Like every other volume manufacturer, General Motors has addressed incredible demand for compact crossovers. Everyone from traditional cross-town rivals, Dodge and Ford, to the European and Asian players has a stake in this game.
GM offers the Cadillac XT4, Buick Envision, Chevrolet Equinox, and the GMC Terrain.
This week’s tester was the GMC Terrain, available in SLE, SLT, AT4 and Denali trim. All Terrains come with all-wheel-drive, a turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine, and nine-speed automatic transmission.
The test vehicle was a trim-topping Denali version with minimal options topping out at $45,363, including freight.
As the top trim level, the standard equipment list is extensive, and complete. The few options on the tester included a $1,700 sunroof, and $500 for special paint. Neither one would make my wish list, so there is more than $2,000 in savings right there.
More muscular Terrain with added AT4 trim
The Terrain is currently in its second generation. It received a refresh for the 2022 model year including a new front fascia, grill, and LED headlights. The overall effect is of a more muscular look.
The interior got come upgrades at the same time, and an AT4 trim level was added to appeal to off-road pretenders.
The standard and only engine is rather lethargic. It has good off-the-line punch thanks to the turbo, but runs out of breath with any sustained full-throttle use. Acceleration from rest to 100 km/hr takes almost 10 seconds, adequate, but not impressive.
Gear selection for the nine-speed automatic transmission is via buttons mounted low on the centre stack. The system is unintuitive to operate at first, but with continued use would become second nature.
The same could be said for the Traction Select system. The driver can choose from a number of modes depending on driving conditions, or do what 99% will do – leave it in automatic.
The infotainment system is easier to use than most and quick to respond to inputs.
Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. At this trim level, navigation, an onboard WiFi hotspot and a Bose audio system are included. The infotainment screen measures 17.5-cm while other trim levels have a 15-cm screen.
There is a heads-up display but via a chintzy pop-up plastic screen rather than projected unto the windshield. On the plus side it displays a variety of details including not only speed, but current music and navigation info. It is also easily adjusted for height unlike most which require you to dig through levels in the infotainment system.
The interior is well thought out, and spacious in the first and second rows compared to the competition. The cargo space however, is slightly below average. The Denali trim is atop the line with leather and other quality materials, but nothing stands out.
While compliant, the ride is not as composed as most in this class, and the handling will not have you searching out a weekend autocross.
Despite a rugged name, the Terrain is more at home on paved surfaces.
Most of the safety bases are covered on every trim level. This includes adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, and rear cross-traffic alert.
The compact crossover segment has grown at a dizzying pace. The Terrain has done a decent job of catching up.
FACTS & FIGURES – 2022 GMC Terrain AWD Denali
As tested: $46,363 including freight
LED headlights, rear cross traffic alert, lane change and blind spot alert, automatic high beams, forward collision alert, lane keep assist with lane departure warning
Seven-speaker Bose audio system, 20-cm screen, navigation, wireless connectivity, voice-recognition, satellite radio, wireless charging
Perforated leather seating, eight-way power driver’s seat with two position memory, six-way power passenger seat, heated steering wheel, heads-up display, power windows, locks and mirrors, remote keyless entry, keyless start, universal home remote, 110-volt power outlet, dual zone automatic climate control, adaptive cruise control
Power sunroof, $1,685; Ebony Twilight metallic paint, $495; engine block heater, $195; floor liner package, $440
Turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder, 170-horsepower, 203 lb.-ft. of torque, regular fuel; nine-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel-drive. NRCan rating (litres/100km city/highway) 9.6/8.3
Length, 4,630 mm; width, 1,839 mm; wheelbase, 2,725 mm; weight, 1,660 kg
Buick Envision, Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4