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A white 2022 GMC Terrain AT4 is shown from the front in the snow during a 2022 GMC Terrain vs 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross comparison.

Bridging the Gap: The GMC Terrain vs the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Crossover utility vehicles (CUVs) are interesting because they serve as something of a middleman. For example, in a little comparison of the 2022 GMC Terrain vs the 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, you see two vehicles that provide a stepping stone from luxury compact car to SUV. The value of a CUV comes from the fact that there is such a sizable gap between cars and SUVs, providing the perfect niche for the CUV to fill. They’re ideal for shoppers who want something larger than a sedan but also more compact than an SUV.

In crafting this in-between vehicle, it is important to bridge the gap between luxury vehicle and performance-oriented SUV. This can be a difficult balance to find, but when it is found, the product is a vehicle that is well-balanced and dynamic in possibilities. So, let’s take a look at how the 2022 Terrain and 2022 Eclipse cross the gap between luxury car and performance SUV.


If you’re shopping for that sweet spot between stuffy luxury and sporty performance, you should logically start with the architecture of the vehicle. Think about it: the very structure of the vehicle affects its road dynamics and aesthetics; it also provides the map for your interior experience (especially in terms of spacing). So, if architecture is the key to marrying luxury and performance, let’s see how these two CUVs lay their foundation.

The 2022 GMC Terrain is in a special class when it comes to bridging this gap—thanks to GMC’s dynamic and specific trim options. The SLE and SLT trims provide sleek and functional exteriors, with new LED head and tail lamps and a newly-designed grille for the 2022 model year. An exciting edition to this trim is the available hands-free liftgate, which will certainly come in handy for drivers with full hands. The other two trim options are the Denali and the AT4, both of which lean more toward either performance or luxury.

The Denali trim is focused on luxury features, so its exterior leans into the refined side of things—with chrome details and a multidimensional grille. The Denali trim feels like a vehicle you would expect from a limousine service company. On the other end is the AT4 trim, which leans fully into performance (specifically off-road performance), meaning that its exterior takes its style cues from its functionality. The AT4 won’t be quite as “sleek” looking as the Denali or even the SLE & SLT trims, because the AT4’s primary color is stark white.

A grey 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is shown from the front at an angle.

The benefit of the AT4 lies in its smart architecture; the vehicle is built with functionality in mind. It’s not an off-roading package for the 2022 Terrain, but a very specific off-roading trim that stands out from other vehicles. There is certainly a strong argument to be made in favor of the Denali trim, though, because GMC’s forte is cultivating strong performance features. And, the Terrain Denali utilizes GMC’s tried-and-true architecture to achieve the same leading performance features as the other trims—all while leaning into the luxurious possibilities of the vehicle.

The 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross takes a unique approach to architecture by laying its foundation using Yaw Control. This system analyzes driver input and uses its analysis to control the acceleration and braking between the front wheels. So, the Eclipse Cross’s architectural layout begins with creativity. In terms of the literal design, it takes a sharper, more luxurious route than the Terrain, meaning that it is not quite as performance-oriented and provides a less dynamic range of features. Additionally, there is no performance trim on the level of specificity as the AT4, so if off-roading is an important function for a driver, the Terrain will be the stronger option.

But, architecture is only the foundation of the bridge I’m analyzing. In order to bridge the gap between performance and luxury, the car must have the proper engineering and design features.


When it comes to performance, the engine is the component that makes or breaks the vehicle. Both the Terrain and the Eclipse cross are well-equipped with 1.5-L Turbocharged engines. While the engines are extremely similar (and yes, “turbocharged” certainly pays off), the performance specs do differ, and not insignificantly.

The Eclipse Cross reaches 152 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, which is certainly nothing to scoff at, especially in a CUV. The Terrain, however, goes all the way up to 170 horsepower and 203 lb-ft of torque. Since GMC is such a leader in the area of performance, though, the 2022 Terrain offers a higher level of performance variability and selectability.

With the available All-Wheel-Drive Traction Select System, the driver can toggle between front-wheel drive, all-wheel-drive, and off-road mode, meaning that the driver is never tied to one experience or another. This kind of flexibility is a tremendous benefit when trying to find the balance between performance and luxury—as some drivers will be more oriented toward testing a vehicle’s capability, while others learn toward easy city driving and enjoying a comfortable ride.

Speaking of vehicle design, let’s see how these two CUVs compare in terms of luxury features.


Interior design is one of the most immediately important elements when it comes to analyzing a vehicle, because it has the most direct impact on both the driver and passengers. As I established, the Denali is GMC’s trim that focuses on luxury, and drivers of the 2022 Terrain have access to decorative french-stitched leather-appointed seats. Little details like this matter. While mere stitching may not seem to be a deal-breaker in and of itself, close attention to detail makes for a much more refined interior experience. So, between the stitching and interior accents made from sleek burnished aluminum, drivers will have an elevated experience in the Terrain Denali. Oh, and the steering wheel is wrapped in leather and heated—so, you know, there’s that too.

As I analyze luxury features, it is important to consider space, as too little space can significantly compromise the in-vehicle experience. The Terrain provides a total passenger volume of 103.2 cu.ft. and a maximum cargo volume of 63.3 cu.ft. These numbers are generous, as is proven by the Eclipse Cross (its passenger volume of 96.7 cu.ft. and maximum cargo volume of 50.1 cu.ft. both fall short). The Eclipse Cross’s numbers aren’t necessarily small, but they certainly are smaller than the Terrain’s.

The new Eclipse Cross’ interior is welcoming in its own way, but it lacks the detail that the Terrain Denali provides. While the Denali offers color contrasting and refined details, the Eclipse Cross feels more unidimensional and plain. It is not an appalling vehicle by any means, but GMC has years of prestige thanks to the luxury features in its enduring Denali trim.

So, now that we’ve compared these two CUVs in terms of their luxury-performance balance, let’s see how it all totals out.

A white 2022 GMC Terrain AT4 is shown from the front at an angle while driving through the snow.

Bridging the Gap

Bridging the gap between a luxury vehicle and a performance vehicle requires an auto brand to walk a fine line and pay close attention to detail. It really is evident that GMC has done this in the 2022 Terrain. While the 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is a nice vehicle, it just doesn’t compare to the Terrain. The Terrain Denali, specifically, is in a unique position, as it maintains all of GMC’s acclaimed performance capabilities while taking on luxury features that are hard to find—even in some “luxury brand” models. I could ramble on about its Technology Package, safety suite, distinctive badging, and more, but the Denali label’s reputation precedes it—and there’s more than just refinement to enjoy in the 2022 GMC Terrain.