To put it bluntly, the GMC Terrain is an aesthetic atrocity. The newly introduced SUV is a variant of the Chevy Equinox, and is GMCs first foray into the compact crossover market. In all likelihood, designers were trying to evoke the look of the brands larger Yukon Denali, with heavy applications of shiny, reflective surfaces, and squared off styling. Unfortunately, what they produced looks like the love child of a Hummer H3 and a baby elephant. Up front, the massive chrome grill dominates the front fascia, stretching down abnormally low. A huge chrome lip on the top portion of the grille is gaudy, along with the overwrought, oversized chrome surrounds for the fog lights. GM designers, who are used to styling SUVs of a larger scale, have severely mismatched the front of this small SUV with the rest of the body.
From the side, the small doors, and short, stubby roof rack reveal the Terrains petite dimensions. Square, bloated wheel flares, ala H3, are poor attempts at trying to beef up the SUVs slab-sides. It reads: phony. Massive doses of brightwork around the window openings, door handles and on side mirrors provide overstimulation, and add visual clutter. Oddly sculpted plastic cladding along the doorsills draws the eye to the premium wheels, which look cheap for lack of exposed lug nuts.
Things get worse from behind. Good or bad, the horizontally opposed tail lights evoke the look of the Terrains older brother, the GMC Acadia. Unfortunately, the oblong lights have not been scaled back appropriately to fit with the smaller tailgate. Combined with the baguette sized chrome piece above the license plate, the back of the Terrain looks like a gap-toothed hobo sticking out his tongue. Was this GMCs desired effect for its first attempt at a compact crossover? Doubtful. Likely though, there are still thousands of style-blind shoppers out there who will flock to the Terrain in a me too attempt at capturing some of the brazen look of the Denali.
Automotive Blogger A.L.Foltz www.therunningboard.com