A large, distinctive grille and square-flare wheel surrounds give the new GMC Terrain
crossover vehicle more of an aggressive look than that of the lower-cost Chevrolet Equinox, on which the Terrain
The newly designed 2010 Equinox is among the mostly highly rated American crossovers, with such features as sophisticated engines and an all-independent suspension for a supple ride and superior handling. So there is no faulting the Terrain
for sharing mechanical features with it.GMC
is the upscale truck brand of the new General Motors, and even the lowest-cost Terrain
--the fron6t-wheel-drive SLE-1-- thus has a good amount of standard comfort, convenience and safety equipment, including a rear-vision camera to help when backing up.
The solidly built Terrain
comes with either a sophisticated 2.4-liter four-cylinder that produces 182 horsepower or an equally advanced, optional ($1,500) 3-liter V-6 with 264 horsepower and more torque. Both engines have dual overhead camshafts, direct fuel injection and variable-valve timing.
Both engines also work with a responsive six-speed automatic transmission, which has an odd tiny manual shift control at the top of the automatic's console shifter.
Estimated fuel economy with the four-cylinder is impressive for a fairly large, but still conveniently sized, 3,798-pound crossover. It's 22 mpg in the city and 32 on highways with front-drive and 20 and 29 with all-wheel drive (AWD).
Move to the V-6 and front-drive and the figures are respectable at 17 and 25-or 17 and 24 with AWD.
Only regular-grade gasoline is needed for either engine, and the V-6 comes with a slightly larger fuel tank 20-gallon vs. 18-gallon) to compensate for its lower fuel economy.
The four-cylinder provides adequate performance, but is slow off the mark and noisy during hard acceleration. The smoother V-6 adds considerably more punch and is worth the extra money, especially if the Terrain
carries more than two occupants and a light load.
Steering is nicely geared-not too quick or too slow--and ride and handling are carlike. The brake pedal has a linear action and stopping power is strong.
List prices go from $24,250 for the base SLE-1 four-cylinder Terrain
with front-drive ($26,000 with AWD) to $29,250 for the top-line SLT-2 with front-drive ($31,000 with AWD). ) Chevy Equinox prices start at $22,440 and don't top out as high.
There are a variety of Terrain
models, with entry SLE "1" and "2" versions and SLT "1" and "2" models at the top. Versions with AWD cost more.
Besides the rear-vision camera, standard equipment for the SLE-1 includes manual single-zone air conditioning, AM/FM/CD/XM/USB radio with six speakers, cruise control, power windows and locks and 17-inch painted aluminum wheels.
The SLE-2 adds automatic single-zone air conditioning, power driver's seat, eight-speaker sound system and steering wheel audio controls. Major options include 18-inch machined aluminum wheels ($250) and $440 remote start and heated seats.
The SLT-1 model adds heated leather seats, remote start and the 18-inch aluminum wheels. Optional is a $495 programmable power tailgate that lets it be set at a safe open height for, say, garages.
The SLT-2 version adds the power liftgate, rear park assist, sunroof and a chrome accent package.
This is a family oriented vehicle so, of course, offers a rear-seat $1,295 dual-screen DVD-based entertainment system. There's also a $2,145 audio/navi system.
All versions have no less than six air bags-including side ones with rollover protection-anti-lock brakes, a stability control system and GM's OnStar assistance system.
A front-drive Terrain
SLT-1 drove had a $27,450 base price, although a $745 freight charge and options that included the $1,500 V-6 (which has dual exhausts), a $795 sunroof and the power tailgate brought the bottom line to $31,775.
's interior is generally quiet, but I expected it to be richer-looking. Audio controls are too small for at-a-glance operation, although climate controls are large. Gauges can be easily read.
It takes a little extra effort to get in or out of the roomy interior, but all doorways are wide and occupants sit high. The comfortable front seats provide good side and thigh support, but the center of the rear seat is stiff.
The opening for the large cargo area is wide, but a little high. Rear seatbacks flip forward and sit flat to enlarge that area.
The hood is held open by a single strut (why not twin struts?) and has inner insulation to help maintain interior quietness.GMC
trucks are regarded as more upscale than those from Chevrolet, and some may feel that the Terrain
is different enough from the Equinox to justify its higher prices.