If you know me, American made cars have not been a giant part of my life. I’ve always been used to going in some Japanese vehicle instead. But ever since I’ve started driving cars to review, the more American cars I test, the more they make sense to me. The 2012 GMC Terrain is GMC’s entry level SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle), it’s larger than station wagons but not you’re total Cadillac Esclade. These vehicles aren’t really meant for total off-road capabilities, if you need something like that, Jeeps and Range Rovers are more your type. The GMC Terrain combines a V6 power plant and comfortable suspension to take the bumps and rare off-road moments. It was actually a fantastic car to drive around for a week.
The Terrain isn’t a Rolls-Royce but the way it rides on town roads and highways, it absorbs every and each bump. Now some of the downfalls of this is numb and feeling-less steering, but when you are going a little slower and you need to have control, the steering wheel talks to you normally. There was a slight bit of torque steer when you put the hammer down on the right pedal, pretty normal for front-wheel drive vehicles. Now the interior of the Terrain is fitted with leather seats, OnStar, 7-inch infotainment display, and more storage than anyone could ask for. The seats we’re actually stitched with red which gave it a more premium feel, also if you have ever used OnStar, it’s a pretty good help when you need it.
Inside the cabin of the Terrain is pretty spacious, it will fit five in comfort and in the rear, the leg room is fantastic. The drive shaft if lowered so there is basically no drive shaft hump which any middle seat passenger will be thankful for that. The A/C was freezing cold, I actually had to put it up a few degrees than normally because it become the Antarctic. Also, noise isolating has been a large focus on many luxury automobile manufactures and GMC has taken this seriously. The material they use to dampen the outside sound has been made more dense and thicker. The seals around the doors have been made sure that they work properly. If this thing went to space, it would be air-lock approved by NASA. I bet it would be quieter to launch in as well. This SUV would be the perfect car to take to the Grand Canyon with the family, instead of renting a huge motor home, why not just go in this?
The engine in my model was a V6 which delivered good power for overtaking someone on the highway, we didn’t bother to test the 0-60 because it’s a SUV, come on. The transmission was pretty good overall, it did have a few times where it took a while for the transmission to change from reverse to drive, it became an annoying problem at busy mall car parks. One other thing I didn’t get is why did they put a Manual mode in this car? I understand it for people trying to tow something up a hill, keep the car in the low gears, but why not just put a Low Gears gear selection than a Manual mode? I also don’t like the shifter for the manual, it’s two buttons located on the driver side of the shift knob, it works but I just don’t like it. I kept the car in Automatic the whole time I drove it.
Overall the GMC is an excellent SUV. Starting at only $25,000, it’s pretty inexpensive when you compare it to its competitors, even you Japanese car competitors. For the space you get, and GMC is a pretty good badge for professional grade vehicles, this is an excellent vehicle for the price. It rides unbelievably well, it has a very good cruising speed on the highway without any outdoor noises coming in, the sound-proofing is fantastic, and most importantly it can take five-people and you’re family dog in comfort. This was an excellent vehicle to drive in.