Today GMC announces the arrival of its new small crossover, the 2010 Terrain, which is debuting this week at the New York Auto Show. Using a platform shared with the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox, the Terrain is set to slot into GMC’s lineup as the little brother to the successful Acadia full-size crossover when it goes on sale late this summer. That means a tidy exterior package (with dramatic front-end styling that splits the difference between Audi and Escalade) with good room inside and thoughtful features that maximize either cargo or passenger capacity. Front-wheel drive will be standard, four-wheel drive optional.
The big news here is that A) GMC gets a small crossover, B) it has two direct-injected, variable valve timed engines, and C) it doesn't share a platform with the hoary old Chevrolet Equinox/Pontiac Torrent. The base 2.4-liter four-cylinder is expected to bring 182 hp and 30 mpg highway economy to the game. But frankly we're surprised that the optional 3.0-liter V-6, a downsized version of the Acadia's 3.6-liter unit, is slated for only 1 mpg improvements in both city and highway mileage.
Another surprising technical note is GM’s first application of ANC, or Active Noise Cancellation. It’s employed on 2.4-liter four-cylinder models and uses soundwaves emitted through the vehicle’s stereo system to quell a four’s inherent boom. This is a technology we’re used to seeing on pricey Japanese luxury brands, not Detroit Iron.
Yeah yeah, it's got power liftgates, rearview cameras, a touch-screen nav system, massive gloveboxes/laptop bins/door storage compartments, and a MultiFlex sliding rear seat. But even the ignominious Malibu Maxx had a sliding rear seat. What the 2010 GMC Terrain must do is drive as well as the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. Which is to say like a solid, serene sedan in heels. If it debuts with any whifs of the mediocrity of the 2009 Chevrolet Equinox, GMC could be in (more) trouble.
Stay tuned as we bring you more live from the Jacob Javits Center in NYC next week.