2020 GMC Terrain vs. 2019 Lexus RX Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

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 Lexus RX Series 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 RX Series doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Both the Terrain and the RX Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, 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.

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 Lexus RX Series:

Terrain

RX Series

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

159

265

Neck Injury Risk

17%

42%

Neck Stress

190 lbs.

546 lbs.

Neck Compression

10 lbs.

135 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

363/349 lbs.

499/536 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

26%

53%

Neck Stress

153 lbs.

290 lbs.

Neck Compression

51 lbs.

90 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

264/236 lbs.

403/259 lbs.

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

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

Terrain

RX Series

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

14 inches

Spine Acceleration

40 G’s

44 G’s

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

Warranty

There are over 7 times as many GMC dealers as there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much 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 RX 450h:

Terrain

RX Series

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

7 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

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

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

RX Series

FWD

3.5 DOHC V6

20 city/27 hwy

AWD

3.5 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

Regardless of its engine, the Terrain’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Lexus only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the RX Series Hybrid.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the GMC Terrain uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended with the 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. engine for maximum performance). The RX 450h requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

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 RX Series 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 an eight-speed automatic is available for the RX Series.

Tires and Wheels

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 RX Series’ optional 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 RX Series doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Terrain Denali AWD handles at .79 G’s, while the RX 450h AWD pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Terrain w/17” wheels’ turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the RX Series’ (37.4 feet vs. 38.8 feet).

Chassis

The GMC Terrain may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 750 to 950 pounds less than the Lexus RX Series.

The Terrain is 10.2 inches shorter than the RX Series, 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 RX Series 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 RX Series doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Terrain has .6 inches more front headroom and 1.7 inches more rear legroom than the RX Series.

Cargo Capacity

The Terrain has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the RX Series with its rear seat up (29.6 vs. 18.4 cubic feet). The Terrain has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the RX Series with its rear seat folded (63.3 vs. 56.3 cubic feet).

Towing

The Terrain’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the RX Series’ (1500 vs. 0 pounds).

Ergonomics

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 RX Series does not have an oil pressure gauge.

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 RX Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Terrain is less expensive to operate than the RX Series because typical repairs cost much less on the Terrain than the RX Series, including $673 less for a water pump, $292 less for a starter, $1200 less for a timing belt/chain and $1384 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

The GMC Terrain outsold the Lexus RX Series by 37% during 2018.

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

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos