By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.4
Fitting into what might be called the "just-right- size" SUV category, the 5-passenger 2014 GMC Terrain has a rugged-looking truck-like – yet handsome – exterior, a roomy and luxurious interior, an all-wheel-drive (AWD) system that gives it all-weather capability for snowy days and a choice of two engines, each of which delivers commendably-good fuel economy. It does not offer a 3rd-row seat and it's not really intended for off-road duties. Still, for the more reasonable uses that most of its owners will require, the Terrain will more than fill the transportation bill. Compared to some of its likely competitors, such as the Ford Escape, Hyundai Santa Fe and Honda CR-V, the 4-cylinder Terrain has fuel economy ratings around the upper-end of the category, and the optionally-available V6 engine delivers 301 horsepower-worth of performance, yet is still remarkably fuel-efficient.
If this size and type of vehicle fit your needs, and you'd like something with a more truck-like image and appeal, or an available V6 engine, see your local GMC dealer for the Terrain.
For 2014, the GMC Terrain has only minimal changes. There are 17-inch wheels standard on the SLE and SLT1 trim levels, 18-inch wheels are standard on the SLT2 and available on the SLE2 and SLT1. And you can now have the Terrain with the exterior painted in Silver Sky Metallic.
Driving Impressions Occupants of the 2014 GMC Terrain will appreciate the remarkably quiet interior – thorough applications of laminated glass, active noise-cancellation technology and triple-sealed doors have resulted in an almost luxury-car...level of quiet, even at highway speeds. The base engine is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder of 182 horsepower that delivers adequate performance along with exemplary fuel economy. Optionally available is a 3.6-liter V6, rated at 301 horsepower, that cranks out plenty of performance for passing or tackling long hills along with commendably-decent fuel economy. Going down the road, the Terrain has a comfortable ride, with predictable steering feel and reassuring directional stability. It might have the looks of a rugged truck, but it has the easy driving manners of a medium-size car.
In a world of swoopy compact and mid-size SUVs, the Terrain's somewhat squared-off styling, with its prominent fender flares and truck-like grille, stands out from the crowd. It might not be for everyone, but we like it.
MOVEABLE 2ND-ROW SEATS
The Terrain's entire second row can be moved forward or back eight inches, allowing for taller passengers to gain more legroom or for parents to pull kids in car seats significantly closer.
The Terrain shares a lot with its GM sibling, the Chevrolet Equinox, but comes across as more upscale, with higher-quality materials and a snazzier, more luxurious look that includes satin metal trim and 2-tone leather. Going further, the Terrain Denali includes an 8-way power passenger seat, smoked mahogany trim and French-stitched seams on the upholstery. More details show in the GMC signature instrument panel, with glowing red lighting and backlighting for the control functions – even the USB port is made easier to find at night, thanks to a lighted surround. Another nice touch is a touch-screen radio and sound system that includes icons similar to those on smartphones in order to operate the various functions.Exterior
If you want your SUV to look more rugged and truck-like than others in this size category, the GMC Terrain is for you. The strong, angular wheel openings and big grille – with block GMC lettering and capped with a generous piece of chrome – will certainly catch your eye. There are optional 19-inch wheels to fill out those big wheel openings, and on top is a sturdy roof rack for whatever you want to tie down. Also, even though the Terrain looks substantial, it's not particularly high off the ground, so it's easy to get in and out and to reach that roof rack, as well.
Standard equipment on the base 2014 GMC Terrain includes the 2.4-liter 182-horsepower 4-cylinder engine, 6-speed automatic transmission, 17-inch wheels, rearview camera, color touch-screen radio, USB port, iPod support, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, XM Satellite Radio, OnStar, six airbags, and the very handy sliding rear seat that can be moved fore or aft nearly eight inches. Another nice feature is the Active Noise Cancellation that helps to keep the interior quieter by the projection of sound waves through the speakers to counteract loud and obnoxious exterior noises.
The 2014 GMC Terrain includes most of what you would want as standard, but the options list includes the 3.6-liter V6 engine (which is heartily recommended for those who will be carrying heavier loads or spending long times on the highways) and 19-inch alloy wheels. A 2nd-row entertainment system with two independent screens will keep the kids occupied on long trips. Other options include color touch-screen navigation with IntelliLink, a 10-gigabyte music-storage hard drive, Pioneer audio and a programmable rear liftgate that can be set to open at a desired height. Safety options include Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Alert, and the Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
The GMC Terrain for 2014 offers a choice of two engines: A 2.4-liter 4-cylinder of 182 horsepower or a 3.6-liter V6 of 301 horsepower. Both feature the efficiency benefit of direct fuel injection and are matched to 6-speed automatic transmissions, and both deliver remarkably good fuel-economy numbers. Most drivers will probably find the 4-cylinder entirely adequate around town and, if not too heavily loaded, will appreciate its fuel economy on the highway. But those who carry more or drive in hilly conditions should consider the more-powerful V6, which still has decent fuel economy ratings and is known for smooth, quiet operation.
2.4-liter inline-4 (SLE, SLT, Denali)
182 horsepower @ 6,700 rpm
172 lb-ft of torque @ 4,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/32 mpg (front-wheel drive), 15/22 mpg (E85, front-wheel drive), 20/29 mpg (AWD), 14/20 mpg (E85, AWD)
3.6-liter V6 (SLE-2, SLT, Denali)
301 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
272 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 mpg (front-wheel drive, gasoline), 13/22 mpg (front-wheel drive, E85), 16/23 mpg (AWD, gasoline), 12/17 (AWD, E85)
The 2014 GMC Terrain SLE1 has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just over $27,000, while the SLT1 will be just over $30,000. Adding all-wheel drive will set you back $1,750 on either model. Competitors of the Terrain include the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and the Subaru Outback, all of which cost less than the Terrain, but come with less standard equipment. To ensure that you get the best price on the 2014 GMC Terrain, be sure to check out the Fair Purchase price on kbb.com, which will give you an idea of what people in your area are paying for theirs. We expect the 2014 Terrain to hold its value quite well over the years, far better than the Journey and the Compass, but still well behind the segment residual leader, the Honda CR-V.
By Monica on Wednesday, April 09, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Reason: Transmission showing signs of problems
Pros: "Nice features"
Cons: "Powertrain doesn't last long"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I loved the features on our Terrain (heated seats, sunroof, push button open hatch and leather seats) but thats abaout it. When I took my Terrain recently to get brakes done and suspension (after a bad winter in the tristate and all the bad roads) I was informed that my transmission was starting to show signs that it was going bad. Now this is only after having it a year and a half as i traded in my Chevy Equinox for this vehicle for almost the same reason. Since GM only gives a 3-5 yr 36,000 mile warranty on their vehicles, i was left with the choice of going to a dealer and trading in my vehicle. After many discussions I was able to finally get my husband away from GM vehicles (after 3 falied attempts at their SUV line) and get a Kia/Hyundai which have the best warrantee on the market. GM will need to invest some money into their powertrain and warrantees before i would consider going back."
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By sonlop on Wednesday, March 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Cons: "Back seats need ventilation."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I absolutely love my terrain, as long as there is less than 4 people in the car or it is not hot. I purchased my terrain because I wanted a bigger vehicle than a car and absolutely love it, but 90% of the time I am the only person in the vehicle. It is reliable and I have never felt unsafe in this vehicle. If you are a mother purchasing this car please consider that there is no ventilation in the rear seats and when you are sitting in the front two seats you would never feel how hot it gets in the back of the car until you ride back there yourself. Also the middle seat in the back seat is not meant for trips longer than 30 minutes, it is very uncomfortable. We took a 5 hour trip in the car and we were suffocating and when we turned up the AC so it could reach those in the back seat, those in the front were extremely cold. For 2 or less people in regular temperatures the car is wonderful!"
8 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Roberto on Wednesday, March 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "room, functionality, mileage"
Cons: "engine a little rough"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Roomy with a comfortable ride. Four cylinder is a little rough but returns good mileage and has been reliable."
8 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By htl on Saturday, March 01, 2014
I own this car
Reason: Uncomfortable ride and wind noise - My approximate mileage is 8,500
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Purchased this vehicle new. Only has 8500 miles on it and I'm tired of it already. The ride is far too stiff, the 4 cylinder feels too underpowered, the radio is too complicated and all the buttons are too close together and similarly shaped. I have to take my eyes off the road if i want to do anything besides temperature, fan speed, or volume. It is a well designed and beautiful interior, however it isn't functional."
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Txt on Wednesday, February 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great all-around vehicle"
Cons: "Lacks a rear-seat vent"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love this vehicle. I've never had any problems with it. It drives nicely and has lots of space in the back seat. It's very comfortable, looks nice, and has great amenities! I can take the whole family, including two large dogs and there is space for all the kids' equipment. My one suggestion would be to add a vent to the back seat for faster heating/cooling of that space, but since the heat and a/c both work so well, it's not a major concern."
12 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By T-bird on Wednesday, February 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "It's good on the highway."
Cons: "Bad turn radius. Awkward key design. Hate it."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Car simply does not live up to standards. I don't like it. I know it's a small thing, but the key design is awful. It is too thick to fit well on a standard key ring, even more difficult if you have a few other keys that need to be in the same place; an awkward design. The turn radius on the car is terrible. We test drove it on highways near the Dealer. Dealership happens to be located away from town. Don't know what I was thinking!! I have driven numerous vehicles in tests. My husband was with me and I didn't take the time to truly run it through my usual test criteria. I should have. I'm too practical to lose a ton of money by trading out of a nearly new car, but this one makes me consider it strongly. I just hate it."
9 people out of 15 found this review helpful