Butting Heads with the Buttons - 2010 GMC Terrain Long-Term Road Test
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2010 GMC Terrain Long-Term Road Test

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2010 GMC Terrain: Butting Heads with the Buttons

July 30, 2010

GMC Terrain Buttons.jpg

Driving our long-term 2010 GMC Terrain the other day I realized something: I hate the memory preset button design.

As you'll note in this picture, the buttons are located at the top of the center stack, right below the display screen. Good location -- easy to see and access, which is what you want for what may be the most commonly used buttons in the center stack (at least if you're like me, and like to avoid radio commercials).

So what's the problem?

The problem is the angle of the buttons' movement. When I look at these buttons, and their location, I assume you either push them down or push them in. Those are certainly the easiest directions to move these buttons given their placement, right?

But no, these buttons are hinged -- at the top -- so you're supposed to push on the bottom part of them to rotate the lower part of these botton in. I'm going to put this design right up there with our long-term Camaro's steering wheel shape -- non-intuitive at its best, highly annoying at its worst.

Look at the picture again. These buttons are tightly packed into the center-stack, right up against other controls like the radio band button and circular/directional control. But there's all this open, empty space above the buttons, and of course there's plenty of space directly in front of them too. They should move down or in, not be hinged at the top and rotate at the bottom.

It requires much more precise finger placement/movement than commonly-used buttons should. In a world increasingly fixated on driver-distraction issues it's a bad design.

So for all these laws being written to ban texting and surfing the net on your smartphone, please call your local congressman and ask him to add a line about "changing your radio station presets in a GMC Terrain."

Karl Brauer, Editor at Large @ 11,270 miles

  • Full Review
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  • Long-Term

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