General Motors creates two nearly identical compact SUVs in the Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain. Both have been redesigned in the 2016 model year. Which new compact SUV is best for you? Today, Carsforsale.com is comparing specs, pricing, design, performance, safety, features, and differences of the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox vs GMC Terrain.
Chevrolet Equinox Overview (base)
Engine: 2.4L 4-cylinder
Fuel Economy: 22 City / 32 Hwy
MSRP: From $22,600
2016 Chevrolet Equinox Review
We got our first look at the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show back in February. This compact SUV receives a few styling updates this year. Most noticeable is the large 2-part front grille. All 2016 Equinox SUVs now have reflector-style headlamps, while upgraded trims received fog lamps, new wheels, chrome exhaust outlets, and more.
Interior design is also improved in 2016, receiving upgraded fabric in lower trims. The center stack has been redesigned, and the instrument panel has new graphics. The overall theme is mostly black with a few chrome/silver accents.
The Equinox is a 2-row SUV. Front seats are very spacious, and the adjustable rear seat is helpful for maximizing either passenger or cargo space. The 2016 Chevy Equinox offers more space than many compact SUVs. Aside from a standard rear cargo area, the Equinox has deep cargo wells and folding back seats to create an impressive rear storage space.
The base Chevrolet Equinox comes with a 2.4L 4-cylinder engine that produces 182 hp. Next up is a 3.6L V6 engine that produces 301 hp. Both engines can be equipped with either FWD or AWD. Those seeking efficiency should choose the 4-cylinder, while drivers seeking power will enjoy the extra punch from the V6. The Equinox has a towing capacity of up to 3,500 lbs.
With the 4-cylinder engine, drivers will achieve an impressive 32 mpg highway and 22 mpg city. The V6 is much thirstier, coming in at an estimated 24 mpg highway and 17 mpg city. Both these estimates are with FWD. Drivers should expect efficiency to decrease with AWD.
The NHTSA gives the 2016 Equinox a 4 star crash test rating, and the verdict is still out on IIHS testing. In 2015, the Equinox did very well in IIHS testing, achieving the 2015 Top Safety Pick accolade. Rearview camera comes standard this year, while side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning are optional.
Every Equinox comes with perks like a 7-inch touch screen, backup camera, and Bluetooth phone pairing. Upgrades include Chevy MyLink, navigation, rear-seat entertainment, leather seating, remote start, sunroof, heated seats, WiFi connectivity, and more.
GMC Terrain Overview (base)
Engine: 2.4L 4-cylinder
Fuel Economy: 22 City / 32 Hwy
MSRP: From $23,975
2016 GMC Terrain Review
Newly redesigned, the 2016 GMC Terrain stands out among its compact SUV competition. This vehicle is now more muscular, defined, and elegant on the outside. Its boxy presence resemble that of a larger SUV, rather than a compact. Additional chrome lining below the grille is all-new, and adds a level of complexity and beauty to the face of the Terrain.
GMC has also redesigned this SUV on the inside. Fabric in lower trims has been improved. The center stack has been updated, with new buttons, tall center air vents, and a cell-phone sized shelf. Chrome now lines the shift knob, increasing the interior elegance. The overall theme still remains black with chrome/silver accents.
The 2016 GMC Terrain provides great passenger and cargo space for the class. Front seats have plenty of space, while second row seats can slide to maximize either cargo space or legroom. Rear seats can fold down to open up an impressive back cargo area.
Of the two available engines in the GMC Terrain, the first is a 2.4L 4-cylinder that produces 182 hp. Next up is the 3.6L V6 engine that produces 301 hp. AWD is available with both engines. The 4-cylinder will suffice for an efficient commute, while the V6 will offer a substantial increase in power. Should you desire to pull a boat or trailer, the Terrain can handle up to 3,500 lbs.
With the 4-cylinder engine, drivers will achieve an impressive 32 mpg highway and 22 mpg city. While the V6 provides better power, it drinks an estimated 24 mpg highway and 17 mpg city. Both these estimates are with FWD. Drivers should expect efficiency to decrease with AWD.
The NHTSA gave the Terrain a 4-star crash test rating. While the IIHS hasn’t testing the 2016 Terrain yet, this SUV earned its position as an IIHS Top Safety Pick in 2015. Backup camera comes standard, while features like forward collision alert, lane departure warning, side blind zone alert, and rear cross traffic alert are available.
Every 2016 Terrain comes with the typical power features, touch-screen controls, rearview camera, fog lamps, USB, ambient lighting, and more. Upgrades include DVD entertainment system, sunroof, leather upholstery, navigation, WiFi, GMC Intellilink infotainment, voice control and more.
2016 Chevrolet Equinox vs GMC Terrain Winner:
Base model: Chevrolet Equinox
Aside from cosmetic differences, the base Equinox and Terrain are virtually the same vehicle. The Equinox has the lower price of the two.
Upgrades: GMC Terrain
The top trim Terrain, the GMC Terrain Denali, offers a few interior perks not found in the Equinox such as improved dashboard stitching and partial wood steering wheel.
Overall Winner: You Decide
When comparing the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox vs GMC Terrain, they are virtually the same SUV in different clothing. GMC runs slightly more expensive, but the price points are very similar. It all comes down to personal preference. Do you prefer the boxy and bold Terrain, or the more traditional rounded Equinox?