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Terrain vs Escape: Two of the Best

A blue GMC Terrain, which wins when comparing the 2019 GMC Terrain vs 2019 Ford Escape, is on a treelined road.

 

Comparing any two SUVs is often a real chore. There are so many out there, across so many styles, sizes, price ranges, trim levels, and manufacturers, that it may seem like an impossible task. Yet, here you are. You have decided to look into the 2019 GMC Terrain vs 2019 Ford Escape. You have chosen two of the best SUVs on the market. This could be really good for you, or maybe not so much.

With lesser SUVs, pitting either the 2019 GMC Terrain or the 2019 Ford Escape against them would make for an easy decision. These are two of the best SUVs in any class, so it would be a no-brainer. However, when they are side by side, the choice becomes far less clear. Take a look at a few of the key areas where these two SUVs match up and see if one stands out a little more than the other.

Engines

Engines are the most important aspect of any vehicle, as any vehicle without an engine is not going to go anywhere. A vehicle-free engine is a very expensive lawn ornament. The engine is not, however, automatically the most important decision in choosing your next vehicle. There are a lot of decisions to be made, and the engine may not be your number one priority. You should definitely make sure your new vehicle does at least have an engine, though.

We will get to the other decisions in a little bit, and why they may be more important in the overall decision-making process, but for now we will just check out the available engines on the 2019 GMC Terrain and the 2019 Ford Escape, both of which have three available engines.

The 2019 GMC Terrain starts out with a 1.5L 4-cylinder with 170 horsepower and 203 lb-ft of torque. If that doesn’t sound like much, it really isn’t. But, the base engine on the 2019 Ford Escape isn’t any better, with a 2.5L 4-cylinder that gets 168 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque.

The next engine up on the Terrain’s available list is a 2.0L with 252 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. It is considerably more powerful than the Escape’s second engine option, which is a 1.5L EcoBoost with 179 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. However, comparatively speaking, the Escape’s second engine offers much better gas mileage, at 30 miles per gallon on the highway.

The Escape’s most powerful engine is its 2.0L 4-cylinder that gets 245 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. That one is comparable to the Terrain’s 2.0L engine. The Terrain, however, has one option that the Escape does not. That would be its 1.6L 4-cylinder diesel engine, which puts out 137 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. This engine offers the best fuel economy of the whole lot, at 39 miles to the gallon on the highway. It is also rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds, also has the best performance specs of the six total engine options.

There is a lot of give and take between these two SUVs for engine options. It will all depend on your preferences. If you want a gas engine with decent power and good gas mileage, the 2019 Ford Escape is the better choice. The diesel engine option, which will cost more initially, will eventually save you money at the fuel pump in the long run and offers pretty good power for an SUV of its size. This one is a toss-up. You can find more about the 2019 GMC Terrains specs in this piece from The Car Connection.

Interior

While SUVs like the 2019 Ford Escape and the 2019 GMC Terrain are not the biggest SUVs on the market, they certainly aren’t the smallest, either. Both offer reasonable passenger and cargo space, but the Escape’s room for all of your stuff takes this round, though not by much.

The 2019 Ford Escape offers 39.9 inches of headroom and 43.1 inches of legroom in the front seat. The Terrain offers 40 inches of headroom and 40.9 inches of legroom. The headroom is virtually the same, but that 2.2 inches of extra legroom upfront in the Escape will be much more noticeable. The back seat of the Terrain, however, is a bit more spacious than the Escape, offering 39.7 inches of legroom to the Escape’s 37.3. The headroom for back seat passengers is 39 inches to 38.5 inches in favor of the Escape, but the legroom for back seat passengers is usually more significant. Of course, it is really only significant to the passengers back there, and not you, who will probably be doing the driving.

The much more clear difference between the two SUVs in the interior space is in the cargo area. SUVs are highly regarded for their ability to get you and all of your gear around from one point to another, all safely contained within the walls of the vehicle. You might not need the cavernous space of a GMC Yukon XL or a Ford Excursion, but having plenty of cargo space in the SUV you do decide on is important to a lot of people.

That being said, the 2019 Ford Escape offers 34 cubic feet behind the second passenger row, which is significantly more than the 29.6 cubic feet offered by the 2019 GMC Terrain. Furthermore, the 2019 GMC Terrain only offers a total of 63.3 cubic feet of space with the second row folded down, while the 2019 Ford Escape has 68 cubic feet. Again, this one will come down to what your unique driving needs are, but the 2019 Ford Escape does have quite a bit more room on the interior, for both passengers and cargo.

The black interior of a 2019 GMC Terrain is shown with its back seats folded down.

Safety

SUVs of all shapes and sizes have gained a lot of traction in the last couple of decades as family vehicles. This is in part due to their size and height off the ground, and in part due to the increased safety features that technology has given us. In any unfortunate event of an accident, a larger vehicle will be more likely to absorb an impact. However, automakers all over the world have been working tirelessly for years to give us safety features that can avoid these crashes altogether.

Both the 2019 GMC Terrain and the 2019 Ford Escape have tons of active and passive safety features, such as airbags, rearview cameras, traction control, blind-spot warning, lane departure warning, and many more. However, the Escape offers Driver Alert warning, which will detect a pattern of inattention. This could keep drowsy drivers more alert. The Terrain does not offer this feature — one thing the Terrain does offer, though is Automatic Braking. If the Terrain detects an imminent collision at low speeds, it will automatically apply the brakes if you do not react in time. Even though this response is a fraction of a second, it could still be a potentially life-saving feature. The escape does not offer Automatic Braking.

These two vehicles are very similar in many ways. Their powertrain lineups are alike, their interiors are similar, they are both loaded with many of the same safety features. They both start within $1,000 of each other, with the 2019 GMC Terrain at $25,000 to $24,105 for the 2019 Ford Escape. They are both at the top of their class, so it might come down to something like brand loyalty. With the 2019 GMC Terrain getting 5 stars from NHTSA, its worth every extra penny.

But that is a whole other discussion.

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