There’s no question about it: GMC Terrain is a hit. Its combination of bold styling and segment-leading fuel efficiency racked up impressive sales numbers in its inaugural year, drawing customers who’d never before purchased a GMC.
An Ecotec 2.4L four-cylinder engine with variable valve timing and direct injection technology helps the Terrain achieve a segment-best EPA-estimated highway fuel economy of 32 mpg. Maximum fuel economy is achieved in part with an “eco” mode that is activated via a console-mounted button. When engaged, it lowers the torque converter lockup speed of the standard six-speed automatic transmission to 1,125 rpm to help save fuel.
A 3.0L DOHC direct injected V-6 engine delivering 264 horsepower (197 kW) is optional; and for 2011 it becomes E85-capable. Like the Ecotec 2.4L, the V-6 is backed by six-speed automatic that helps save fuel through reduced engine speed at highway speeds.
Terrain is offered in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models, in SLE and SLT trim levels. All models include four-wheel disc brakes with StabiliTrak electronic stability control and traction control, as well as six standard air bags: dual frontal air bags; head curtain side air bags and pelvic/thorax seat-mounted side air bags.
A comprehensive list of standard and available features includes purposeful technologies such as:
Standard rear-vision camera that provides a view of objects or people directly behind the vehicle
Standard USB audio connectivity and MP3 playback for your portable music player – plug it in and control the features right from the radio or the optional steering wheel controls
Standard XM Satellite Radio, which provides coast-to-coast tunes
Programmable power liftgate that can be set to open to a lower height, clearing garage obstructions or making it easier to reach for those of shorter stature
Bluetooth hands-free phone capability, so the driver can remain focused on the road
Remote vehicle start that can be used to automatically heat up a cold Terrain on a January morning , or cool it down on a hot August afternoon
Seven-inch touch screen navigation system with touch-screen control, and the screen itself is large enough to safely view at a glance
Ten-gigabyte hard drive that enables a radio station-like song library to be stored for instant playback through the radio
DVD-based rear-seat entertainment system with two independent screens and inputs, allowing one viewer to watch a movie and the other to play video games. Front seat passengers can listen to their own entertainment selection up front, thanks to the wireless headphones.
The Terrain enters the 2011 with an enhanced OnStar 9.0, which delivers improved speech recognition, and a pair of new exterior colors: Steel Blue Metallic and Summit White.
Terrain design and interior
Terrain has a balanced, athletic stance and offers a commanding view of the road. Its design is characterized by bold, muscular fender flares, representing GMC’s aesthetic. Surfacing is angular yet refined, with a strong and capable front-end appearance that features precise, squared-off edges.
Additional design features include a unique, three-element grille, with a prominent chrome surround and projector-beam headlamps mounted in large, rectangular housings with chrome accents.
The Terrain’s rich, premium interior is influenced by industrial sculpture and exudes refinement exemplified by contrasting stitching and fine materials that create a structured look throughout the cabin. A “floating” center stack, highlighted by warm, ambient lighting, houses ergonomic comfort and convenience controls.
Terrain’s seats offer outstanding comfort. The standard MultiFlex sliding rear seat can be moved fore or aft nearly eight inches (200 mm), providing increased passenger comfort or greater rear cargo capacity. The 60/40-split rear seatback offers additional configurations for passengers and cargo. The rear cargo area offers 31.6 cubic feet (894 liters) of storage, as well as one of the Terrain’s four auxiliary power outlets.
Ride and handling
The Terrain rides on a long, 112.5-inch (2,857 mm) wheelbase and wide front and rear tracks that support car-like ride and handling traits. The long wheelbase and wide tracks reduce body roll for a stable, confident driving experience.
Front and rear independent suspension systems meet the pavement via a family of large wheels, including 17-inch and 18-inch aluminum, with available 19-inch chrome-clad wheels. A rack-mounted electric power steering system (2.4L models) contributes to greater fuel efficiency, because there’s no engine-driven pump.
GM’s first application of Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) technology is used on 2.4L-equipped models to enable better fuel economy by allowing lower engine idle RPMs. ANC uses microphones to detect objectionable harmonics inside the vehicle and sends counteracting sound waves through the audio system’s speakers, ensuring a quiet driving experience at almost all vehicle speeds.
A rigid, body-integral structure with single-piece body side stampings allows more precise assembly, with tighter and more uniform gap tolerances. The result is a vehicle that will feel solid for years.
Higher-quality materials and many long-life engine/powertrain components reduce the need and frequency for servicing; and the backing of GM’s five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty delivers even greater assurance.
The Terrain is produced at the CAMI assembly facility in Ingersoll, Ontario, one of the highest quality, most efficient assembly plants within GM’s network.
Price this car:
MSRP: $24,250 – $31,400
Invoice: $23,038 – $29,830