General Motors has positioned the new Terrain as a premium alternative to its corporate cousin, the Chevrolet Equinox. But we don’t think it’s worth the extra cost.

One of the Terrain’s major shortcomings is the dash-mounted push-button gear selector. The buttons are low in the center console, forcing drivers to look down and away from the road when making a gear choice. It’s distracting to use—which can be potentially unsafe—and it makes parking maddening.


The Terrain feels mundane through turns due to vague steering, but it proved secure and predictable in our simulated emergency maneuvers. However, we found the ride too stiff and uncomfortable.

The 2.0-liter, turbocharged engine moves the SUV along smartly, and it’s significantly punchier than the standard 1.5-liter turbo. But the nine-speed automatic transmission doesn’t shift very smoothly or promptly. This powertrain combination produced an unimpressive 22 mpg overall.

Inside, the cabin is dreary, with lots of uninspiring hard plastic. The seats are reasonably comfortable, but they’re covered in a coarse, unattractive fabric.

Making matters worse, the Terrain is loud. The engine sounds unrefined, and the elevated wind and road noise create a tiring din.

Forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking are optional. We believe these safety systems should be standard on every vehicle.

Read the complete GMC Terrain road test.

2018 GMC Terrain studio

HIGHS: Acceleration from the 2.0-liter turbo, braking
LOWS: Loud cabin, stiff ride, agility, visibility, fit and finish, confusing gear selector, price
POWERTRAIN: 252-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine; 9-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive
FUEL: 22 mpg on regular fuel

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the March 2018 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.