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
This car would be about perfect except for two main things. First, it has no rear air conditioning and we have to freeze in the front so passengers or our little dog aren't too hot in the back seat, and dual controls would be appreciated because we fight over the temperature constantly. Second, it is too low to the ground and has a plastic wrap around border on the bottom of the car which means you have to be very careful when you park not to hit parking stops or curbs and you can't take it off road on rough ground without worrying about damage as well as having to forget about steep driveways. The gas mileage is excellent and we bought it for traveling. We are very tall and the seats go way back in the front and the back seat is adjustable, too, and is comfortable even for very tall people. It is easy to get in and out of because the seats aren't as low as a car. This is not a Subaru Outback type vehicle... I suggest staying on the paved roads. The drivers side is rather noisy on most roads, but tolerable. I appreciate the back-up camera. I wish we could have afforded the AWD, but so far no problems with only FWD. The power steering went out on our second trip and we had to have the entire front end replaced, but the car has worked fine ever since. However the dealer in another state wouldn't fix it and we had to drive it back to our state without PS to get it repaired and that lack of GM service was a shock. For maintenance our local dealer has been great.