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What it is: The Terrain is GMC’s compact crossover utility vehicle that is a cousin to the popular Chevy Equinox. They share drivetrain options, but the Terrain has a completely different look; body and interior. The exterior definitely shares some design cues with other GMC vehicles, including the full-size truck line with large fender flares, giving the Terrain a very buff look.
My test model was equipped with the SLT-2 premium trim which includes niceties such as 18-inch chrome wheels, a power sunroof, premium 8-speaker stereo, exterior chrome accent package, heated front seats and all sorts of other hardware. Other options included a cargo package ($235), V6 engine ($1,500), trailer package ($350) and GMC Intellilink ($100). Total equipped price was a little hefty at $34,255, but this crossover offers everything you could want at a price lower than the traditional luxury car makers.

The Terrain handled great, even equipped with front-wheel drive. There was some slight torque steer under full acceleration but nothing too distracting. All-wheel drive is available, however, for a price premium of $1,750.

The Terrain has a ton of usable space behind the second row of seats, and it is a great example of a car that most moms thought would be too small for their needs but can handle most everything they throw at it (unless you want to transport more than five people).

MPG: V6 engine 17 city / 24 highway. I4 engine 22 city / 32 highway.

Upsides: Great balance of premium features and everyday usability.

Downsides: A little pricey for its class when fully loaded.

Wrap-up: The Terrain is one of my favorite cars in this class. It has a great bold look that offers great everyday usability. The V6 with trailering package is even rated to tow 3,500 pounds! Throw AWD on it and it will handle any camping trip you could imagine even while pulling that camper behind you or the ATVs. Fuel economy continues to be a huge concern for car purchasers, and if you don’t need the extra power, then the 4-cylinder offers a monster 32 mpg highway. You really can build a Terrain for just about any use.

Car review: GMC Terrain - Monday, June 11, 2012 - Copyright 2007
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