2010 GMC Terrain
With sales of its surviving four brands doing well, General Motors appears on the road to recovery. A big reason is a steady stream of attractive new models. Case in point, the 2010 GMC Terrain. While sharing its mechanicals with the popular Chevrolet Equinox crossover utility, the Terrain shuns pure badge engineering, and dons the distinct, angled look of a more traditional SUV. Now, let’s see if it drives the same way.
While the 2010 GMC Terrain shares the Equinox’s compact-to-midsize Theta unitized chassis, it’s more “tough truck” shape ends up being about 2.5 inches shorter in overall length. So, to the eye, Terrain is stouter than the sleeker Equinox, and more along the lines of the venerable Jeep Cherokee.
The Terrain’s visual macho starts with projector-beam headlights, stacked to either side of a massive chrome GMC grille, which drops low into a deep, substantial-looking front fascia. The Terrain’s pronounced, squared-off fenders house wheels from 17 to 19 inches. Our tester split the difference, with six-spoke 18-inch alloys.
Standard roof rails proved useful, and fit the Terrain’s stance nicely. We also like the blacked-out D-pillars that give the impression of a wraparound rear greenhouse. Ditto the rear wiper that appears to float above a chrome bar connecting big, wide taillights. It shares no sheetmetal with the Equinox, but pop the Terrain’s hood, and things are happily familiar.
Our all-wheel drive tester sported the same direct-injected Ecotec 2.4-liter four we applauded in the Equinox. Ratings are 182 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. A 3.0-liter direct-injected V6 is optional with 264 horsepower and 222 pound-feet of torque, and when properly equipped, a trailer tow limit of 3,500 pounds.
In front or all-wheel drive, engines attached to a six-speed automatic with manual mode. Four-cylinders get an “Eco mode” which lowers shift points for better fuel economy.
This combo gives Terrain the same stellar fuel economy as Equinox. Our all-wheel drive four has Government Fuel Economy Ratings of 20 miles-per-gallon city and 29 highway. We managed an excellent 27.5 miles-per-gallon on regular gas. Our Terrain’s Energy Impact Score stands at a modest 14.9 barrels of oil consumed annually, and its Carbon Footprint of 8 tons of CO2 is likewise light-footed.
But, at the track, our Terrain loped from a standstill to 60 in 9.7 seconds. That’s about a second slower than the front-drive Equinox we tested last fall. Shifts came slow, even in manual mode. The quarter mile came in at 17.3 seconds at 83 miles-per-hour. Beyond times, however, the 2.4 felt plenty strong for highway passing, especially between five and seven thousand rpm.
The Terrain’s low power-to-weight ratio proved less of a hindrance through the slalom, where it felt much lighter than its almost two-ton curb weight. It delivered impressive car-style grip, sharp turn-ins, and only modest body roll, with none of the flabbiness of a traditional SUV.
Steering was slack on center, but tightened up nicely when we asked the Terrain to dance. In the high-speed lane change, the all-independent suspension and electronic control nannies kept the rear end reassuringly in check. Stomping the ABS disc brakes from 60 yielded a short average stopping distance of 122 feet. Brake feel was excellent: smooth and firm.
All Terrain cabins come standard with flowing lines, soft-touch materials, and six airbags. They’re setup in a sporty, twin-cockpit theme that, except for the gauge pod, has a lot in common with Equinox.
Our well-optioned SLT included a sunroof, which shed light on the nicely drawn dash, and steering wheel audio controls that put channel surfing at our fingertips.
Bluetooth connectivity also fell easily to hand. Four auxiliary power outlets and a USB port are standard, as is Active Noise Cancellation. On 2.4 Terrains, it neutralizes engine boom using the audio system’s eight speakers. Also standard is a backup camera that shows up in the rear view mirror, or on the available navigation screen.
Our Terrain’s heated, leather trimmed front seats were plenty comfortable on long hauls. Equally comfy is the split-fold rear bench that, like Equinox, reclines and slides with eight inches of travel. Also like Equinox is Terrain’s optional programmable power liftgate. Besides full open, it can be set for a lower opening to avoid contact with a garage ceiling. Once open, owners find 31.6 cubic feet of cargo room seats up, and a small-for-its-class 63.9 cubic feet seats down.
Pricing, however, is very competitive given the Terrain’s high level of standard equipment. Base four-cylinder stickers range from $24,955 for the front drive SLE, to $29,945 for the all-wheel drive SLT. The V6 adds $1500 more.
For General Motors to prosper, they will need more efforts like the 2010 GMC Terrain. This gutsy, fuel-efficient, tough looking crossover is a family slam dunk, with build quality, interior, and drivability, on par with, if not better than, any rival utility across town, and across the oceans.
- Engine: 2.4-Liter Four
- Horsepower: 182
- Torque: 172 Lb Feet
- 0-60 MPH: 9.7 Seconds
- 1/4 Mile: 17.3 Seconds @ 83 MPH
- 60-0 MPH: 122 Feet
- EPA: 20 MPG City/ 29 MPG Highway
- Mixed Loop: 27.5 MPG
- Energy Impact: 14.9 Barrels Oil/Yr
- CO2 Emissions: 8.0 Tons/Yr
2023 GMC Canyon
Canyon Goes Bigger
Most people know the GMC Canyon as the Chevrolet Colorado’s professional grade cousin. And while that sounds like just marketing speak, with an all-new design of GM’s midsize truck platform comes more genuine brand separation. So, let’s see what the third-gen GMC Canyon delivers in real time!
Small trucks are once again a big deal, and part of the reason is that they are no longer small. There’s not much about this 2023 GMC Canyon that resembles the ¼-ton Sonomas, S-10s, Rangers, and Datsun trucks that were wildly popular in the 1980s.
Of course, then, people were willing to sacrifice certain “big-truck” things for an easier to use and more economical pickup experience. Well, we don’t seem to be big on compromise for much of anything these days, and the current midsize crop of trucks deliver more than ever. So fittingly, the 2023 Canyon will be available as a Crew Cab only with a 5-foot bed. No more extended cab or long bed options. Wheelbase is about 3-inches longer than before, with the front wheels pushed more towards the front. It definitely looks tougher, and they’ve even eliminated the much-hated front air dam that protruded well below the front bumper.
The Canyon also comes exclusively with the high-output version of GM’s 2.7-liter turbocharged I-4, with a stout 310-horsepower and 430 lb-ft. of torque. At times it feels even more powerful than those numbers would indicate, with its diesel-like torque delivery enabling a best-in-class max tow rating of 7,700-lbs. No choice of transmission either, strictly 8-speed automatic, but you can still decide whether you want rear or 4-wheel-drive.
At minimum, ground clearance is 9.6-inches, which is more than an inch taller than last year, and almost 2-inches over Chevy’s base Colorado. And since it’s all about the off-road packages these days, our AT4 tester comes with 4-wheel drive, off-road suspension, locking rear diff, 2-speed transfer case, hill descent control, and 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tires.
And that’s just where things get started, as at the top of the heap, there’s a new AT4X with 10.7-inches of ground clearance, enhanced front and rear e-locking differentials, 33-inch mud terrain tires, Multimatic dampers, and an additional Baja Drive Mode. We’ll have more on the AT4X real soon.
But for all Canyons, including this AT4, GMC went tech-heavy, as all get 11-inch infotainment screens and a fully digital driver display in either 8 or 11-inches. Plus, an available head up display comes with most trims, and there are even optional underbody cameras.
Unique AT4 features include a Jet Black and Timber interior motif with stitched logos on the leather front seats. Those seats are definitely comfortable, and it feels maybe a tad roomier than before, but still well shy of the sprawling space in a full-size truck. It’s even more noticeable in the rear, though there are more practical storage options back here.
The AT4 gets a sliding rear window, along with a tailgate storage system to complement the integrated ruler, and bed side-mounted 120-volt power outlet. The Canyon already delivered one of the best rides in the midsize class, and the taller suspension seems to only improve on that; it’s not quite crossover plush, but certainly great for a body on frame truck.
Though the higher ground clearance and off-road emphasis kept it from being a track star. Indeed, healthy amounts of understeer and body roll greeted us in our handling course. It was a little hesitant off the line in speed runs, but once rolling, power poured on steadily. 0-60 in only 7.5-seconds, and through the ¼-mile in 15.6-seconds at 91 miles-per-hour.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the AT4 are 17-City, 21-Highway, and 19-Combined; we averaged an acceptable 18.2 miles-per-gallon of Regular. Pricing starts with a 2-wheel-drive Elevation at $38,395. That puts it at midlevel Chevrolet Colorado, with is consistent with the mission of the new Canyon. All other trims come with 4-wheel drive, this AT4 starting at $45,395, and the AT4X now eclipsing Denali as the highest offering at $56,995.
So, as small trucks have grown, so has the price of entry. But if that doesn’t scare you off, there is no denying the 2023 GMC Canyon is yes bigger, but also bolder and badder than before. Does that necessarily make it better? We say positively yes!
- Engine: 2.7L Turbo-4
- Horsepower: 310
- 0-60 mph: 7.5 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 121 feet (avg)
- MW Fuel Economy: 18.2 mpg (Regular)
- Transmission: 8-speed auto
- Torque: 430 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 15.6-seconds at 91 mph
- EPA: 17 City / 21 Highway / 19 Combined