2010 GMC Terrain SLT AWD Road Test Review

Alexandra Straub - CAP staff
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The all-new 2010 GM Terrain has hit the streets.  The latest from the American auto manufacturer comes in the compact crossover SUV form and is making its presence felt on the road. 
From the outside, the Terrain is very distinct in its styling. It's bold-looking and has a nice balance of squared off edges and angular lines.  Its athletic fender flares add character and its P235/55R18 all-season tires with 18" aluminum wheels give it a "bling" factor.  While I'm undecided on whether I'm a fan of its styling, it seemed to catch on very well with the public since I caught people staring at it almost everywhere I went. 
I am, however, a fan of what's under the hood.  Like the Chevy Equinox that shares architectures, the Terrain can be outfitted with two different engines starting with an all-new 2.4L 4-cylinder, which actually has the best in-segment fuel economy for highway driving at an estimated 6.1L/100km.  An all-new 3.0L, 24-valve, DOHC V6 VVT with Direct Injection engine that produces 264 horsepower and 222 lb-ft of torque is optional. The V6 doesn't do quite as well in the fuel economy department as the 4-cylinder, but it is nevertheless fairly reasonable as it only uses an estimated 12.3L/100km in the city and 8.4L/100km on the highway.  The 3.0L engine is optional on both the SLE and SLT trims at $2,050, and no matter whether you opt for the 4-cylinder or the V6 you'll get a 6-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment. 
Another redeeming feature of the Terrain is how it drives.  Its four-wheel independent suspension with front and rear stabilizer bars feels very sturdy at highway speeds and makes the Terrain a comfortable city vehicle.  It handles road imperfections well and didn't leave me feeling stiff when I drove through construction zones.  I did, however, find that the Terrain felt 'big' to drive.  Although it is categorized as a compact crossover SUV it has a bulky feeling.  This is not necessarily a bad thing considering I really enjoy GMC SUVs.  The addition of the AWD was probably a contributing factor to its stiffer feel.  Overall, would I have liked it to feel a little softer?  Perhaps, but this Terrain wasn't bad at all. 
Moving from the underside in, the Terrain SLT is not without some pretty handy creature comforts.  First of all, it comes with leather upholstered seating surfaces.  I'm not sure what GM did to these seats, but even when I parked the vehicle outside for an extended period of time, and it was cold out, the seats never really felt that cold.  Such is often the case with leather seats in the winter.  Now parking outside with the black leather seats in the summertime would likely be a different story.  But if my buns did happen to get a little chilly, the standard seat heaters were there to toast them up.
Bluetooth is also standard and very necessary, especially for those in BC.  Pairing my phone with the system took little effort, but in order to pair the phone, the car needs to be stopped.  Makes sense, right?  And while I'm on a technology topic, the Terrain is equipped with a rearview camera that gets displayed on the rearview mirror.  This was a saving grace when it came to parallel parking.  Visibility out the rear isn't superb so having the extra eyes behind me made my life much easier.  Plus, it's a standard feature on all Terrain trims, which is even better.
The cabin, where all the cool features are found, echoes that of the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox's, which is a good thing since it looks great.  The plastics are nice to the touch and I like the way the instrument cluster is housed.  The buttons and gauges are neatly organized on the centre stack and the contrast of the red backlighting and black plastics work well together.  But there was something on the inside that I particularly liked. It came in the form of the optional Rear Seat Entertainment System ($1,750).  It includes twin seatback mounted 203 mm (8") flip-up LCD colour monitors, CD/DVD video and audio playback and more.  My husband wasn't too keen on sitting up front with me as soon as he noticed what the back seat had to offer.  I told him when we have kids, I might let him ride in the rear, but it will be a long time coming!
The Terrain is quite competitively priced with a base MSRP of $27,465.  The SLT trim with the AWD has an MSRP of $35,755, but with optional V6 engine and optional Rear Entertainment package, it comes to $40,905 (which includes the $1,350 destination charge). 
When I look at all the aspects of the 2010 GMC Terrain SLT AWD, it is a pretty good vehicle.  Its interior is great and it comes with standard features that make life a lot more enjoyable behind the wheel.  I think GM has another winner on its hands.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Crossover, GMC, 2010, Terrain, $20,000 - $29,999, $30,000 - $39,999,

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