|63.3||Cargo Space (cu.ft.)||50.1|
Compact SUVs can give some drivers everything they're looking for with no extra fluff. A trend we've been seeing is manufacturers often utilize the smaller SUVs in their lineups to draw customers in who want a vehicle that blends the latest technology into a safe, affordable, and fuel-efficient automobile. Unfortunately, it's never an easy decision when looking at two vehicles side-by-side, and the 2022 GMC Terrain vs 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross discussion isn't far and few between if you've been looking into the topic recently.
The GMC Terrain is undoubtedly one of the very best compact SUVs on the market today, but the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross isn't to be quickly tossed to the side either. Both SUVs share a surprising amount of similarities in performance, and both GMC and Mitsubishi are known for never shying away from the latest tech, albeit more so for GMC. While the Eclipse Cross starts at a slightly lower MSRP than the Terrain, the money you'd save doesn't compare to the features and performance differences between the two. Needless to say, the extra cost of the Terrain is justified.
Performance between the Terrain and the Eclipse Cross can be easily summarized: the Eclipse Cross features a normal 1.5L I-4 engine, while the Terrain comes equipped with a turbocharged 1.5L I-4 engine. The difference between a turbocharged and a non-turbocharged engine is quite substantial––only exacerbated by the fact the Terrain links its engine with a 9-speed automatic transmission against the Eclipse Cross' continuously variable transmission (CVT). While some drivers may find it subjective––or perhaps haven't tried one or the other––it's more likely that customers looking for an SUV of any kind may be more drawn to a legitimate automatic transmission.
As for the performance you can expect with both the Terrain and Eclipse Cross, there are several differences, although towing stays the same between them, with a maximum capacity of 1,500 lbs. There's also a strong chance that drivers in the market for a compact SUV aren't looking for anything more than entry-level towing performance, as larger hauls will need a larger vehicle with more grunt. That's not all of the similarities, however, because both the Terrain and Eclipse Cross have identical fuel economy ratings when configured with AWD, with both receiving ratings of 25 MPG city and 28 MPG highway. FWD, on the other hand, is varied between the two, with the Terrain getting 25 MPG city and 30 MPGhighway against the Eclipse Cross' 26 MPG city and 29 MPG highway.
Aside from towing, fuel economy, and transmissions, both SUVs bring ample performance thanks to their I-4 engines, but it's the turbocharged 1.5L I-4 inside of the Terrain that comes out on top. With your Terrain, your powertrain will net you 170 hp and 203 lb-ft of torque, while the Eclipse Cross' engine offers a lower 152 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. All things considered, the Terrain offers a more powerful experience, and you won’t even be spending more at the pump to enjoy it. What’s not to like?
Compact SUVs are small by design, as the name would imply. That doesn't mean these vehicles aren't spacious, especially stacked up against most, if not all, of your average sedans on the market. With that said, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, while it can be considered spacious, it's far more confined when compared to the Terrain in both cargo capacity and interior dimensions. With passengers in the back seat, you won't be folding down the back row, of course, which drastically reduces the amount of cargo your SUV can hold. Even then, the Terrain leaves you with 29.6 cu.ft. of space, which is about 26% more than the Eclipse Cross' 23.4 cu.ft. Similarly, there's a 26% increase in cargo capacity when you fold the seats down, as it reveals a total of 63.3 cu.ft. within the Terrain and 50.1 cu.ft. with the Eclipse Cross.
Being a compact SUV also means that passengers will usually fit better than they would in any sedan, but they're inherently not as spacious as a full-size SUV. Regardless, these two compact SUVs do tremendous work at providing a suitably comfortable experience to drivers and passengers alike. However, the interior of the Terrain generally offers you and your passengers more open space for your head and legs. For example, in the front row of the Terrain, you and the passenger sitting next to you will have 40 inches of headroom and 40.9 inches of legroom. On the Eclipse Cross, headroom is reduced to 39.5 inches, although legroom is an identical 40.9 inches. In the back row, it's a clear victory for the Terrain with its 38.5 inches of headroom and 39.7 inches of legroom against the Eclipse Cross' 37.3 and 37.1 inches of head and legroom. If you are looking for a family vehicle, then the Terrain wins for space, hands down.
The interior of the Terrain also includes more tech than the Eclipse Cross. More specifically, the Terrain includes a host of technology aiming to eliminate the need for pesky cords and wires, whereas the Eclipse Cross doesn't include any of these quality-of-life improvements whatsoever. Features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are present on the Eclipse Cross' infotainment center, but they aren't the wireless implementation. With the Terrain, it's a completely untethered experience when taking phone calls, picking your songs, utilizing navigation apps, and more.
Another oversight by Mitsubishi is the complete lack of two features on the Terrain: a wireless charging pad for your phone and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. Some manufacturers, such as GMC, have spoiled us with such incredible tech at an affordable cost to the point where we look at other manufacturers, such as Mitsubishi, and we can't help but scratch our heads, wondering why some vehicles are behind on the curve by such a significant margin. Because of no wireless charging pad within the Eclipse Cross, you'll be bringing along a USB cable to charge your phone, although you'll be bringing one along anyways for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Again, these cords aren't needed in the Terrain, helping make it a cleaner and more streamlined experience.
We can confidently say both of these SUVs have many strengths when it comes to the overall safety of both the driver and occupants. Mitsubishi includes an array of safety features standard, and many more are available as optional upgrades. However, the GMC Pro Safety Assist suite brings the Terrain up to par, if not better. As for the durability of the vehicles, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) can attest to the quality of the frames. However, the Terrain exceeds the Eclipse Cross in most tests––particularly the updated Side Impact test, where the Eclipse Cross earned a "Poor" rating. As a bonus, the Terrain's roof even has a higher strength to weight ratio.
Another major difference between the two vehicles is that features such as Forward Collision Alert and Automatic Emergency Braking are standard on the Terrain thanks to GMC Pro Safety, but you'll be spending extra money on your Eclipse Cross to purchase a trim level that supports similar functions. Having Forward Collision Alert, Automatic Emergency Braking, and Front Pedestrian Braking as standard is easily the better sell. And, if you upgrade your Eclipse Cross to a trim that supports similar features, then the argument about the price differential between these two vehicles doesn't hold as much weight as it would otherwise. Standard with both vehicles, however, are features such as Lane Keep with Lane Departure Warning for the Terrain, which the Eclipse Cross more-or-less matches with its own version of Lane Departure Warning.