With Buick and GMC dealers joining forces to sell General Motors products, it's important that those dualed dealerships have a wide range of products to sell. Up until this year, there was no small SUV or crossover in either the Buick or GMC line. That changes for 2010 with the introduction of Terrain.
|2010 GMC Terrain SLT2|
Base Price: $29,250
At-Tested Price: $30,240
Built in Canada.
Cargo Management Package
Engine: 2.4-Liter Four-Cylinder
Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic
Drive Wheels: Front-Wheel Drive
Terrain is a compact-to-midsize crossover SUV that shares engines and chassis with the Chevrolet Equinox. It seats five on front buckets and a three place rear bench seat. Like Equinox, the rear bench has a unique eight-inch fore-and-aft adjustment to balance the need for rear-seat leg room and cargo space. Terrain competes with vehicles like the Dodge Journey, Ford Edge, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe, Nissan Murano, and Toyota RAV4.
Only available as a four-door wagon, Terrain is offered in SLE and SLT trim. Both come standard with a 182-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. Optional is a 264-horsepower 3.0-liter V6. The sole transmission is a 6-speed automatic. Front- and all-wheel drive are offered on either model.
Standard safety features include antilock four-wheel disc brakes, stability control, tire-pressure monitor, rear-view monitor, and dual-front, front-side, and curtain-side airbags. The curtain airbags have a sensor to trigger deployment in the event of a vehicle rollover. Available on the SLT is a rear-obstacle-detection system.
The front-drive SLE lists for $24,250 and includes air conditioning, OnStar assistance system, tilt-telescope steering wheel, cruise control, cloth upholstery, four-way power driver seat with lumbar adjustment, center console, heated power mirrors, power windows, power door locks, keyless entry, AM/FM/CD/MP3 player with digital media player connection and iPod control, satellite radio, trip computer, intermittent wipers, automatic day/night rearview mirror, compass, illuminated visor mirrors, rear defogger, rear wiper/washer, automatic headlights, floormats, theft-deterrent system, rear privacy glass, 215/65R17 tires, fog lights, and alloy wheels.
For an additional $1600, SLE buyers can step up to the SLE-1 package, which adds automatic climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel with radio controls, upgraded cloth upholstery, eight-way power driver seat, Pioneer sound system, Bluetooth cell-phone link, roof rails, and 225/65R17 tires.
Building on the SLE-1 is the front-drive $27,450 SLT. It adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, remote engine start, and 235/60R18 tires. For an additional $1800, buyers can add the SLT-2 package, which adds rear-obstacle-detection system, memory system (driver seat, mirrors), sunroof, and power rear liftgate.
All-wheel drive adds an additional $1750 to any model. Key options include chrome alloy wheels, navigation system with voice recognition and music hard drive and dual-screen DVD entertainment system for rear-seat passengers. All models have a $745 destination charge and are assembled in Ontario, Canada.
Get Up and Go Both engines provide adequate acceleration from a standstill. The V6 has stronger highway passing response and is better suited to the slightly heavier all-wheel-drive model.
GMC claims that the four-cylinder models run from 0-60 mph in less than nine seconds and that V6 models can accomplish the same feat in less than eight seconds. Those numbers are on par with others in the class but certainly don't position Terrain as one of the quicker midsize crossovers.
Both at idle and in hard acceleration, the four and six as refined as any in the class. In addition, the six-speed automatic upshifts smoothly and downshifts quickly in passing situations.
Terrain's all-wheel-drive system does not have a low range and is not intended for heavy-duty off-road driving. Still, it does a more-than-adequate job of limiting wheel spin on slippery roads and should be up to the task when called upon to battle a Chicago winter.
EPA fuel economy numbers are quite impressive. The front-drive four-cylinder is rated at 22 mpg city and 32 mpg highway. The city number is among the best in the class and the highway rating bests the Ford Escape Hybrid. Even the V6 rates an impressive 17/25 mpg.
But the proof is in the puddin' and this is one case where Terrain really delivers. In daily suburban commuting the front-drive four-cylinder is likely to yield about 25 mpg--quite impressive for a midsize crossover. V6 models will likely net better than 20 mpg in similar driving.
On the Road Terrain delicately balances Euro-flavored firmness with American cush to come up with an appealing ride that softens but doesn't eliminate bumps. The suspension is supple enough to absorb potholes and road imperfections, but it doesn't rebound and bob when the road grows rough.
To be certain, the ride is firm to a point but never grows harsh or busy. Compared to other compact-to-midsize crossovers the Terrain rides with the composure and confidence that's more akin to a passenger car than a sport-utility vehicle. One downside is a larger-than-expected turning circle, which can make Terrain difficult to maneuver in close quarters.
Though no sports car, The 2010 Terrain is commendably athletic from a driver's perspective. Body lean is modest and the tires have good grip in corners. If you throw Terrain around in a fast corner, you can induce a bit of understeer and some traditional SUV bounce.
Regardless of model, the brakes are strong and the pedal has a nice progressive feel that makes smooth stops a snap. Four-cylinders get electric steering while V6 models get traditional hydraulically boosted steering. The electric steering is overboosted and doesn't have good on-center feel. The hydraulic steering is has a very natural feel and a meaty heft.
Interior noise levels are among the lowest in the class. Wind rush is nicely muted and the engines are nearly silent when cruising. Tire noise can be a problem on grooved concrete pavement, but that's not uncommon for wagon-bodied vehicles. Later in the 2010 model year, GMC is scheduled to roll out active-noise cancelation on four-cylinder models.
Behind the Wheel The 2010 Terrain sports an interior design is modern without being overbearing or stylized. Large, easy-to-read gauges face the driver from behind a meaty steering wheel. Audio and climate controls are placed high on the center stack. Ancillary controls are well placed and clearly marked. Opting for the optional navigation system complicates things a bit, but not to the point where operation is a distraction.
Front-seat passengers are treated to ample head and leg room. Seats are supportive and comfortable--surprisingly so, as some competitors have seats that seem to be a bit budget grade. Outward visibility is good. The driving position is somewhat upright but still comfortable.
Rear-passenger space is a Terrain virtue thanks to the sliding rear seat. Positioned all the way back leg and knee room is simply cavernous. Even positioned well forward, Terrain has more rear-seat room than many competitors. Seat cushions are comfortable than and the floor is nearly flat, making three-across seating possible.
Cargo space is impressive for the class, but Terrain could us a covered cargo-floor storage bin to hide things like laptops or handbags. The tailgate is wide and, when equipped with the power liftgate, features two opening settings. In cabin storage is generous with lots of open and covered bins and large door map pockets.
Bottom Line If Terrain represents the future of General Motors, then the future is quite bright indeed. Right out of the box, Terrain is a quality competitor in a highly-competitive market segment. It delivers on the crossover promise to provide the versatility of a wagon with the drivability of a sedan.
Positives heavily outweigh the negatives. It's roomy, has lots of features, is very refined, and has an easily expandable cargo area. Prices aren't too steep either.
Another nice touch is the availability of four- or six-cylinder power in just about every model. That way, buyers who want a lot of features don't have to pay for a V6 when they want the economy of a four. Conversely, those wanting more power but less features don't have to pay for things they don't want.
Perhaps General Motors is on to something by grouping GMC and Buick in showrooms. Buick can offer premium sedans and GMC can offer premium crossovers and trucks. Sounds like a match made in heaven and the Terrain is a great step in the right direction.
|Specifications, 2010 GMC Terrain SLT2|
|Dimensions||4-door wagon||Engine||OHC I4|
|Wheelbase, in.||112.5||Size, liters/cu. in.||2.4 / 146|
|Length, in.||185.3||Horsepower @ rpm||182 @ 6700|
|Width, in.||72.8||Torque (lb.-ft.) @ rpm||172 @ 4900|
|Height, in.||66.3||Transmission||6-Speed Automatic|
|Weight, lbs.||3798||EPA Estimates, mpg||22 city / 32 highway|
|Cargo Capacity, cu. ft.||63.9|| |
|Fuel Capacity, gals.||18.8||Manufacturer's Warranty|
|Seating Capacity||5||Bumper-to-Bumper||3 years / 36,000 miles|
|Front Head Room, in.||40.9||Powertrain||5 years / 100,000 miles|
|Front Leg Room, in.||41.2||Corrosion||6 years / 100,000 miles|
|Second-Row Head Room, in.||39.2||Free Roadside Assistance||5 years / 100,000 miles|
|Second-Row Leg Room, in.||39.9||Free Scheduled Maintenance||None|