2020 Chevrolet Equinox vs. 2020 GMC Terrain

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/05/30

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.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Equinox the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 31 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Terrain last would have qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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There are over 74 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

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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.

Engine

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The Equinox’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder 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-cylinder.

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

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

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

Equinox

Terrain

2WD

1.5 turbo 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

26 city/31 hwy

26 city/30 hwy

1.5 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./9-spd. Auto

22 city/29 hwy

22 city/28 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

4WD

1.5 turbo 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

25 city/30 hwy

25 city/28 hwy

1.5 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./9-spd. Auto

22 city/28 hwy

21 city/26 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

Brakes and Stopping

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/05/30

The Equinox stops much shorter than the Terrain:

Equinox

Terrain

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

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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

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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).

Towing

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The Equinox can be flat towed on all four wheels (dingy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the Equinox can be unhitched and driven around locally. The Terrain can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Ergonomics

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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 PIN entry system. The Terrain doesn’t offer an exterior PIN 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.

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 PIN entry system. The Terrain doesn’t offer an exterior PIN 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 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Equinox’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Terrain’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

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

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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

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/05/30

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

The Chevrolet Equinox outsold the GMC Terrain by over three to one during 2019.

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

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