GMC's twin to the Chevrolet Equinox, the Terrain, is all-new for 2010. The five-seat crossover comes in front- or all-wheel drive with a four-cylinder or V-6. With front-wheel drive and the four-cylinder, GMC expects EPA highway gas mileage to end up around 30 mpg. Major competitors include the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V.
Trim levels include the base SLE and uplevel SLT. Characteristic of a crossover, the Terrain has a four-wheel-independent suspension and car-based frame — a design that emphasizes ride comfort and fuel efficiency over off-road capabilities and towing.
GM says it sought to provide a "confident and strong stance" with the Terrain's styling. To that end, the crossover has oversized fenders and liberal bumper cladding, both of which set the Terrain apart from its Equinox sibling. GM says that beyond the windshield, the two don't share any major body panels.
The fog lights sit within vertical housings, and the large grille wears plenty of chrome. The rear's stacked appearance recalls a number of models, from the Buick Rendezvous SUV to the Toyota Sienna minivan. A backup camera is standard, and a power liftgate is optional.
Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are standard with the four-cylinder engine; V-6 models have 18-inch alloys, with 19-inchers optional. At 185.3 inches long and 72.8 inches wide, the Terrain has a larger footprint than the Escape, RAV4 and CR-V. Its turning circle, at 40 feet with 17- or 18-inch wheels, trails that group by at least 2 feet. With 19-inch wheels, the Terrain's turning circle is an even wider 42.6 feet.
The cabin bears far more resemblance to the Equinox than does the exterior, with an upward-tilted panel housing the air-conditioning and stereo controls. The dashboard features angular styling and two-tone plastics. Standard equipment includes keyless entry, power height adjustment for the driver's seat, and a six-speaker stereo with a USB port for MP3 players. An eight-way power driver's seat, heated leather upholstery, a moonroof and a navigation system are optional.
Like the Equinox, the Terrain's second-row seat adjusts fore and aft. There's a plastic floor panel behind the seat that can be folded down to create a gap-free cargo floor. With the second row down, maximum cargo volume totals 63.9 cubic feet — not quite as good as the Escape, and about 10 cubic feet short of the RAV4 and CR-V.
Under the Hood
Both the four-cylinder and the V-6 employ direct-injection technology. The four-cylinder displaces 2.4 liters and makes 182 horsepower; the V-6 displaces 3.0 liters and makes 264 hp. An "Eco" mode, activated by a dashboard button, alters drivetrain calibrations in the four-cylinder to maximize fuel efficiency. GM says Eco mode helps the Terrain achieve its highway mileage figures.
When properly equipped, maximum towing capacity with the four-cylinder is 1,500 pounds. With the V-6, it rises to 3,500 pounds.
Six airbags, including side-impact airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags for both rows, are standard. So are four-wheel-disc antilock brakes, traction control and an electronic stability system.