2010 GMC Terrain Long-Term Road Test

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2010 GMC Terrain: A-Pillar Tweeters

December 24, 2010

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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

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2010 GMC Terrain: Always Nice to See These Buttons

December 10, 2010

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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

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2010 GMC Terrain: The Things You Touch Everyday

December 07, 2010

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Our GMC Terrain is not only nearing the end of its time in our fleet, but it's built up considerable mileage. At 19,678 miles, it's well past the point at which many vehicles begin to show wear on the interior bits a driver touches every day. Here, the driver's seat shows little wear. Yes, there's marginal stretching of the seat bottom material, but otherwise this seat is showing good wear life.

More everyday touchspots after the jump.

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2010 GMC Terrain: Bonus Power Port

November 24, 2010

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Our Terrain has four power ports: one for the center stack, one in the center console, one for the rear seating area and one for the cargo area. One can never have too many power ports, right? But having one for the rear seat is pretty rare. And I suppose it's actually fairly useful for families as it makes it a lot easier to power or charge electronics for kids seated in back. No rear air vents for the Terrain, though.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor

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2010 GMC Terrain: What Does This Button Do?

October 27, 2010

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Alien defense shield? On-board bonnet hair dryers?

I wasn't really sure at first glance. Then it dawned on me.

Child proof door locks, of course. Never seen a dash button like that, usually it's a latch on the rear doors or at least a button on the driver's door panel. Probably a good place for it though, no reason to let the driver have all the fun.

Ed Hellwig, Editor, Edmunds.com

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2010 GMC Terrain: Big and Better

October 26, 2010

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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

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2010 GMC Terrain: Rear Seats are Sporty

October 15, 2010

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Our long-term 2010 GMC Terrain has a composed chassis with great ride quality and steering, and decent handling for a mid-sized crossover.

It also has a Mommymobile image. But check out those rear seats. They're sculpted like some sporty sedan seats, and have that attractive (and sporty) red contrast stitching. Perhaps GM is trying to add some sporting flair to this SUV. The chassis is certainly there.

Maybe with more power -- as with the 3.0L V6 version -- the Terrain could be near the top rung of sporty SUVs.

Albert Austria, Senior Engineer @ 17,200 miles

Photo by Kurt Niebuhr

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2010 GMC Terrain: It's Got Some Nice Features

October 14, 2010

I found a video that shows some of the nice feature available on the GMC Terrain, a few of which we didn't order on our long-termer, including independent dual rear seat monitors and available heated cloth seats.

Also, the power lift gate is adjustable for height, and you can fit a laptop in the center console. Nice.

And I think the Terrain looks great in black with tan interior, much better than our long-termer's silver.
I'll let the Terrain's Program Manager Whitney Krause break it down.

Albert Austria, Senior Engineer @ ~17,200 miles

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2010 GMC Terrain: Fakes, Both Vehicle Trim and Metropolitan

October 05, 2010

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I like our long-term 2010 GMC Terrain. It has good steering and chassis, great ride quality, but needs more power.

I even drove it to Vegas once and was pleasantly surprised.

And speaking of fakes, there's too much fake chrome trim on the interior. Don't you think?

But with regard to the Terrain's interior and Vegas, some fakes are OK.

Albert Austria, Senior Engineer @ 16,500 miles

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2010 GMC Terrain: The Squeaky Seatbelt Buckle

October 01, 2010

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It's been a while since I've driven our GMC Terrain with any significant duration (last time was April). So I'm amused to find that the driver seat is still squeaky. Actually, the seat itself isn't squeaky, but the seatbelt buckle rubs against the seat's leather upholstery, and that causes the squeaking noises. This typically happens when you're moving around on the driver seat.

The video below is of me pulling out of my driveway this morning in the Terrain. Time allowing, I'll glue some felt to the buckle this weekend to see if cures the squeak.

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2010 GMC Terrain: Lookin' Beat

September 28, 2010

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Here's what the cargo area in the Terrain is starting to look like. I'm not so sure we can fault the car for this. But it isn't pretty.

Josh Jacquot, Senior editor

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2010 GMC Terrain: Not My Cuppa Crossover

September 23, 2010

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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

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2010 GMC Terrian: Is That Wire Important?

September 22, 2010

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What? You don't see it? Here, click on this one:

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2010 GMC Terrain: Counter Intuitive Knob?

September 21, 2010

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Is it me or is the HVAC temperature knob counter intuitive? Don't you think hot should be up, and cool down or is this a clockwise/counter-clockwise orientation?

Chris Walton, Chief Road Test Editor @ 15,534 miles

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2010 GMC Terrain: Integrated Shoulder Belt

September 15, 2010

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My daughter sometimes gets car sick if she can't see out the windshield, so we try to avoid the outboard seats as much as possible. The center seat is also safer in a potential collision. That's why we were both happy to discover the Terrain's rear seat featured an integrated shoulder belt (but no head restraint?) in the center position. At least that's why I think she's smiling. Either that or she's feeling like such a big girl transitioning from a 5-point child seat to the booster--and showing off her new shoes that she learned to tie just last weekend. If I had my way, she'd be strapped down tight until she could drive and I already miss the black Mary Janes.

Chris Walton, Chief Road Test Editor @ 15,271 miles

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2010 GMC Terrain: Would I Recommend It to a Friend?

September 10, 2010

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So a friend of mine called yesterday looking for some car buying advice. The GMC Terrain was on her list, so I decided to drive our long-termer home and reacquaint myself with its various up and downs.

Can't say there's much in the interior that's objectionable. Seats are comfortable, gauges are fine and most of the controls are within easy reach. The center stack is on the busy side, but it doesn't take long to figure out the basic functions.

After a short freeway run, I remembered what I don't like about the Terrain. It's the drivetrain, specifically the four cylinder engine which is not very impressive. Sure, most four-cylinders rarely are, but the Terrain's feels particularly labored when pushed hard. Maybe it needs to be coupled with some shorter gears or better transmission programming. Either way, it's not all that refined as it is and it detracts from the overall experience.

So, did I still recommend it? Yeah, I told her to take a drive and see what she thinks anyway. I'll be interested to see if she mentions anything about how the engine feels. Something tell me she'll say it felt just fine.

Ed Hellwig, Editor, Edmunds.com @ 14,211 miles

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2010 GMC Terrain: Jeeeez!

September 01, 2010

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I was temporarily blinded by all the fantastic plastichrome in the GMC Terrain. I found a couple more Interior Design 101 failures involving glare and reflectivity. This sort of thing should never make it to production.

Chief Road Test Editor, Chris Walton @ 13,525 miles

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2010 GMC Terrain: Cone of Silence

August 12, 2010

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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

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2010 GMC Terrain: Nice Detail

July 20, 2010

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You've probably noticed the red stitching in our GMC Terrain. I've never noticed the unexpected red interior of this door pocket.

GMC certainly doesn't have to make this area red. No one would notice if it wasn't there. But it's a nice touch that adds that extra attention to detail. It also has a small red courtesy light inside.

Nice.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2010 GMC Terrain: Answers

July 16, 2010

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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

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2010 GMC Terrain: Thumb-wheel Cruise Control

July 15, 2010

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Our long-term 2010 GMC Terrain has an interesting cruise control setup on the face of its steering wheel. There's a one-way rocker Master switch, but the speed setting switch is a momentary two-way quarter-turn thumbwheel. I haven't seen this setup before.

When the Master switch is turned on, a white telltale in the tach illuminates. The telltale turns green when the cruise speed is set.

The speed setting thumbwheel works just fine: no better or worse than a rocker switch, although I would think it costs more than a rocker.

I believe GMC chose this route for design symmetry with the thumbwheel voice/audio control on the other side of the wheel, which has become increasingly popular.

On a related note, myself and others I've spoken with no longer use cruise control as a driver workload-reducing convenience.

We instead use it to avoid traffic citations.

Albert Austria, Senior Engineer @ 10,800 miles

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2010 GMC Terrain: The 24 Hours of Vegas, 2010 Edit.

July 12, 2010

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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

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2010 GMC Terrain: Half-Time Report

July 08, 2010

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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

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2010 GMC Terrain: Is that a mouse in your glovebox?

May 18, 2010

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Yesterday I carpooled part of the way home, stopping to drop off a co-worker (we'll call him Michael Jordan) at his house.

Michael drove the 20 miles or so from the office to his house, and I rode in the front passenger's seat. Several times along the freeway, I heard a squeaking noise from between the driver's seat and the center console, and thought to myself, man, can't that guy sit still? Seat heater too hot? What's with all the wiggling around? Of course, I never said any of these things out loud.

I drove a half-mile at most from MJ's house before I heard the seat squeak under my 115 pounds.

Looking back quickly through the Terrain posts, I don't see anyone else complaining about the noise.

Maybe it's new. Definitely it's annoying.

Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 7,608 miles

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2010 GMC Terrain: A Little Crowded On the Dash

May 13, 2010

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Just yesterday, I gave a pat on the back to Suzuki for the design of the head unit in the Kizashi. Today, I'll give GMC a mildly enthusiastic nod for the setup in the GMC Terrain.

As you can see, it's a bit more crowded that the setup in the Suzuki. It's not quite as obvious which buttons do what and the overall look isn't quite as aesthetically pleasing. That said, the GMC does manage to pack a whole bunch of functionality into a relatively small space. You've got a navigation system, audio controls and even a few phone switches all arranged in a relatively easy to use layout. I find myself searching around a little bit more than the Suzuki, but it's all accessible once you get used to it.

Ed Hellwig, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com @ 7,477 miles

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2010 GMC Terrain: 4 Things I Like and 2 Things I Don't

May 07, 2010

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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

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2010 GMC Terrain: Interesting Interior Design

April 16, 2010

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Yes, interesting. Not great, not terrible, just a little bit better than average.

Looking at this door panel on the Terrain it's clear that some actual thought went into its design. Seems pretty basic, but there have been countless GM-built cars over the years with generic interior details that gave the impression that there was simply no money left to do anything worthwhile.

It's really nothing more than red stitching, a matching bin insert and an illuminated door handle with silver trim, but again, it's something.

Ed Hellwig, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com @ 4,510 miles

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2010 GMC Terrain: Huge Center Console Not Really That Useful

March 23, 2010

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I'm not sure if I really like the Terrain's gigantic center console or not.

I mean, on one hand, if I needed to stow away something large, like say, a side of beef, it would fit quite easily in this handy compartment.

On the other hand, if I had a bunch of small stuff to organize, putting it inside this console would feel like throwing it all down a manhole, it's that deep.

There is a small bin that snaps into the top of this compartment, but it sort of defeats the whole purpose of having so much space to work with. The engineers did a great job of carving out the space, but they didn't do so well when it came time to designing a console that would make the best use of it.

Ed Hellwig, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com @ 4,076 miles

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2010 GMC Terrain: Blinding

March 22, 2010

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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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2010 GMC Terrain: The Old Trip Odometer Reset Debate

March 08, 2010

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We've been down this road with GM vehicles before and I still find it troubling every time I have to deal with it. Have a look at the four buttons labeled "vehicle info" in the above photo.

Now tell me how to reset the trip odometer.

Josh Jacquot, Senior road test editor

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2010 GMC Terrain: Getting To Know You

February 21, 2010

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We're looking forward to spending time with our 2010 GMC Terrain.

Our particular model includes lots of nice features: heated leather seats, navigation, XM radio, a rear backup camera, bluetooth, etc.

Let's get to know our brand new GMC Terrain as car of the week.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2010 GMC Terrain: What's Happening, Hot Stuff?

February 19, 2010

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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

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2010 GMC Terrain: Yea or Nay?

February 10, 2010

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Brushed aluminum and chrome-ish trim pieces highlight the black interior of our 2010 GMC Terrain. The outline of the center console mimics the lines of the steering wheel.

Do you like the design? Yea or Nay?

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2010 GMC Terrain: Good Stuff, but What's With the Cargo Area?

February 08, 2010

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Let's start this off on the right foot: I like our 2010 GMC Terrain. I like its easy-to-use navigation/audio interface. I like its overall interior styling. I like its suspension tuning, and despite the fact that this four-cylinder model isn't all that powerful, I find the power it does have to be adequate. And I like that and the efficiency that comes with it.

So I was surprised to see that its rear seats don't fold flat.

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2010 GMC Terrain in NJ is:

$192 per month*
* Explanation
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