2010 GMC Terrain: Where sedans fear to tread?
April 20, 2010
Spend some time in our long-term 2010 GMC Terrain and it's unlikely you'll accuse it of putting BMW on notice in the athletic-handling department. Sporty it is not. But for the intended audience the ride is just about right, easily soaking up the rigors of daily errand running, while remaining reasonably plush and not embarrassing itself when the road goes left or right.
On the utility front however, these now more frugal versions of the much loved SUVs are a compelling choice over their sedan cousins. Our four-cylinder, front-wheel-drive (FWD) Terrain may not have the grunt of the V6 or traction adding all-wheel drive, but it still makes a strong argument as the do-everything family truckster.
Like Toepke, the Terrain pulled weekend duty shuttling some Taylor Swift fans downtown, and the sliding rear seat offered plenty of adult/child distance to keep the conversations (where to park/Taylor Swift) distinct. When not in need of extra luggage space, the sliding rear seat heads far enough aft to provide limo-like space. The nav also proved effective, and its crystalline graphics helped us skirt post-concert traffic via a crafty alternate route back to the 10.
Later in the weekend, on a two-man expedition to find some killer mountain bike trailheads, the Terrain crawled its way up some rutted and dusty roads in the Santa Monica mountains. With the rear seats pulled forward and folded flat, two bikes easily slid into the rear cabin. None of the roads we snaked up slowly might have completely skunked a sedan, but with the Terrain's elevated ride height, the small erosional ruts and gigantic potholes were a non-issue. The traction control kept front-wheel spin in check on some tight uphill hairpins, and the hill-hold feature helped lower stress on the sight-seeing stops.
Even without all-wheel-drive or a lusty V6, the Terrain makes a great argument as a functional alternative to solid sedans such as the Malibu. The ride and handling may not be as adept, but the trade-off for utility is pretty compelling. With the Terrain/Equinox, GM is getting quite close to that one-car-does-it-all family-car recipe, and sales have seemed to bear this out. Also, public style opinion on the Terrain seems to be growing. Several random folk took the time to mention what a cool looking truck it was...
Paul Seredynski, Executive Editor @ 5873 miles