2010 GMC Terrain Review

Pros & Cons

  • Quiet and attractive cabin, good ride/handling balance, roomy accommodations, impressive fuel economy.
  • Cargo space could be more generous, bigger wheels hurt ride quality.
List Price

Used Terrain for Sale
Select your model:
See all for sale

cash graphic with confetti

Get More For Your Trade-In

2010 GMC Terrain appraisal values can range from $2,775 - $6,415.
Find out what your car is really worth in minutes.
See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2010 GMC Terrain is an eye-catching and capable crossover SUV that deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as segment stars like the RAV4 and CR-V.

Vehicle overview

On the one hand, the 2010 GMC Terrain is an old-school GM badge job, an unabashed Chevrolet Equinox knockoff with the same platform, features and powertrains. But unlike many old-school GM badge jobs, this one is fundamentally a really good vehicle, so we're willing to cut it some slack. Indeed, the Terrain and its Equinox sibling look set to shake up the small-to-midsize crossover SUV segment that Honda and Toyota have long dominated.

The 2010 Terrain benefits from the same updates as this year's redesigned Equinox. Under the hood is a torquey base four-cylinder that offers best-in-class fuel economy and competitive acceleration. There's also an available direct-injected 3.0-liter V6 that's similarly competitive in terms of fuel economy and power. Inside, the Terrain boasts a snazzy center stack and attractive control layout that make its rivals' cabins seem dull and unimaginative by comparison. An abundance of acoustic insulation and an innovative noise-canceling system also make the Terrain one of the quietest compact crossovers around.

The Terrain isn't quite fault-free. Its maximum cargo capacity, for instance, isn't as generous as that of some competing models. But otherwise it's pretty hard to find fault with GMC's new SUV. The 2010 GMC Terrain offers just about everything that shoppers in this segment are looking for, and it's one you'll definitely want to cross-shop along with established models like the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Mitsubishi Outlander, Nissan Rogue and Toyota RAV4.

2010 GMC Terrain models

The 2010 GMC Terrain is a midsize crossover SUV available in four trim levels: SLE-1, SLE-2, SLT-1 and SLT-2. Standard equipment for the SLE-1 includes 17-inch alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, a trip computer, cruise control, air-conditioning, full power accessories, power front seat height and lumbar adjustments, a sliding and reclining backseat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, a back-up camera integrated into the rearview mirror, OnStar and a six-speaker CD stereo with satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack. The SLE-2 adds roof rails, 18-inch alloy wheels on V6 models, an eight-way power driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth, automatic climate control and an eight-speaker Pioneer sound system.

The SLT-1 has the aforementioned plus 18-inch alloy wheels, remote engine start, leather upholstery and heated front seats. The SLT-2 ups the ante with chrome exterior trim details, a unique grille, driver memory functions, a sunroof, a power liftgate and rear parking sensors. Additional options, depending on the trim level, include a hard-drive-based navigation system (with larger rearview camera display and 40GB of music storage) and a rear-seat entertainment system. Some of the extra features found on the upper trims can also be added to the lower trims as options.

Latest GMC News from Edmunds
Want to Tow a Trailer Hands-Free? The 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Has You Covered

2010 Highlights

The 2010 GMC Terrain is an all-new small crossover SUV.

Performance & mpg

Every GMC Terrain comes standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine producing 182 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. Optional on all but the SLE-1 is a 3.0-liter V6 good for 264 hp and 222 lb-ft of torque. Both engines come standard with a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel-drive; all-wheel drive is optional across the board.

Fuel economy is impressive. A four-cylinder Terrain with front-wheel drive achieves an EPA-estimated 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined. All-wheel drive lowers these estimates to 20/29/23 mpg. A Terrain V6 with front-wheel drive gets 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined, with all-wheel-drive versions dropping only incrementally to 17/24/20. The maximum tow rating when properly equipped is 3,500 pounds with the V6.


The 2010 GMC Terrain comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability control, front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and OnStar. Rear parking sensors are optional.


The 2010 GMC Terrain accelerates well with the new four-cylinder engine, and its 32-mpg highway rating with this engine is most impressive. This engine should satisfy most folks, but for those wanting more there's the optional V6. The optional mill is a bit short on low-end torque relative to the RAV4's standard-setting V6, but otherwise it's one of the strongest engine choices you'll find in this segment. On the move, the new Terrain is impressively quiet, and the ride is comfortable. However, we'd suggest sticking with the smallest possible wheels, as the larger ones increase impact harshness. Handling capabilities are nothing special, but most drivers should be satisfied by the vehicle's all-around competence.

Read our GMC Terrain Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test


The GMC Terrain's cabin is remarkably stylish, particularly by the standards of this typically utilitarian segment. The slick-looking dashboard design is reminiscent of the related Cadillac SRX, and the Terrain's high-tech navigation and entertainment options only heighten its appeal.

In terms of accommodations, the Terrain's backseat is roomy for this class and conveniently reclines and slides fore and aft (to allow easier access to child seats or to expand cargo capacity). Cargo space behind the backseat is 31.4 cubic feet, and that figure grows to 63.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. That's about 6 cubes shy of the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, but still bigger than smaller crossovers like the Ford Escape and Nissan Rogue.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2010 GMC Terrain.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Transmission is crap
SLE-2 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
Had this car for 6 yrs and has less than 49K on it when the transmission goes out. You would think that a transmission with less than 49K on would last a little longer. I now see why GM reduced the mileage for it's powertrain warranty from 5yrs/100,000 to 5yrs/60,000. I'm sure they were losing big money. Also, fuel economy is way less than advertised. I barely get 18 MPG.
A Christmas Gift that wasn't worth giving!
SLE-1 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
We are warned that "Everything that looks good is not always good for you!" My son surprised me with this vehicle for Christmas 2 years ago. Needless to say, it was an expensive gift that was NOT worth giving. This vehicle will bankrupt you! If you purchased a 2010 GMC Terrain I certainly hope you have a good warranty to go along with it. You will most certainly need it. The Engine in these vehicles are LEMONS! You better buy stock in engine oil as well. Never mind any recommended oil change schedules you are given. Do it every 2,000 miles or you will pay the price. The best thing about that is, the car will warn you around every 2,000 mile interval. The engine begins to rattle when you press on the accelerator. It will begin to cut off on you upon acceleration. It will surge. It will stall and scare the hell out of you. And KEEP YOUR OIL CHANGE RECEIPTS, you will need them when you have to replace the engine...and you will have to replace the engine! They will try to say you did not change the oil according to schedule. Trust me, If I would of waited to do it every 3,000 (or 5,000 as they suggested) miles the engine probably would have caught fire. There have been numerous other issues as well, but the engine issues and the drastic over consumption of oil are the mother of all other issues. BUYER BEWARE! It's a shame too because I like the design, the body style, and the interior cabin space. But the cons far outweigh the pros.
SLT-2 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
I purchased a used 2010 GMC Terrain SLT-2 AWD from Harris Mitsubishi Dealer (Everett, WA) in April 2015 with ~83,000 miles. Everything looked great and the cost was in my price range. When I asked the salesman about the CONSTANT CLICKING NOISE while the engine was running he said "that's normal for a 4 cylinder" Purchased this vehicle with the reassurance that it has been detailed, oil changed and mechanically inspected/ approved. I also purchased their 3rd party warranty (Protective Asset Protection) with hopes to be pro-active and a responsible car owner... - May 2015: Low oil light comes on, I return to Harris Mitsubishi Dealer to be told that they just "forgot to reset the button but my oil is fine". They reset it and told me to come back as directed on the reminder window decal. *NO repairs preformed at this time as directed by Harris Mitsubishi* -June 2015: While driving my Terrain dies multiple times when slowing to a stop. Must rev my engine to keep it on. Took immediately to Seaview GMC Service Department (Lynnwood, WA) Diagnostics come back with a TIMING CHAIN ISSUES and my Terrain had been LEAKING and now RUNNING ON NO OIL. *Preformed ALL recommend repairs by Seaview because this part was cover under factory warranty* - October 2015: Check engine light turns on and clicking noise seems to be more regular. Took immediately to Seaview again and now diagnostics show CATALYTIC CONVERTER HAS FAILED and my AC COMPRESSOR is FAILING. $175.00 for diagnostics alone. Catalytic converter is not covered under my warranty and since the ac compressor has not failed they will not replace this. Seaview recommend not driving until these parts are replaced, quoted me at least $1,200 just for the catalytic converter part alone. -November 2015: Researched online for answers only to find out that all of these issues are consistent with other numerous Terrain owners. When I contacted GMC direct 1-866-996-9463 with my frustrations, facts and safety concerns I was told essentially that its a used car that's out of warranty, but they will look into it.... ****My advise to YOU is invest your good hard money into some other vehicle****
Run from this car!!
SLE-1 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
We've owned a 2010 GMC Terrain SLE 6 cylinder since December 2009. We purchased this after our first child and quickly realized how tiny the backseat was with a carseat installed. Along came baby number 2 and bye-bye went the third passenger in the back. Even just three average adults are squished into that tiny space. I couldn't sit between the 2 carseats and I'm 5'4, 130lbs. Within the first year, the tailgate needed to be repainted because the back licence plate housing rubbed the paint off. 18 months later, the same thing happened. At the 4 year mark, the inside bottom of all the doors were rusted to the metal. The center console USB plug stopped working after a year. Out of the blue, I got a service stabilitrac warning one day around 60,000 miles accompanied by loud grinding from my brakes. I needed a new wheelbearing, all new brake pads, and rotors, and my emergency brake caliber somehow fell off. At 63000 miles, at startup one evening, the engine sputtered and the notification center said low power mode, service stabilitrack, and the abs, stabilitrak, and check engine light stayed on. After turning the car off and on a few times, the lights turned off, but I still had an intermittent check engine light turn on. The code for that was for a camshaft actuator and the engine had somehow burned or leaked 2 quarts of oil in a very short amount of time. Wasted $300 on a camshaft actuator and the check engine light stayed off long enough for the ride home. Called the dealership next day, they stated that the timing chains usually need to be replaced in these and that may be what is wrong (mind you, "may be" to the tune of another $1,000!) They also informed me that they had never changed the timing chains on a 6 cylinder at that dealership. I questioned if it would affect the engines function and was assured that the timing chains made noise when they went bad and I would know when it was time. Fast forward another 8 months and 3,000 miles and my service stabilitrak light, ABS, and check engine lights are on again and the engine has again consumed 3 quarts of oil in a short amount of time(yes, I regularly check the oil). At 70000 miles, the motor failed on the windshield washer pump, so I am unable to wash my front/rear windshield until I repair it. There is currently a recall for an intermittent problem with the seatbelt notification chime dinging despite everyone wearing their seatbelts. This has only happened twice and resolves itself if you restart the engine. This car was garage kept and averaged less than 10,000 miles a year, and I followed the maintenance schedule. I am the original owner. When I contacted GMC, their reply was that the vehicle is out of warranty and then they had the dealership contact me. After some research, I found my issues are similar to other GMC Terrain owners and if your Terrain isn't having any of these issues now, great, but I strongly suggest getting rid of it before this happens. If your looking to purchase a Terrain, please choose something else!! **Update**2018 This beast is still running! In the past year, the moonroof malfunctioned and needed to be completely replaced or permanently closed. It was a difference of a $1000 or $200 repair. You can probably guess what I chose. I now have a sweet sky light in my car that has the tiniest annoying air leak in it, but it's closed at least. I still randomly burn through oil, but again I regularly check it, so I guess it's not an issue. The check engine light permanently stays on. The bottom of the doors are rusting faster than I can drive it. I'm just waiting for the engine to blow up. **UPDATE** summer 2018 At 81,000 miles the AC compressor quite working. I figured it would be a sweet $1000 fix, but it was a steal at only $585. The check engine light is on and I still wash my windshield with a bottle of Windex at stop lights, but I'm not burning through as much oil so that's a plus!


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2010 GMC Terrain
More About This Model

At first glance, you'd say the 2010 GMC Terrain is a truck: upright, squared-off and with beefy shoulders over the wheels that would look right at home on a Hummer or Jeep. Until the large Acadia crossover appeared, GMC had always been a purist's truck brand, maker of body-on-frame haulers and workhorses. The Terrain wears its GMC badges proudly (there are even little GMC emblems molded into the side reflectors incorporated in the taillights), but it's really a compact crossover SUV, mechanically akin to the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox.

So it falls into that class of station wagon alternatives with the Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe and Subaru Forester. But GMC designers have zigged where Chevy zagged. So where the Equinox looks less trucklike than its predecessor, the 2010 GMC Terrain emphasizes truck themes consistent with the brand's "professional grade" slogan. We're even told it establishes the design vocabulary for future GMC products.

Covering the Ground
GMC is one of the four brands that survive in the new, post-bankruptcy General Motors and the Terrain expands GMC's reach into the fuel-conscious end of the new GM product catalog. It has some competition from that Chevy sister, but GM recently announced it won't be building a Buick version derived from the late Saturn Vue.

That's why the 2010 GMC Terrain boasts a very un-trucky EPA fuel economy rating of 32 mpg highway. Of course, that's the front-wheel-drive version with a six-speed automatic and the 182-horsepower, 2.4-liter Ecotec inline-4 — a thoroughly modern engine with variable valve timing and direct injection. With an EPA city rating of 22 mpg and a combined rating of 26 mpg, the Terrain has better fuel-efficiency than the Asian imports. Opt for all-wheel drive and the figures slip only a bit to 20 mpg city/29 mpg highway.

An optional ($1,500 on any trim level) 264-hp 3.0-liter V6 coupled to a different six-speed automatic delivers 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway, again besting or matching the leading competitors (at least in those cases where the competition offers a V6) and also more than doubling towing capacity from the base model's 1,500 pounds to 3,500 pounds.

Big Enough
With its 112.5-inch wheelbase, the 2010 GMC Terrain is one of the larger five-seat crossovers and boasts 63.9 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the front seats, or 31.6 cubic feet with the rear seatback up.

The rear seat can slide fore and aft over an 8-inch range, so the owner can prioritize passenger legroom or cargo capacity as needed. In the forward position, it also shortens the reach for parents who might need to reach a toddler in back. The one beef here is that the rear seat doesn't fold completely flat, primarily because the designers chose to use bolsters on the sides and cushion for better passenger comfort.

A rearview camera is standard equipment. With the optional navigation system, the back-up camera shows up in that display; otherwise it appears on the left portion of the inside rearview mirror. We found the latter actually more natural to use, though the picture is smaller.

Did the Terrain Move for You?
While Chevy cites the Ford Escape as the primary target for the Equinox, GMC more often points to the more upscale Ford Edge and Nissan Murano, as well as the more comparable Honda CR-V and Hyundai Santa Fe. It comes in SLE and SLT trim levels and in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models.

We drove three examples of the 2010 GMC Terrain: the base front-wheel-drive SLE1 with 17-inch wheels ($24,995 including $745 delivery); an all-wheel-drive, V6-powered SLT2 with optional 19-inch wheels, navigation system and rear-seat DVD player in the back of each front headrest (about $34,000, we estimate); and a front-wheel-drive SLT1 also equipped with the V6 but without navigation and the 18-inch wheels that are standard at that trim level ($28,195, including $745 delivery). This FWD SLT might have been the best value, though even the base vehicle didn't feel like a cheap crate. Materials and fit and finish were all to a high standard, with thoughtful features throughout.

The base model's 182-hp engine is the first four-cylinder in a GMC product since the demise of the Sonoma pickup six years ago, but fortunately it's more than adequate to the task of moving the 3,798-pound 2010 GMC Terrain. With this FWD powertrain, 60 mph should come up in well under 9 seconds. This lightest model also encouraged us to try an aggressive run through a twisting two-lane segment of road more suited to compact sports cars than most crossovers. It handled surprisingly well — so well, in fact, that we're not laughing anymore at the GMC ads that target the BMW X3. We'd still rather have the Bavarian model if we had to drive through the Alps, but GMC has nothing to be ashamed of on the handling front.

For maximum highway fuel economy, there's an "Eco" button forward of the shifter on four-cylinder models that makes the transmission less eager to shift down and more likely to engage the torque converter lockup. It's good for 1 mpg and worth remembering to engage if you're on a long freeway run, although it could prove annoying in stop-and-go situations. There's no Eco button on the V6 model, because the gain proved to be less than 0.5 mpg and the annoyance factor higher, GMC engineers told us.

Carlike Performance
While it would be hard to imagine a greater departure from GMC's long tradition of big-displacement, pushrod V8s with tons of low-rpm torque than these two engines — both of which produce their peak outputs above 6,500 rpm — the gearing and programming of the six-speed automatics and the attention to detail in engineering make the Terrain anything but a buzzbox.

With the inline-4, you get variable electric assist for the power steering. It feels better at speed than the hydraulic unit for the V6 models, although the effort is a little too light when going slowly. Also unique to the four-cylinder Terrain is active noise cancellation — there's a woofer in the right rear quarter panel that emits sound waves to cancel any booming reverberations at highway speed. Helping to keep things quiet, there's insulated glass in the front doors and windshield.

The high-end V6-powered SLT has the most bells and whistles, but the big wheels delivered a penalty, not so much felt as heard in bump-thump noises from the low-profile tires over bumpy pavement. We'd stick with the 18s rather than drop the $900 on the big chrome 19s.

The New GMC From the New GM
GMC would argue that it's been a fuel economy leader in its segment for a long while, even offering hybrid models of its bigger trucks. Yet the mpg figures for the 2010 GMC Terrain should establish street cred for a brand that previously scored near zero. The Terrain's inline-4 even runs on regular gas, while its top competitors recommend premium.

It's a pity for GMC that the 2010 Terrain arrives just a few weeks too late to capitalize on the Cash for Clunkers deals that saw many Americans trading in their big trucks — many GMCs undoubtedly among them — for smaller crossovers like this.

Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.

Used 2010 GMC Terrain Overview

The Used 2010 GMC Terrain is offered in the following submodels: Terrain SUV. Available styles include SLE-2 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A), SLE-1 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A), SLE-2 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A), SLE-1 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A), SLT-1 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A), SLT-1 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A), SLT-2 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 6A), and SLT-2 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 6A). Pre-owned GMC Terrain models are available with a 2.4 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 182 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2010 GMC Terrain comes with front wheel drive, and all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2010 GMC Terrain comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ 100000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2010 GMC Terrain?

Price comparisons for Used 2010 GMC Terrain trim styles:

  • The Used 2010 GMC Terrain SLT-1 is priced between $13,990 and$13,990 with odometer readings between 63381 and63381 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2010 GMC Terrains are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2010 GMC Terrain for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2010 Terrains listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $13,990 and mileage as low as 63381 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2010 GMC Terrain.

Can't find a used 2010 GMC Terrains you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used GMC Terrain for sale - 2 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $25,614.

Find a used GMC for sale - 4 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $10,543.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC Terrain for sale - 10 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $11,883.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC for sale - 11 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $10,220.

Should I lease or buy a 2010 GMC Terrain?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out GMC lease specials
Check out GMC Terrain lease specials