• Jan 13, 2010

2010 GMC Terrain - click for high-res gallery

Sometimes, we come across head-scratchers. What's the meaning of life? Nancy Kerrigan's anguished "Why?" Or most recently, "what is the point of the 2010 GMC Terrain?" The answer to the latter seems easy - it's to sell, silly. It appears to be having some effect; GMC finished December 2009 four percent ahead of its 2008 numbers. We've driven the Terrain and find it virtually identical to its sister car, the Chevrolet Equinox. The biggest difference is that we find the GMC to be significantly harder to look at. The Los Angeles Times' auto pundit extraordinaire Dan Neil has gotten some seat time in a V6 Terrain and notes its stylistic hardships: "the Terrain looks like it has a a window air-conditioning unit attached to the nose." Amen.

Other incongruities and letdowns crop up in Neil's assessment, not the least of which is the entire vehicle's raison d'être in GMC showrooms in the first place. After all, Neil notes, the Terrain is a relatively blatant example of GM's historical practice of badge-engineering. Neil goes on to wonder aloud as to why General Motors bothers with a GMC version at all – especially when the money could have been better spent raising the vehicle up to excellent from a point that he contends is solidly mediocre. The majority of the automotive press has come away rather more impressed with the Terrain/Equinox package (heck, the Chevy was a finalist for the just-announced North American Truck of the Year award), and despite our misgivings about the GMC's looks, we've found the platform to be quite competitive with its classmates.

Still, the badge-engineering issue with this vehicle is one we've discussed in-depth on our podcast, and it remains a nettlesome topic. But then again, no consumers appear to be concerned about it those issues, as both the Terrain and the Equinox are selling at a handsome clip.



[Source: The Los Angeles Times]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 83 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would hope the differentiation will fall along some logic whereby Chevy becomes a cute-ute and stays with friendly styling, and GMC takes a harder, more rugged, or more controversal style akin to Jeep or Hummer...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like the GMC version better than the Chevy version. It's the straighter squarer lines. It looks more trucklike. But then I drive a Ford Escape. Also, with the more squared look.
      I don't care for the swoopy roundy CUV look at all.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Enjoyed the heck outa my HHR (50k + mi),but desired more sophistication,XM Onstar,6
      spd auto. My 2010 Equinox is ok except for road & strut noise,& except for the across the board chevy nose,it,s not particularly inspiring in it,s somewhat cluttered appearance. The Terrain,w/it's buttnosed macho Hummer stance missed my boat.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm always surprised at how mean spirted and critial major US paper auto reviews are to American autos.

      I read that review in the LA times on line and was really surprised that guy could not come up with anything nice to say about a truck that is doing well -sales wize anyway.

      I'm not American; just an observer; and it seems to me that all the American big papers (LA Times New York TImes) take great pleasure in trashing GM/Ford products..

      What gives?!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I bought a Terrain in December for my wife and I am glad that I did. The car is solid, has great features(electric tail gate, bluetooth, Ipod compatible are a few of the many) and is comfortable. As far as styling, I like it better than the Equinox (more distintive look). GM must have done something right because the Terrains are selling as soon as they arrive on the dealers lot. The down side of their popularity is that the $1500 in rebates that were available before the end of the year are gone, and there has been a $300 price increase.
      • 5 Years Ago
      of course he doesn't like it... its cutting into sales of his own vehicle the denali

      (just take out an N)
      • 5 Years Ago
      This thing finished at the back of the pack in the latest C&D comparo. 6th of 8. It beat out the Mariner and Grand Vitara.

      1st) Rav4 - 204 points
      2nd) VW Tiguan - 194 pts
      3rd) Honda CRV - 185 pts
      4th) Subaru Forester XT - 184 pts
      5th) Mitsu Outlander - 176 pts
      6th) GMC Terrain - 161 pts
      7th) Suzuki Grand Vitara - 157 pts
      8th) Mercury Mariner - 152 pts
        • 5 Years Ago
        And the fact that it lost out to the lame Mitsu is reason to completely disregard it. Throw in the anticipated dismal reliability of the VW, and you have the Honda, Toyota, and Subie as the only respectable options in this category. Anything else is a purely brand-loyalist choice.
        • 5 Years Ago
        lets we not forget that the Rav4 may or may not stall out on your and if you happen to flip it, your spinal cord will likely be severed because the roof is likely to collapse...

        Those are facts right there.
      • 5 Years Ago
      . . . "heck, the Chevy was a finalist for the just-announced North American Truck of the Year award" . . .

      . . . and it was defeated by a pint sized "Made in Turkey" cargo van, and rightly so. I agree the Equinox and the Terrain are firmly planned in the mediocre-middle. The Terrain is nothing more than a substitute for the Torrent . . .
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd be the first to agree with the criticism of badge engineering....but you know, if it sells well; something must've been right in that decision to badge it as a GMC.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I personally like this look over the Chevy look, as far as sales i believe it is selling VERY WELL. Flying off the lots.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "You see people that like GM vehicles generally associate themselves to one brand. I would NEVER buy a Chevy, no idea why, they don't appeal to me, I always bought Pontiac."

        So you're basically saying GM fans don't know anything about cars? That's interesting. Sorry that you own a G6. I do, too, and thus I feel your pain.
        Lar7789789
        • 5 Years Ago
        I give the Terrain the thumbs down,


        as I said before, I say again I see GM going bankrupt a second time
        • 5 Years Ago
        The LAT hates America, so this is no surprise.
        • 5 Years Ago
        LA Times are a bunch of dumbasses anyway. American = BAD! What do you expect out of those morons?

        Hey dip$hits, IT SELLS!!
      Derek
      • 5 Years Ago
      This isn't badge engineering IMO. Badge engineering is when they took the Holden Monero and labeled it a Pontiac GTO - as if anything about that car's design had the GTO or its legacy in mind.

      And I'll come right out and say it - I think the Terrain looks much better than the Equinox. Better name too. The sharper lines are more rugged and masculine. From a design standpoint it makes more sense. If you want to know why I think that here's a really good article on design - http://tiny.cc/rktvr.

      • 5 Years Ago
      A few years back Lutz threatened to pull out GM advertising from the Los Angeles times due to something Dan wrote about a GM car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I agree the thing is not badge-engineered, but dang it is ugly.
      Looks like the took the worst aspects of an H3 and mated it with a drunken sloppy HHR.

      Those giant wheel wells are horrid.

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