2010 GMC Terrain: Mostly Enjoyable Highway Cruiser
April 30, 2010
I used our Terrain a couple days ago for an approximate 4-hour highway drive. For the most part, it was a pleasant companion. It rides pretty smoothly, is fairly quiet and has plenty of interior storage for various bits like cell phones and snacks. The driver seat is comfortable for multi-hour stints, too.
When climbing Southern California's I-5 Tejon Pass (the "Grapevine") on my drive, however, the Terrain's six-speed automatic transmission became a little annoying. Its programming is pretty conservative, especially when set to the "Eco" mode. So this resulted in the Terrain feeling flat-footed at the start of each grade. Hello, Mr. Terrain, a downshift please? There is a manual-shift mode, and I ended up just selecting fifth or fourth gear on my own. Alas, at higher rpm, the 2.4-liter inline-4 doesn't exactly make the best sounds.
None of this is terrible. But if you frequently drive on hilly terrain, the GMC's optional V6 might be more appealing.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor