Cars & Vehicles SUVs & 4-Wheel Drive

2010 GMC Terrain Rating

The Bottom Line

After driving the 2010 GMC Terrain for a day at a launch event, I wondered if I could understand what GMC's slogan "professional grade" meant if I drove the new SUV for a while. Well, after driving the Terrain for a week, I'm no closer to comprehension, but I am still a big fan of GMC's first compact SUV. 2010 GMC Terrain competes in a crowded field that includes the Chevrolet Equinox, the Mazda CX-7, the Ford Escape, the Honda CR-V, the Toyota RAV4, the Subaru Outback and the Hyundai Tucson.

  • Direct injection engine.
  • Macho exterior.
  • Smart packaging.

  • More expensive than its twin, Chevy Equinox.
  • Masculine design might not be for everyone.
  • Limited ground clearance means this SUV is on-road only.

  • Base prices from $24,250 to $31,300
  • Engine: 2.4 L DI I-4; 3.0 L DI V-6
  • Horsepower: 182 @ 6,700 rpm (I-4); 264 @ 6,950 rpm (V6)
  • Torque: 172 lb-ft @ 4,900 rpm (I-4); 222 @ 5,100 rpm (V6)
  • Curb Weight: 3,798
  • Fuel Economy: I-4: 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway (FWD)/20/29 (AWD); V6: 17/25 (FWD)/17/24 (AWD)
  • Wheelbase: 112.5” Vehicle Length: 185.3” Width: 72.8” Height: 66.3”
  • Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles basic; 5 years/100,000 miles powertrain
  • Cargo: 63.9 cubic feet Luggage: 31.6 cubic feet
  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive

Guide Review - 2010 GMC Terrain

The compact crossover field is where all the action is right now, with new models or makeovers from Chevrolet, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda and Subaru competing for sales with the venerable offerings from Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Ford.

Enter GMC, with its first compact SUV, the 2010 Terrain.

Terrain shares its architecture with the all-new Chevrolet Equinox -- same engine and transmission choices, same basic dimensions, same interior layout. GMC is sensitive to charges of badge engineering, and prefers the term "platform-sharing."

On the exterior, Terrain and Equinox are quite different. Terrain draws on the current lineup of GMC trucks for inspiration, with pronounced wheel wells and a truckish front end look. I actually prefer Terrain's macho design to Equinox's softer gentler lines, but it really will come down to a matter of taste for most buyers. Inside, Terrain and Equinox are pretty much identical except for the badges. That's okay, because the interior is really nicely executed, and quite livable.

Terrain is the second SUV, after Equinox, to get GM's new direct-injection technology. The new fuel handling system results in improved efficiency and better power over conventional fuel injection or carburetion systems of the past. Matched with a six-speed automatic transmission, both the four-cylinder and V6 Terrains offer decent bang for the buck.

There's plenty of competition in the compact crossover world, and after spending a week in the Terrain, I think GMC has a dog in the hunt. It's going to take a lot to dethrone the Honda CR-V, and Terrain isn't quite at that level of refinement -- yet. It will be interesting to see how the new GM offerings influence the next generation of SUV.

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Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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