A blue 2020 Ford Escape is shown from the front parked in a modern gallery.

Ford Escape and GMC Terrain by the Numbers

I’ll be honest with you: I get bored easily. One of the things I like to do when I’m bored, strange as it might seem, is look at vehicle specs to see what they have to offer – though maybe that doesn’t seem so strange since I write about cars for a living. The other day, whilst snowed-in and looking for something to do, I decided to have a gander at the numbers on the 2022 Ford Escape vs 2022 GMC Terrain to see how they stack up against each other.

These are both compact crossover SUVs, so comparing them against one another should be pretty fair, and I assumed I would find essentially the same specs between them. I know I should’ve guessed there would be some big differences since car companies are always jockeying to one-up each other and brag about higher numbers. That being said, I didn’t expect things to be quite as extreme as they are; while it’s not like comparing a muscle car with a compact sedan, the differences were still pretty surprising. Let me show you what I mean…

Engines by the Numbers

First off, I’m kind of presenting this in no particular order. That being said, when I’m looking into a car and what it has to offer, I tend to start with the engine because it really says a lot about a vehicle. We’re not going to find massive V8s in a couple of compact crossovers like this, but I still want to see that the manufacturer cares enough to put something good in it.

With this regard, the numbers are definitely in Ford’s favor here, starting with the fact that there are two engines available on the 2022 Ford Escape, while the GMC Terrain has just one. Of course, if GMC’s engine is worlds better, then that might not be a big issue, so let’s see what they both offer. The standard engine on the Escape is a 1.5L EcoBoost Turbo I-3 that provides 181 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque; so far, so good. From there, you can choose an available 2.0L EcoBoost Turbo I-4 engine that delivers 250 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, which is a massive boost to performance and is a pretty surprising amount of power for a compact.

How does the 2022 GMC Terrain respond to this? With a 1.5L Turbo I-4 engine that delivers 170 hp and 203 lb-ft of torque. It doesn’t take long to see that Ford clearly has the upper hand here – the starting engines are pretty comparable between them, with the Escape having more horsepower and the Terrain offering more torque. As soon as you look at the available engine on the Ford, however, it’s game over. I know that GM has some very impressive engines on other models, so it feels like an oversight that they don’t offer one here.

A black 2022 GMC Terrain is shown from the front driving on a dirt road.

Fuel Economy by the Numbers

Now, I know what you’re saying; “But horsepower and torque aren’t everything! I care more about getting great gas mileage!” Admittedly, that might not be what you’re saying, but it is now that you have read it. Either way, it’s a good point, and a lot of compact crossovers are designed with excellent fuel efficiency to overcome long-held stereotypes about SUVs and low gas mileage. So how do these models compare?

The standard engine on the Ford Escape gets an estimated 28 MPG in the city, 34 MPG on the highway, and 30 MPG combined fuel economy, which is very good. If you go for boosted performance, then you’re going to sacrifice some of that, of course; the available engine with much greater horsepower and torque gets an estimated 22 MPG in the city, 31 MPG on the highway, and 26 MPG combined fuel economy. Those are still great numbers, so you don’t give up too much efficiency in the name of sporty performance.

By comparison, the one engine for the GMC Terrain gets an estimated 25 MPG in the city, 30 MPG on the highway, and 27 MPG combined fuel efficiency. That’s less great. It’s admittedly just slightly better than the available engine for the Ford Escape, especially if you primarily drive in city traffic, but it’s quite a bit lower in every category compared to the Escape’s starting engine. Is this the end of the world? Certainly not, though it does give Ford the numbers advantage after two categories.

Interior Space by the Numbers

Even though these are both compact crossover models, we should still expect a good amount of interior space with them. You’re not going to find massive, triple-digit volume specs here, obviously, but the whole point of an SUV is to have a lot of useable space to get the most from it. Functionality is important, of course, which is why these both have tailgates that are easy to use and adjustable seating, but what about the raw numbers?

The 2022 Ford Escape has just over 37 cu.ft. of interior cargo space in the rear area, with just over 65 cu.ft. of total interior cargo volume available. By comparison, the 2022 GMC Terrain has about 29 cu.ft. of rear cargo volume and just over 63 cu.ft. of total cargo space behind the front row of seats. Total cargo volume is very similar between them – yes, the Ford Escape has more, but it’s not necessarily a massive difference. Much more noteworthy is the difference in rear cargo volume: you get nearly 8 cu.ft. more room in the back with the Escape compared to the Terrain, which is actually huge. It’s a difference of about 22% between them!

The black and grey interior of a 2022 Ford Escape is shown at night.

Towing Capacity by the Numbers

Now, I admit that you’re probably not going to do a ton of towing with a compact crossover SUV, but it should still be an option. If you’re looking to tow 8,000 lbs or something like that, then there are definitely better models available for it – though you’re going to need something bigger to handle that much weight. Still, both of these crossovers are rated for some light towing, so let’s see what they can do.

The 2022 Ford Escape, with its standard 1.5L engine, can tow up to 2,000 lbs when properly set up for it with the right hitch. That’s pretty good, but with its available 2.0L engine, the Escape can actually handle up to 3,500 lbs of maximum towing, which is fantastic for a vehicle this size. By comparison, the GMC Terrain tops out at just 1,500 lbs with its only engine, falling short of even the standard engine in the Ford Escape. That’s less than half the weight the Ford model can manage with its more powerful engine, which can make a big difference if you have a camper, boat, or other heavy items you need to tow regularly.

Price Tag by the Numbers

Honestly, when I’m comparing vehicles, the price tag is usually one of the last things I look at – unless it’s something really ridiculous. That being said, it’s still important when you’re looking at the total package to note where you get a better value. With that in mind: the 2022 Ford Escape starts at $26,010 MSRP, while the 2022 Terrain starts at $27,900 MSRP. This means that every advantage the Escape has is only amplified by the fact that it starts at nearly $2,000 less than the GMC model. Of course, you can pay more for one model or the other once you start looking at different trim levels and options available, but even just from the get-go, you get some clear advantages with the Escape at a lower price. Overall, I’d have to say the numbers across the board are in Ford’s favor.