2019 Nissan Murano vs. 2019 GMC Terrain

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Nissan Murano are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The GMC Terrain doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.

The Murano has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Terrain doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Murano (except S/SV) offers optional Rear Automatic Braking which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Terrain doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Murano’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Terrain doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Murano and the Terrain 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, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Nissan Murano is safer than the GMC Terrain:

 

Murano

Terrain

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

97

109

Chest Movement

1 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

162 G’s

195 G’s

Hip Force

354 lbs.

357 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

212

288

Spine Acceleration

38 G’s

55 G’s

Hip Force

330 lbs.

630 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

328

377

Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

40 G’s

Hip Force

681 lbs.

730 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

The Murano’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Terrain’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability

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 Murano’s reliability 25 points higher than the Terrain.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Murano third among midsize suvs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Terrain isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 18th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 11 places higher in reliability than GMC.

Engine

The Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 90 more horsepower (260 vs. 170) and 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (240 vs. 203) than the Terrain’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 8 more horsepower (260 vs. 252) than the Terrain’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Murano uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Terrain with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Murano has 4.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Terrain’s standard fuel tank (19 vs. 14.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Murano has 3.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Terrain’s standard fuel tank (19 vs. 15.6 gallons).

Transmission

The Murano has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Terrain doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Murano’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Terrain:

 

Murano

Terrain

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

12.1 inches

11.3 inches

The Murano’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Terrain are solid, not vented.

The Murano stops much shorter than the Terrain:

 

Murano

Terrain

 

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Murano has larger tires than the Terrain (235/65R18 vs. 225/65R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Murano has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Terrain. The Murano SL/Platinum’s 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the Terrain.

Suspension and Handling

The Murano has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Murano flat and controlled during cornering. The Terrain’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Murano’s wheelbase is 3.9 inches longer than on the Terrain (111.2 inches vs. 107.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Murano is 2.3 inches wider in the front and 2.1 inches wider in the rear than on the Terrain.

The Murano Platinum AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the Terrain Denali AWD pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Passenger Space

The Murano has 4.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Terrain (108.1 vs. 103.2).

The Murano has 1 inch more front hip room, 2.3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, 3.4 inches more rear hip room and 3.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Terrain.

Cargo Capacity

The Murano has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Terrain with its rear seat up (32.1 vs. 29.6 cubic feet). The Murano has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Terrain with its rear seat folded (67 vs. 63.3 cubic feet).

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Murano. The Terrain doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

The Murano uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Terrain uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

The Murano’s front power windows open or close 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 Terrain’s front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

If the front windows are left open on the Murano the driver can close them at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Terrain can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Murano SV/SL/Platinum’s standard wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Terrain’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Murano has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Terrain and isn’t available on the Terrain SL.

The Murano’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Terrain SL doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

The Murano SL/Platinum’s standard GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Terrain’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Nissan Murano, based on reliability, safety and performance. The GMC Terrain isn't recommended.

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

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