2020 Toyota 4Runner vs. 2020 GMC Terrain

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Toyota 4Runner 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 4Runner 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 4Runner’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 4Runner and the Terrain have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 four-wheel drive and rear parking sensors.

The Toyota 4Runner weighs 599 to 1356 pounds more than the GMC Terrain. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

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, results indicate that the Toyota 4Runner is safer than the GMC Terrain:

4Runner

Terrain

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

41

109

Chest Movement

1.1 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

179 G’s

195 G’s

Hip Force

233 lbs.

357 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

89

288

Spine Acceleration

36 G’s

55 G’s

Hip Force

381 lbs.

630 lbs.

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

Warranty

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The 4Runner’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Terrain’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the 4Runner for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. GMC only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Terrain.

Reliability

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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 4Runner’s reliability 37 points higher than the Terrain.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 4 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 Toyota vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 53 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 22nd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. GMC is ranked 25th.

Engine

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The 4Runner’s 4.0 DOHC V6 produces 100 more horsepower (270 vs. 170) and 75 lbs.-ft. more torque (278 vs. 203) than the Terrain’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The 4Runner’s 4.0 DOHC V6 produces 18 more horsepower (270 vs. 252) and 18 lbs.-ft. more torque (278 vs. 260) than the Terrain’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

The 4Runner has 8.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Terrain FWD’s standard fuel tank (23 vs. 14.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The 4Runner has 7.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Terrain AWD’s standard fuel tank (23 vs. 15.6 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the 4Runner’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Terrain:

4Runner

Terrain 1.5T

Terrain 2.0T

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.3 inches

11.3 inches

11.3 inches

The 4Runner’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Terrain are solid, not vented.

The 4Runner stops shorter than the Terrain:

4Runner

Terrain

60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the 4Runner has larger standard tires than the Terrain (245/60R20 vs. 225/65R17). The 4Runner’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Terrain (265/70R17 vs. 235/50R19).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 4Runner Limited/Nightshade has standard 20-inch wheels. The Terrain’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

The Toyota 4Runner’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The GMC Terrain only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The 4Runner has a standard full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the Terrain, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which has mileage and speed limitations, or roadside assistance and a tow-truck.

Suspension and Handling

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The 4Runner has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the 4Runner flat and controlled during cornering. The Terrain’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The 4Runner TRD Off-Road/Venture offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The Terrain doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 4Runner’s wheelbase is 2.5 inches longer than on the Terrain (109.8 inches vs. 107.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the 4Runner is 1.4 inches wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Terrain.

For greater off-road capability the 4Runner has a 2.7 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Terrain SLE (9.6 vs. 6.9 inches), allowing the 4Runner to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The 4Runner’s minimum ground clearance is 1.7 inches higher than on the Terrain SLT/Denali (9.6 vs. 7.9 inches).

Passenger Space

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The 4Runner offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the Terrain can only carry 5.

The 4Runner has 24.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Terrain (128 vs. 103.2).

The 4Runner has .8 inches more front legroom, 2.1 inches more front hip room, .6 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom, 3.9 inches more rear hip room and 2.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Terrain.

Cargo Capacity

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The 4Runner’s cargo area provides more volume than the Terrain.

4Runner

Terrain

Third Seat Folded

46.3 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

47.2 cubic feet

29.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

89.7 cubic feet

63.3 cubic feet

The 4Runner 5-Passenger’s optional sliding cargo floor is capable of supporting 440 pounds, to make loading and unloading cargo easier and safer. The Terrain doesn’t offer a sliding load floor.

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the 4Runner. The Terrain doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

The 4Runner’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Terrain’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Towing

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The 4Runner’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Terrain’s (5000 vs. 1500 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The 4Runner uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Terrain uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The engine in the 4Runner is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Terrain. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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The 4Runner’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Terrain’s passenger windows don’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the 4Runner the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (This window function must be activated by your Toyota service department.) The driver of the Terrain can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Consumer Reports rated the 4Runner’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Terrain’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

The 4Runner’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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The 4Runner will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 4Runner will retain 61.48% to 71.13% of its original price after five years, while the Terrain only retains 36.82% to 45.76%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 4Runner is less expensive to operate than the Terrain because it costs $727 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the 4Runner than the Terrain, including $490 less for a muffler, $162 less for front brake pads, $94 less for fuel injection, $132 less for a fuel pump, $29 less for front struts and $422 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

The TRD Pro was selected by Petersen's 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine as their 2015 4x4 of the Year. The Terrain has never been chosen.

The Toyota 4Runner outsold the GMC Terrain by 27% during the 2019 model year.

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

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