After shopping around using Edmunds as my guide, I decided to give GMC Terrain a serious look having been an owner of Buicks for over 15 years. Reviews were very decent as well. Have to say although its only 2 weeks old I absolutely love my purchase. Was a little skeptical of the 4cyl. engine at first, however it has plenty of power for my needs. Interior is very rich and well designed and comfortable . Like driving in a cockpit . Smooth ride, feels like a higher end car ride. Considering what 2 year old SUV's go for nowadays I say this is a tremendous value for the money. Fully warrantied bumper to bumper with a 2 year service agreement makes this vehicle for my family a wise choice.
We basically picked this vehicle based on cost after our GMC Envoy XL had major problems, but we very happy with the choice after the fact. We wanted an Acadia, but the $10K+ price difference was too much. The Terrain rides great, it's easy to drive, is comfortable and pretty spacious for a "compact" SUV. It has way more room in the back seat than the Envoy did and I know it has better front passenger area than the Envoy. We fit 5 of us (kids 16, 8 & 3) but it's a little tight (my 8 yr old can't us his booster seat with 3 in the back seat). It's easy and comfortable to drive (even when loaded down) and it's mostly quiet. There is a lot of tire noise (not sure if it's the car or the tires though) which can get really loud on the highway. The cargo area is a little small considering this isn't really a small vehicle, but the back seat can be adjusted to make more space (but not by much without sacrificing all the leg room). We recently took a 2500+ mile trip with all of us. Even loaded with all 5 of us and all the luggage (including a roof cargo box) the ride and handling were very good. I was surprised the back end didn't lower much once everything/everyone was loaded up either. You noticed the weight when driving, but it didn't make it much harder to drive and I quickly got used to it. Even after 12+ hours in the car we didn't feel really stiff or sore and we survived with 3 in the back seat. This is where I wished we got the 6 cyl motor though. The 4 cyl is good 90% of the time for us, so it probably is the better overall choice. It really struggled at higher speeds (70 MP+) with all of us and the luggage; although understandably so considering it was probably about 1000 lbs of people & gear. We only got about 23 MPG for the trip so I was disappointed in that (I expected about 25 MPG with the cargo box). It downshifts on almost any kind of hill trying to maintain speed. The constant shifting gets annoying; especially when it kicks down a couple of gears. It's kind of like 2 different vehicles when it comes to the mileage (even without the cargo box). If you stay between 60 - 65 MPH it easily gets 28 - 30 MPG. Once you start going 70 or more it really drops off to low to mid 20's. I guess because the squared off styling. Overall = Likes: styling, comfort (although the seat material with the holes can be a little itchy & collects crumbs/dirt), ride, stereo is very good, gas mileage (most of the time) and safety ratings. Good amount of storage places, cup holders and charging ports. The center console is quite large which can make it a little hard to find things with too much stuff in it. I think the headlights and fog lights work great; good brightness and distance so you don't have to use high beams all the time. Dislikes: 4 cyl when the vehicle is loaded up, no rear A/C vents and the front ones are low (glad we got a light colored one), cargo area is a little small. My 8 yr old says the center seat in the back is too hard. The transmission downshifts a lot because it always tries to get to the highest gear. It can be difficult to try to accelerate a little bit without it downshifting (and sometimes it goes down 2 gears). Update 5/26/16: Most of what I previously stated still applies to this vehicle. Overall, I really like this SUV and my wife and I enjoy driving it. It's comfortable, rides and handles well, and gets good mileage (especially compared to averaging about 15 MPG with our Envoy). We have over 28K miles in the year we've had it and never had a problem and no rattles, random noises, etc. A little thing that continues to annoy me: the back wiper design. It doesn't extend away from the window very far so it makes it difficult to clean the whole wiper blade and where it rests; making it hard to keep the window and blade clean. Admittedly, I have a "thing" about clean windows so it's probably just me. My biggest problem is still the engine. If you have to try to accelerate quickly, it just doesn't like it. It downshifts multiple gears and makes a lot of engine noise, revs way up but very little forward motion with all of that. Again, for most of the time it's fine, but lane changes or passes have to be planned. If I had the V6 though I probably wouldn't be happy with the gas mileage. GMC needs to figure out and engine in between the two that gives more horsepower without killing mileage. Maybe the turbo 4 (2 liter I think) GM uses in a lot of their other cars or better yet the diesel from the Canyon would be ideal (probably never happen). I started driving a 03 Highlander as my daily driver now. The difference between the ride, handling, noise, etc. is definitely in favor of the Terrain in that comparison. The V6 in the Highlander makes my highway driving so much easier though and I still get about 22 mpg.
I love my Terrain. The safety features about drove me nuts but once I got used to them (or turned them off) they were fine. I love the interior, very comfortable to drive and the seats feel great. I especially love the heated seat feature. I previously had an Envoy that I dearly loved. The ride in the Envoy was much smoother and less stiff. I have found though, that all the smaller SUV's have that log wagon feel, where you can feel almost every bump. I am 100% satisfied with the overall performance of this vehicle, however I may consider a larger SUV next time to improve the ride. The gas mileage is good, I like the infrequent trips to the gas station.
after 5,000 miles the vehicle still performs great but miles per gallons needs improvements, 4 cyl engine. have not had a single issue with this vehicle so far, it looks and drives as it did the first day. love my GMC terrain
UPDATE # 2: After now 2 years, I'd say this is still a great SUV. There are some things I don't like. But all in all, it is a good vehicle. The cargo area is smaller than I'd like, and seems much smaller than my RAV4. The rear seat room is great, but you use up cargo room doing this. The large sloped rear of the body cuts into cargo room as well. My feet hurt after driving this SUV, and I tend to feel stiff from the seats - they seem like they don't have shaping in the seats. The NAV system is annoying, but it works. The touch screen is hard to reach. Little things like this. But the vehicle runs well, no breakdowns, and seems solid. UPDATE: After a year with this vehicle, there are some good and bad things. The ride continues to feel like a high end luxury ride. And that is saying something when you are driving this each day. The MPG's range from 15-20, and mostly somewhere in between. For a big 6 cylinder with just over 300hp, I'd say that is to be expected. No worries merging in high speed traffic, this car is super fast. The nav system is so crazy - just yesterday I was trying to find a point of interest by name, and it was not in there. It was a cemetery, but if Waze GPS app can find it, why not the car's nav system? The bluetooth phone integration is annoying. If I make a call with my phone, and put it on handset mode, it only stays on handset mode until someone answers, then it goes back to hands free. Then, I transfer to handset and it will periodically go back to handsfree. Why? I don't know. But using Waze it will automatically put you onto bluetooth audio and start/stop with directions, mostly pausing the music. That is such a pain. This is my wife's car but I've unconnected my phone because it is too frustrating. The cool part though, is when it uses your phone to make a call, it dims the A/C or heat to make it less loud. The insulation in this car is amazing, it is so quiet compared to my car, lending itself to that luxury ride thing. The cargo area is skimpy, but if you fold the seats, and move the rear seat forward, it makes it better. It is not a low height load floor and the rear wheel wells cut into valuable cargo room. Sad, but true. The good thing though is that you can move the rear seats back to make more legroom for rear passengers and that is really good as I rarely carry cargo vs. hauling people. In fact, I use my RAV4 for cargo since it seems to carry more and more easily and save this for hauling our family members as it is a comfy ride. The only complaint about the build quality is that the rear tail lenses were leaking water at the car wash when I first bought it, but that has not happened since. You'll be hard pressed to find another ride that feels as luxurious as this for the money. The powertrain warranty on the 2015 is 60 months/100,000 miles - which was changed to 60 months/60,000 miles for 2016, which is disappointing. I'm predicting few repairs, as it has a really nice build quality. The carpets are real carpets, not a hard piece of fake carpet. The seats are luxurious leather and feel like it. The car has a quality feel unrivaled by other competitors. And I like the more squared shape than the newer rounded edged SUV's. Would I recommend it? If I wanted a luxurious ride and not spending $50K at the big "M", yes. If I wanted a people hauler and not a cargo hauler as the primary purpose, yes! And if I didn't mind spending $5K more than for a RAV4, to get that superior ride and handling, then yes! The only other thing I should mention that comes to mind is that the steering wheel will give you a workout, and that it doesn't have a great turning radius. Yes, tight turns in parking lots are hard to do - and wears you out. The steering is VERY stiff, not loosey goosey. I find it annoying, but tolerable. My wife loves that firm feeling. While we have only had this for a couple of weeks, it is proving to be a great SUV/CUV. It isn't the cheapest out there, but for a premium ride and feel, coupled with the money off of sticker price, it is a nice compromise. For the sticker price, you could get more bang for your buck at a competitor, but after taking money off, that isn't so true. This vehicle has a premium feel and ride, with some decent features. Compared to my foreign SUV/CUV, it feels like I'm driving a high end model, even though my foreign SUV/CUV is a limited trim. Everything seems more luxurious in the Terrain. It is a nice blend of size and features.