• Sign in
  • |
  • Sign up

Car Review

2014 GMC Terrain: New Car Review

RELATED READING
See all GMC Terrain articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs Infiniti cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION
2014 GMC Terrain

by AutoTrader November 2013

While some classify the GMC Terrain as a compact crossover, others say it's a midsize. The truth is the 2014 GMC Terrain enjoys the best of both designations. It offers fuel economy fit for a compact and the roominess of a midsize utility. Add to the equation trucklike styling and the GMC Terrain becomes a truly compelling package. 

The Terrain delivers on many fronts, much like its almost identical counterpart, the well-rounded Chevrolet Equinox. Both crossovers are competent people-haulers, emphasizing comfort, fuel economy, refinement and roominess, all things held in regard by those shopping for a family vehicle. But the Terrain sets itself apart with distinctive styling elements such as a prominent grille, oversize wheel arches and squared-off body panels. 

Despite its rugged name, the Terrain does not offer any off-road capability. To the contrary, the only terrain that the Terrain is truly suited for is asphalt. The Terrain's available all-wheel-drive system is fine for handling harsh weather and road conditions, but it's less than ideal for treading a muddy trail through the woods. 

What's New for 2014?

The Terrain is largely unchanged for the 2014 model year, except for a few new alloy wheel designs. 

What We Like

Powerful V6; quiet and comfortable ride; impressive fuel economy; bold styling; sliding second row; good storage space 

What We Don't

No third-row seat; vague steering feel; underwhelming dynamics 

How Much?

$27,500-$37,900 

Fuel Economy

The Terrain offers two engine choices. A 2.4-liter 4-cylinder is standard. It's hooked to a 6-speed automatic transmission, and makes 182 horsepower and 172 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is 22 miles per gallon city/32 mpg hwy with front-wheel drive or 20 mpg city/29 mpg hwy with all-wheel drive. 

Drivers who want more power can step up to the optional 3.6-liter V6, which makes 301 hp and 272 lb-ft of torque. The V6 is rated at 17 mpg city/24 mpg hwy with front-wheel drive or 16 mpg city/23 mpg hwy with all-wheel drive.

Standard Features & Options

The GMC Terrain is offered in five trim levels: base-level SLE-1 and SLE-2, mid-level SLT-1 and SLT-2, and an upscale model, added last year, dubbed the Terrain Denali. 

The base-level SLE-1 ($27,500) includes OnStar, Bluetooth, a 7-inch center-mounted touchscreen, a rearview camera, cruise control, 17-in alloy wheels, a power driver's seat and an auxiliary plug and USB port for music. 

Step up to the SLE-2 ($29,000) and you add automatic climate control, GM's IntelliLink infotainment system with voice commands, a Pioneer audio system, a power passenger seat and roof rails. 

Next up is the SLT-1 ($30,500), which boasts heated front seats, leather upholstery and a remote engine starter. 

From there, drivers can move to the SLT-2 ($33,800), which adds a sunroof, 18-in wheels, rear park assist, a lane-departure warning system, a forward-collision warning system, a power lift gate, driver seat memory and other accents.

Finally, topping the Terrain lineup is the Denali ($36,200), which offers rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot alert, unique wheels and Denali-specific exterior and interior trim. 

Many Terrain models offer optional features standard on higher trim levels. The SLE-2, for instance, offers a convenience package that's standard on the SLT-1 and a safety package that's standard on the SLT-2. Other options include a navigation system, all-wheel drive, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and the 3.6-liter V6. 

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2012 GMC Terrain 2WD SLE
Used 2012 GMC Terrain
$17,630
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Certified 2014 GMC Terrain AWD SLT
Certified 2014 GMC Terrain
$28,488
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2010 GMC Terrain AWD SLT
Used 2010 GMC Terrain
$17,688
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2013 GMC Terrain AWD SLT
Used 2013 GMC Terrain
$21,900

Safety

Standard safety comes from six airbags, OnStar emergency telematics, ABS, stability control and traction control. To elevate occupant protection, GMC also offers optional lane-departure warning and forward-collision alert systems, part of the Safety Package available on the SLE-2 and SLT-1 and standard on the SLT-2 and Denali. The Denali also includes a standard blind spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert. 

The Terrain received four overall stars in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash testing. It earned five stars in NHTSA's side-impact test but received four stars in frontal and rollover assessments. 

Behind the Wheel

Foremost, the Terrain delivers a comfortable and quiet ride that's well-suited for daily commuting or long-distance road trips. GMC has gone to extra effort to make the Terrain's cabin as free from exterior noise as possible. A plush, well-shielded driving experience is what most family-centric buyers want, and the Terrain delivers. 

The Terrain really isn't fun to drive, though. Its handling is lackluster, and its steering feels numb and disconnected. Furthermore, the Terrain exhibits noticeable body roll in corners.

As for power, the 4-cylinder Terrain is a fine choice for everyday driving. Power delivery is smooth and steady throughout the rev band. The only time it may come up short is when the Terrain is loaded down with passengers and cargo. 

Equipped with the 3.6-liter V6, the Terrain is noticeably more powerful. Off-the-line acceleration feels strong, and the V6 Terrain pulls highway passing maneuvers without struggling. But compared with the base 4-cylinder, this engine takes a beating on fuel economy. 

Although the Terrain is not ideal for going off-pavement, it is a capable towing vehicle. Choosing the V6 and the optional trailer package lets the Terrain driver tow a small boat. 

Other Cars to Consider

Honda CR-V -- The CR-V offers more cargo capacity but no V6 engine option. Both vehicles provide comfortable transportation for five. 

Toyota RAV4 -- The latest RAV4 doesn't have the Terrain's bold styling or V6 power. But it's high on value, fuel economy and interior room, even if it isn't the most refined compact SUV around. 

Ford Escape -- The recently redesigned Escape has more high-tech features than the Terrain, and it offers a wider range of engine choices, including a hybrid drivetrain. But the Terrain's sliding rear seat gives it more interior versatility. 

Kia Sportage -- The Sportage is sportier and more fun to drive than the Terrain. But the Terrain offers more cargo room and a roomier second-row seat, which slides and reclines. 

AutoTrader's Advice

The 2014 GMC Terrain variant that makes the most sense is the SLT-1 trim matched with the 4-cylinder engine. The 4-cylinder provides adequate power and better fuel economy, and the SLT-1 trim offers the best value among the five models. It comes with features such as remote start, heated front seats, leather upholstery, a touchscreen audio system and a backup camera, but does so without breaking the bank. We also suggest opting for the available navigation and Safety Package. And for those living in colder regions, all-wheel drive is highly recommended. Otherwise, stick to the thriftier front-wheel-drive setup.

Find a GMC Terrain for sale

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Close 
2014 GMC Terrain: New Car Review - Autotrader