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
October 26, 2010
Spending time with the Terrain yesterday brought to mind three things:
1: Compact crossovers are now squarely in midsize territory. The Terrain is big on the outside, and spacious enough on the inside to meet most family-hauling needs.
2: I really like the way this thing looks. It's distinctive; its angular lines and boxy silhouette set it apart from most other vehicles on the road.
3: Ride quality is pretty pleasant. Comfortable without being too soft, the suspension setting is tailor-made for buyers in this segment.
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor
October 19, 2010
I've just spent the last 4 days in our long-term 2011 GMC Terrain. I really hadn't expected to form any kind of attachment to it, because small SUVs really aren't my thing. Yet, I found the Terrain surprisingly agreeable for driving around Los Angeles.
To start, the Terrain's ride quality is quite good. There's nothing floaty about it. The suspension feels buttoned down but never harsh over our rain-grooved freeways -- not something I take for granted with 18-inch wheels. The P235/55R18 99T Michelin Latitude tires are quiet, too.
I also think the Terrain has a nice feel for the road going around corners. There's nothing overtly sporty about it, but it's balanced and secure, and body roll is well controlled in normal driving.
The one thing I still don't like is the electric-assist power steering. It's great in parking lots (light and precise enough) and fine around town, but the assist doesn't drop away enough as you reach highway speeds. If the steering had slightly more weight to it on the freeway, the Terrain would be just about ideal.
Finally, the 2.4-liter engine. Surprisingly, it didn't bother me. There are no uphill grades on my typical weekend routes, so that probably helped. But I had little difficulty getting up to speed or passing in spite of the modest torque (172 lb-ft at 4,900 rpm) and the eager-to-upshift automatic transmission. Mind you, the engine sounds like a blender under full throttle, but it sounds like a brand-new blender that isn't going to jam up or overheat when I make pesto.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 17,258 miles
September 23, 2010
The 2009 GMC Terrain has been in our test fleet for nine months, and I can probably count the number of times I've driven it on one hand. Maybe even just one thumb and index finger.
Little seat time in a crossover, SUV or minivan is unusual for me, especially since family vehicles like these best suit my real life. Sure, would love to drive the Dodge Viper more often, but with regular school carpools, it's just not happenin'.
Somehow I've managed to mostly avoid the Terrain, and after driving it last night I remembered why.
I simply don't like it.
I can't find a comfortable seating position, the rear seat seems small, and there's so many flippin' buttons and shades of red discoing across the dash, it leaves me seeing, well, shades of red.
I'd prefer to spend more money and trade-up to the Acadia.
Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 15,812 miles
September 17, 2010
The Long Term GMC Terrain and I had a great getting-to-know each other session last weekend during a marathon spring to San Francisco.
The first, very slow, leg was occupied with fuel economy. This wasn't as bad as it seems thanks to the extremely comfortable seats (take that, Crosstour) and the could-be-better-but-I'm-glad-it's-here iPod interface.
What could be better? Glad you asked...
1) No quick scroll to the end of your artists. The Terrain doesn't jump from letter to letter when it senses you're scrolling quickly. You just scroll and scroll and scroll and give up by L where, on my iPod, you've already passed 300 other artists.
2) No audiobook chapters. Audiobooks sometimes come in big, single files with chapters that the iPod recognizes as separate tracks even though it's still, technically, on track 1. The GMC Terrain does not agree or understand that chapters are important. The book is either open or closed. This wouldn't be terrible as there's very little scanning to be done in audiobooks, but when you accidentally hit the track forward button because it's the exact shape and size as the cruise control button, well, then you're stuck in FF land for a long, long time.
As for the rest of the Terrain on the trip...well....in a word....excellent.
Nav is easy and, shockingly, fast enough at re-routing to not miss the streets in cramped SF.
Seats, as I said before, fantastic for long drives.
The much maligned steering which is miserable to actually DRIVE, is light and forgiving on long highway hauls.
Parking the Terrain -- even without the beeps and camera -- is a snap. Visibility and being able to predict the corners of the truck is very good. I parallel parked this all weekend without a second thought.
Power is underwhelming. It'll do 80, but not happily and getting up a grade, you're pulling 4K rpm to keep 65. More would help. More is not necessary.
All told, I put something like 765.5 miles on our Terrain in a very short period of time and couldn't come up with a single viable complaint. Even my disappointing 29 mpg is still 29 mpg from a big car.
I thought I was a fan of the Terrain going into this drive, and this sealed the deal. Sure, I think the Chevy looks better, but still, great little truck.
Mike Magrath, Associate Editor Edmunds.com @ 15,164 miles
August 12, 2010
In the photo above, the Terrain strikes me as a powerful beast catching a moment of Zen-like serenity in the suburban shade. Well, its engine is a bit too breathless on inclines to be truly described as powerful, but you won't be disappointed if you slide behind the wheel looking for serenity.
What I'm saying is, the Terrain has a pretty quiet cabin. Road and wind noise are almost non-existent on surface streets, and negligible on the highway. It's definitely one of the more tranquil choices in the segment.
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor
July 16, 2010
Thanks to those who wrote reviews of the Terrain and Equinox. Now, let me try to answer some of your questions.
Personally, I like driving the GMC Terrain better than the Mitsubishi Outlander. It feels more solid, the hp is lower but the tranny is quicker. I like the Honda Crosstour best of the three that were mentioned in the comments. It gets a lot of criticism for its looks but it's a very nice ride.
You asked about the Terrain's ride. I wouldn't call it soft but it's not a harsh ride. It's fairly quiet in the cabin and the seats are comfortable. It can take a bump. The Terrain doesn't sit up too high and it doesn't feel tall and floaty or overly large. It's firm without being stiff.
I don't mind the 4cyl but I haven't driven the V6 to compare. If you think you'll miss the power, then go for it. It's a 4cyl and it drives like one. But GMC makes the most of it. Test drive both and let us know what you think.
As for the interior, it doesn't feel cheap to me. It's not luxury but it's spiffier than average and functional.
I'm not a bluetooth user so I can't answer your questions about that. We don't have the satellite radio hooked up in it, so I've been listening to CDs. I know, old school, right?
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor
July 12, 2010
One of the many benefits of living in Los Angeles is that you can make a last minute trip to Las Vegas.
So I took our long-term 2010 GMC Terrain this weekend and was pleasantly surprised. It was my first extended exposure to the Terrain and found it to be an excellent long-haul cruiser, with a comfortable but well-controlled ride.
And the steering is great too, with good weighting and feel build-up, and no dead spots. I was surprised to learn that it's electrically-assisted (EPS). It's that good.
The 2.4L I4 engine rated at 182 hp and 174 lb-ft torque is fine for everyday driving, but was wheezing when climbing the heavy mountain grades. I got 21.3 mpg over 600 mi round-trip; not bad, but I was hoping for more.
The HVAC worked OK with an ambient temperature of around 105F. (The pools are popular this time of the year.)
I think GMC skimped on the Terrain's interior, but my campaneros liked it. My buddy Joe even said he'd recommend it to his parents, and he's in the car business!
Hit the jump to see the latest Vegas promo video.
Albert Austria, Senior Engineer @ 10,700 miles
July 08, 2010
We've passed the 10,000-mile mark on our 2010 GMC Terrain.
So far, we've found this to be a comfortable, handy vehicle to have in the fleet. We all like the supportive driver seat and have found that our passengers have no problem getting cozy enough to take a snooze.
The 182-hp inline-4 has adequate power. We like how the six-speed transmission's manual mode let's you hold gears without forcing you to upshift. Its braking numbers are good: 60-0 mph in 121 feet.
Its entertainment console is cluttered with a lot of buttons, but everything is easy to use and logical to figure out.
Our only problem has been a leaky liftgate actuator strut. There was some hassle with the dealer ordering the wrong part but we eventually had it repaired under warranty.
And although some of you do not like the style, you have to admit it is interesting. Not the same bland old thing.
What do you think about the GMC Terrain?
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor
June 15, 2010
Like I said in my previous post, "I'm gonna keep an eye for for it's availability. I really like our Terrain." The keys became available to me again this past weekend. Would it be as good the second time around? I emphatically vote yes.
It was just as comfortable the second time around. My lady zonked out quick on our way to the movies Friday night. The guy I sold some craigslist stuff to on Saturday morning was impressed with the looks of it wanted to know more. A friend whom I gave a ride to a group dinner Saturday loved the Terrain. She took down some notes on her iPhone to look it up later on the internet.
There's a lot to like about the Terrain. It looks good, both inside and out. The ride is very comfortable. The fold flat seats made Sunday flea market finds easy to pack up. The easy to use navigation system found a business faster than my phone did.
I still feel it's a touch underpowered. I know some of you say you're getting tired of hearing it, but I think if you keep hearing it that says something. Honestly, I'm not expecting to be a high performance vehicle, it doesn't need to be, but it wheezes under it's own weight when pushed for highway passing. A few more horses and I'd feel a lot better about it.
The real kicker for me this time around was that as the warning light for the gas tank came on, the nav system offered to list the nearest gas stations. I thought that was really, really cool. For my own photographic work here at Edmunds, the mantra is "devil in the details." The Terrain gets it, and does it right.
Scott Jacobs, Senior Photographer
May 07, 2010
1) The driver's seat is very comfortable. I've been driving the Terrain all week with no seat or driving position complaints.
2) Transmission's manual mode allows you to hold gears around town, but it doesn't force you to upshift through the gears after you come to a stop. Manually put it in 3rd gear and it becomes a 3-speed automatic for instance. I like that.
3) The side mirrors are sized perfectly for the vehicle. They are large enough to be useful but not oversized like Dumbo ears which has become a disturbing trend.
4) It gets really good gas mileage. I've been banging it around town all week with a heavy foot and it's averaging over 22 mpg. That's right on its EPA city rating.
5) The A-pillars are massive and very difficult to see around.
6) There's no redline on the tachometer.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 7,106 miles
March 15, 2010
Our GMC Terrain is a pleasant little vehicle. It has a comfortable interior and nice entertainment features. The sturdy leather seats are supportive and not slippery. The driving position suits me just fine and the seat heater button is within easy reach.
Our 4-cylinder Terrain is not super speedy, but it has enough for running around town doing errands. It holds plenty of stuff and the two-level power hatch is convenient and easy to close for shorties like me.
I like it.
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor
February 23, 2010
This one is for 1487.
Yesterday I was a little hard on our Terrain, first calling it underpowered and then the whole ladder incident. But now I have something nice to say about the GMC: It is very comfortable.
On Sunday it hauled my family (wife, kids and dog) out to La Quinta and back for a little time with the grandparents. That's a 300 mile round trip.
Sure, I had the Terrain by the scruff of the neck the entire time trying to keep up with traffic and climb some of the steeper grades, but I was comfortable. And so was my family. And my dog.
The Terrain's seats are very well shaped and its people space is abundant. It's also quiet on the inside, it feels solid, rides well and it handled the Couchella Valley's 50 mph crosswinds easily. No drama at all.
In fact, its high speed stability might be its best dynamic feature. I like vehicles that feel locked down and the Terrain takes a nice set on the road.
Scott Oldham, Edmunds.com Editor in Chief
February 19, 2010
You know how important seat heaters are in my life.
When I saw this button in the 2010 GMC Terrain, I thought "Wow, those look like they're going to get really hot." Just look at all those wavy lines representing heat.
But they were just normal. Adequate, nothing to boast about, but not too timid either. I like when seat heaters work all the way up the back. Don't you? Very soothing.
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor