GMC Terrain is a generously sized compact crossover sport-utility vehicle, best suited to young families or active couples. It seats five in a well-designed, nicely finished cabin, with state-of-the-art powertrains, advanced safety systems and convenience features, and class-leading fuel economy.
The 2014 Terrain represents its fifth year of production, having been introduced as a 2010 model. Except for one new color choice, little has changed for the 2014 model year, except for revised wheels. New 17-inch aluminum wheels are standard on SLE and SLT1 models. Chrome-clad 18-inch wheels are now standard on the SLT2, and available for the SLE2 and SLT1. Also new for 2014 are text message support and Siri Eyes Free connectivity.
Technically a compact SUV, the Terrain crossover is nearly large enough to be considered a mid-size sport-utility, with lots of space inside. Terrain competes against compacts such as the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape, and midsize models such as the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano.
Terrain’s most obvious strength might be its spacious, well-equipped cabin. The interior is comfortable, quiet and well isolated from the noise and chop of the roadway. Design and workmanship are quite good.
The GMC Terrain shares its platform and mechanical components with the Chevrolet Equinox, but the two vehicles don’t look much alike. Terrain is geared toward GMC’s truck image, and its angular styling is polished and rugged at the same time.
Terrain comes standard with front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is available for improved all-weather capability, even with the standard four-cylinder engine. All models come with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The base 182-horspower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine delivers good performance and great fuel economy, earning an EPA-estimated 22/32 mpg City/Highway with front-wheel drive (20/29 mpg with all-wheel drive). A 3.6-liter V6 is optional, rated at 301 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque, earning an estimate of 17/24 mpg with front-wheel drive (16/23 with AWD). The V6 increases towing capacity from 1,500 to 3,500 pounds, the latter sufficient to pull a light boat or a pair of personal watercraft or snowmobiles.
Terrain SLE comes well equipped, with a nice audio system, satellite radio hardware, GM’s OnStar emergency and communications system, and a rearview camera. The standard rear seat ranks among the best in class. Terrain’s seatbacks recline, and both sections slide fore and aft up to eight inches to maximize either passenger or cargo space, according to personal preference.
Terrain SLT trim levels (SLT1 and SLT2) offer the widest range of available premium features, including navigation, streaming audio, heated seats and memory, but they’re still available with the four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive. Buyers don’t have to take the big engine or all-wheel drive to get the technology features.
The 2014 GMC Terrain comes standard with front-wheel drive and a 182-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. A 301-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 ($1,500) is available, except in SLE trim. In the Denali, the V6 option ($1,900) includes 19-inch wheels. Each model may be equipped full-time all-wheel-drive ($1,750 extra).
Terrain SLE ($25,465) comes with cloth upholstery, manual air conditioning, a full complement of power features, driver’s seat with power height adjustment and power lumbar, rearview camera, 17-inch alloy wheels and six-speaker audio with single CD, USB and Bluetooth connection, touch-screen controls and satellite radio hardware. The rear seats split, fold, recline and slide back and forth to maximize leg room or cargo space. Terrain SLE2 ($27,965) adds Pioneer eight-speaker audio, automatic temperature control, an eight-way power driver’s seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and roof rails. It also opens Terrain to the V6 engine and a handful of other options, including a sunroof ($900) and GPS Navigation ($795).
Terrain SLT ($29,515) upgrades with leather upholstery, heated front seats, and remote starting. The SLT2 ($32,760) adds a driver’s seat memory, sunroof, rear park assist, underbody skid plats, 18-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels, and a power/programmable liftgate. Also included for 2014 are forward collision and lane departure warnings.
Terrain Denali ($35,155) includes blind-spot assist, side blind-zone alert, cross-traffic alert, a ride/handling suspension, leather/wood steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, and a memory driver’s seat.
Options include 8-way power heated front seats; a power liftgate ($595); Cargo Package ($235) with rear cargo cover. cargo net and roof crossbars; tow package ($350) with hitch; 19-inch wheels ($1,300), and special paint.
Safety features on all Terrain variants start with dual-threshold front airbags, front-passenger side impact airbags and head-protection curtains for all outboard seats. Standard active safety features include antilock brakes (ABS), GM’s Stabilitrak stability system (ESC) with rollover mitigation, rearview camera, and OnStar telematics with a six-month Crash Response subscription. Terrain SLT is available with rear park assist as well as optional forward collision alert with lane departure warning. Side blind-zone alert and rear cross-traffic alert are standard on the Denali. Optional all-wheel drive can enhance safety in slippery conditions.