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.
You'll Like This Car If...
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.
You May Not Like This Car If...
For the serious off-roader, there are alternatives that will prove more satisfactory. While the Terrain's AWD is perfectly fine for snow-covered roads, those who deal with rough and rugged off-road trails will be happier with a Jeep Wrangler or Subaru Outback.
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 the Terrain
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.
DISTINCTIVE EXTERIOR 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.
2014 GMC Terrain Details
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.
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.
Under the Hood
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.
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.
"Great car on the highway. Handles well, comfort and roomey. Not enough compartments to put things, trunk area is smallish and the engine tends to use up oil. Recently had to replace engine on my 2012 terrain."
Pros: "great power and room. masculine lines, lots of fun"
Cons: "visibility past the pillars, no pwr adj for steer"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"too much I like ablout this vehicle to list, starting with the fact that I am 6ft 5 inches tall and have always started every test drive by moving the seat all the way back, in this vehicle, I actually had to move it up to drive comfortably. It would easily accomidate a 7 footer. there a a few small issues though. The pillars are all too fat which makes it difficult to see in certain scenarios, particularly in the front. Also, givin what I paid for this vehicle, and the fact that its the Denali line which is supposed to be the luxury group, I would have expected the telescoping wheel to be power instead of manual with a cheapish feeling lever. Again, being in the luxury group, it also would have been nice to have ventilated seats as well as the heated seats considering that the interior is black."