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SAFETY | 9 out of 10
'Good,' frontal offset; 'good,' side impact; 'good,' rear impact; 'good,' roof strength
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
Unchanged from the 2013 model year, the latest GMC Terrain carries over what could be its most salable asset: its good crash-test scores.
It already looks the part, but the GMC Terrain acts rugged, too, when it's hurled into stationary barriers. 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.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rates the Terrain as "good" in all its completed tests. In the past that's earned the ute a Top Safety Pick award, but the IIHS now only doles out that honor to vehicles that have been subjected to its new small-overlap crash test.
Some of the Terrain's safety is due to the requisite equipment--six airbags, stability control, and anti-lock brakes. GMC now also fits a standard rearview camera to the Terrain, which helps overcome its many blind spots--some of which are created by its fixed rear-seat headrests, which can't be removed or folded down to free up more rearward visibility. We'd also recommend adding on the available rear parking sensors.
The newest technology comes standard on the Denali, and is available 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; a lane-departure warning system; and forward-collision alerts.
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.
Visibility isn't great, but the Terrain's crash-test scores are.