2020 GMC Terrain vs. 2019 Dodge Journey

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Journey doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Terrain has standard Automatic Emergency 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 Journey doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Terrain’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Journey doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The Terrain’s 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 Journey 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 Journey 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.

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 Journey 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 Journey doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

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 Journey 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 Journey 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 and available all wheel drive.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the GMC Terrain is safer than the Dodge Journey:

Terrain

Journey

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

17%

27%

Neck Stress

190 lbs.

250 lbs.

Neck Compression

10 lbs.

14 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

363/349 lbs.

502/600 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk

26%

52%

Neck Stress

153 lbs.

164 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

264/236 lbs.

631/373 lbs.

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

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 Journey:

Terrain

Journey

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Restraints

GOOD

MARGINAL

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

86

98

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

12 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

22 cm

24 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Femur Force R/L

.7/.1 kN

6.3/2.9 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

22%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Tibia index R/L

.47/.51

.8/.83

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 GMC Terrain is safer than the Dodge Journey:

Terrain

Journey

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

630 lbs.

972 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

16 inches

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

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 157 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Journey was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

The Terrain’s corrosion warranty is 1 year and 40,000 miles longer than the Journey’s (6/100,000 vs. 5/60,000).

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Terrain has a standard 700-amp battery. The Journey’s 525-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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 Terrain’s reliability 22 points higher than the Journey.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that GMC vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks GMC 22nd in reliability. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 28th.

Engine

The Terrain’s standard 1.5 turbo 4-cyl. produces 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (203 vs. 166) than the Journey’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the GMC Terrain 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. is faster than the Dodge Journey V6:

Terrain

Journey

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

7.7 sec

Quarter Mile

15.4 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89 MPH

87.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

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

Journey

FWD

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

19 city/25 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/25 hwy

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

16 city/24 hwy

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 Journey 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 Journey 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 six-speed automatic is available for the Journey.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Terrain’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Journey (235/50R19 vs. 225/65R17).

The Terrain’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Journey Crossroad/GT’s 55 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 Journey doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Terrain Denali AWD handles at .79 G’s, while the Journey AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Terrain Denali AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the Journey AWD (27.5 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.7 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Terrain w/17” wheels’ turning circle is 1.1 feet tighter than the Journey SE’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.5 feet).

Chassis

The GMC Terrain may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 450 pounds less than the Dodge Journey.

The Terrain is 10.1 inches shorter than the Journey, making the Terrain easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 Journey 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 Journey doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Terrain has .1 inches more front legroom, .6 inches more front hip room and 3.6 inches more rear legroom than the Journey.

Cargo Capacity

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Terrain SLE/SLT/Denali’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Journey 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 on the Terrain SLT/Denali, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Journey doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

The Terrain’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Journey’s (1500 vs. 1000 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Dodge Journey is only 2500 pounds. The Terrain offers up to a 3500 lbs. towing capacity.

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 Journey 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 Journey doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Terrain’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Journey’s parking brake has to released manually.

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 Journey’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically. The Journey GT’s rear windows don’t open automatically.

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

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

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 Journey’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 Journey has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the Terrain and the Journey 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 Journey.

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 Journey doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Terrain SLE/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 Journey doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the Terrain, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Bluetooth costs extra on the Journey.

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 Journey doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

The Terrain will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Terrain will retain 45.99% to 49.47% of its original price after five years, while the Journey only retains 36.8% to 42.12%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Terrain is less expensive to operate than the Journey because typical repairs cost much less on the Terrain than the Journey, including $412 less for a muffler, $2 less for a fuel pump, $169 less for front struts and $114 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the GMC Terrain will be $692 to $1864 less than for the Dodge Journey.

Recommendations

The GMC Terrain outsold the Dodge Journey by 21% during 2018.

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

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