2010 GMC Terrain: Li'l Movin Buddy
July 07, 2010
Swapped haciendas this weekend, and though we enslaved a U-haul truck for the heavy stuff, our long-term 2010 GMC Terrain ably served light-duty shuttle. Though plenty spacious on the inside, the daylight openings on mid-size SUVs such as the Terrain are often the limiters for cargo. This is not a bad thing, as the chassis is not designed for heavy-duty hauling, though you could easily outstrip the GVWR rating by hand-loading your gold bullion collection (holler if you need help relocating that). The rear hatch snubbed us on a love-seat run, but the smooth ride kept even the most fragile possessions intact.
The split-folding rear seats proved a boon for local runs, letting us quickly adapt the interior to handle seat-belt worthy perches (computer monitors, etc.), along with longer items such as lamps. Sliding the rear seat all the way up and the front seats all the way back created a great snug zone for fragile stuff, while also making max room in the cargo hold. The livable tradeoff for the flexibility is a tilted load floor from the non-flat-folding seats.
I still enjoy tooling around in the Terrain, even if the four-cylinder (and I can't believe I'm suggesting this) could use a more aggressive map for throttle tip-in. I'm sure it helps the EPA mpg figures, but these D.I. engines already feel soft down low, and it could use a bit more snap away from lights. This is also the first GM tranny (and we've seen similar behavior in the Equinox) that seems a miss from the General's generally excellent slushboxes. When driven even slightly aggressively, the Terrain's automatic seems easily confused, hangs on to gears when you think it should shift, can be slow to downshift, and then seems to grab too many gears once prodded to downshift. Thankfully, manual mode is an option.
Another tranny quirk was the delay in engaging reverse, which can make for some anxious moments when backing up on tilted surfaces. Each time you'd double check to see if you hadn't accidentally selected neutral, and a fair amount of throttle was required before motion began. GM's automatics have long been the class of the industry, so maybe it's a cost-cutting move. The other odd remark includes a hazard lights button that you have to push and hold to engage, not your first instinct during a quick reach to warn oncoming traffic.
Paul Seredynski, Executive Editor @ 9,987 miles