Make us your home page
The Daily Drivers | By Peter Couture and Lyra Solochek, Times staff writers

The Daily Drivers: GMC's new Terrain is a worthy player in the small-SUV segment

Don't be fooled by the name of GMC's new Terrain. The only landscape you're likely to drive this small SUV on is a city street. As they used to say on Seinfeld: "Not that there's anything wrong with that." You see, this more macho-looking cousin to the well-received Chevy Equinox gives GMC a competitive player in the small-SUV segment.

Appearance: GMC calls this a "crossover" but it behaves more like an SUV. The Terrain rides high, and maintains a more hefty, muscular look similar to its larger sibling, the Yukon. Its flaring fenders give it a stout, bulldog look.

Performance: Our tester came with a 264-horsepower 3.0-liter V-6, which is rated at 17/24 mpg. Lyra felt the power was simply adequate and expected more from a V-6. (The 4-cylinder model gets 22/32 mpg with 182 hp). The 6-speed automatic transmission shifted well and the ride is carlike. As Peter's 11-year-old said: "I could see us driving this every day." For a high-profile vehicle, there wasn't much lean on turns. Attribute that to the AWD and traction control.

Interior: First off, kudos to GMC for integrating the back-up camera screen in the rearview mirror. What you lose in mirror size you make up for in intuitive placement. We both really liked it. Elsewhere, the cabin, gauges and center console are simple and attractive, although Lyra didn't like the chrome trim (which blinded her in the sun). We both liked the red accent stitching in the comfortable leather seats. We didn't like the red digital display in the dash, which we've seen in a few other GM vehicles. It's hard to read in bright sun. The child door locks for the rear doors are electronic, and the controls are within reach from the front seat, which has an easy-exit feature that moves the seat back when you get out. The rear seat moves forward to provide some extra space in the cargo area. The seatbacks have three reclining positions, but don't fold flat with the cargo area. Lyra loved the remote/electronic power lift gate. There's no way she could have reached the handle to close it. You can also adjust the opening height for the liftgate, so if you have a lower garage opening, you can set how high the hatch opens. If the liftgate encounters an obstacle, it'll make warning sounds and reverse direction, kind of like the garage door opener. We liked the remote start, which can cool down the car before you get in — a plus with our endless summers. A few nits: The door locks are in the center console — a trend we deplore and have complained about in other vehicles. Also, the rear-window wiper control is a switch on the side of the windshield wiper stalk. That's clumsy.

Our 3 favorites

Peter Couture

Back-up camera: Love the display in the rearview mirror, and it's standard.

Styling: It's a small SUV with big, bold looks.

Interior: GM is trying to raise its game on fit, finish and appearance, and it's starting to show.

Lyra Solochek

Power lift gate: For a short driver, this is a back saver.

Child door-lock button: Up front and easy to turn off if you have adult passengers.

Solid build: The doors close with a thud, and no loose pieces inside.

The Bottom Line: When the trend is to pack in more seats, it's refreshing to see a manufacturer back off and stick with a 5-passenger configuration. Instead, GMC focused more on quality and performance, and it shows.

2010 GMC Terrain


Price: $31,000 base, $34,740 as tested, $24,995 entry model

Powertrain: 3.0-liter direct-injection V-6 AWD with 6-speed automatic (2.4-liter direct injection Ecotec available)

Horsepower: 264 at 6,950 rpm (182 hp at 6,700 for 2.4 L)

Torque: 222 pound-feet at 5,100 rpm (172 at 4,900)

Curb weight: 3,798 pounds


in inches:

Wheelbase, 112.5

Length, 185.3

Width, 72.8

Towing capacity: 3,500 pounds (1,500 pounds for 2.4-liter engine)

Fuel economy:

17 miles per gallon city, 24 mpg highway, 17/25 FWD. 2.4-liter: 20/29 AWD and 22/32 FWD

Fuel type: Regular unleaded

Safety features: six air bags, stability control, traction control, ABS, rear-vision camera, rear parking assist.

Trim levels: SLE1, SLE2, SLT1

Options worth considering: 3.0-liter V-6 engine, rear-seat entertainment system, all-wheel drive, cargo management package.

Web site:

The Daily Drivers: GMC's new Terrain is a worthy player in the small-SUV segment 11/13/09 [Last modified: Friday, November 13, 2009 12:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate


    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG —The St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which bought back the troubled Jordan Park public housing complex this year, plans to spend about $20 million to improve the 237-unit property and construct a new three-story building for …

    Jordan Park, the historic public housing complex, is back in the hands of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The agency is working to improve the 237-unit complex. But the latest plan to build a new three-story building for seniors will mean 31 families have to find new homes. [LARA CERRI   |   Tampa Bay Times]
  2. Coming soon at two Tampa Bay area hospitals: a cancer treatment that could replace chemo


    A new cancer treatment that could eventually replace chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants — along with their debilitating side effects — soon will be offered at two of Tampa Bay's top-tier hospitals.

    Dr. Frederick Locke at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa is a principal investigator for an experimental therapy that retrains white blood cells in the body's immune system to fight cancer cells. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved these so-called "CAR-T" treatments for adults this month. In trials, 82 percent of cases responded well to the treatment, and 44 percent are still in remission at least eight months later, Locke said. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  3. Regulator blasts Wells Fargo for deceptive auto insurance program


    Wells Fargo engaged in unfair and deceptive practices, failed to properly manage risks and hasn't set aside enough money to pay back the customers it harmed, according to a confidential report by federal regulators.

    Wells Fargo engaged in unfair and deceptive practices, failed to properly manage risks and hasn't set aside enough money to pay back the customers it harmed, according to a confidential report by federal regulators.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images, 2017]
  4. McDonald's soft serve in Florida is made with handshakes and happy cows


    Floridians licked nine million McDonald's vanilla cones last year.

    Calves play with a rubber toy at the Milking R Dairy in Okeechobee, FL. Owners Sutton Rucks, Jr., and his wife Kris Rucks sell their milk to SouthEast Dairies cooperative, Edward Coryn of Dairy Mix in St. Petersburg buys it, transforms it into soft-serve ice cream base, and sells it to all the McDonald's. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times

  5. Hurricane Irma thrashed Tampa Bay homes sales in September

    Real Estate

    Hurricane Irma not only downed thousands of trees throughout the Tampa Bay area: It also sent home sales plunging in September.

    This home on Tampa's Davis Islands home sold in September for $5.2 million, making it the priciest sale of the month in the Tampa Bay area.
[Courtesy of Judson Brady Photography]