2010 GMC Terrain: Rugged Looks And 30 MPG

The 2010 GMC Terrain will debut next week at the New York Auto Show, bringing a considerably more rugged attitude to GM's small SUV platform. One might say it's even more "like a rock."


The 2010 GMC Terrain is little more than a reskinned 2010 Chevrolet Equinox, and where we normally see the two brands share a lot of styling and different badges, the Terrain is an entire redesign and shares no sheet metal with its bow-tie brother. The Terrain shoots for a much more aggressive look, even going an inch wider in the track width and dons traditional boxy truck shapes for the compact platform. The huge grille up front is flanked by squarish headlights which can be optioned with HID projectors. Down the side the character lines are limited to accentuating the side glass, and the uniquely styled C-pillar further separates the Terrain from the Equinox.

Mechanically, the Terrain is identical to the Equinox, with each powertrain option available on every trim level. The base model engine is also the fuel economy leader, a direct injection 2.4L four-cylinder engine with 182 HP mated to a six speed auto delivering 30 MPG in front-wheel-drive only trim. The other engine option is a 3.0 liter direct injection V6 rated at 264 HP, which also brings along dual exhaust tips rather than the hidden single tip. Each can be optioned with all-wheel drive with the subsequent drop in fuel economy, and rise in capability. Towing rating for these "Professional Grade" SUV's is 1,500 lbs for the I4 model and 3,500 lbs for the V6.

Inside, the Terrain is differentiated largely unique door panels and by color choices and quality of the materials. There are two leather and two cloth trims with contrast stitching on the seats and door inserts. Well, the front door inserts, rear seat passengers aren't so lucky. Speaking of rear-seat passengers, they're treated to the same comfortable and supportive seats which can more fore and aft as well as recline, and two flip-up seatback DVD players. Front seat passengers get red GMC lighting in the gauges and the accent lighting and another differentiating feature of standard rear backup camera system. On vehicles not optioned with the seven inch touch screen and 40 gig hard drive, the backup image shows up in the rearview mirror.

The value proposition on the GMC Terrain presents might be a bit hard to justify, considering the big selling point is standard rearview camera and love-it of hate-it styling, but it does look pretty cool, and we suspect that'll go far for a 30 MPG soft-roader. Look for the live reveal next week at the New York Auto Show.

GMC EXPANDS ITS ENGINEERING EXPERTISE WITH THE EFFICIENT AND CAPABLE 2010 TERRAIN

* All-new, five-passenger crossover SUV delivers expected segment-best highway fuel economy of 30 mpg
* Comprehensive package of premium features, with an emphasis on vehicle safety and passenger comfort
* GMC's engineering excellence and innovation advances with direct injection technology, programmable power liftgate and standard rear vision camera

NEW YORK –GMC's all-new 2010 Terrain makes its world debut at the 2009 New York International Auto Show. The Terrain is a five-passenger crossover SUV that blends bold styling with fuel efficiency and premium features.

"The new Terrain brings GMC's history of innovation and engineering excellence into a smaller, fuel-efficient package for today's buyer," said Susan Docherty, Buick-Pontiac-GMC vice president. "The capability attributes that make a vehicle a GMC are ingrained in Terrain, making it an appealing choice for existing traditional SUV customers who are looking for distinctive styling and increased efficiency."

A new, 2.4L four-cylinder engine that features direct injection is expected to deliver best-in-segment highway fuel economy of 30 mpg. Maximum fuel economy is achieved in part with an "ECO" mode that is activated via a console-mounted button. When engaged, it lowers the torque converter lockup speed to 1,125 rpm to help save fuel on models equipped with the 2.4L engine.

Also available will be a 3.0L DOHC direct injected V-6 engine delivering an estimated 264 horsepower (197 kW). Both engines are mated to efficiency-enhancing six-speed automatic transmissions and offer a refined, confident driving experience.

"GMC is a strong, core brand for GM and the Terrain crossover SUV is the latest example of how we're adapting to changing market conditions," said Docherty. "As we first demonstrated with the Acadia crossover, GMC is committed to offering the capable vehicles customers seek, with the personal technologies they expect."

The 2010 Terrain goes on sale in late summer, with front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models offered in SLE and SLT trim levels. A comprehensive list of standard and available features includes purposeful technologies such as:

* Standard rear vision camera
* Programmable power rear liftgate
* Bluetooth hands-free phone capability
* MultiFlex sliding rear seat that increases passenger comfort or provides optimal cargo space
* Remote vehicle start
* USB audio connectivity; MP3 playback
* Seven-inch touch-screen navigation system and a 40-gigabyte hard drive
* DVD-based rear-seat entertainment system with two independent screens
* Standard OnStar and XM Satellite Radio

Segment-best safety is anticipated, with features that include four-wheel disc brakes with StabiliTrak electronic stability control and traction control, as well as six standard air bags: dual frontal air bags; head curtain side air bags and pelvic/thorax seat-mounted side air bags. OnStar with one-year Safe and Sound service is also standard.

Bold styling

Terrain has a balanced, athletic stance and offers a commanding view of the road. Its design is characterized by bold, muscular fender flares, representing GMC's aesthetic. Surfacing is angular yet refined, with a strong and capable front-end appearance that features precise, squared-off edges.

"We wanted to carve the GMC Terrain away from the pack and establish its identity as a powerful, fresh crossover SUV with a confident and strong stance," said John Cafaro Jr., director of exterior design, Global Crossover Vehicles. "Everything about the Terrain communicates a sense of tailored toughness and passionate craftsmanship."

Additional design features include a unique, three-element grille that is accented by a prominent chrome surround and projector-beam headlamps mounted in large, rectangular housings with chrome accents.

Interior details and flexibility

The Terrain's rich, premium interior is influenced by industrial sculpture and exudes refinement exemplified by contrast stitching and fine materials that create a structured look throughout the cabin. A "floating" center stack, highlighted by warm ambient lighting, houses a multitude of ergonomic comfort and convenience controls.

The Terrain also features great attention to detail, with smart use of storage space and compartments that are suitable for a variety of items. They include an oversized glove box; a closed storage area in the instrument panel above the center stack; a closed storage compartment under the center armrest large enough for a laptop computer; and two-tier storage in the doors.

Terrain's seats were developed to provide outstanding comfort and the standard MultiFlex sliding rear seat can be moved fore or aft nearly eight inches (200 mm), providing increased passenger comfort or greater rear cargo capacity. The 60/40-split rear seatback offers additional configurations for passengers and cargo; and the rear cargo area offers 31.6 cubic feet (894 liters) of storage, as well as one of the Terrain's four auxiliary power outlets.

Confident and agile driving experience

Two new engines are offered on all Terrain models, each with fuel-saving direct injection and variable valve timing technology. Vehicle highlights include:

* New 3.0L DOHC direct injected V-6 engine estimated at 264 horsepower (197 kW), which delivers an estimated 25 mpg highway, 18 mpg city (EPA certification pending).
* New 2.4L Ecotec direct injected I-4 engine estimated at 182 horsepower (136 kW) that delivers an estimated 30 mpg highway, 21 mpg city (EPA certification pending)
* Driving range of more than 500 miles (800 km) with both engines, for less-frequent fill-ups

The powertrains are mounted on a rigid, body-integral structure, with single-piece body side stampings and targeted applications of high-strength steel. It is the foundation of a confident driving experience that is both smooth and responsive.

GM's first application of Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) technology is used on 2.4L-equipped models. ANC uses microphones to detect booming sounds inside the vehicle and sends counteracting sound waves through the audio system's speakers, ensuring a quiet driving experience at almost all vehicle speeds.

The Terrain rides on a 112.5-inch (2,857 mm) wheelbase and features a four-wheel independent suspension system, with wide front and rear tracks that enhance the ride and handling. A family of 17-inch, 18-inch aluminum and 19-inch chrome-clad wheels is available.

Terrain's rack-mounted electric power steering system provides greater fuel efficiency on four-cylinder-equipped models, saving nearly 11 miles per tank of gas.

GMC Terrain will be produced at the CAMI assembly facility in Ingersoll, Ontario.