2016 GMC Terrain Driving Impressions


The four-cylinder engine doesn’t deliver blazing performance (0-60 in about 9 seconds, which is relatively slow), but it’s got plenty of urge for almost every need. It helps to use Sport mode in the slick-shifting six-speed automatic transmission, when you forage for torque at the low rev ranges. No paddles, you shift with the lever, it’s fun. The transmission is refined but it judders when you accelerate. In automatic mode, it’s smooth and able enough. In Eco mode it labors to save fuel. It can tow 1500 pounds.

With the 3.6-liter V6, the Terrain can tow 3500 pounds, or maybe you fill all five seats a lot, so then the terrific throaty big engine makes sense. Its raps out a muscular burble, and drives the Terrain from zero to 60 in 6.5 seconds, which is quick, about as quick as a BMW X3. But our V6 didn’t shift as slick as the four-cylinder, maybe because it was all-wheel drive.

The Terrain has poise on the road that you might not expect from such a buff vehicle. The four-cylinder uses electric power steering, which saves ounces of fuel, while the V6 uses old-school hydraulic. The four-cylinder has a nice settled feel at speed, and we think its electric power steering is one of the better units; but we tend to like the hydraulic setup a little bit more.

The dual-flow shock absorbers use pressurized oil, designed to stiffen the ride on smooth roads and soften it on bad ones, a neat trick if you can pull it off. The brakes are good.

Request More Info