Review: 2010 GMC Terrain shows how GMC is evolving

Review: 2010 GMC Terrain - Main

Last month the folks over at GM were good enough to let us test-drive the direct-injected, 4-cylinder, 2.4L 2010 Chevrolet Equinox. This month though, we were given a week with the Equinox’s Theta platform sibling, the 2010 GMC Terrain. Though the two cars share the Theta platform, the 2010 Terrain has considerably more power that the Equinox; a 3.0L V6 engine that puts out 264 horses.

The two cars are similarly priced, though the 2010 Terrain offers an sharper and more aggressive exterior. Regardless, both models have exactly the same interior and power train lineup. So what”s the point of offering two very similar SUVs with similar pricing under one company umbrella? According to GMC”s General Manager Susan Docherty, the GMC brand is evolving and is looking to break into offering a product lineup that is appealing to a wider market (rather than those just interested in load hauling SUVs or pickups), including those looking for fuel-efficient family vehicle. The 2010 Terrain replaces the body-in-frame GMC Envoy as the brand’s entry-level SUV, and also replaces the Pontiac Torrent. Both the Envoy and the Torrent were sold in the same dealerships prior to GM dropping the Pontiac brand.

Click through to read more and to view the high-res image gallery (at the bottom of the post).

Review: 2010 GMC Terrain:

Review: 2010 GMC Terrain Review: 2010 GMC Terrain Review: 2010 GMC Terrain Review: 2010 GMC Terrain

2010 GMC Terrain FWD Specifications:

Base Price: $24,995.
Price as Tested: $29,930.
Engine: 3.0L V6 DOHC SIDI – 264-hp/222 lb-ft of torque.
Transmission: 6-Speed automatic.
Curb Weight: 3,798 lbs.
0 to 60 mph: 7.4 seconds.
Fuel-Economy: 17/25 mpg (city/highway).

Review: 2010 GMC Terrain - Exterior


The 2010 Terrain sits at the bottom of the GMC lineup, just below the Acadia, as the brands smallest SUV offering but don’t be thrown by that; the bold, muscular design with fender flares provide for a very aggressive stance.”We wanted to carve the GMC Terrain away from the pack and establish its identity as a powerful, fresh crossover SUV with a confident and strong stance,” said John Cafaro Jr., director of exterior design, Global Crossover Vehicles. “Everything about the Terrain communicates a sense of tailored toughness and passionate craftsmanship.”

In our opinion, GMC hit the nail right on the head as far as exterior styling goes, though some may not be attracted to the angular styling and excessive design elements such as the three-tier grille and rectangular headlight housings with their chrome accents. Standard exterior features include; deep tinted glass, heated power side-view mirrors, 17-inch painted aluminum wheels (18″ and 19” optional), roof rack side rails, fog lamps and body-color door handles.

Those who are attracted to the ‘bling’ look should opt for the Chrome Exterior Appearance Package which includes; chrome door handles, luggage rail inserts, grille, mirrors, and body-color bumpers with chrome rear skid plates.

Review: 2010 GMC Terrain - Interior


If you’ve seen the inside of the 2010 Chevy Equinox, theres not much left to tell you about the Terrain. Save for a red LED lit dash, ambient lighting, and GMC logo on the steering wheel, the interior is exactly the same to that of the Equinox. The premium cloth seats were even straight out of the Equinox, whose interior we’ve already reviewed. Since we’ve already done a more in-depth analysis of the same interior when we reviewed the 2010 Equinox, here is a basic rundown of standard and optional features available on the 2010 GMC Terrain.

The very base 2010 GMC Terrain SLE-1 (base price of $24,995) comes with an impressive list of standard features including:

  • A rear-view camera system (embedded into the rear-view mirror).”¨”¢ AM/FM/XM Stereo with CD player and a USB port.
  • MultiFlex sliding rear-seat (rear seat can be moved fore and aft nearly 8 inches increasing rear-passenger leg room or rear cargo capacity).
  • 60/40 split folding rear seats.
  • Driver information system (displays fuel-range, average fuel-economy, instantaneous fuel-economy, average speed and many other functions.
  • One year of OnStar.
  • Air Bags, Dual stage front driver & passenger with passenger sensing system; Head curtain side air bags (1st & 2nd row).
  • Manual single-zone climate control.

Our 2010 GMC Terrain SLE-2 (base price of $26,595) came with everything from the SLE-1 trim plus:

  • Premium cloth seating.
  • Standard Bluetooth connectivity.
  • 8-speak Pioneer sound system with subwoofer and amplifier.
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel with mounted audio and cruise controls.
  • 8-way power driver seat.

For more customization and your other needs, GMC offers optional equipment including:

  • Convenience Package ($440): Includes remote start and heated front driver and passenger cloth seats.
  • Cargo Package ($245): Includes rear cargo cover, cargo convenience net, luggage crossbars.
  • Rear Seat Entertainment System ($1,500): Includes Dual display, remote control, AUX jack, 2 wireless headsets (requires Convenience Package).
  • Audio System with Navigation ($2,145): AM/FM/XM stereo, CD player with MP3/WMA playback capability, 7-inch touch-screen Color Interface Display, enhanced DVD based navigation with voice recognition, 40 GB Hard Drive.

Compared to its rivals which include the Ford Edge, Nissan Murano, and the up-level Honda CR-V and Toyota Highlander, the Terrain comes rather well-equipped. One feature we loved on the Equinox also made it into the Terrain; a dedicated child lock button on the center console right next to the door lock control button.

Review: 2010 GMC Terrain - Performance


All 2010 GMC Terrain models come standard with a 2.4L inline 4-cylinder direct-injection engine, delivering 182-hp with a maximum torque of 174 lb-ft (only option offered on the SLE-1 models). It is the same engine that we had a chance to test on the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox 1LT, which means that the Terrain returns the same 22/32 mpg (city/highway) fuel-economy. Of course, if you”re concerned about efficiency and are not worried about fast acceleration (0-60 mph in 8.6 seconds), this is the power-train choice for you. However, if you want more power GM offers an upgraded 3.0L V6 direct-injected VVT engine for an additional $1,500, which is he engine that we were fortunate enough to have for a week.

The 3.0L V6 produces 264-hp and a peak torque of 222 lb-ft. Mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, the V6 brings the Terrain from 0-60 mph in 7.8 seconds. Of course, the 264-hp engine offers faster acceleration, a more responsive feel, and more towing power. When mated to a 2.4L 4-cylinder engine the 2010 GMC Terrain offers a max towing capacity of 1,500 lb. When mated to 3.0L V6, that number is more than doubled as the towing capacity boosts to 3,500 lb. The 3.0L V6 is also decently fuel efficient compared to its 6-cylinder rivals with its 17/25 mpg EPA estimate. During our week long test, we realized a combined fuel-economy of 20 mpg.

Reverting back to the 2.4L 4-cylinder model: Not many are aware of it, but this model carries GM”s first application of the company”s Active Noise Cancellation technology. The system uses microphones to detect booming sounds inside the vehicle and sends counteracting sound waves through the speakers to ensure a quiet driving experience at all speeds. Now we”re not sure if that same technology is applied to the 3.0L V6 model, but the overall drive quality remains comfortable and smooth, keeping the cabin of the V6 2010 Terrain very quiet.

All 2010 GMC Terrain models come standard with front-wheel-drive, and for $1,750, an all-wheel-drive system is optionally available.

Review: 2010 GMC Terrain - Overall


If you happen to be in the market for a mid-size crossover SUV, put the 2010 GMC Terrain on your list of vehicles to test-drive. if the $24,995 starting MSRP isn’t enough, consider the impressive features that come standard on the vehicle.

Review: 2010 GMC Terrain:

– By: Omar Rana

All Photos Copyright ©2009 Omar Rana ““ egmCarTech.