|9-Speed Automatic||Transmission||Continuously Variable (CVT)|
Choosing an SUV is an art in itself: do you go with an SUV with ample storage and high-towing capacity but low fuel economy? Do you opt for excellent gas mileage or electric travel distance? How about excellent maneuverability at the expense of cargo space or passenger volume? Or do you forego caution and opt for a four-wheel drive SUV that's great for off-road traversal but lacking in almost every other category? What do you do when you're stuck deciding between the 2021 GMC Terrain vs 2021 Honda CR-V?
Well, once you narrow down what sort of features you find appealing, and then what sort of brand or budget you're willing to work with, then it's a matter of finding the right SUV for you. If you're currently eyeing the Terrain from GMC and the CR-V from Honda, then you're in luck because this 2021 GMC Terrain vs 2021 Honda CR-V comparison will guide you through the features and functions of the crossover SUVs and which one offers you the best value for your dollar.
On the performance side, both the Terrain and Honda CR-V allow for some fun times while on the road. The 2021 GMC Terrain comes with a single powertrain option. The Honda CR-V also only has one gas engine option, so you won't have trouble deciding which engine is the best on either model.
For the Terrain, the compact crossover SLE and SLT trims come with a standard 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 170 horsepower at 203 lb-ft of torque. This engine is paired with a robust 9-speed automatic transmission. For the front-wheel drive configuration, you can muster a fuel economy of 25 miles per gallon in the city and 30 miles per gallon on the highway, while the all-wheel drive option gives you 25 miles per gallon in the city and 28 miles per gallon on the highway.
Honda's compact crossover is quite competitive with its turbocharged inline four-cylinder, edging out the Terrain with an overall horsepower of 190, but it comes up short in the torque department, managing only 179 lb-ft. Where the Honda CR-V lacks horsepower and performance, it does make up for it with an impressive fuel economy of 28 miles per gallon in the city and 34 miles per gallon on the highway for the front-wheel drive configuration. The all-wheel drive option gets 27 miles per gallon in the city and 32 miles per gallon on the highway. The CR-V's power is transmitted through a continuously variable transmission, so it doesn't have traditional gear shifts. Instead it uses a procedural system that matches the transitional gears with the RPMs generated by the engine, thus reducing torque waste and improving fuel economy.
While it might seem like the CR-V is more powerful on paper due to having slightly higher horsepower, it's actually weaker than the GMC Terrain when it comes to performance. This is due to the Terrain having higher base torque, thus enabling it to get off to a rolling start in much quicker order, as well as reach higher top speeds. The CR-V was actually eight-tenths of a second slower than the GMC Terrain in the 0 to 60 tests. The Terrain also managed to brake faster from 70 to 0 than the Honda CR-V by four feet. So, if fuel economy is your main concern, you might want to look more into the CR-V, but if you want the most out of the overall performance, go with the Terrain.
The 2021 GMC Terrain has a base tow rating of 1,500 pounds, which is the same tow rating as the Honda CR-V. At those ratings, you can conveniently take a small fishing boat or some camping gear out for a getaway. Both crossover vehicles even out in the towing category of total weight, meaning that it will boil down to what you consider more attractive to you from both SUVs in terms of stability and control functionality of the CR-V and Terrain.
The 2021 GMC Terrain features performance brake lining, trailering provisions, and comes standard with the StabiliTrak electronic stability control system and traction control automation to keep the Terrain stable on the road, no matter what the weather or road conditions are. Paired with the hill descent control, four-link rear suspension and MacPherson's front suspension, and noise-canceling exterior designs, you'll enjoy a smooth ride within the cabin without any of the noise or racket from the outside interfering with your drive.
Terrain drivers also have the advantage of electronic precision shifting that can be tweaked from the center console, making it so that you can choose how the transmission shifts and make the ride smoother and more comfortable. There's also an electronic parking brake, so you no longer have to physically press a pedal or lever for the parking brake. Instead, you simply touch a switch, and the parking brake is automatically activated.
The Honda CR-V also shares the Terrain's MacPherson's front-link suspension but opts for a multi-link double-wishbone rear suspension for the axles. Stabilizer bars are also made available on the front and rear of the vehicle for both the two-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The suspension mechanisms are paired with variable-ratio electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering.
2021 CR-V drivers also have access to the Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) technology, which works the same as StabiliTrak. Electronic brake distribution and anti-lock brakes are also included, along with power-assisted ventilated disc brakes. Both the CR-V and Terrain offer a lot in terms of suspension functionality, but there are a few more automated and convenience features available with the Terrain to make it more enticing to potential buyers.
Cargo volume inside the 2021 GMC Terrain is quite spacious. The five-seater SUV offers up nearly 30 cubic feet of storage space behind the second passenger row, up to 63.3 cubic feet of cargo room behind the first row of seats, and a total passenger volume of 103.2 cubic feet. The Terrain also has a maximum payload capacity of 1,015 pounds, so it provides enough stability within the 107.3-inch wheelbase and suspension support so you can carry plenty of goods in addition to towing a wide variety of gear.
The five-seater Honda CR-V only barely edges out the Terrain when it comes to cargo and passenger volume, with 39.2-cubic feet of storage space with the rear seat up and 75.8-cubic feet of space with the rear seat down. In total, the base trim for the Honda CR-V provides up to 105.9 cubic feet of total passenger volume, but you lose a few square feet with the EX, EX-L, and Touring Trims, which only top out at 102.9 cubic feet of passenger volume, which is slightly lower than the 2021 GMC Terrain.
GMC Terrain trims come standard with a 7 or 8-inch diagonal GMC Infotainment System, with available navigation. Standard features include Bluetooth streaming and connectivity for compatible phones, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, as well as hands-free voice-activated technology. 4G LTE Wi-Fi internet access, OnStar connected services, USB charging, cruise control, and an HD rear vision camera are also available.
Honda's CR-V isn't quite as robust in the infotainment sector, offering a 5-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth support and Pandora compatibility on the base trim and a 7-inch touchscreen for the EX, EX-L, and Touring trims. A 4-speaker audio system is present on the base trim, while a 6-speaker system is available on the upper trims. Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and SiriusXM are also available on the upper trims, along with the HondaLink vehicle health app.
GMC's 2021 Terrain doesn't shortchange drivers or passengers when it comes to safety. The 2021 year model, in particular, made the Pro Safety package a standard integrated feature for all trims. This includes lane keep assist with lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, forward collision alert, following distance indicator, and IntelliBeam headlamps.
The Terrain also features 13 other optional packages that range from cosmetic updates, such as the chrome-laden Bright Accent Package or the roof-rack and molded assist steps present in the 'Hit The Road' Package. Additional safety packages include the Roadside Safety Package, which comes equipped with a highway safety kit and first aid kit, or the Pro Safety Plus package, which includes lane change alert with side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control. 2021 GMC Terrain models also come standard with configurable Teen Driver features, such as key fob settings, vehicle systems that don't activate until the driver meets safety precautions, and in-vehicle report cards for parents to monitor. Full driver and passenger airbags, passenger sensing, hill descent control, and tire pressure monitoring are also all standard features, no matter the trim.
There are no special packages for the 2021 Honda CR-V. It does come with plenty of safety features, though, including tire pressure monitoring systems, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, SmartVent airbags, and child-proof rear door locks. Blindspot information with cross-traffic monitoring and adaptive cruise control also make the cut, but it lacks many of the other convenience, comfort, and safety packages present for the GMC Terrain, such as the Teen Driver mode.