Blinding - 2010 GMC Terrain Long-Term Road Test

2010 GMC Terrain Long-Term Road Test

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2010 GMC Terrain: Blinding

March 22, 2010


This is, from my eye-level give or take, the only thing you'll see if you're driving the 2010 GMC Terrain towards the sun, under the sun, or underneath a streetlamp. (And once from a full moon!) It's blinding and infuriating. Especially from a vehicle that I'm otherwise so impressed by.

Impressed by:
Excellent ride-- soft and quiet but not so much so that you forget you're driving.

Great seats -- I put about 1,000 miles on our Terrain over just a few days and I feel great. Heated, supportive and yet kinda squishy. I'm sold.

More than enough space for me and everything I need in a highly parkable package. Lots of cubbies and nooks, plus that automatic power tailgate. Win.

Good electric steering. If anyone tells you different, tell them to drive the Highlander Hybrid and then say the GMC Terrain's electric steering is bad. It's not GOOD steering, but it's good electric steering. Perfect for normal people.

Follow the jump to see why, despite how much I like driving this thing, I just couldn't buy one.

1) iPod interface: It's just not good enough. I'm glad they offer it, but it's not as seamless to use as some others (Honda, BMW, Sync).

2) Navigation:
a) The voice operation is spotty. Sometimes it will let me double-click the "listening" button to skip through the "how i work" prompts, sometimes it doesn't, but that wouldn't be a problem if...
b) Can't program the nav while moving. Sorry, but I'm not paying extra-- EVER -- for something that won't let me or my passenger enter in addresses while moving. A simple Garmin will. So will the nav systems from VW, Honda and Mercedes. (Toyota barely lets you change the radio station while moving...they don't exist in my mind.)

3) Buttons: People say that the new Hondas are over-buttoned. They haven't seen this thing. Small, red buttons which are all the same size and shape litter the dash. They're not organized well and they're not made for adult male hands. "The fingers you have used to dial are too fat..." And the ones on the wheel? Worse. Zero feel and too easy to depress instead of click forward. No idea when you've changed the song or when you've increased the cruise control. I don't know who GM has doing their buttonry lately-- this and the Camaro-- but it's nonsense and needs to stop.

4) The aforementioned chrome interior bits: I don't want to be blinded while driving. That's a pretty simple request.

I know these sound trivial, but the small CUV market is filled with very good offerings and I'm happy to say that the GMC Terrain is one of them-- just not for me. Not everyone will have the same issues with the buttons and nav as I do and that's okay. Some will, however, and they'll look elsewhere.

Would I recommend it? Highly. But drive it first.

Mike Magrath, Vehicle Testing Assitant @ 4,037 miles

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