The 2013 Chevy Equinox vs. GMC Terrain: Expect the Unexpected

July 27, 2012

Chevy Equinox Video



GMC Terrain Video

There have been a lot of shakeups for the upcoming 2013 automotive lineup. Crossovers that did not get an overhaul last year are getting restyled with a vengeance, making some of them stronger contenders in the SUV battle than ever before. Two of these are the Equinox and the Terrain. Both of these vehicles offer good fuel economy, plenty of standard features and all-wheel drive options. The Equinox starts at $25,400 and the Terrain at $25,835, making both of them competitively priced as well. If you’re ready to review the 2013 Chevy Equinox vs. the GMC Terrain, prepare for a close call.

The Equinox is available in four trims: the LS, 1LT, 2LT and the LTZ. Each model is available in front-wheel and all-wheel drive options. The standard engine is a 2.4/182hp 4-cylinder that has 172 ft-lbs. of torque. The transmission is a 6-speed automatic with overdrive. The 1LT and 2LT Equinox models have the option of a 3.6L/301hp V6 engine. EPA fuel economy estimates for the LS are 22 MPG city and 32 MPG highway. The all-wheel drive version of the LS gets 20 MPG city and 29 MPG highway.

Chevy Equinox vs. GMC Terrain

The Terrain offers five trims: the SLE-1, SLE-2, SLT-1, SLT-2, and the Denali. Each trim is available as front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. The SLE-1 model has a standard 2.4L/182hp 4-cylinder engine. It has a 6-speed automatic transmission standard for all models. The SLE-1 front-wheel drive model gets an EPA-estimated 22 MPG city and 32 MPG highway, the same as the Equinox. The SLE-1 with all-wheel drive gets 20 MPG city and 29 MPG highway, also the same as its AWD Equinox counterpart.

Size comparison of the two shows that the Equinox is marginally larger. The Equinox measures 187.8 inches long, 66.3 inches high and 72.5 inches wide. The Terrain is 185.3 inches long, 66.3 inches high and 72.8 inches wide. Cargo capacity data is unavailable at this time, but passenger room is barely in the Equinox’s favor. Front head room in the Equinox is 40.9 inches and front leg room is 41.2 inches. Rear head room is 39.2 inches and rear leg room is 39.9 inches. Front head room in the Terrain is 39.8 inches and front leg room is 41.2 inches. Rear head room is 39.2 inches and rear leg room is 39.9 inches.

Standard safety features on the Equinox includes OnStar(R) remote ignition block and stolen vehicle assistance, dual-stage deployment driver and passenger airbags, emergency braking assist, side guard door beams and seat-mounted front side airbags. The Equinox also has antilock brakes, seat-mounted front side airbags and front seatbelt height adjusters.

The Equinox received an overall score of four out of five stars in government crash tests, with four stars for its overall front crash protection, five stars for its overall side-impact protection, and five stars for the new side-pole test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Equinox its highest rating of “Good” in frontal-offset, rear impact, and side impact crash tests.

The Terrain is equipped with GMC’s OnStar(R) Telematics System, featuring not only ignition block and stolen vehicle assistance but roadside assist, automatic crash response, and six months of their directions and connections plan. Standard features for safety on the Terrain include antilock brakes, passenger airbag cutoff sensor, rear electronic parking aid with camera, and rear child door safety locks.

Important Stats2013 Chevy Equinox2013 GMC Terrain
Engine2.4L I-42.4L I-4
Horsepower182 @ 6,700 rpm182 @ 6,700 rpm
Transmission6-spd auto with OD6-spd auto with OD
DrivetrainFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Seating5 passengers5 passengers
Cargo Space63.7 cu.ft.63.9 cu.ft.
MPG22 City / 32 Hwy22 City / 32 Hwy
Warranty36 months/36,000 miles36 months/36,000 miles
MSRP$23,755 - $32,265$25,835 - $36,275

The Terrain received a top overall score of four out of five stars in government crash tests, with four stars for overall front crash protection, five stars for overall side-impact protection, and the new side-pole test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the Terrain with the highest score of “Good” in its frontal-offset, rear impact, and side impact crash tests.

On the comfort and convenience side, the Equinox is equipped with a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, one-touch power windows, a six-way power driver’s seat and cruise control. Air conditioning, tire pressure monitoring and a trip computer are also standard equipment. There is also the Chevrolet MyLink Touch, which has a seven-inch color touch screen for phone and audio.

Entertainment standard features for the Equinox include an AM/FM in-dash single CD player with CD MP3 Playback stereo, six total speakers, Bluetooth, and OnStar(R) hands-free calling. Sirius XM satellite radio with three months of service, a USB port and a radio antenna round out the list.
The Terrain’s comfort and convenience features include 12V front, rear and cargo area power outlets, air conditioning, cruise control and a tilt and telescopic steering wheel. Privacy glass, one-touch power windows, heated rearview mirrors and a two-way adjustable driver’s seat are also standard.

On the entertainment side, the Terrain has an AM/FM in-dash single CD player with CD MP3 Playback stereo, speed sensitive volume control, six total speakers and a front iPod(R) auxiliary audio input jack that includes portable audio connectivity. Bluetooth, Sirius XM satellite radio with three months of free service, and OnStar(R) hands-free calling are also standard Terrain equipment.

Pros of the Equinox include the abundant safety and entertainment features, good fuel economy and high safety scores. The ride is smooth and comfortable and there is plenty of storage space for small items. On the minus side, the engine is noisy while idling and shifting can feel rough. The power steering is somewhat numb and there is still an outward visibility issue.

Pros of the Terrain are also high safety scores and good fuel efficiency. The interior is stylish and refined and the engine packs plenty of punch. Seats are comfortable both front and back and there is plenty of room for cargo and passengers alike. The negatives of the Terrain are lag during shifting and some disappointing trim pieces compared to the upscale feel of the rest of the interior.

If these two crossovers were in a race for your decision, the result would be a photo finish. There is a lot to like and only a little to dislike about both of them. Whether your final decision is based on tech features or the exterior appearance, both of these SUVs are worthy picks.

Related Reading:

2013 Chevrolet Equinox 3.6 V6
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www.caranddriver.com

Driven: 2012 GMC Terrain
This week we took the keys to GMC’s 2012 Terrain crossover SUV for a long term evaluation. The Terrain is the smallest crossover utility the brand offers, and like others in its class is based more upon car architecture than a truck. We sought to find …
www.examiner.com

Image Source Chevrolet Equinox By IFCAR (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Image Source GMC Terrain By IFCAR (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Category: SUV Comparison


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