2021 Volvo XC60 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 2020/10/26

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC60 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The GMC Terrain doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The XC60’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Terrain doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC60 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.

Both the XC60 and Terrain have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The XC60 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Terrain’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Volvo XC60 offers optional built in child booster seats. They’re more crash worthy than an added child seat because of their direct attachment to the seat. GMC doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the Terrain. Their owners must carry a heavy booster seat in and out of the vehicle; XC60 owners can just fold their built-in child seat up or down.

The XC60 has a standard Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WHIPS allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The Terrain doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The XC60 has standard Automatic Braking After Collision, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Terrain doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The XC60’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 XC60 and the Terrain have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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 and around view monitors.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the XC60 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 132 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Terrain was last qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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The XC60 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-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 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The XC60’s corrosion warranty is 6 years and unlimited miles longer than the Terrain’s (12/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC60 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo 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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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the XC60 has a standard 800-amp battery (850 T8). The Terrain’s 700-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

The battery on the XC60 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the XC60’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Terrain’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine

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The XC60 has more powerful engines than the Terrain:

Horsepower

Torque

XC60 T5 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

250 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

XC60 T6 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder

316 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

XC60 T8 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid

400 HP

472 lbs.-ft.

XC60 T8 P.E. 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid

415 HP

494 lbs.-ft.

Terrain 1.5 turbo 4-cylinder

170 HP

203 lbs.-ft.

Terrain 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

252 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the XC60 T5 is faster than the GMC Terrain 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder:

XC60

Terrain

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

6.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.5 MPH

89 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/10/26

On the EPA test cycle the XC60 T8 running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Terrain 1.5 turbo AWD (56 city/57 hwy MPGe vs. 25 city/28 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the XC60 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the Terrain:

MPG

XC60

FWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

AWD

T8 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl. Hybrid

26 city/28 hwy

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/28 hwy

T6 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

Terrain

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/26 hwy

The XC60 T8 can drive on battery power alone for up to 19 miles. The Terrain must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regenerative brakes improve the XC60 T8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Terrain doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The XC60 Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 3.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Terrain FWD’s standard fuel tank (18.5 vs. 14.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The XC60’s standard fuel tank has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Terrain AWD’s standard fuel tank (18.8 vs. 15.6 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the XC60’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Terrain:

XC60 T5

XC60 T8 P. E.

Terrain 1.5T

Terrain 2.0T

Front Rotors

12.7 inches

14.6 inches

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

12.6 inches

11.3 inches

11.3 inches

The XC60’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 XC60 stops much shorter than the Terrain:

XC60

Terrain

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

129 feet

136 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the XC60 has larger standard tires than the Terrain (235/60R18 vs. 225/65R17). The XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Terrain (265/35R22 vs. 235/50R19).

The XC60’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 XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Terrain’s optional 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XC60 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Terrain. The XC60’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the Terrain.

Suspension and Handling

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The XC60 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the XC60 flat and controlled during cornering. The Terrain’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The XC60 offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Terrain’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The XC60 T6/T8 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The XC60’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The Terrain doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the XC60’s wheelbase is 5.5 inches longer than on the Terrain (112.8 inches vs. 107.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the XC60 is 2.8 inches wider in the front and 2.7 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Terrain.

The XC60 T5 AWD Momentum handles at .87 G’s, while the Terrain Denali AWD pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The XC60 T5 AWD Momentum executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Terrain Denali AWD (26.6 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 27.5 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the XC60 has a 1.6 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Terrain SLE (8.5 vs. 6.9 inches), allowing the XC60 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The XC60’s minimum ground clearance is .6 inch higher than on the Terrain SLT/Denali (8.5 vs. 7.9 inches).

Passenger Space

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The XC60 has .6 inches more front legroom, 2 inches more front hip room, 1 inch more front shoulder room, 3.6 inches more rear hip room and .7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Terrain.

Cargo Capacity

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The XC60 has a larger cargo volume than the Terrain with its rear seat up (30.2 vs. 29.6 cubic feet).

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the XC60. The Terrain doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

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The XC60’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Terrain’s (3500 vs. 1500 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The XC60 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.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors optional at extra cost in the Terrain (except SL/SLE), the XC60 R-Design/Inscription has a passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The XC60 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Terrain doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The XC60’s front power windows 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 front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the XC60 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Terrain can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The XC60’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Terrain’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the XC60 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Terrain doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Consumer Reports rated the XC60’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Terrain’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

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 XC60’s headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Terrain’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The XC60 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Terrain doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the XC60 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Terrain doesn’t offer cornering lights. The XC60 also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The XC60 Inscription offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Terrain.

The XC60 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 XC60’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 XC60’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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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the XC60 is less expensive to operate than the Terrain because it costs $373 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the XC60 than the Terrain, including $548 less for a muffler, $31 less for front brake pads, $8 less for fuel injection, $475 less for a timing belt/chain and $278 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 2020/10/26

Consumer Reports® recommends the Volvo XC60, based on reliability, safety and performance. The GMC Terrain isn't recommended.

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

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