The GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Equinox crossover SUVs are extremely popular. Both brands are bred by American carmaker giant Genera Motors, so naturally, there are many similarities between the two. When it comes to style, the GMC Terrain and the Chevy Equinox both exhibit bold, handsome styling. The SUVs also have similar mechanical makeups, handling, and comfort levels. Although, the true uniqueness between the two is in the finer details.
Power and capability
Neither the GMC Terrain nor the Chevy Equinox is what we could call energetic. For 2020, both SUVs come with a standard 1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder engine that produces a 170-horsepower. However, the Equinox’s engine is combined with a 6-speed transmission while the Terrain gets a 9-speed.
For more power, you can opt for a 2.0-liter engine on either model, but even this option still feels underwhelming. The Terrain is just about two seconds faster than the Equinox. A big change for both SUVs in 2020 is that the diesel engine is no more, so if that feature is important to you, you will have to buy used.
As far as the fuel economy goes, the Equinox is slightly higher in this category with an overall 25 mpg. The Terrain has a combined 22 mpg, which is toward the lower end of the crossover class according to Consumer Reports.
The Equinox offers more comfort on the road. Another the lead the Equinox has over the Terrain is its higher predicted reliability. The 2020 Equinox starts at $23,800; the 2020 Terrain starts at $25,000.
Some critics say that the Terrain shines a little brighter when it comes to interior design compared to the Equinox. While this is true, it’s only by a small margin. Both the Terrain and Equinox interiors feature a mixture of hard plastics. But to be fair, the Terrain’s interior has standard leather upholstery. The Terrain also has faux wood trimmings available and more intricate stitching, which alludes to a more deluxe feel. Really though, you’re getting lots of plastic with either option.
GM has made some grand strides with in-car electronics and infotainment. The car manufacturer specifically set out to feature more high-tech options on its models. With respect to infotainment, the current Terrain base model and the current Equinox base model are very much the same.
Both have a standard 7-inch touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay, Android, and USB connectivity. Standard wifi onboard is also available on both models which is a huge plus. The infotainment systems on the Terrain and the Equinox are super easy to use and intuitive.
There’s no twinning when it comes to standard driver-assist features on the GMC Terrain and Chevy Equinox. The Equinox comes with a suite of standard driver-assist features including emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, and lane-departure warning.
The Terrain offers plenty of advanced driver’s aids too, but none come standard. If driver-assist features are among your must-haves, the Equinox might be the one for you.
Another difference here between the Terrain and the Equinox are the safety ratings. The Terrain gets high marks from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and has good crash test scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Equinox has a five-star safety score from the NHTSA. Both the Terrain and Equinox missed out on the IIHS top safety award though because of their dim headlights.
The final verdict
The GMC Terrain and Chevy Equinox are basically fraternal twins. With the Terrain, you get an elevated sense of luxury. The Equinox is more well-rounded, but there are other higher-quality options in this SUV class.