2019 GMC Terrain vs. 2019 Jeep Wrangler

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 Wrangler 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 Wrangler doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Terrain has standard head airbag curtains for front and rear seats that act as a forgiving barrier between the driver and outboard passenger's upper bodies and the window and pillars. Combined with high-strength steel door beams and lower side airbags this system increases head protection in broadside collisions. The Wrangler doesn't offer side airbag protection for the head and are only available for the front seats.

The Terrain SLT/Denali offers optional Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Wrangler offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

The Terrain SLT/Denali’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Wrangler doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Terrain Denali offers an optional Surround Vision to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Wrangler 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.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the Terrain uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The Wrangler uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the Terrain and the Wrangler have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

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 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Wrangler has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Terrain has a 700-amp battery. The Wrangler only offers a standard 600-amp battery.

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

As tested in Consumer Reports the GMC Terrain 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Jeep Wrangler V6 (automatics tested):

 

Terrain

Wrangler

Zero to 60 MPH

7.2 sec

7.3 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.7 sec

4.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93 MPH

90 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Terrain 4 cyl. diesel AWD gets better fuel mileage than the Wrangler 4-door 4 cyl. Auto (28 city/38 hwy vs. 22 city/24 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Terrain AWD with its standard turbo 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the Wrangler 4-door 4 cyl. (24 city/28 hwy vs. 22 city/24 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 Wrangler doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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

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 Wrangler.

Brakes and Stopping

The Terrain stops much shorter than the Wrangler:

 

Terrain

Wrangler

 

60 to 0 MPH

128 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

136 feet

163 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

The Terrain’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 65 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Wrangler Sport’s standard 75 series tires. The Terrain’s optional tires have a lower 50 series profile than the Wrangler Sahara’s 70 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Terrain offers optional 19-inch wheels. The Wrangler’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 Wrangler doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The GMC Terrain’s independent front suspension is much lighter than the Jeep Wrangler’s solid front axle, which allows the Terrain’s wheels to react more quickly and accurately to the road’s surface, improving both ride and handling.

For superior ride and handling, the GMC Terrain has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Jeep Wrangler has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

For much better steering response and tighter handling the Terrain has rack and pinion steering, like Formula race cars, instead of the recirculating-ball type steering of the Wrangler.

Chassis

The GMC Terrain may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 650 pounds less than the Jeep Wrangler.

The Terrain is 6.1 inches shorter than the Wrangler 4-door, making the Terrain easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Terrain is 8.2 inches shorter in height than the Wrangler, making the Terrain much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

Unibody construction lowers the Terrain’s center of gravity significantly without reducing ground clearance. This contributes to better on the road handling and better off-road performance and stability. In addition, unibody construction makes the chassis stiffer, improving handling and reducing squeaks and rattles. The Wrangler uses body-on-frame design instead.

For excellent aerodynamics, the Terrain has standard flush composite headlights. The Wrangler has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

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 Wrangler 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 Wrangler doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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

Cargo Capacity

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

The Terrain’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Wrangler 2-door’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

The Terrain’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The Wrangler’s swing out door blocks loading from the driver’s side.

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 Wrangler doesn’t offer a power cargo door.

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 Wrangler 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 Wrangler doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Terrain’s standard power windows allow the driver or passenger to lower and raise the windows without leaning over or being distracted. Power windows are only available on the Wrangler Sport S/Sahara/Rubicon.

The Terrain’s front and rear power windows all open fully with one touch of the switches and its driver’s window also automatically closes, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Wrangler Sport S/Sahara/Rubicon’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its front windows open automatically.

The Terrain’s standard power window controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Wrangler’s available power window controls are spread out on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.

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

The Terrain’s standard power locks allow the driver or passenger to lock or unlock all the doors at a touch without leaning over, or reaching to the back seat. Power locks are only available on the Wrangler Sport S/Sahara/Rubicon.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Terrain has a standard rear wiper. A rear wiper costs extra on the Wrangler.

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 Wrangler has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Sahara/Rubicon.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Terrain SLT/Denali detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Wrangler doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Terrain has standard power remote mirrors. The Wrangler Sport doesn’t offer either a remote driver side or passenger side mirror. The driver will have to roll down the windows and reach across the car to adjust the mirrors.

The Terrain’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Jeep only offers heated mirrors on the Wrangler Sport S/Sahara/Rubicon.

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

Both the Terrain and the Wrangler 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 Wrangler.

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 Wrangler doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Both the Terrain and the Wrangler 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 Wrangler 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 Wrangler doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Terrain is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Wrangler doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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

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