2020 Chevrolet Equinox vs. 2020 GMC Terrain

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Equinox 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

There are over 73 percent more Chevrolet dealers than there are GMC dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Equinox’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Equinox first among compact SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Terrain isn’t in the top three.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 12th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 46 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 22nd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Chevrolet 2 places higher in reliability than GMC.

Engine

The Equinox’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. produces 82 more horsepower (252 vs. 170) and 57 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 203) than the Terrain’s standard 1.5 turbo 4-cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Chevrolet Equinox 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. is faster than the GMC Terrain 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.:

Equinox

Terrain

Zero to 60 MPH

6.6 sec

6.8 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.1 MPH

89 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Equinox

FWD

1.5 turbo 4-cyl.

26 city/31 hwy

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

AWD

1.5 turbo 4-cyl.

25 city/30 hwy

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

Terrain

FWD

1.5 turbo 4-cyl.

26 city/30 hwy

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

AWD

1.5 turbo 4-cyl.

25 city/28 hwy

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/26 hwy

Brakes and Stopping

The Equinox stops much shorter than the Terrain:

Equinox

Terrain

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

The Equinox Premier handles at .83 G’s, while the Terrain Denali AWD pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the Equinox has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Terrain SLE (7.9 vs. 6.9 inches), allowing the Equinox to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Cargo Capacity

The Equinox has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Terrain with its rear seat up (29.9 vs. 29.6 cubic feet). The Equinox has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Terrain with its rear seat folded (63.9 vs. 63.3 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Equinox LS/LT/Premier’s available exterior keypad. The Terrain doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system, and its OnStar® can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

The Equinox LT/Premier’s available 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.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Equinox owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Equinox with a number “8” insurance rate while the Terrain is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Equinox is less expensive to operate than the Terrain because typical repairs cost less on the Equinox than the Terrain, including $112 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Equinox first among compact SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Terrain isn’t in the top three.

The Chevrolet Equinox outsold the GMC Terrain by almost three to one during 2018.

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

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