Compared: 2022 GMC Terrain vs. 2022 Chevrolet Equinox

Though largely the same, GMC's compact crossover offers buyers a few more options at the base level than Chevy's.


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Chevrolet and GMC are sister brands that share everything from engines to window switches. While their full-size trucks are practically indistinguishable from each other, the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain compact SUVs are unique-looking inside and out. Refreshed for 2022, this popular pair competes against the Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue, and Ford Bronco Sport. Note that while Chevy has announced an electric Equinox EV is coming for 2024, this comparison doesn’t cover it.


GMC Terrain vs. Chevrolet Equinox: Price

The Terrain starts at just over $29,000; that’s for the SLE with front-wheel drive. What justifies the $2,100 premium over the base, sub-$27,000 Equinox? Though it has the same engine as the Chevy, the GMC uses a nine-speed automatic transmission and sees better mid-range acceleration because of it. All-wheel drive is optional on the SLE and the next-step-up SLT, and standard on the off-road-oriented AT4 and near-luxury Denali trim. Just like the Equinox, a loaded Terrain can surpass $43,000.


Every Equinox has a 170-hp, turbocharged, 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. The lowliest model is the front-wheel-drive LS. Adding all-wheel drive to this or any of the other trim levels (LT, RS, and Premier) requires another $1,600. The RS is new this year and gives the Equinox a sporty look, with darkened trim, badges, and wheels, as well as red interior stitching.


GMC Terrain vs. Chevrolet Equinox: Features

Despite their different transmissions, neither the Terrain nor the Equinox impress in the powertrain department. The four-cylinders’ 170 horsepower works hard to move these SUVs to highway speeds. We prefer the interior and exterior design of the Equinox, which has a fresher facelift for 2022. The Terrain’s cabin looks awfully basic and is rife with flimsy plastic.


That said, GMC does have the edge in the features department. The base model Terrain SLE offers a few more standard and available options than the Equinox LS, including adaptive cruise control, an 8.0-inch infotainment screen, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, remote start, and GM’s safety alert seat, which vibrates the driver’s seat cushion to warn of an impending collision.

And while both vehicles boast 30 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up, the Terrain has a fold-flat front passenger seat, which is a nice convenience feature when you need to fit long or awkwardly shaped cargo into the vehicle. The Terrain AT4 also promises some off-road capability with its aggressive tire tread design and front skid plate, but towing capacity is a scant 1,500 pounds across the board.


GMC Terrain vs. Chevrolet Equinox: Fuel Economy

Unlike the compact SUVs sold by Toyota, Honda, Ford, Hyundai, and Kia, neither of these GM models offers a hybrid powertrain, so fuel economy is just average for the segment.


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. With all-wheel drive, the Equinox matches the front-drive GMC, while the Terrain’s highway figure slips to 28 mpg.

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Clifford Atiyeh
Clifford Atiyeh is an independent writer, photographer, and creative consultant. He has reported for dozens of websites, magazines, and newspapers in his 20-year journalism career, during which he has tested more than 650 new vehicles. His automotive expertise focuses on product development, market analysis, and the litigation and legislation affecting the industry. Clifford is vice president of the New England Motor Press Association and runs a marketing consultancy.