Positioned below the Acadia, the Terrain is GMC's entry in the highly competitive small crossover segment. The Terrain shares a number of components with the Chevrolet Equinox, including its Theta architecture and efficient powertrain lineup.
For the latest model year, the Terrain receives a new blacked-out appearance package named Nightfall Edition.
The Terrain rides on a 112.5-inch wheelbase and features a four-wheel independent suspension system, with wide front and rear tracks that help it deliver a comfortable ride along with and capable handling. A range of 17-inch, 18-inch aluminum and 19-inch chrome-clad wheels are available.
A prominent, oversized grille and squared-off wheel openings are the defining elements of the Terrain's somewhat blocky exterior styling.
The cabin features a futuristic center stack and contoured dashboard, while cargo space is rated at 31.6 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 63.9 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.
Two engines are available for customers to consider. The entry-level motor is 2.4-liter four-cylinder with direct injection that produces 182 horsepower and 172 lb-ft of torque. With front-wheel-drive, the mill delivers 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway, while the optional all-wheel-drive system lowers mileage to 20/29 mpg.
Peak fuel economy is achieved in part with an "ECO" mode that is activated via a console-mounted button. When engaged, it lowers the torque converter lockup speed to 1,125 rpm to help save fuel on models equipped with the motor. Terrain's rack-mounted electric power steering system provides greater fuel efficiency on four-cylinder-equipped models, saving nearly 11 miles per tank of gas.
Those looking for a bit more power to can opt for a 3.6-liter V6 with 301 horsepower and 272 lb-ft of torque The motor is a slightly detuned version of the engine used in the Terrain's Cadillac SRX kissing cousin. The SRX and Terrain share much of their platform. Fuel economy is rated at 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway with front-wheel drive and 16/23 mpg with all-wheel drive.
Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
Trim Level Breakdown
The Terrain is offered in SLE, SLE-2, SLT-1, SLT-2 and Denali trim levels.
The SLE is fitted as standard with a six-speaker AM/FM/CD/Sirius XM sound system with a USB and seven-inch color touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, a rear vision camera, fog lamps, a driver information center/trip computer, A/C, OnStar 4G with a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot, power windows and locks, cruise control, interior ambient lighting an anti-theft system and keyless entry.
To those features, the SLE-2 adds an eight-speaker Pioneer sound system, single-zone automatic climate control, a power-adjustable driver's seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and luggage rails.
The SLT-1 brings perforated leather upholstery, heated front seats and remote start. The SLT-2 adds a power sunroof, a power liftgate, front memory seats, a chrome exterior package and enhanced interior ambient lighting.
Finally, the Denali trim brings dual-flow dampers that improve the ride, a monochromatic body kit, a signature grille, black leather upholstery, red contrast stitching on the dashboard, faux wood trim, and a sprinkling of Denali emblems.
An optional Safety Package adds Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning and Rear Park Assist.
Also optional is Intellilink, GMC's voice-controlled infotainment system with Bluetooth smartphone integration and apps like Pandora and Stitcher Smart Radio.
All Terrain models come standard with dual front, side and full-length side curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems and a tire-pressure monitoring system.
Side Blind Zone alerts and Rear Cross Traffic Alerts system can be ordered at an extra cost.
Alternatives to the Terrain are numerous, including such small 'utes as the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V and Volkswagen Tiguan.
Those looking for a small, luxurious crossover like the Terrain Denali should also cross-shop two kinds of competitors: fully-loaded versions of mainstream 'utes like the Ford Escape and the Honda CR-V, and entry-level luxury machines like the Acura RDX and the Infiniti QX50.