Performance » 7
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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10
competent over all road surfaces and handles well
Car and Driver
the four-cylinder was adequate
best-in-class fuel economy
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.
A common thread runs through the reviews read by TheCarConnection.com: The four-cylinder is enough for the 2010 GMC Terrain for most purposes. As Automobile puts it, the V-6 adds some punch, but "it's by no means an essential upgrade." That's a reasonable outcome when you consider that Jalopnik hits the nail on the head when it says "there won't be a lot of soccer moms hitting the track with this car." Even so, Motor Trend notes there's "[n]o excessive roll in the corners." Still, this vehicle will be asked to do some tasks that require some guts and gusto, like towing.
Towing is where the V-6 comes into its own-as Edmunds notes, the maximum tow rating is "3,500 pounds with the V6." The four-cylinder is only good for up to 1,500 pounds of towing capacity when fitted with the requisite tow package, which is not available at all on the base-model SLE-1. The V-6 isn't a top performer in the class, but it still "hits 60 mph in 8.1 seconds," says Motor Trend.
Whichever engine you choose and whether towing or not, Car and Driver notes that all 2010 Terrains have "six-speed automatics that feature a thumb-shifting rocker switch." Both front- and all-wheel-drive powertrains are available, though the "the rear wheels go to work only when necessary," says Automobile.
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. Automobile describes its function: "an Eco mode button on the console locks the torque converter at 1125 rpm to save gas."
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. Braking is good, as Motor Trend notes the "Terrain needs 122 feet to come to rest."
Even when towing, the Terrain is a docile, easy-to-drive crossover. The well-tuned suspension delivers what Automobile calls "a poised highway ride" while also handling rougher pavement with ease.
Though it's not a sports car in crossover clothing, the 2010 GMC Terrain is an able companion on the highway, and it's capable of towing decent loads while returning good fuel economy on the daily commute.