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STYLING | 8 out of 10
Blocky proportions, a chunk of bling at the leading edge of the hood, oversized headlamps, and exaggerated fender flares seem contrived to make Terrain appear larger than it is.
At first glance, you'd say the 2010 GMC Terrain is a truck: upright, squared-off and with beefy shoulders over the wheels that would look right at home on a Hummer or Jeep.
Edmunds’ Inside Line
a tough, masculine look that belies its compactness
making a much bolder statement than the Equinox’s more anonymous, softer lines
Car and Driver
huge grille and Hummer H3-style fender flares — complete with gaping space above the wheels
Brutalism is an art form that came and went quickly, but left a deep crater in cityscapes. Look around at the concrete wonders of the 1970s and you'll see the same regular, angular forms repeated in the GMC Terrain, the most brutalist SUV ever save for one.
That one? The GM HUMMER, the direct styling ancestor of the Terrain. The GMC's just barely out-boxed by that now-dead ute, and it's just a D-cell battery short of the full Transformer look that had a grip on GM design for much of the past five years, on vehicles as oddly linked by it as the Spark, the Sonic, and this crossover.The Terrain just has no time for the politely softened curve or bowed line. It doesn't sit upright--it stands bolt upright, at attention. The fenders block and tackle their way into sight, obliterating the otherwise obvious links to the Chevy Equinox. Polarizing? Yep, as much as the HUMMER was, though the Terrain doesn't seem to have suffered from inheriting that quasi-military design language.
While the Terrain's exterior is a little more distinctive and macho than the Chevrolet Equinox, along with most other compact crossovers, its instrument panel is much like that of the Chevy: a somewhat V-shaped center stack, housing audio and climate controls, and flanked by large vertically oriented vents, is the center point of the design, and otherwise details and trim look chunky, with the same cloudy metallic surfaces that are now used inside other GMC vehicles.
The new Denali edition mutes the look very indirectly. The grille is mesh; the metallic trim is satin in texture. The cabin wears a soft pad on the dash, stitched with red thread, and the steering wheel has a section of dark woodgrain implanted across a top arc. Denali badges and a unique color palette are the only other details that separate it from the rank and file.
The 2013 GMC Terrain is square-shouldered on the outside, a little softer on the inside; Denalis have a few plush touches.