New Car Review

2016 GMC Terrain: New Car Review

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 GMC Terrain FWD SLE
Used 2016 GMC Terrain
$19,895
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 GMC Terrain AWD Denali
Used 2016 GMC Terrain
$23,777
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 GMC Terrain FWD SLE
Used 2016 GMC Terrain
$18,833
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 GMC Terrain AWD Denali
Used 2016 GMC Terrain
$Unlisted
RELATED READING
See all GMC Terrain articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC 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 Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu 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 Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo 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

author photo by Autotrader October 2015

While some classify the GMC Terrain as a compact crossover, others say it's a midsize. The truth is the 2016 GMC Terrain enjoys the best of both designations. It offers fuel economy fit for a compact and the roominess of a midsize SUV. Add trucklike styling to the equation, and the Terrain becomes a truly compelling package.

The Terrain delivers on many fronts -- much like its mechanically 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 kind of off-road capability. On the contrary, the only terrain that the Terrain is truly suited for is asphalt. The Terrain's available all-wheel-drive (AWD) 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 2016?

The Terrain receives a mild facelift for the new model year that includes an updated front end, new wheel designs, a slightly revised model lineup and expanded availability of some features, including a power passenger seat, rear cross-traffic alert and a blind spot monitoring system.

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; styling may go too far for some drivers

How Much?

$25,300-$35,300

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 in the city and 32 mpg on the highway with front-wheel drive or 20 mpg city/29 mpg hwy with optional 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 AWD.

Standard Features & Options

The 2016 GMC Terrain is offered in six trim levels: a new-for-2016 base model called the SL, along with the midlevel SLE-1 and SLE-2, an upscale SLT and the high-end Terrain Denali.

The base-level SL ($25,300) includes only the basics. Offered only with front-wheel drive, the 4-cylinder engine and three color choices, Terrain SL models boast a standard backup camera, GM's OnStar system with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot, 17-inch alloy wheels and common features such as air conditioning, remote keyless entry and power accessories.

Although the midlevel SLE-1 ($28,100) doesn't add much to the SL's standard equipment list, it offers far more options, including a trailering package, additional interior and exterior color choices, rear carpeting, a power sunroof, the Terrain's 3.6-liter V6 engine and all-wheel drive. It also adds standard heated mirrors and SiriusXM radio as standard equipment.

Next up is the SLE-2 ($29,600), which adds roof rails, a power driver's seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, automatic climate control and an 8-speaker Pioneer stereo system. The SLE-2 also adds further available options, including the Terrain's 3.6-liter V6, forward-collision alert, lane-departure warning, a blind spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert, a power passenger seat, a remote starter, rear park assist and GM's IntelliLink infotainment system with navigation.

Topping the range is the Acadia Denali ($35,300), which adds a blind spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert, rear park assist, forward-collision alert, lane-departure warning, GM's IntelliLink infotainment system, leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual power front seats and a remote starter. Options include all-wheel drive, a power sunroof, a navigation system and the Terrain's 3.6-liter V6 engine.

Safety

Standard safety comes from six airbags, OnStar emergency telematics, an anti-lock braking system, stability control, traction control and a backup camera. Safety options include lane-departure warning, forward-collision alert, a blind spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert and rear parking sensors, all of which are standard on the Denali and optional on the midlevel SLE-2.

In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash testing, the Terrain earned an average 4-star overall score, comprised of five stars in the side-impact test and four stars in frontal impact and rollover assessments. In testing carried out by the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Terrain earned a strong Top Safety Pick designation.

Behind the Wheel

First and 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 the majority of familycentric 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 the pavement, it is a relatively capable towing vehicle. Choosing the V6 and the optional trailer package lets Terrain drivers tow a small boat.

Other Cars to Consider

2016 Chevrolet Equinox -- The Terrain's closest competitor is its mechanical twin, the Chevrolet Equinox. Both models offer the same powertrain choices and similar driving experiences, though the Terrain's styling is dramatically distinct from the Equinox's more conventional look.

2015 Honda CR-V -- The CR-V offers more cargo capacity than the Terrain but no V6 engine option. Both vehicles provide comfortable transportation for five.

2016 Ford Escape -- The recently redesigned Escape has more high-tech features than the Terrain, and it offers a wider range of engine choices. But the Terrain's sliding rear seat gives it more interior versatility.

Used GMC Acadia -- If you like the Terrain's GMC styling and brand name but need more space, consider the 3-row Acadia, which comes standard with a V6 and offers more equipment. It's more expensive, though, so you may need to consider a used model.

Autotrader's Advice

The best version of the 2016 GMC Terrain is the SLE-2 model matched with the crossover's 4-cylinder engine. That way, you get a wide range of standard features -- and access to an even wider range of options -- without spending big money for an upscale Terrain Denali. You also get a surprisingly frugal 4-cylinder powertrain, although the beauty of the Terrain SLE is that drivers can choose a V6 if they want that, too.

Find a GMC Terrain for sale

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 GMC Terrain FWD SLE
Used 2016 GMC Terrain
$19,895
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 GMC Terrain AWD Denali
Used 2016 GMC Terrain
$23,777
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 GMC Terrain FWD SLE
Used 2016 GMC Terrain
$18,833
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 GMC Terrain AWD Denali
Used 2016 GMC Terrain
$Unlisted
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.
2016 GMC Terrain: New Car Review - Autotrader