A red 2019 GMC Terrain is parked in front of a house.

2019 GMC Terrain vs 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport: Compact Competitors


When it comes to sheer power and enhanced comfort, the 2019 GMC Terrain is hard to beat. Although the 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport puts up a good fight as a solid competitor, it’s just not quite there yet. Before you take my word for it, let’s go over the features and stats of these two athletic SUVs and you can decide for yourself which one wins when comparing the 2019 GMC Terrain vs 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport.

Performance Stats

The 2019 GMC Terrain has three engine options to choose from based on trim level. The first is the standard turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder engine that generates 170 hp and 203 lb-ft of torque. Equipped with a 9-speed automatic transmission and FWD, this version has a fuel economy set at 26 mpg city / 30 mpg highway. The next option is the surprisingly quiet turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine that pumps out 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. Due to the bigger engine, it also comes with upgraded brakes, larger wheels, and dual exhaust tips for better performance. With the same transmission and drivetrain as the 1.5L motor, this one has a fuel economy set at 24 mpg combined (22 mpg city/28 mpg highway). The final choice is a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder diesel engine the produces 137 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque. Equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission and optional AWD, it can get about 29 mpg city / 39 mpg highway mpg.

On the flip-side, the 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport only offers one engine. Under the hood of this five-seater is a 2.0L four-cylinder motor that generates 141 hp and 147 lb-ft of torque. Equipped with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and FWD (AWD is optional), it has a fuel economy set at 28 mpg combined (25 mpg city/32 mpghighway). While the fuel efficiency is good for an SUV, the GMC Terrain offers better fuel efficiency with the diesel option. It’s a surprising conclusion since the CVT is famed for improving fuel efficiency.

The GMC Terrain beats the Nissan Rogue Sport is other performance categories as well. In track tests, it accelerated from zero to 60 mpg in 9.3 seconds, whereas the Nissan Rogue Sport took 10.2 seconds to reach the same speed.

Handling around corners also goes to the GMC Terrain. Keeping body roll in check, the Terrain is able to take on twisting roads at relatively high speeds while remaining stable and constant. The Rogue Sport, on the other hand, screeches its all-season tires under the same conditions. Its modest limits put the GMC Terrain ahead once again.

Exterior Styling Elements

It may be more difficult to measure which vehicle is better when it comes to exterior styling because this is all about personal preference. However, if you are looking for more customization options, the GMC Terrain might be your best bet.

The 2019 GMC Terrain has eight exterior paint colors (as opposed to Nissan’s seven) to choose from, including Graphic Grey Metallic, Quicksilver Metallic, Ebony Twilight Metallic, Red Quartz Tintcoat, Summit White, Blue Steel Metallic, Satin Steel Metallic, and Coppertino Metallic. The Nissan Rogue Sport offers seven colors, including Scarlet Ember Tintcoat, Pearl White Tricoat, Glacier White, Caspian Blue Metallic, Magnetic Black Pearl, Brilliant Silver Metallic, and Gun Metallic.

A side view of a grey 2019 GMC Terrain, which wins when comparing the 2019 GMC Terrain vs 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport, is parked next to old brick buildings.

Rolling on 17-inch alloy wheels, the GMC Terrain SL base trim level comes with heated side mirrors and privacy glass to prevent passersby from peeking inside. It also has HID automatic headlamps with LED lighting for a striking exterior appearance. Comparably, the Nissan Rogue Sport S base trim level includes 16-inch steel wheels, LED daytime running lights, and spoiler for a more athletic look.

The top-tier GMC Terrain Denali has 19-inch aluminum wheels, roof rails, heated side mirrors, foglamps, and body-colored door handles with chrome accents. The top-of-the-line Nissan Rogue Sport SL also includes 19-inch wheels, foglights, heated side mirrors, and roof rails. Both vehicles can come with a power sunroof as well.

The 2019 GMC Terrain is also available in the Black Edition. This adds 19-in glossy black aluminum wheels, a blacked-out grille, and black mirror caps, roof rails, accents, and trim badging. The Nissan Rogue Sport does not have a unique styling package comparable to the GMC Terrain Black Edition.

Interior Features

Here’s where we can get down to the nitty-gritty of which vehicle comes with what nifty new gadgets. Let’s go over the base-level comparisons and top-level comparisons.

The GMC Terrain SL comes standard with keyless ignition/entry, height-adjustable front seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Multiple power outlets are included, such as four USB ports, and two 110-V outlets. The infotainment interface and review camera video feed are both displayed on the 7-inch touchscreen monitor. The six-speaker stereo system operates with Bluetooth connectivity and is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for seamless music integration. An auxiliary jack is included as well as satellite radio.

The Nissan Rogue S offers a tilt-and-telescoping steering column and a height-adjustable driver’s seat for comfort. The 60/40 split-folding rear seats slide and recline to maximize storage space. The rearview camera is displayed on a 7-inch touchscreen that also operates with Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling. You can even listen to music through the 4-speaker stereo system that is also compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. However, there is only one USB port, which severely limits charging capabilities. A perk for the Rogue Sport is that the base comes with blindspot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, and forward collision warning with emergency braking.

The front black leather interior of a 2019 GMC Terrain Denali is shown.

The top-of-the-line GMC Terrain Denali is a whole new level of cool. The cabin boasts heated and ventilated front and back seats for comfort all year long. Dual-zone climate control adds to the overall comfort of passengers as well. A navigation system is included along with an upgraded 8-inch touchscreen monitor. Safety features include blindspot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, lane departure warning/assist, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams.

Comparably, the Nissan Rogue Sport SL offers a leather-wrapped, heated steering wheel with heated front seats only. The touchscreen interface remains the same with an added navigation system and a surround-view camera system. The stereo has been upgraded to 9-speakers, and Nissan’s ProPilot Assist suite has been added to the mix. This includes adaptive cruise control and steering assist. Lane departure warning/mitigation and rear parking sensors have also been added.

Keep in mind that the 2019 GMC Terrain is available in four trim levels (SL, SLE, SLT, and Denali), and the 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport is only available in three trim levels (S, SV, and SL).

Making the Right Decision

Buying a new vehicle is a big step that shouldn’t be taken lightly. When looking at an SUV model for your family, it’s important to weigh all the options, including power, comfort, and safety, to choose the best model for your family’s needs. When it comes to my preference, I would vote the 2019 GMC Terrain all the way. Based on the details and features discussed throughout this post, it seems fairly cut and dry for which model wins.