Road Test: 2019 GMC Terrain

The 2019 Terrain is the second generation of GMC’s smallest crossover and brings a lot of distinct features and style to differentiate itself from its Equinox sibling.

Our tester was the 2019 GMC Terrain AWD SLT Black Edition with 19-inch gloss black aluminum wheels, a darkened grille insert and black surround, black mirror caps, roof rails and black badging.

The look is very stealth, menacing, and butch. But the Terrain isn’t just all show and no action.

Under the hood is the optional 2.0L turbo engine we’ve come to love from GM. It produces 252 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, propelling Terrain like a rocket on highway on-ramps. Power delivery is really superb.

Fuel economy ratings come in at 21 mpg city, 26 high, 23 combined, and we were able to easily average 25 mpg in mixed driving. We’re sure the start/stop system and 9-speed automatic transmission have something to do with that.

Inside, the Terrain was exceedingly comfortable. Everything is logical and intuitive.

We’re in love with the latest infotainment system. The large, crisp 8″ screen supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but we especially loved the built-in app store. Spotify is newly available in the Marketplace, and allowed us to login into our personal account so that all of our playlists and music info showed up. It works using the Terrain’s built-in 4G LTE connection, so a phone isn’t necessary and the quality is superior to a bluetooth connection.

The Marketplace also has apps for Shell, Mobil, Exxon, Dunkin’ Donuts, and more. It allows pump activation and fueling, and ordering of food all from the infotainment system. It saves time and we’re so glad to see the integration of today’s technologies to the next level.

There are more USB-A and USB-C ports than we could’ve ever imagined, a very well thought out decision by the folks at GMC.

From the comfort perspective, heated seats with separate heated seatback buttons, and a heated steering wheel feels fantastic in cold weather, and warms up very quickly.

We’re big fans of the fold-flat front passenger seat and flat-folding rear seat, which provide more versatility, an important purpose of a crossover like the Terrain.

The rear seats are comfortable and spacious, and the cargo area is incredibly large. The seats can be folded using levers in the cargo area, another thoughtful touch.

We like how the Terrain offers Rear Seat Reminder alerts when the second-row doors are opened before the vehicle is started. Even if there isn’t a child back there, it does remind us to grab something from the back seat that we may have forgotten.

The newly available Adaptive Cruise Control worked well in connection with the lane keep assist system. The cruise system is camera-based which means it’s less likely to stop operating due to dirt, snow, and ice build-up on the front of the vehicle like in other cars.

The 2019 Terrain offers a lot of driver assist systems, but we’d like to see many of them become standard for the next model year. The Driver Alert I and II packages include Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Park Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, the Safety Alert Driver’s Seat, Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Following Distance Indicator, Adaptive Cruise Control, Front Pedestrian Braking and IntelliBeam headlamps.

Summary Scorecard (1-10)
Ride and Handling 9
Braking 9
Powertrain and Fuel Economy 9
Noise 8
Headlights 7
Interior Fit and Finish 9
Seating 10
Visibility 8
Gauges and Controls 9
Infotainment 10
Crash-Avoidance 6
Total Score 85

Make: GMC
Model: Terrain
Trim Level: AWD SLT
Engine: 2.0L Turbo 4-Cyl
Transmission: 9-Speed Automatic
Options: Driver Alert 1 & 2, 2.0L Engine, Preferred Pkg, Infotainment Pkg, Black Edition, Trailering Pkg, Ebony Twilight Paint, GMC Interior Protection

Base Price: $32,600
As-Tested Price: $40,550

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