GMC Terrain vs. Chevrolet Suburban

The Terrain and Suburban are not vehicles in the same class. The Suburban is a full-size SUV with three rows of seats, plenty of room and a V8 engine to push all that. The Terrain, on the other hand, is a mid-size SUV which even got a bit smaller in the latest generation. It has several powering options, all of which are inline 4.

So, why the comparison?

Even though the Suburban is obviously more of a car, it is also noticeably more expensive. Also, if we are honest, despite the popularity of the Suburban, not many people really need a vehicle that big.

With the expansion of SUVs of all sizes on the market, many owners learned that a smaller car can fulfill their needs just fine. So, let’s have a look at these two popular models and see if you really need a Suburban, or if you can save a lot of money with a Terrain that meets all your needs.

Chevrolet Suburban Review

The Suburban offers three rows of seats with up to 9 seats available, depending on the trim level. If this is something you need, the Suburban is the car for you. Moreover, if you have nine people inside on a longer trip, their luggage requires a lot of space. Even if you decide to tow it, this shouldn’t be a problem, since the Suburban has towing capacity of a massive 8,300 lbs. However, even with the third row up, the cargo space in the car measures hefty 1,113 litres. Power-fold the two rear rows of seats and you get up to 3,447 l of cargo space. That is massive!

Obviously, a car with such a large body and towing and cargo capacity needs a powerful engine. The Suburban has a 5.3 l EcoTec3 V8 which produces 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque.

Safety is also on a very good level, including modern additions like low speed forward automatic braking, collision warning system and a teen driver mode, adaptive cruise control, safety alert seat, rear vision camera, rear park assist and cross traffic alert, blind spot alert, lane keep assist and a lot more.

Chevy engineers did their best to provide a comfortable and refined ride in the Suburban and they did a really good job. As an example, they added an acoustic-laminated windshield and loads of insulation features including triple-sealed doors. All this makes the Suburban a refined highway cruiser.

The interior, apart from being huge, is also very comfortable, with plenty of amenities including Chevrolet’s revered MyLink infotainment system. Chevrolet also offers many optional features, several trim levels and customization perks, so you can really make the Suburban fit all your needs.

GMC Terrain Review

The 2018 GMC Terrain is a whole new model. It has smaller, but more efficient engines and a lot more modern perks. You get 5 seats in a refined, practical and spacious interior. Aluminum, wood, leather and elegant soft-touch materials cover the cabin and give a premium feeling of polished elegance. Design follows the modern route, with the latest infotainment and comfort features in a contemporary package.

Rear seats fold easily creating plenty of space and a flat loading floor. With the second row up you get an impressive 838 l of space. Fold the second row and the capacity rises to 1,792 l.

The exterior is also more stylish with wheel sizes ranging from 17 to 19” and the massive GMC grille which really adds to the presence of the Terrain. Sharp lines promote a confident look and the unusual headlight shape adds to the uniqueness of the vehicle.

The Denali trim level adds another point of exclusivity with top-notch materials and flawless fit and finish.

On the power front, the Terrain has three options, all of which are turbocharged. The 1.5 l I4 petrol is the entry level power plant which produces 170 hp and 203 lb-ft of torque. The next in line is a 2.0 l turbo with 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. Both of these are paired with a 9-speed automatic which provides relaxed cruising and improved fuel efficiency.

The last offering is a 1.6 l turbo diesel with 137 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque. It is paired with a 6-speed automatic and offers the best fuel efficiency going as low as 6.1 l per 100 km on the highway.

Further adding to its versatility, the Terrain can be either FWD or AWD. All models get a very comfortable suspension setup that makes the Terrain great for long trips.

When it comes to safety, the Terrain offers forward collision alert, hill descent control, LED DRLs, lane departure warning and lane keep assist, blind zone alert, low speed forward automatic braking, rear cross traffic alert, rear view camera, safety alert seat, teen driver mode, surround vision and more.

The Verdict

Both of these cars are among the best in their class. The Suburban is inherently on a higher level of elegance and comfort, but the Denali trim level of the Terrain means that you can enjoy similar, if not the same, perks for a lot less money.

The V8 in the Suburban confidently pushes the large vehicle, but the smaller engines in the Terrain are not short on power because they have less weight to haul.

All in all, your choice comes down to preference and practicality. If you need the space and seating options of the Suburban, there aren’t many better options. But if you mostly use your car in the city and never drive more than 4 or 5 people, you will welcome the lower price, better fuel efficiency and easier maneuvering of the Terrain.

To check out either of these great vehicles, come visit our Calgary Car dealership, Shaw GMC at 4620 Blackfoot Trail SE. You can also call us at (403) 243-4200 or book a test drive online now.
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