MPG-o-Matic GMC Terrain Review Summary:
The 2010 GMC Terrain shares its platform with the Chevy Equinox, and like its cousin, delivers solid gas mileage results when equipped with the standard four-cylinder engine. The Terrain is a prime choice for fuel-conscious families swapping out of larger SUVs, with generous interior space, a comfortable ride, and plenty of in-cabin amenities.
The 2010 GMC Terrain is available in both front-wheel (FWD) and all-wheel-drive (AWD) configurations, and can be fitted with a 2.4-liter inline four or 3.0-liter V6 engine. A six-speed automatic transmission is used exclusively. The four cylinder Ecotech engine produces 182 horsepower (HP) and 172 foot pounds of torque, while the V6 delivers 264 HP and 222 foot pounds of torque.
The EPA’s fuel economy estimates for the four-cylinder equipped FWD GMC Terrain are 22 city / 32 highway miles per gallon (MPG). The AWD Terrain is rated at 20 city / 29 highway MPG. The V6 Terrain is rated at 17 / 25 with FWD and 17 / 24 with AWD.
We logged roughly five hundred miles on the odometer of our four-cylinder-equipped Carbon Black Metallic AWD Terrain SLT-1 review unit and met the official mileage estimates with an average of 29.6 MPG on the Interstate highway and 24.9 MPG combined. Our results with the Terrain closely matched those with a similarly equipped AWD Chevy Equinox.
All fuel economy testing was performed in the Terrain’s “Eco” mode. Overall test period temperatures ranged from the high forties through the high sixties. Interstate highway testing temperatures were in the low sixty degree range. The test vehicle was delivered with less than 1000 miles on the odometer. (Fuel efficiency can rise a bit after the engine has run through a proper break in period.)
Interstate Mileage Testing:
Cruise control set to 68 MPH, A/C off, windows up: 28.5 MPG
Cruise control off, target speed 60-72 MPH, A/C off, windows up: 30.8 MPG
While the 2.4-liter inline four won’t set any records for performance off-the-line, it’s adequate for the AWD Terrain SLT-1’s 4,034 pound curb weight in most conditions. If towing is a consideration, potential owners should consider the more powerful 3.0-liter V6. The four-cylinder Terrain has a maximum trailer/towing capacity of 1500 pounds, while the V6 Terrain is rated at 3500 pounds.
The Terrain provides an instantaneous fuel economy display. We always recommend driving with the instant fuel-economy gauge active, to help develop a light-footed driving technique in the quest to achieve better gas mileage.
In addition to the real-time fuel economy display, the 2010 Terrain’s Driver’s Information Center provides tire pressure data, oil life, average fuel economy, two trip meters, and fuel range, among other statistics.
Four-cylinder Terrains are equipped with 18.0 gallon gas tanks, while V6 Terrains feature 20 gallon tanks. Both should provide excellent highway range. The Terrain is designed to run on regular unleaded fuel.
Like the 2010 Equinox, the Terrain is decidedly car-like as it delivers a comfortable and quiet ride. Exterior styling is the biggest differentiator for folks choosing between the Terrain and the Equinox.
The Terrain’s roomy interior is a strong point. Leather appointed seats with heated front buckets and an 8-way power driver’s seat with lumbar support are standard in the SLT models.
Backup and parking duties are eased with a standard rear view mirror-based Rear Camera display that activates when the transmission is shifted into reverse.
The eight-speaker XM Satellite-equipped Pioneer audio system includes both auxiliary and USB inputs. iPod support provides access to playlists from the dash and steering wheel controls. Bluetooth is standard and a year of On-Star service is included, along with 90 days of XM Satellite radio. Remote keyless entry and vehicle start are both standard in the SLT models.
The Terrain has a slew of power outlets, with one at the base of the dash, one inside the center console, one at the back of the console, and one in the cargo area.
Passengers will appreciate the bounty of rear seat leg and headroom. The Terrain’s 60/40 split rear seat reclines, as well as sliding forward and backward to accommodate passengers and cargo. A power lift gate is optional on the SLT-1 and standard on the SLT-2. The Terrain tackles the shopping chores with abandon by providing 63.7 cubic feet of cargo volume with the rear seats down.
All-in-all, the five-passenger 2010 GMC Terrain is an excellent alternative for folks moving from a conventional SUV. Like its cousin the Chevy Equinox, the Terrain provides a winning combination of ride, quiet, comfort, and fuel economy.
– by Daniel Gray
November 27th, 2009
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