compass doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

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 Compass doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

The GMC Terrain outsold the Jeep Compass by 2188 units during 2017.

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

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