May 25, 2013
Written by Steven Macoy
Thursday, 28 January 2010 14:48
General Motors was late to the game in right-sizing its sport-utility vehicles, forcing loyalists to choose between minivans and big, thirsty SUVs. Finally, along came the Chevrolet Equinox in 2004, but it really wasn’t competitive with the class-leading Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV-4. For 2010, it’s much improved and has a fine stablemate, the GMC Terrain.
The Terrain has a few styling eccentricities, including a massive grille that seemed out of proportion with the rest of the car. Depending on the viewing angle, the Terrain resembles a Hummer H3 or a Dodge Nitro.One of the main selling points of GM’s new crossovers is fuel economy. With front-wheel drive and a 182-horsepower, inline-Four engine, the Terrain is rated at 22 mpg city, 32 highway. But aerodynamic, it’s not. The face this car presents to the world (and the wind) is relentlessly vertical.
That aside, this is truly a pleasing ride. The interior is hushed, the ride composed. Handling, if not quite crisp, is predictable and reassuring. And the passenger compartment is surprisingly roomy. The power driver’s seat slides back past the point where our 6-foot driver could reach the pedals comfortably. And even with the seat all the way back, there was plenty of knee, foot and head room for rear passengers. The seats are comfortable, too.
The cargo area is long but narrow. The split second row of seats folds down easily and leaves a seamless surface that slopes up slightly toward the front.
Our front-wheel-drive Terrain, called an SLT-2, had a sticker price of $30,240 with just one option, a $245 Cargo Management Package that included roof-rack crossbars. Among the standard features were stability and traction control, rear-view camera, leather upholstery, cruise control, XM satellite radio, sunroof and automatic climate control.
The least-expensive Terrain, the SLE-1, starts at $24,250. The sticker price for the top-of-the-line SLT-2 with a 264-horsepower V-6 engine and all-wheel drive is $33,245.
We logged fuel economy of 25.5 mpg in mostly highway driving, well short of the EPA-rated 32.
The engine is smooth and quiet, but from a dead stop it didn’t bring the car up to traffic speed as quickly as we would have liked. Pulling onto busy Federal Road in Brookfield, Conn., we wanted more than the Terrain was able to give. No doubt the V-6 is quicker off the line, but it adds $1,500 to the price and exacts a mileage penalty of a whopping 6 mpg.
All-wheel drive is available in all configurations.
The Terrain’s roominess and smooth, quiet ride may help GM steal a few customers from the Japanese competitors, who have been making compact crossovers a lot longer — but give GM credit for a quick learning curve in this crucial segment.
Engine: 2.4-liter inline Four, 182 horsepower, 172 lb.-ft. torque
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Weight: 3,798 lb.
Ground clearance: 6.9 inches
Suspension: Four-wheel independent, MacPherson strut front, multi-link rear
Wheels: 18x7.5-inch alloy
Tires: P235/60R18 all-season
Seating capacity: 5
Luggage capacity: 31.6 cu. ft.
Maximum cargo capacity: 64 cu. ft.
Towing capacity: 1,500 lb.
Fuel capacity: 18 gallons
Fuel economy: 22 mpg city, 32 mpg highway
Fuel type: Regular
The Dec. 30 article on the 2010 Mazdaspeed3 incorrectly stated a competing model, the Subaru WRX, is available only as a sedan. The WRX also comes as a five-door hatchback.
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