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TheCarConnection.com's editors have driven the 2010 GMC Terrain in order to give you their expert opinion. TheCarConnection.com's experts also researched the best GMC Terrain road tests from other sources to produce a comprehensive review, all to help you get the most complete picture of this sport-luxury SUV.
The all-new 2010 GMC Terrain shares much with the Chevrolet Equinox, but between a slightly higher base specification and more dramatic exterior styling, it makes a strong case for its own identity. Starting from $24,250 for the front-wheel-drive base model and ranging up to an asking price of $31,000 for the all-wheel-drive SLT-2, the Terrain spans the small-to-midsize crossover space.
The styling of the 2010 GMC Terrain is definitely the first thing most people will notice. With big, chunky fenders, a decidedly upright stance, and a tall, broad grille, the Terrain is instantly recognizable, contrasting sharply with the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox's rounded look. It's also a bit polarizing; people either love it or hate it, without much middle ground. Inside, the Terrain is almost indistinguishable from the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox apart from a unique upper dash design and gauge set, but that's not all bad. The interior design is modern and attractive, even if somewhat plain.
Digging past the skin-deep changes of the 2010 GMC Terrain, what you find underneath is all Chevrolet Equinox. Sporting a choice of 182-horsepower 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder or 264-horsepower 3.0-liter V-6 direct-injection gasoline engines, the Terrain can be alternately efficient or punchy, but never both. An ECO mode on the four-cylinder model changes the torque converter engagement point for greater efficiency, enabling the 2.4-liter model to rate 22/32 mpg according to the EPA, while the V-6 rates just 17/24 mpg. Towing capacity with the V-6 is better.
Which 2010 Terrain engine you choose will affect more than just power and efficiency-the four-cylinder's efficient electric power steering system offers less feel and feedback than the V-6's hydraulic unit. Either way, however, the 2010 GMC Terrain drives like a sedan, but with a secure-feeling higher ride position. Even when towing, the Terrain is a docile, easy-to-drive crossover.
Whether you choose durable fabric or the quality-feeling leather, interior build quality and comfort is not an area for complaint in the 2010 Terrain. Front seat passengers will like the wide-open feel of the cockpit and comfortable, mildly bolstered seats. Rear-seat legroom is surprisingly good despite the Terrain's compact dimensions, thanks to a sliding bench arrangement. The slider also allows for more cargo room in the rear when desired, and the folding seats open up for a maximum capacity of 63.9 cubic feet. With the seats up, cargo capacity is still good at 31.6 cubic feet. Unique to the four-cylinder is a special active noise cancellation system that works through both the built-in audio system and a few dedicated speakers to allow the engine to run at its most efficient RPM range while preventing what engineers call a "booming" resonance in the cabin that would otherwise occur.
The 2010 Terrain scores very well in crash testing, receiving a full five stars from NHTSA for driver and passenger frontal crash tests and for front- and rear-seat side impact tests. Rollover testing hasn't yet been performed on the 2010 Terrain by NHTSA. The IIHS also rates the 2010 GMC Terrain well, giving it the highest score of "good" in frontal offset and side impact tests, and awarding it a Top Safety Pick designation.
A strong feature set for the entry price is one of the other major distinguishing characteristics of the 2010 Terrain from the Chevrolet Equinox. All models come standard with a rear-vision camera, USB connection, keyless entry, XM Radio with three-month trial subscription, two-way power driver's seat with lumbar control, and ambient lighting. Optional upgrades include a touchscreen navigation/infotainment system with 40GB of storage, remote start, leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio controls, Bluetooth connectivity, and a dual-screen 8-inch DVD rear-seat entertainment system.
- Carlike ride and handling
- Comfortable, quality interior
- Good fuel efficiency
- Bold styling
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- Lack of power
- Somewhat noisy engine
- High starting price
- Bold styling