2019 GMC Terrain vs. 2019 Toyota 4Runner

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 Toyota 4Runner 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 4Runner doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

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 4Runner doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

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 4Runner 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 4Runner 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.

The Terrain (except SL)’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Terrain (except SL)’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

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 4Runner uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

The Terrain has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The 4Runner doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Terrain and the 4Runner 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 and available all-wheel drive.

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 4Runner:

 

Terrain

4Runner

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

GOOD

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

86

142

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

12 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

.7/.1 kN

3.9/2.4 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

1%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Tibia index R/L

.47/.51

.95/.85

Tibia forces R/L

1.2/.2 kN

5/2.9 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 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 4Runner was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

The Terrain’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the 4Runner’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are over 38 percent more GMC dealers than there are Toyota dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Terrain’s warranty.

Engine

As tested in Motor Trend the GMC Terrain 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Toyota 4Runner:

 

Terrain

4Runner

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

7.8 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 4Runner:

 

 

Terrain

4Runner

 

2WD

Auto

28 city/39 hwy

17 city/21 hwy

 

AWD

Auto

28 city/38 hwy

17 city/20 hwy

 

On the EPA test cycle the Terrain gets better fuel mileage than the 4Runner:

 

 

Terrain

4Runner

 

2WD

1.5 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

26 city/30 hwy

17 city/21 hwy

V6

 

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

22 city/28 hwy

n/a

 

4WD

1.5 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

24 city/28 hwy

17 city/20 hwy

V6

 

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

21 city/26 hwy

n/a

 

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Terrain’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The 4Runner doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

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 4Runner 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 a five-speed automatic is available for the 4Runner.

Brakes and Stopping

The Terrain stops shorter than the 4Runner:

 

Terrain

4Runner

 

60 to 0 MPH

130 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

136 feet

145 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 4Runner’s standard 70 series tires. The Terrain’s optional tires have a lower 50 series profile than the 4Runner Limited’s 60 series tires.

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 4Runner doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension 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 Toyota 4Runner has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

The Terrain Denali AWD handles at .79 G’s, while the 4Runner TRD Off-Road 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 seconds quicker than the 4Runner TRD Off-Road (27.5 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 29.5 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

Chassis

The GMC Terrain may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 950 to 1000 pounds less than the Toyota 4Runner.

The Terrain is 7.9 inches shorter than the 4Runner SR5, making the Terrain easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 4Runner uses body-on-frame design instead.

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 4Runner 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 4Runner doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Terrain has .7 inches more front headroom and 6.8 inches more rear legroom than the 4Runner.

Cargo Capacity

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Terrain SLE/SLT/Denali’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The 4Runner 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 4Runner doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Servicing Ease

The Terrain has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The 4Runner doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

An Oil Life Monitor is standard on the Terrain to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes based on actual driving conditions. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Toyota doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the 4Runner.

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 4Runner doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The engine computer on the Terrain automatically engages the starter until the car starts with one twist of the key and disables the starter while the engine is running. The 4Runner’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

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 4Runner 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 4Runner does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The power windows standard on both the Terrain and the 4Runner have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Terrain is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The 4Runner prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 4Runner only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

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 4Runner has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Limited/TRD Pro.

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 4Runner doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Terrain’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The 4Runner’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

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 4Runner’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 4Runner offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the Terrain and the 4Runner offer available heated front seats. The Terrain Denali also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the 4Runner.

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 4Runner doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Terrain SLT/Denali offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The 4Runner doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

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 4Runner doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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

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