Specifications of GMC Terrain II 1.5 (170 HP) Start/Stop Automatic
General characteristics of GMC Terrain II 1.5 (170 HP) Start/Stop Automatic
The Terrain has an overall length of 182.3 inches and a wheelbase 107.3-inches long. At 72.4 inches wide and 65.4 inches tall, it has similar dimensions to the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 and falls into the same size bracket. The base front-wheel-drive SL has a curb weight of 3,449 pounds, while the SLT with all-wheel-drive weighs roughly 200 lbs more at 3,659 lbs.
As with every other GM product, the only no-cost option is Summit White. On the base SL, you can add either Quicksilver Metallic or Ebony Twilight Metallic at an additional $495. The SLE is available in three more metallic colors: Blue Emerald, Satin Steel, and Graphite Gray. It also gets the choice of Red Quartz Tintcoat, which will cost you $645. The upper-echelon SLT and Denali get access to White Frost Tricoat at $1,095, but the latter has to make do with a much more refined palette of just five colors.
Regardless of trim, the GMC Terrain is now offered only with the 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It produces 170 horsepower and 203 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is an optional extra on all but the base trim. There is no genuine 4WD, so going off-road isn't really advised. A nine-speed automatic transmission is standard on all models.
By dropping the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, GMC handed the performance advantage to the Terrain's main rivals. Independent tests have shown that it takes a lazy 9.3 seconds to go from 0-60 mph, and it has a tow-rating of only 1,500 lbs. Not the worst in the segment, but far from the best.
There are two reasons why the Terrain fails to provide outstanding performance. The first and most obvious is the weight. A Honda CR-V with a similarly-sized 1.5 turbo engine and FWD, but weighs 112 lbs less than the lightest Terrain. The second culprit is the gearbox, which has a discordant relationship with the engine.
A maximum towing capacity of 3,500 lbs is possible using only a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine. We know this because Honda does it quite effectively in the CR-V. Honda's secret is more power (190 hp) and a CVT transmission that gets the most out of the available power.
In contrast, the nine-speed feels unsure when mated to the 1.5-liter turbocharged engine in the Terrain. It's almost as if the gearbox goes through an existential crisis whenever you ask it to overtake or accelerate from a standing start. The throttle response feels exceptionally delayed, and you have to plan an overtaking maneuver well in advance. You also never quite know what you're going to get. With so many gear ratios, you'd think the gearbox would be able to extract the most out of the small engine, but the opposite is true. It merely ends up hunting, seemingly confused by the sudden power demand from the driver's right foot. The Chevrolet Equinox uses the same engine/gearbox combination and suffers from the same problem. At least it's frugal.
The upside of the Terrain's small capacity turbocharged engine is impressive fuel consumption figures. According to the EPA, the FWD will consume 25/30/27 mpg city/highway/combined, while the AWD manages 25/28/26 mpg. These mileage figures are impressive, but glancing over to the Honda CR-V's figures, you see what's achievable with a more harmonious engine/gearbox combo. The most efficient CR-V can achieve 28/34/30 mpg.
FWD Terrain models have a 14.9-gallon gas tank, while the AWD gets a 15.6-gallon tank. According to the EPA, the AWD can do 406 miles on a full tank, and the FWD can do 402 miles.
The GMC's price position has traditionally been a sore topic. Base models don't offer many features as standard, but the inclusion of the Pro Safety package as standard has made a difference. At least as far as safety-minded people are concerned. SL models get single-zone climate control, keyless entry and go, power-adjustable and heated side mirrors, a 3.5-inch driver-information display, and cruise control.
The SLE doesn't cost much more, as it only adds an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a slightly larger 4.2-icnh multi-color information display information screen in the instrument cluster. Crucially, it allows you access to more of the available packages. The SLT trim makes more noticeable changes in the form of leather seats, a power-adjustable driver's seat, and dual-zone climate control. The range-topping Denali focuses most of its efforts into looking bolder from the outside, but it does add perforated leather upholstery.
All Terrain models are equipped with an intuitive touchscreen infotainment system. SL and SLE models get a seven-inch unit, while the SLT and Denali trims get an eight-inch screen. A six-speaker sound system is standard on all but the Denali, which benefits from the premium seven-speaker Bose sound system.
The basic infotainment suite comprises Bluetooth streaming, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, and voice control. You can also create a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot for passengers. Built-in navigation is standard only on the Denali, but this is largely unnecessary thanks to smartphone integration. The added HD Radio is nice, though, if you don't make regular use of phone apps.
No recalls have been issued for 2021, so far. In 2019 it was recalled for insufficient welds on the head restraints and insufficient coating on the rear brake caliper pistons. The recall for missing bolts on the start/stop accumulator carried over from the same year to affect some 2020 models. The 2021 GMC Terrain received an impressive 83 out of a possible 100 points in the J.D. Power ownership survey. Terrain owners were particularly impressed by the dealership experience, which received 87 points.
GMC sells the Terrain with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. This is pretty standard in the segment, which means you can expect a reasonable degree of reliability from the brand.