2022 GMC Terrain

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2021
The Car Connection
2021
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
August 21, 2021

Buying tip

The Terrain SLT offers the best value, but unless it’s really necessary we’d pass on the chintzy, manually engaged all-wheel-drive system.

features & specs

AWD 4-Door AT4
AWD 4-Door Denali
AWD 4-Door SLE
MPG
25 city / 28 hwy
MPG
25 city / 28 hwy
MPG
25 city / 28 hwy
MSRP
$34,000
MSRP
$36,600
MSRP
$29,500

The 2022 GMC Terrain leans into urbane utility, and away from truck-like ruggedness.

What kind of car is the 2022 GMC Terrain? What does it compare to?

The Terrain crossover SUV seats five as it takes up the entry-level spot in GMC’s lineup of trucks and utility vehicles. It’s the family wagon of the bunch, and a direct rival for crossovers such as the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, and Toyota RAV4.

Is the 2022 GMC Terrain a good car?

Review continues below

It’s better than average, but earns a lower TCC Rating of 6.3 out of 10 this year as it loses its more interesting powertrain. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What’s new for the 2022 GMC Terrain?

Its former 252-hp turbo-4 is history, but the rest of the lineup—from base SLE to top Denali versions—wears a new front end with fresh LED headlights. An AT4 edition has standard all-wheel drive and a front skid plate; the SLT and AT4 can get a Tech Package with a surround-view camera system and a head-up display. 

Contemporary and sleek even with its chunky grille and big C-shaped headlights, the Terrain puts some distance between itself and GMC’s big trucks and SUVs. It puts up a rugged front, but behind the grille the flowing body reaches peak crossover with a de rigueur floating-roof treatment. Inside, the touchscreen-and-toggle-transmission interfaces weave in and out with woodgrain trim and leather on Denali versions for a sophisticated look—but even base models have a composed attitude.

GMC dropped the potent engine from the Terrain lineup this year, leaving it to make do with a 170-hp turbo-4 and 9-speed automatic that produce just passable acceleration. The Terrain steers with precision and rides well, but its available all-wheel-drive system is an outdated, manually engaged setup that’s better left off the bill. It’s a street driver, after all, not a trail blazer.

Four adults fit well in the Terrain, and their suitcases are welcome to come along in the 29.6-cubic-foot cargo hold, which expands to 63.3 cubic feet behind an available power tailgate. 

Standard automatic emergency braking also comes with available adaptive cruise control and a surround-view camera system on top versions, but the IIHS doesn’t care for the Terrain’s headlights, and outward vision to the rear quarters gets blocked by its marvy rear-end design.

How much does the 2022 GMC Terrain cost?

The $29,095 Terrain SLE has cloth upholstery, 17-inch wheels, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; it’s $1,600 more for all-wheel drive. We recommend the $33,095 Terrain SLT, which gets leather upholstery, a power tailgate, heated front seats, and a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen. 

Where is the 2022 GMC Terrain made?

In Mexico.

7

2022 GMC Terrain

Styling

The Terrain fuses a contemporary shape with rugged details.

Is the GMC Terrain a good-looking car?

It’s handsome and contemporary. It blends a big grille and the C-shaped headlights common to GMC trucks with the flowing rear end of a crossover vehicle. The interior’s more rugged appeal adds a point too, for a 7 in all.

The Terrain’s mix of glitz and guts strikes the right crossover-SUV note. The big grille and bracket-like headlights have been reworked mildly this year; they set the tone for the Terrain’s balance-beam walk between its SUV and truck roots and its family-wagon duties. It’s sinister up front, but quickly flows into a chic rear end with a blacked-out rear pillar that makes the roof appear to float.

The business-class body wraps around a truck-like cabin with ruggedly outsized controls and blocky shapes. It’s a handsome look, framed in low-gloss materials and stitched with fine leather in the Denali edition. The toggle-style transmission opens up space but its fiddly operation leaves us cold—yet it doesn’t ruin the overall impression of cut-above composure.

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5

2022 GMC Terrain

Performance

Power’s lacking, but the Terrain’s road manners make up some of that ground.

GMC has dropped two of the Terrain’s former engines in the past two years; a high-output turbo-4 is gone, and so is a turbodiesel. What remains is just adequate power, backed up by pert handling and very modest towing and off-road ability. It’s a 5 for performance.

How fast is the GMC Terrain?

The Terrain isn’t going anywhere fast, now that its former 252-hp turbo-4 has been axed. The sole powertrain teams a 170-hp 1.5-liter turbo-4 to a 9-speed automatic. Though it has a plump 203 lb-ft of torque to tap, the Terrain weighs between 3,449 to 3,659 lb, and that’s a drag on straight-line acceleration. It trundles through urban speed traps well enough, but gets breathless when pressed to pull to higher speeds or up hills, especially with two or more aboard. 

Is the GMC Terrain 4WD?

All-wheel drive can be fitted to the front-drive SLE and SLT editions; AT4 and Denali Terrains come with all-wheel drive. It’s a simple system that defaults to front-wheel drive, and requires manual activation through a console-mounted controller. It’s a less expensive, less useful system engineered for high fuel-economy numbers. 

Still, off-roading and towing (a max rating of 1,500 lb) aren’t the Terrain’s priorities, despite the new AT4’s off-road drag and front skid plate. It’s a pleasant commuter wagon with some rugged styling cues—and that’s underscored by a smooth and composed ride, and steering that’s responsive and quick to take a set. That good suspension tuning holds true whether it’s shod with base 17-inch wheels and tires or the Denali version’s 19-inchers.

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7

2022 GMC Terrain

Comfort & Quality

Four passengers and four suitcases max out the Terrain.

You’ll be able to wedge in four suitcases along with four adults in the GMC Terrain, which earns it a score of 7 here.

The Terrain’s smaller than previous versions, at 182.3 inches long overall. It rides on a 107.3-inch wheelbase, which grants ample space for a quartet of medium to large passengers. 

In front, the Terrain makes the most of its 54.4 inches of hip room. Its front seats have power adjustment and thick bolsters for great comfort on long road trips, though we’d prefer a longer seat bottom. Cloth upholstery gives way to leather with heating on most versions.

Three adults won’t fit easily across the back seat, but thanks to 39.7 inches of leg room, two large people can ride comfortably, with enough space. The rear bench seat isn’t cushy, but formless and flat. It folds down to convert the cargo space from 29.6 cubic feet to 63.3 cubic feet, but the rear seatbacks don’t lay completely flat.

With a pushbutton transmission, the Terrain has good storage in the center console, and most versions wear appealing trim; Denali Terrains are especially well-trimmed.

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7

2022 GMC Terrain

Safety

Weak headlights ding the Terrain’s safety score.

How safe is the GMC Terrain?

The NHTSA says the Terrain earns five stars, but the IIHS says “Poor” headlights keep its otherwise good crash-test results from garnering a Top Safety Pick award.

We give the Terrain a 7 for safety.

Automatic emergency braking comes standard, as do automatic high beams and active lane control. Blind-spot monitors and adaptive cruise control are options on all but the Denali, which gets them standard. The SLT and AT4 and Denali can be fitted with a surround-view camera system and a head up display.

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7

2022 GMC Terrain

Features

The Terrain’s standard features and infotainment carry the weight.

Every 2022 Terrain comes with a strong set of standard features, and GMC’s touchscreen infotainment wins our kudos. It’s an OK value, and its options and warranty of 3 years/36,000 miles are just average. It’s a 7.

With the SL edition dropped, the $29,095 Terrain SLE now anchors the lineup. It offers keyless start, 17-inch wheels, cloth upholstery, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. All-wheel drive costs $1,600.

Which GMC Terrain should I buy?

Our value pick is the $33,095 Terrain SLT, which adds 18-inch wheels, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power tailgate, and a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen. 

How much is a fully loaded GMC Terrain?

The $35,195 AT4 has its specific black-out trim and front skid plate as well as standard all-wheel drive. The Terrain Denali trim costs about $40,000 and adds 19-inch wheels, LED headlights, a heated steering wheel, parking sensors, and navigation.

Major options include a sunroof, Bose audio, power seats, a power tailgate, and adaptive cruise control.

Review continues below
5

2022 GMC Terrain

Fuel Economy

The Terrain earns solid fuel-economy ratings.

Is the GMC Terrain good on gas?

We give the Terrain a 5 for gas mileage, thanks to EPA ratings of 26 mpg city, 30 highway, 27 combined in front-drive models. With all-wheel drive, the numbers fall to 25/28/26 mpg. 

Review continues below
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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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$27,900
MSRP based on FWD 4-Door SLE
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6.3
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 7
Performance 5
Comfort & Quality 7
Safety 7
Features 7
Fuel Economy 5
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2022 GMC Terrain Pricing Insights

  • 2022 Terrain arriving; 2021s still available
  • Lease: From $249 for 39 months
  • Rebates: Up to $3,750 off 2021s; $1,250 off 2022s
  • Finance: From 0% APR for 72 months
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