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2014 GMC Terrain Overview
In a field loaded with admirable choices, the 2014 GMC Terrain sub-midsize crossover offers a decently feature-laden commuter car and mall hopper. Seating for 5 is complemented by 63.9 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded, while the standard 4-cylinder powerplant can be swapped for a potent V6 mill for some additional towing power and passing confidence.
Again available in four trim levels, the better-than-just-base SLE-1, the up-featured SLE-2, the well-wrought SLT-1 and the flagship SLT-2, this handsome mini-ute comes with standard front-wheel-drive (FWD), but can be equipped with available snow-stomping, turn-taming full-time all-wheel drive (AWD). Oh, and there’s the over-the-top Terrain Denali that’s covered in a separate review.
Tweaks for 2014, meantime, include some slight updates to standard and optional equipment, including new wheel selections and an all-weather cargo mat that is now part of the SLE-2 trim’s available Chrome Package.
Standard power for this latest Terrain edition is a 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder (I4) engine that puts out some 182 hp. Managed by a standard 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission, this anemic four-banger is good for 172 lb-ft of torque, which translates to a mediocre-at-best 1,000 pounds of towing capacity with the proper equipment. Mileage, meantime, is a rather tepid 22 mpg city/32 highway with standard FWD variants and 20/29 when toting available AWD.
The preferred, at least by reviewers, powertrain for Jimmy’s midsize mini-ute is the available 3.6-liter V6 engine mated with the 6-speed shiftable automatic. Look for a peppy 301 hp and 272 lb-ft of torque from this well-wrought V6, with towing capability upped to 3,500 pounds. As expected, mileage suffers significantly with this added power, with V6-equipped FWD editions estimated at 17/20, and AWD versions burning gas at a 16/19 clip. Furthermore, both engine choices can be ordered in E85 ethanol-burning Flex-Fuel form (FFV).
The traditional appeal of this high-end small-hauler is a lengthy standard features list that gets more impressive as you climb the lineup. The entry-level SLE-1, for example, sports standard 17-inch alloy wheels and heated power-adjustable wheels outside, with cloth upholstery, a two-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and simulated alloy accents adorning the interior. Cruise control and telescoping tilt-wheel steering, of course, remain standard, as does an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and a rear-view camera that interfaces with the standard 7-inch touchscreen display for entertainment and Bluetooth/OnStar hands-free communications and voice navigation functions. Air conditioning also returns to this base trim, as does an 80-watt audio system that boasts a single-CD player, 6 speakers and satellite radio.
Running with all of the above, the SLE-2 gains its added prestige with a standard roof rack, an 8-way power driver’s seat, Sun-Sensor-interfaced climate control, and 250 watts of audio power sent through 8 Pioneer premium speakers.
The penultimate SLT-1 flaunts everything in its lower-end sibling as well as heated front seats, leather upholstery, and front and rear floor mats, with the top-shelf SLT-2 tossing in 18-inch wheels, a power sunroof and rear liftgate, rear parking sensors, a remote garage door opener, reverse-tilt mirrors, skid plates and memory for driver's settings.
In business-as-usual fashion, options for the lower Terrain trims include many items found standard on higher trims. If more extras are desired, there’s stuff like a hard-drive-based navigation suite that sports Intellilink technology allowing access to Pandora and Stitcher radio, upgraded and upsized wheels and a towing package, all of which are available to the SLE-2 and higher trims. The high-end SLT-2, additionally, can be delivered with available rear-seat DVD entertainment. Add-ons like the self-explanatory Chrome Package and an equally self-explanatory exterior protection package, not to mention a Cargo Convenience Package are also available, depending on the trim selected.
Standard safety equipment for the 2014 Terrain lineup again includes 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, and front and rear head airbags. OnStar emergency alerts and assistance remain standard in all trims, while each also boasts daytime running lights, front fog/driving lights, dusk-sensing headlights, a post-collision safety system and a remote antitheft alarm. A forward collision alert, finally, as well as a lane departure alert system are each optional in lower trims and standard for the SLT-2.
Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.