2010 GMC Terrain changing landscape of crossovers


Crossover utility vehicles are to the new millenium what minivans were to the late ‘80s and early ‘90s – all the rage. It seems, however, that many of their designs seem to blend together, especially when friends get together and try to describe one they don’t know the name or brand of. “It’s that one with the round face and kind of rounded roofline, you know, the one that looks like an over-inflated sport hatchback…” or something like that.

GMC’s latest – the 2010 Terrain – seeks to step apart from that confusing landscape.

The all-new GMC Terrain is another core ingredient to GM’s new “recipe for success” and is based on the new crossover utility platform shared by the Chevy Equinox. The only body parts common to the pair are the roof and windshield.

“Yukon, Acadia and now Terrain – we’re continuing to build on the successful formula of taking the bold styling, premium features and functionality our customers have come to expect from our full-size truck products and creating smaller vehicles to appeal to a broader audience,” said Susan Docherty, general manager of Buick GMC. “Although it’s smaller on the outside, Terrain offers more on the inside. We believe it will attract customers by giving them totally new choices without compromising what it means to own a GMC.”


The 2010 GMC Terrain is said to deliver for its owners in 10 notable ways:
Design – the bold, strong look of a GMC
Fuel economy – 32 mpg rating makes Terrain a segment leader
MultiFlex sliding rear seat – best-in-class rear-seat legroom or cargo space, or both
Interior – premium materials highlighted by the warm glow of red ambient lighting
Smart, integrated features – practical, functional and fun
Direct injection and six gears – the elements of efficiency
Ride and handling – a solid feel behind the wheel
Safety – six standard air bags, OnStar and more
Quality – backed by GM’s five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty
Value – Nicely equipped from under $25K, or load it up for under $30K


The new GMC Terrain is available in front- or all-wheel-drive and when powered by the new 2.4-liter I4 Ecotec is capable of 32 mpg on the highway, besting all of its competition in the segment. Engine choices are between the aforementioned 182hp four or 264hp 3.0-liter V-6 engine – each mated to a unique six-speed automatic transmission. We recently spent a week behind the wheel of a front-drive model with the four-banger. No track performer, but for quick runs to the mini-mall the new Terrain is a sure hit. And I still cannot believe I was getting that rated 32 mpg out of a “box on wheels.”


On-road we found the Terrain quiet and smooth – what a modern CUV should be and where the new benchmark standard should be set – while offering plenty of comfort and convenience. Styling is still playing catch-up for us, though. We do like the powerful new front and rear fascia, and the vehicle still looks nice on its three-quarter beauty shot angles, but from the side, well, I thought it a bit “Jeepish” or “Hummerish” while Mom asked if this was the new HHR.

I liked the rear seat video monitors that flip us from the rear of the front seats (no hand down monitor to block my rearview mirror sightline) and ingress/egress was a breeze even for Mom with her hip replacement. The power liftgate with the adjustable settings did leave an impression (literally). The previous driver had left the open setting at three-quarters so as to not hit the garage door but when unloading two bags of dog food I banged my head into it even though I am not quite a full six-footer.


Pricing for our test model in SLT-2 trim starts at $29,250 and finishes fully loaded at $33,680 thanks to a few high-tech goodies like nav system with voice recognition, the rear seat entertainment system and 40GB hard drive with a record function (although it does not work on XM stations).

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About the Author

David Goodspeed
David was editor of AutoworldToday at Today Newspapers in the Dallas suburbs until its closing in 2009. He was also webmaster and photographer/videographer. He got started doing photography for the newspaper while working as a firefighter/paramedic in one of his towns, and began working for the newspaper group full-time in 1992. David entered automotive journalism in 1998 and became AutoworldToday editor in 2002. On the average, he drives some 100 new vehicles each year. He enjoys the great outdoors and as an avid fly fisherman, as is his spouse Tish. He especially enjoys nature photography and is inspired by the works of Ansel Adams.

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