2020 Kia Niro 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 2020/01/28

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Kia Niro 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 Niro has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Terrain doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Niro LXS/Touring/Touring Special Edition/EX Premium’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 Niro 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 crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors 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, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Niro its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 54 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Terrain was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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The Niro comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Terrain’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Niro 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than GMC covers the Terrain. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Terrain ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 24 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 Kia vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 35 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 22nd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 13 places higher in reliability than GMC.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Niro

FWD

LX 1.6 DOHC 4-cyl. Hybrid

52 city/49 hwy

LXS/EX 1.6 DOHC 4-cyl. Hybrid

51 city/46 hwy

Touring 1.6 DOHC 4-cyl. Hybrid

46 city/40 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

Regenerative brakes improve the Niro’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Terrain doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

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

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Kia Niro higher (7 out of 10) than the GMC Terrain (3 to 5). This means the Niro produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Terrain every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The Niro offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Terrain doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Niro stops shorter than the Terrain:

Niro

Terrain

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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The Niro LX/LXS/EX Premium’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Terrain’s standard 65 series tires. The Niro Touring’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Terrain’s optional 50 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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

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

For better maneuverability, the Niro’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the Terrain w/17” wheels’ (34.8 feet vs. 37.4 feet). The Niro’s turning circle is 6.8 feet tighter than the Terrain w/19” wheels’ (34.8 feet vs. 41.6 feet).

Chassis

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The Kia Niro may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 500 pounds less than the GMC Terrain.

The Niro is 10.8 inches shorter than the Terrain, making the Niro easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

© 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 2020/01/28

The Niro has .1 inches more front headroom, .8 inches more front legroom and .6 inches more rear headroom than the Terrain.

Ergonomics

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The Niro EX Premium’s front power windows both open or close with one touch of the switches. The Terrain’s front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

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 Niro’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Terrain’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

The Niro 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 Niro’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 Niro S Touring/Touring’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.

Economic Advantages

© 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 2020/01/28

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Kia Niro will be $3398 to $6290 less than for the GMC Terrain.

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