GMC Terrain vs Chevy Equinox

GMC Terrain Vs Chevy Equinox – Which One To Buy?

Whether you’re driving for yourself, your friends, or your family, the performance of either SUV is a critical consideration. The 2021 GMC Terrain vs Chevy Equinox has comparable powertrain options, despite being two separate vehicles. Both variants come with a 1.5L turbocharged engine that produces 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque.

Drivers will enjoy long-distance travel with accurate acceleration and handling thanks to these motors. On the other hand GMC Terrain vs Chevy Equinox, the GMC Terrain is the only car with a 9-speed automatic transmission. The Chevy Equinox has a 6-speed transmission. In recent years, the SUV segment has become crowded. As a result, deciding which model to buy has become more complex.

A comparison is the most significant approach to limit down your options. See how the Chevrolet Equinox stacks up against the GMC Terrain.

GMC Terrain Vs Chevy Equinox – 2021 GMC Terrain Overview

The beautiful appearance, turbocharged powertrains, and expensive price tag of the 2021 GMC Terrain appear to indicate that it’s aiming for a medal. Still, its execution falls short of even a bronze medal in the compact-SUV Olympics. The Terrain wears classy attire and is offered in the near-luxury prestige level.

It shares mechanical parts and powertrains with the Chevrolet Equinox. The base engine is a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder, but purchasers can upgrade to a turbo 2.0-liter engine for extra power. The Terrain’s interior is roomy and well-equipped, but the materials are regrettably inferior to those found in the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, and Volkswagen Tiguan.

What Is New About The GMC Terrain (Versus Chevy Equinox) For 2021?

For the 2021 model year, the Terrain has standard blind-spot monitors. Other than that, it’s the same in the SL, SLE, SLT, and Denali models. Officially, the AT4 edition that was promised has yet to be added.

With a sleek, contemporary design, the Terrain sets itself apart from more typical SUVs. Although the large grille and squared-off headlights emphasize functionality, the wagon body tapers in a stylish, modern manner. It’s got a blacked-out pillar that makes the roof appear to “float,” a visual technique used by Lexus, Nissan, and other companies. The Terrain Denali adds wood grain paneling and leather to the interior, which features a prominent touchscreen and push-toggle gearbox controls.

GMC offers a 170-horsepower 1.5-liter turbo-4 with 203 pound-feet of torque in the Terrain or a 252-horsepower turbo-4. The former has a modest rate of acceleration, whereas the latter has a high and consistent rate. Both come with a slick 9-speed automatic transmission.

All-wheel drive can be added to front-drive models, it’s a basic system that requires the driver to engage the back wheels for traction. The Terrain’s handling is precise, and its road manners are clearly tailored for city driving rather than even minor trailblazing.


The GMC Terrain does not disappoint when it comes to accommodating a driver and up to four passengers. There’s enough cargo space for bags and other stuff, and there’s plenty of legroom in the back seat, where some SUVs fall short. In addition, this SUV has a lot of headroom (almost 40 inches), which is more than you’d anticipate for a vehicle of this size.

Taller persons will feel at ease in the Terrain, where lots of room to move around ensures a comfortable ride and delightful trip no matter where your activities take you.

Performance, Engine, And Transmission

Only one of the two four-cylinder engines available for the Terrain, the bigger turbocharged version, is a lively partner. In general, the standard engine is uninteresting. The GMC’s nine-speed gearbox provides slightly more responsive performance than the Chevy’s six-speed automatic, which combines the 170-hp engine with a six-speed automatic.

Performance, Engine, And Transmission

The Terrain Denali reached 60 mph in 6.8 seconds in the tests. The maximum towing capacity of Terrains equipped with a turbocharged 1.5-liter is 1500 pounds. The tiny crossover’s towing capacity is up to 3500 pounds when equipped with the more powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter engine.

The Terrain provides a relaxing and comfortable journey for its occupants. Although the softly sprung suspension is beneficial on lengthy highway journeys, the comfort-oriented configuration diminishes the compact crossover’s driver engagement when the road becomes tricky.

2021 GMC Terrain Styling

The Terrain has the appropriate amount of glam and distance from traditional SUV forms to appeal to suburban commuter types, with a roof that looks to float at the back pillar and a gaping grille. Aside from the polarising front appearance, the Terrain can go from elegant to aggressive depending on whether you go for blacked-out or chrome trim. It fits in better with the rest of the family than the uninspiring Chevy Equinox, which uses the same drivetrain.

The Terrain’s inside resembles that of a pickup truck rather than a business-class car, but the blocky shapes and rugged-looking controls are functional. The Terrain’s cabin has a nice look to it, with low-sheen materials and contrast-stitched leather in Denali trim. With their metallic-trimmed vents and bright, sharp touchscreen display, even the entry-level models look fantastic.

Real-World MPG And Fuel Economy

According to the EPA, the base four-cylinder engine in the 2021 Terrain will get up to 25 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. The 1.5-liter has yet to keep through our real-world highway fuel-economy test, while the 2.0-liter Terrain with all-wheel drive beat its respective EPA highway fuel-economy predictions at 28 mpg.

Cargo, Interior, And Comfort

Subpar build quality and a mediocre choice of materials hinder an otherwise roomy and inviting interior. Meanwhile, the Terrain’s push-button shifter, which is ergonomically problematic, adds salt to the tiny crossover’s interior wounds. It comprises multiple switches that look like power window controls are situated low on the center console and are tricky to use.

Although we believe owners will become accustomed to the small buttons with time, we found them difficult to identify at a glance, especially when reaching for reverse, making it tough to make quick three-point turns or operate the transmission in manual mode. The Terrain is a helpful companion for transporting a huge cargo of varied sizes.

A 60/40 split-folding rear seat is standard, while a fold-flat front seat is optional. The Terrain’s cargo room is large enough to compete with others in its class. With the rear seats folding, the Terrain accommodated 24 bags in the carry-on luggage test; customers looking for the very most load space will be better served, albeit only slightly, by the Honda CR-V.

Features For Driver Assistance And Safety

The Terrain received excellent ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and scored admirably in crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. However, because its headlamps scored poorly in testing, it did not receive a Top Safety Pick distinction from that agency. Several driver-assistance systems are included as standard, with more available options.

Features For Driver Assistance And Safety

The following are important safety features:

  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Adaptive cruise control

Connectivity And Infotainment

All Terrains come with an extended range of standard features, and thanks to typical smartphone compatibility, GMC’s infotainment system works quite well. Around $27,000 gets you 17-inch alloys, cloth seats (it helps to learn how to get stains out of car seats), keyless ignition, Bluetooth connectivity, two USB charging points, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

Go beyond that, and you’ll come across the SLE, which costs around $31,000 and primarily serves to unlock amenities like remote start and a larger touchscreen.

GMC Terrain Vs Chevy Equinox – Overview Of The Chevrolet Equinox 2021

The 2021 Chevrolet Equinox is a stylish crossover fit for family-hauling duty, with a big cabin, decent fuel efficiency, and elegant driving behavior. A turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine is standard, as is front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive is offered on all models except the base model. The cabin’s swoopy style complements the exterior, but while Chevy includes a plethora of infotainment features as standard, the lowest basic Equinox models lack luxury features.

What’s New About The Chevy Equinox (Versus GMC Terrain) For 2021?

Leather upholstery is available on the Equinox LT. Otherwise, we’ll have to wait for a refresh, which was initially scheduled for 2021 but postponed because of COVID-19. There’s a reason crossovers like the 2021 Equinox have nearly completely replaced minivans and sedans as the primary means of family transportation.

Even if, in the case of the Equinox, it’s all wrapped up in a somewhat anodyne box, utility shines through. The Equinox body may be outfitted with any number of emblems and still blend right in. The interior is similarly conventional and functional, though the tan leather adds a nice touch.

The Equinox is available with either a 170-horsepower turbo-4 or a 252-horsepower turbo-4. The standard engine does its job well, and the heavier pull of the larger turbo-4 comes with some hesitation from the 9-speed automatic transmission.

The Equinox offers all-wheel drive for all-weather traction without the heavy-duty SUV technology, so handling and ride quality are good. The Equinox compensates for lack of enthusiasm with ample interior room. Four persons can comfortably fit inside, and the load volume is approximately equivalent to that of the next-larger Blazer SUV.

Behind the front seats, cargo space expands to roughly 70 cubic feet. The inside is stripped down in base models to save money, and comprehensive roof pillars limit the exterior visibility. The Equinox performs well in crash tests and comes equipped with standard automated emergency braking. The base model also includes powered features, fabric seating, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.


The Equinox has plenty of legroom and headroom, making it an ideal alternative for folks who require space in their SUV but don’t want to go as big as a Chevy Suburban. The Chevrolet Equinox is capable of transporting a family of five or cargo from one location to another.

Buyers may appreciate the Equinox’s additional internal space, and the seats provide adequate comfort even on extended excursions. The Equinox should be on the shortlist of SUVs for purchasers searching for a vehicle that will keep them comfortable while traveling.

Performance, Engine, And Transmission

The base four-cylinder engine is underpowered and frequently leaves you out of breath so that it won’t win you any fans. The Equinox’s turbocharged 1.5-liter engine produces 170 horsepower, and with the optional (and heavier) all-wheel-drive system, it takes a solid foot to get it up to highway speeds.

The standard six-speed automatic operates smoothly, although the gearbox is hesitant to downshift when more power is required for the sake of fuel economy. The Equinox is a pleasant and easy-to-drive vehicle that handles well and has precise and direct handling. Rougher sections of the road convey some discomfort into the interior, especially with the optional 19-inch wheels. 17s or 18s come standard, depending on the specification.

Styling For The Chevrolet Equinox 2021

Once you get beyond the classic Chevy split grille, the Equinox appears like any other crossover. It wears a large gold bow to identify itself; otherwise, it may wear various insignia. It’s deliberately built to welcome as many drivers as possible, without putting any of them off, from the gentle rise of its front fenders to the forward lean of its rear roof pillars.

One positive spot is that Chevy offers a broader choice of paint colors on Equinox than rivals. Anyone who has shopped for a crossover in the last several years will recognize Equinox’s symmetrical interior design.

Between metallic-framed vents, a center shield of controls folds in either a 7.0- or 8.0-inch touchscreen. It accomplishes the job, but it doesn’t get too sophisticated until you select the optional leather upholstery, which wraps around several dash panels and contrasts with the metallic trim.

Real-World MPG And Fuel Economy

Smaller engines are gaining popularity in the quest for maximum fuel economy. The 1.5-liter turbocharged Chevy engine isn’t fast, but it has good EPA fuel efficiency. However, the Honda CR-V outperforms Equinox in terms of acceleration and fuel economy.

EPA figures aren’t always easy to meet in the real world, and our all-wheel-drive Equinox was thirstier than expected. The 200-mile highway fuel economy test only got 28 of the 30 mpg it was rated for, whereas the CR-V got 32.

Cargo, Interior, And Comfort

The cabin of the Equinox is made of durable materials and is beautifully fashioned, so it should appeal to a wide range of people. Both front- and rear-seat passengers should be able to travel in moderate comfort thanks to the large interior.

There are plenty of cupholders in the cabin, but most of the interior comforts are kept for higher trim levels; the base Equinox L is a budget model with minimal extras. Although other competitors have more excellent space behind the back seats, we placed eighth of our carry-on baggage back there. The Equinox’s cabin storage is average, except for a sizable center-console storage bin.

Features For Driver Assistance And Safety

The Equinox received a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Still, it could not accept the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick award due to headlamps that received only a mediocre rating in the agency’s testing. If driver-assistance features are essential to you, know that the Equinox comes standard with automated emergency braking, automatic high-beam headlights, and lane-keeping assist.

The following are important safety features:

  • Pedestrian recognition and standard automatic emergency braking
  • Lane-keeping assistance with lane-departure warning
  • Adaptive cruise control is an available feature

Connectivity And Infotainment

The $24,995 Chevrolet Equinox L is an excellent value, with a broad list of standard features. The infotainment system is also great, but the warranty is mediocre at 3-years/36,000 miles, and the options are limited.

Automatic emergency braking, power features, cloth upholstery, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are standard on the Equinox L.

However, it’s only available with a smaller engine, front-wheel drive, and white or silver. To acquire a motorized driver seat and 19-inch wheels on the Equinox LS, you’ll have to pay $27,495, which are additional options even at that price. The cost of an all-wheel drive is $1,600.

Which One Is The Most Cost-Effective – GMC Terrain Vs Chevy Equinox

The 201 GMC Terrain vs Chevy Equinox is noted for its low prices and fuel efficiency. In general, the Chevrolet Equinox is less expensive than the GMC Terrain. However, the price difference between these two is negligible. The cost of ownership is identical because they are both manufactured by the same company.

The GMC Terrain’s premium features, on the other hand, may make replacing parts and components more expensive. This isn’t to say that the Terrain is so opulent that it’s out of reach for the average buyer. It simply means that its inside and exterior detailing is of a higher grade than the Chevrolet Equinox.

When comparing the 2021 GMC Terrain vs Chevy Equinox, you’ll notice that both cars have the same number of trim level options. Each one comes in four distinct trim levels, each of which improves the typical amenities and exclusivity.

For example, as you progress through the Equinox and Terrain trim levels, you’ll see that more distinctive accents and technological components become standard. Each one also has a unique trim that stands out from the rest. This is the Premier trim for the Chevrolet Equinox and the Denali trim for the GMC Terrain.

Which Is The Better Option – GMC Terrain Vs Chevy Equinox

The comparison of the 2021 GMC Terrain vs Chevy Equinox is a tiresome chore for any customer. In many ways, these two small SUVs are so similar that it’s difficult to tell which features make a difference in a buyer’s overall appraisal. What genuinely distinguishes GMC Terrain vs Chevy Equinox is their respective approaches to design and innovation.

While the Chevrolet Equinox undergoes upgrades each year to keep up with advances in technology and safety. The GMC Terrain remains a step ahead of the competition. The 2021 GMC Terrain is a bit better loaded with novel innovation and current safety features than the Chevrolet Equinox and is seen as a more upmarket and equipped model.

How About A Definitive Result To GMC Terrain Vs Chevy Equinox?

Each of these models serves a somewhat different purpose. The Chevrolet Equinox for 2021 is designed to provide quality transportation for families reasonably while maintaining traditional features. It is unconcerned about the extras and upgrades that the GMC Terrain of 2021 emphasizes. The Chevrolet Equinox is a more straightforward and practical compact SUV.

The 2021 GMC Terrain, on the other hand, is a superior choice for individuals looking for a premium design and a smooth ride. The majority of its features are aimed towards making travel more comfortable and enjoyable for passengers. It focuses entirely on the experience a passenger has when they enter the cabin.

Overall, the 2021 GMC Terrain is the appropriate model for you if you prefer a more sophisticated style and upscale presence. It simplifies driving and caters to the intuitive nature of driver concerns. It not only foresees what drivers will require before they do, but it also develops solutions that are both attractive and functional.

The 2021 Chevrolet Equinox, on the other hand, is the best option if you’re searching for a cheap midsize SUV that can withstand the wear and tear of repeated carpools and child messes.

While it is not a budget vehicle, it does include some modern features, and it is very traditional compared to the GMC Terrain. In the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox, you won’t have to worry about spillage, dirty ball clothes, or crowded seating. It was created with families in mind, and its features support that type of clientele.

GMC Terrain vs Chevrolet Equinox: Facts

  1. GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Equinox are sister brands that share many components.
  2. They compete against popular compact SUVs like Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue, and Ford Bronco Sport.
  3. The 2022 Terrain starts at just over $29,000, while the Equinox base model is priced under $27,000.
  4. The GMC Terrain uses a nine-speed automatic transmission and sees better mid-range acceleration than the Chevy Equinox.
  5. All-wheel drive is optional on the GMC SLE and SLT and standard on the AT4 and Denali trims, while Equinox requires an additional $1,600 for all-wheel drive.
  6. GMC Terrain offers a few more standard and available options than the Equinox, including adaptive cruise control, an 8.0-inch infotainment screen, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, remote start, and a safety alert seat.
  7. The Terrain has a fold-flat front passenger seat, which is a convenient feature when fitting long or awkwardly shaped cargo into the vehicle.
  8. GMC Terrain’s cabin design is basic and features flimsy plastic, while the Equinox’s interior and exterior have a fresher facelift for 2022.
  9. Neither the Terrain nor the Equinox offers a hybrid powertrain, resulting in average fuel economy for the segment.
  10. Despite having three more gears than the Chevy, the front-wheel-drive Terrain’s EPA ratings of 25 mpg city and 30 mpg highway come up 1 mpg shy of the Equinox’s.

Final Verdict – GMC Terrain Vs Chevy Equinox

Consider how you’ll use the SUV, how much you want to spend, and which amenities are most important to you while making your decision. That will allow you to concentrate on what you actually want and need, ensuring that you get the right SUV. You and your family can adore your SUV, utilize it for all types of excursions. And get the most out of your purchase with the GMC Terrain vs Chevy Equinox.

Though they both have equivalent performance, the GMC Terrain’s Denali model can provide more. If you prefer more refined performance, the GMC Terrain is the vehicle for you. The GMC Terrain is also an attractive alternative, thanks to its premium material options on the Denali SLT. If you want to choose from a variety of high-quality materials, the GMC Terrain is the superior alternative.

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