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SAFETY | 9 out of 10
'Good,' frontal offset; 'good,' side impact; 'good,' rear impact; 'good,' roof strength; Top Safety Pick
Four stars overall; four stars frontal; five stars side; five stars side pole
without a navi system, the screen to see what's behind is a small square in the rearview mirror that needs much more than a glance
Again for the 2013 model year, the GMC Terrain adds safety gear to complement its strong crash-test scores.
On the testing front, the Terrain is one of the best-scoring crossovers on sale today. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rates the Terrain as "good" in all its tests; together with standard stability control, that makes the ute a Top Safety Pick.Meanwhile, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) puts the Terrain at an overall score of four stars. Individual tests give it four stars for frontal impacts and five stars for side-impact protection and for recently added (but not yet included in scoring) side-pole test.
Every Terrain comes with the requisite safety features, including dual front, side, and curtain airbags; and anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control. In the 2012 model year, GMC made a rearview camera standard on the Terrain, when it added a larger LCD screen that duals as a display for its Intellilink connectivity system. It's a good feature to have, since the upright, chunky styling gives the Terrain many blind spots, and since its rear-seat headrests are fixed--they can't be folded down or removed to improve rearward visibility.GMC also offers rear parking sensors as an option, which we'd also recommend. A new lane-departure warning system and forward-collision alert have been added to the options list as well, and they're standard on the new Denali package, which also gets a distinct safety feature unavailable on other models--blind-spot monitors with cross-traffic alerts, which sound the warning when cars or other obstacles move across lanes behind the driver into possible blind spots.
The Terrain also comes with six months of free basic OnStar service, which includes connectivity with the RemoteLink app--it has destination-to-car mapping ability, and access to status reports on various vehicle functions. GM also now has FamilyLink, an opt-in service that lets parents track a vehicle when underage drivers are behind the wheel.
High crash-test scores and standard features like a rearview camera easily overcome the Terrain's iffy rearward visibility.