Looking for a compact crossover SUV with a big backseat? The 2017 GMC Terrain might be a good fit. Here's a quick rundown of what we like, what we don't and the bottom line from the Edmunds editors.
JOSH SADLIER: This is automotive editor Josh Sadlier with an Edmunds Expert Rundown of the 2017 GMC Terrain. The Terrain is a compact crossover from GMC. It's got two rows of seats. And to be honest, it's kind of a lame duck at this point. This is the final year of production for the current generation Terrain. GMC's already shown us the 2018 Terrain is going to have all new styling, all new everything. It's going to be hot in this class. And this vehicle, frankly, is not hot compared to most of its rivals. We don't like the base four-cylinder engine. The optional V6 isn't bad. But by then, you're spending a fair amount of money. And the interior quality isn't going to wow you. So overall, you got a spacious back seat in the Terrain. But beyond that, we might advise waiting for next year to see what it brings. Step inside the Terrain and there's that big old back seat. Plenty of room for a couple of tall folks back there, even three in a pinch. That is one of the best features about the Terrain. And as you can see, there's even some funky upholstery to give you something to look at back there. Up front, that design goes back quite a few years at this point. Buttons are small. The infotainment system, they've tried to shoehorn a decent one in there. But the bottom line is you're going to feel the age of the Terrain relative to its newer rivals, such as the redesigned Honda CR-V and our personal favorite, the Mazda CX-5. For more Edmunds Expert Rundowns, click the link to subscribe.
The 2017 GMC Terrain proves that a supple ride, a quiet cabin, powerful available V6 engine and commodious backseat never go out of style. The Terrain, a small crossover SUV, has been on the market for eight years, during which time many competing vehicles have introduced more up-to-date features, especially in infotainment and active safety. But from the beginning, the Terrain's formula was a good one, and the appeal remains strong for buyers of crossover SUVs, as recent sales have continued to prove. This crossover is the right size and has a perpetually winning look. It can be trimmed with a selection of bright and glossy highlights and fitted with large flashy wheels.
With the four-cylinder engine, the front-wheel-drive Terrain returns an EPA-rated 25 mpg combined (21 city/31 highway), while the V6-powered all-wheel-drive model achieves 18 mpg combined (16 city/23 highway).
But as you might imagine, time hasn't been kind to the Terrain in some other respects. The base four-cylinder engine provides both underwhelming acceleration and disappointing real-world fuel economy, while the dashboard is showing its age thanks to a hard-to-reach touchscreen and some ergonomic faux pas. Furthermore, smartphone users — i.e., just about every car shopper these days — should note that Bluetooth audio connectivity isn't even available on the two lowest trim levels (SL and SLE-1). Besides the lack of some contemporary technology, the biggest drawback of the 2017 Terrain is the comparatively small rear cargo area.
The 2017 Terrain remains a versatile and generally competent crossover, but we'd recommend taking a close look at a number of its rivals before making a final decision. Segment leaders include the enduringly well-rounded Honda CR-V, the significantly refreshed Toyota RAV4, and the sporty yet practical Mazda CX-5. We also like the redesigned Kia Sportage, which has a big backseat like the Terrain's, along with contemporary cabin technology. Faced with distinguished competitors such as these, the 2017 GMC Terrain has its work cut out if it wants to win your heart.
The Terrain offers five trim levels to choose from. The front-drive SL is reasonably well equipped except for the lack of Bluetooth connectivity. The SLE-1 introduces all-wheel drive, while the SLE-2 piles on the comfort and convenience features. The SLT adds even greater refinement. Finally, at the top of the line, the Denali offers an exclusive suspension for added comfort.
With plenty more information available, Edmunds can help you find the perfect 2017 GMC Terrain.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.