I’ll bet you remember the first time you saw one of these. Even if it was in 2009, because that’s how long the Terrain has been with us. The massive square fenders and boxy lines that this made-in-Canada mid-sizer sports sure made an impression when this vehicle made its debut. While the exterior styling is getting tired, there’s nothing horrible about it and the packaging manages to make the Terrain look smaller than it really is. Did I mention those fenders?
My sample was pretty showy thanks to contrast between the Dark Sapphire Blue paint and the chrome on the tailgate and lower rear fascia, the typical blingy GMC grille and the mirror-finish 18-inch rims. Overall, I think it’s still a pretty good-looking vehicle and its truck-like design has aged quite gracefully.
Inside, the dark and plasticky-feeling Terrain cabin is definitely showing its age. The plastics are hard, the textures are from a generation past. Fit and finish is reasonable, but I found some sharp edges and some of the joints (like the pieces of plastic around the ignition) are not very pretty. As you’d expect in a GMC, the cabin’s ambient lighting is red.
The heated leather seats are nice to look at and very comfortable. I found it strange that only the driver’s side is power-adjustable at this price point (we’ll get to that later…). The big steering wheel has a ton of buttons on it, allowing you to deal with your audio, cruise control, phone and driver assistance tech. The gauges are nice and clean, making them easy to read, but GM is still sticking us with the crunchy, Commodore-64-graphics driver information screen. It’s really time to update those. In the centre of the dash is a small strip containing the lights for the front-collision warning system – it flashes bright red and beeps loudly if you’re about to smoke into someone.
GMC’s IntelliLink system has a fairly friendly user interface and is based on a touchscreen. I found the seven-inch screen to be a bit on the smallish side and I also found it to be quite a reach. It handles the vehicle’s media, phone and navigation systems, as well as plenty of settings. I thought the Pioneer sound system was decent, but not great. A big shout-out to the voice recognition system – it’s the best one I’ve ever used. It was 100 percent accurate and reacted within a split-second of me speaking. Very impressive and definitely something other car manufacturers could learn from. The dash styling is fine, and the ergonomics are decent, although the hard buttons on the centre stack feel cramped.
Overhead is a standard-size power tilt/slide sunroof. The Terrain has some decent driver assistance technology in this trim – forward collision alert, lane departure assist and a back-up camera with rear parking sensors.