While GMC's new-for-2010 Terrain crossover may be all but identical to Chevrolet's Equinox, one look at this bluff-faced polarizing design will tell you that badge-engineering wasn't part of the program at General Motors. Yes, both vehicles share the same platform, the same engine choices and even the same suspension calibrations, but the in-your-face look here is likely to inspire love-it-or-hate-it reactions. We'll let you decide on which side of the fence you sit, with one caveat: It is often the case that certain cars look better in the metal than on screen or in photographs. We were invited to GM's Design Dome for a media backgrounder, and after being in-and-around the vehicle, we profess that we can't make the same case.
Controversial aesthetics aside, the 2010 Terrain looks to have the goods, including a new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine on the base model that delivers 182 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. Like its Chevy stablemate, this model is tipped to deliver 30 miles-per-gallon on the highway, a very handsome figure for this class. Interestingly, the four-banger features noise-canceling technology to mute undesirable sound characteristics and a driver-selectable Eco button that remaps the throttle responses, shift patterns and torque converter lockup speed to improve fuel economy.
Click through to the jump for more details and the official press release.
Photos copyright ©2009 Chris Paukert / Weblogs, Inc.
The more powerful engine choice is a 3.0-liter direct-injection V6 engine that develops a healthy 264 horsepower and 222 pound-feet of torque. GM says six-cylinder buyers can expect to achieve 18-mpg city and 25 on the highway. Interestingly, the noise-canceling circuitry is only included on the Terrains equipped with the 2.4-liter. Models are available in front- or all-wheel drive trim, and a six-speed automatic is the transmission no matter what engine (or how many driven wheels) you choose.
This model is effectively a Pontiac Torrent replacement (that model is going away as GM figures out what to do with its affordable performance brand), albeit one made for GMC's truck-oriented audience. As such, it has a much more masculine exterior, with its triple-element grille, U-pattern hood, massive squared-off fenders, and a markedly different greenhouse. To our eyes, the Terrain's front-end looks almost out-of-scale with its footprint, or perhaps rather like some of the fuel-cell or hybrid conversions we've seen, in part because the front is so bluff and the lower blacked-out air dam rides rather close to terra firma for aerodynamic reasons. The rear-end is decidedly less controversial and nearly minivan-like, with Toyota Sienna-like taillamp clusters and paint-by-numbers "ruggedizing" cues.
The interior is leaps and bounds ahead of the outgoing Equinox/Torrent pairing, with tons of available options including a dual-screen rear entertainment, Bluetooth, a rear-backup camera, and a power liftgate that adjusts for low garage clearances. In general, the dashboard is nicely laid out (though that center stack looks a bit button-happy) and we found plenty of room up front to get comfortable while still leaving enough space for kids and adults sitting behind us. Nice features include a sliding rear seat which allows one to prioritize seat comfort or cargo room as needs dictate, and a center console big enough to swallow a laptop computer. One area of obvious cost-cutting on the model we were shown was that the nice contrasting red door panel stitching up front is not repeated for rear-seat passengers, although it is present on all seats.
GMC, as you will recall, only recently made its first foray into the crossover market with its Lambda-platform Acadia three-row CUV, and this new model figures to be the division's entry level model when it debuts in dealers in late Summer. GM has yet to announce pricing, but we expect it to be priced nominally higher than its Chevrolet counterpart to reflect its slightly elevated equipment levels and GMC's spot in the company hierarchy.
GMC EXPANDS ITS ENGINEERING EXPERTISE WITH THE EFFICIENT AND CAPABLE
* 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
"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.
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.
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