April 28, 2011
First was the station wagon, a versatile hauler that drove like a car. Next came the SUV, a more image-conscious version of the station wagon with an extra helping of utility. When the cost of oil swelled, a new breed of SUV emerged, the crossover utility vehicle (CUV).
An SUV on a smaller scale, the CUV promises utility, drivability and maybe a little bit better efficiency. The 2010 GMC Terrain is pretty typical of the breed. It's smaller than a Tahoe or Acadia and features a standard four-cylinder engine that promises more than 30 mpg on the highway. What's not to like?
Why We Bought It
For 2010 the GMC Terrain was all-new and shared its underpinnings with the Chevrolet Equinox. GM had a lot resting on the success of this CUV foundation. Crossovers are the vehicles of the future. Our test of the Terrain would offer a glimpse into GM's approach for coming generations.
Fuel economy was the game here, so we stuck with the standard 2.4-liter, 182-horsepower four-cylinder engine. We ordered a front-wheel-drive Terrain to minimize weight in hopes of getting the 32 mpg on the highway promised by the EPA. The Terrain also featured a well-designed cabin and a vast array of interior amenities, so we were hardly roughing it.
There was another consideration. Back in late 2009 before we introduced the Terrain, it was among Edmunds' most researched vehicles on the site. When the readers spoke, we listened with checkbooks in hand. Our long-term test was under way.
February 10, 2011
We sold it to CarMax for $25,000. Now they are selling the 2010 GMC Terrain we tested for $27,998, almost $3,000 more than they gave us. This ad was spotted by Sodaguy, a reader of the Long Term Blog and, sure enough, the VINs matched. I'm just wondering if the new buyer will read our blog entries. For some reason, they don't promote the Edmunds.com connection in their ad.
January 28, 2011
Thanks to hugene for this week's favorite caption.
Here are the others that made us laugh.
One of these rides like it's on rails, the other is a Terrain. (ergsum)
Terrain Crossing (snipenet)
Long Terrain running. (technetium99)
One of these is on the right track (85se)
Terrain kept a rollin' all night long. (blackngold1000)
The Terrain's claimed mpg is loco! (technetium99)
Separated at Birth (dougtheeng)
Santa Fe? Must be the "Seoul Train"! (ergsum)
The General (ergsum)
Terrain Tracks (saturn95)
What Engineer is responsible for this? (snipenet)
Box Car? (snipenet)
Shut down ALL the garbage mashers on the detention level! (wshuff)
GMC Terrain: Track Tested (ergsum)
A crazy idea is a loco motive. (vt8919)
Terrain in vain stays mainly next to train (dkgsx)
What was your favorite?
To the winner:
You can select one of these three prizes:
January 28, 2011
Vehicle Testing Director Dan Edmunds sent me this photo of our GMC Terrain near a trash heap. He suggested Planes, Trains, and Terrians.
What is your caption?
We'll post our favorite this afternoon.
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor
January 24, 2011
The used car super-store CarMax seems unpredictable in its pricing. Often, after an appraisal for one of our long term cars, we leave scratching our heads or muttering angrily. This time, we hit the CarMax jackpot. Maybe they were just in a good mood because they offered us $25,000 for the 2010 GMC Terrain. It was so good we just had to take it.
Here are a few numbers to put things into perspective. The MSRP for the Terrain was $32,140 when we bought it a little more than a year and 21,608 miles ago. We actually paid $31,133 for it since it was relatively new then and still commanding a high price. Turns out that the price we got from CarMax was almost the same as the clean TMV private party price: $25,408. So it dropped $5,725 or 18 percent over the first year of ownership.
When CarMax offers strong money for used cars, it sure makes the resale process easy. They give you a quote which is good for one week. If you want to try for more, you can throw it up on Craigslist for a few days and a few thousand over the CarMax price. If it doesn't sell, cash out at CarMax.
December 24, 2010
The first time I saw tweeters mounted in a car's A pillars was at a "sound-off" competition back in the early '90s. As with auto racing, a lot of car audio innovations came out of the sound-off scene (tweeters mounted in the A pillars or "sail" panels of the doors, center-channel speakers, subwoofers in the front of the car) since competitors would try anything to give them an edge.
Over the years, automakers have adopted several applications that were first used in the aftermarket, and that can be directly traced to sound-off competitions. Our 2010 GMC Terrain has a tweeter in each A pillar, for example, as does our 2010 Chevrolet Traverse, although the system in the Terrain is from Pioneer and the one in the Traverse is from Bose.
Not that positioning the tweeters as far forward as possible does much to improve the Terrain system's sound quality or enhance imaging and staging, as evidence by an audio review of the system. But it's usually better than burying them in the doors.
Doug Newcomb, Senior Editor, Technology
December 21, 2010
The GMC Terrain may not blow you away with its abilities, but at the same time there's also little that offends. You might think the 2.4-liter four-cylinder wouldn't be up to the task of pulling 3,859 lb. worth of SUV, but if you're not afraid to rev it near 6,700 rpm (where it produces its peak of 182 hp), it provides more than enough snap for most situations. And it's still smooth at those elevated engine speeds, if on the noisy side.
And yes, the electric steering is a bit numb, made all the more obvious when driving on the kind of water-logged highways southern California is currently experiencing; usually it's good to know if the steering feels so light because your tires are floating, or because the assist is simply that unfeeling.
But most owners of an SUV like this probably won't notice or care about the steering; it's not intended as a sportster, but as a family hauler with a modern, comfortable interior, a ride that won't offend anyone's tush and space aplenty for whatever one needs to haul. No issues there.
So there's only one big problem with the 2010 GMC Terrain: The fact that it stands as the ugliest vehicle in GM's current lineup. But that's just one man's opinion: What's yours?
Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 20,250 miles
December 15, 2010
Sunday was Christmas Tree Day at the Oldhams. And that's our just plucked 10-footer atop our long-term 2010 GMC Terrain.
Now I know what you're thinking: How could you be so cruel and put that big tree on the roof of the Terrain without a protective blanket or something? And you're right, normally I wouldn't have done such a stupid thing but the Z06 was already signed out for the weekend.
Jokes aside, the Terrain was perfect for this kind of task. And it performed other family duties perfectly all weekend, which is of course job one of a vehicle like this.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief
December 13, 2010
This weekend our long-term 2010 GMC Terrain blew through the 20,000 mile mark. That's 20,000 miles in less than 11 months, as we bought the crossover in late January.
Usually this is where I would sign off, but Donna DeRosa made me promise to make these Milestone posts more of an update on the Terrain's last 5,000 miles. So here goes.
And in the last 5,000 miles the Terrain has needed nothing but 87 octane. No repairs. No problems to report. The GMC continues to be good, solid, reliable transportation. Comfortable too.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief
December 10, 2010
I never used pay much attention to seat memory buttons. They seemed like an unnecessary gadget that automakers added so they could fatten up the features list. Now, however, I glad to see them.
Maybe I'm getting old, but it's nice to set your seating position once and then forget about it from then on. Someone borrows the car? No problem. Just get in and hit the button. I didn't really expect to find this feature in the Terrain. Glad it's there.
Ed Hellwig, Editor, Edmunds.com