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2017 GMC Terrain Overview
With so many compact SUVs opting for curvaceous lines, the 2017 GMC Terrain goes in the other direction, with sharp angles and rugged creases. If that style appeals to you (it is a handsome vehicle) and you want a roomy interior with plenty of passenger space, the 2017 Terrain is your SUV.
Not much has changed with the Terrain for this model year. The big news is the addition of a Nightfall edition that adds an extra layer of tough-guy to the already macho Terrain with a package that includes a blacked-out grille, black wheels, and a black front and rear fascia.
Before we get to the aggressively angular exterior or the spacious interior, let’s take a look at another Terrain highlight - a robust powertrain. But before we get to the robust part, let’s look at the efficient base engine, a 2.4-liter direct-injected inline 4-cylinder (I4) that generates 182 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque. It gets 21 mpg city/31 highway with the standard front-wheel drive (FWD) and 20/28 with the optional all-wheel drive (AWD). The I4 is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission and is available on three of the four trim levels - the SL, SLE-1, and SLE-2 - but not with the top-end SLT.
Okay, now for the beefy engine that's really another major selling point for the Terrain - a 3.6-liter V6 that cranks out 301 hp and 272 lb-ft of torque. It can push the Terrain from 0-60 mph in (approximately) 6 seconds and can tow up to 3,500 pounds. The V6 is mated to the same 6-speed automatic transmission and gets 17/24 with the standard FWD and 16/23 with the available AWD, which will cost an extra $1,750 on all Terrain trims. It’s the standard engine for the SLT trim and an option for the SLE-2.
The V6 has a nice growl to it, but you probably won’t hear it inside the Terrain’s well-insulated cabin. The laminated glass, triple-layer door seals, and active noise-cancellation technology make this an exceptionally quiet SUV. It also has a quiet feel on the road thanks to a unibody construction that allows for a comfortable suspension. The Terrain is a pleasure to drive on pavement, but its low ground clearance doesn’t allow for any hardcore off-road adventures.
The Terrain’s rugged look hits you in the face with its huge chrome grille, angular headlamp casings, and power-domed hood. The look is no less glaring from the side, where the wheel openings are oversize and blocky. There’s also an optional brawny roof rack that’s the perfect accessory for this style.
Open the door, however, and that masculine exterior fades into a plush and sizable cabin. The center stack has been slightly revamped this year for a more modern feel and the materials include satin metal and (optional) two-tone leather. The front bucket seats are comfortable, there’s plenty of headroom in both rows, and the second row can move eight inches forward or back, providing extra leg or cargo room.
With that second row moved forward, there’s 31.6 cubic feet of cargo space in the rear. With the second row folded flat, there’s 64 cubic feet available for cargo. There’s also some convenient and roomy storage spaces sprinkled throughout - an extra-large glovebox, a center storage bin between the front seats big enough for laptops, and cubbies in the doors.
Features for the SL trim (starting at about $25,000) include cruise control, Bluetooth for phone, color touch radio with a 7-inch display screen, a 6-speaker audio system with a USB port and auxiliary jack, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Moving up to the SLE-1 trim (starting around $28,000) adds heated and body-color exterior mirrors, air conditioning, 18-inch aluminum wheels, and the chance to add options like remote start and a sunroof.
The SLE-2 ($29,700) upgrades include an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, automatic climate control, LED daytime running lights, luggage rails, and an 8-speaker Pioneer sound system. In addition to the standard V6 engine, the top-end SLT trim ($32,000) adds perforated leather upholstery, heated front sets, remote start, and a boatload of chrome to the exterior trim, including chrome luggage rails.
Standard safety features for all Terrains include six airbags, stability control, antilock brakes, and six months of OnStar service. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Terrain its top score of Good on all completed tests.
After working at gas stations and car washes in high school, driving across the country more than a dozen times and even living on the road in a well-outfitted truck, Tim O'Sullivan finally started putting some of his automotive knowledge to work when he began writing for CarGurus in 2008. He's also an award-winning journalist and the Sports Editor at the Concord (NH) Monitor.
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