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When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A grey 2019 GMC Terrain is stopped at a red light on an empty city street.

2019 Terrain vs 2019 CR-V: A Close Competition

When it comes to compact SUVs, the 2019 automotive market offers plenty of options. Name any feature, and chances are good you’ll be able to find one or two models that offer it. Two of the most popular models are the 2019 GMC Terrain vs 2019 Honda CR-V. In fact, these models are so popular, it might be hard for a prospective buyer to compare the two easily. Both are highly rated compact SUVs that represent the latest and greatest in two of the reigning automobile dynasties. While there’s no wrong choice when selecting which of these dependable, comfortable, family-oriented vehicles, knowing the differences will help you choose the option that fits your needs and lifestyle best.

Making Introductions

The 2019 GMC Terrain has had a technology facelift for the new model year. As it’s offered in six trim levels- SL, SLE, SLT, SLE Diesel, SLT Diesel, and Denali, there will be a lot of choices when it comes to features. The good news is that many of the features offered in the top-of-the-line Denali trim package are also available options on the more standard trims, making it easier to build the Terrain of your dreams.

The 2019 Honda CR-V comes in four trim levels- LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring. Unlike the Terrain, the CR-V has not been extensively updated. In fact, other than some standard new-year style refreshers, it remains true to the successful formula of prior models. Again, buyers do have the ability to customize their vehicles for the right price.

A black 2019 GMC Terrain, which wins when comparing the 2019 GMC Terrain vs 2019 Honda CR-V, is parked on a dark side street at night.

What’s Under The Hood

 As you may have noticed, the 2019 GMC Terrain offers a diesel engine option, which is one of the three engine options for this model. The standard 1.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is adequate for the average SUV driver’s needs, offering 170 horsepower and 203 lb-ft of torque. It gets a modest fuel economy of 26mpg city and 30mpg highway for the front-wheel-drive option, and 24mpg city and 28mpg highway for the all-wheel-drive option. This is the only option available for the base SL trim, which also does not include the all-wheel-drive option. For those who need significantly more power than that, there’s a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine option, which offers 252 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. It comes with an only slightly diminished fuel economy of 22mpg city and 28mpg highway for the front-wheel-drive option, and 21mpg city and 26mpg highway for the all-wheel-drive option. Both of these engines are paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission.

For those who plan to do more open road driving than anything else, the 1.6L turbo-diesel option might be worth consideration. While diesel engines aren’t typically popular in the compact SUV scene, this engine offers some pretty impressive power, with 137 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. It also has the most impressive fuel economy, giving it a huge thumbs up for long-distance drivers: 28mpg city and 39mpg highway for the front-wheel-drive option, and 28mpg city and 38mpg highway for the all-wheel-drive option.

The 2019 Honda CR-V only offers two choices of engine, but neither option stands out distinctly when compared with the Terrain. There is no diesel option, so if that is a major selling point, your decision is made. Instead, Honda offers its tried-and-true 2.4L 4-cylinder engine. This has been the standard engine option for Hondas for years, so those familiar with the brand will gain a sense of comfort knowing what’s running the show. This engine offers 184 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque and gets a pretty comfortable fuel economy at 26mpg city and 32mpg highway for the front-wheel-drive option, and 25mpg city and 31mpg highway for the all-wheel-drive option. Honda also offers a 1.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, which comes standard on EX trims and higher. This engine offers 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque, making it noticeably peppier than its little sister. The turbocharged engine also gets a bit better fuel economy at 28mpg city and 34 mpg highway for the front-wheel-drive option, and 27mpg city and 33mpg highway for the all-wheel-drive option.

Step Inside

Both the 2019 GMC Terrain and the 2019 Honda CR-V are blessed with good looks, inside and out. The Terrain is designed with some sharper lines that allude to its truck heritage, while the CR-V looks like it has recently hit the gym, shedding some of the station-wagon type features and gaining a bolder stance. What truly stands out on both models are the features that await in the cabin.

The GMC lost a bit of cargo space in this model year, but it makes up for lost capacity with increased capability. Under-floor storage is available for the items you don’t particularly want rolling around on long trips. Additionally, the front passenger seat can fold flat, allowing for longer cargo.


A red 2019 Honda CR-V is parked next to a lake.

The CR-V, however, wins at the cargo round, hands down. The roomy cargo space can be created and accessed in a variety of ways, making it incredibly functional and accessible. The rear cargo area can be modified with two tiers of floor placement, meaning the space can be flat or lowered to keep objects from shifting.

Both vehicles offer plush, comfortable interiors, including adjustable seats. Leather seating is available on the Terrain SLT and above, or the CR-V EX-L and above. Each offers plenty of room for five total passengers, with adequate legroom and headroom.

When it comes to standard entertainment technology, though, the GMC Terrain takes the upper hand. All trim packages come standard with the Infotainment system, which includes a seven-inch touchscreen display, four USB ports, compatibility with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, a Wi-Fi hotspot, rear seat reminder, and a six-speaker sound system. That’s not to say the Honda CR-V is completely lacking, but the standard entertainment features are limited to a five-inch display that does not offer touchscreen capabilities, Bluetooth connectivity, only one USB port, and a four-speaker system. If having the ability to entertain several passengers for several hours is important to you, there’s a clear winner in this category, but many drivers will be satisfied by Honda’s humble offerings.

Of course, as the trim packages become more luxurious, additional features become available. For example, the 2019 GMC Terrain SLT option offers a power tailgate, satellite radio, power-adjustable heated leather seats, dual climate zones, and more. The Denali trim takes things up a notch with a Bose sound system, memory settings for the driver’s seat, 360-degree camera system, and wireless charging. For the 2019 Honda CR-V, things start to get exciting with the EX package, which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, and Honda Sensing safety suite. Leather seating and power tailgate options become available at the EX-L level, and a premium sound system and truly fun features like rain-sensing windshield wipers are included with the top Touring trim.

When it comes to choosing between the 2019 GMC Terrain vs the 2019 Honda CR-V, a lot of the decision comes down to needs and personal preference. Both vehicles performed well in crash test and safety ratings, and both offer standard features that are acceptable for most drivers. If cargo space and accessibility are at the top of your list, the CR-V may be worth a longer look, but if it’s technology and a diesel engine you crave, the Terrain requests your attention. Take the opportunity to meet both vehicles in person, and compare local prices from dealerships in your area. While the specs might look good on the screen, the most important part is how it feels when you hit the gas.

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