$14,375 - $23,129

2015 GMC Terrain Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2015 GMC Terrain was new.


Performance: 7.5

Reviewers like the 2015 GMC Terrain's serene ride quality, which they say makes it well-suited for long trips and commuting. However, most are unimpressed with its lackluster handling and numb steering. Most recommend opting for the V6 model for its strong acceleration and ample passing power. However, some caution that V6 models get unimpressive fuel economy.

  • "The available all-wheel drive (AWD) is perfect for inclement weather, and a choice of 4-cylinder and V6 engines offers good fuel economy or very good power, respectively." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "First and foremost, the Terrain delivers a comfortable and quiet ride that's well suited for daily commuting or long-distance road trips. GMC has gone to extra effort to make the Terrain's cabin as free from exterior noise as possible. A plush, well-shielded driving experience is what the majority of family-centric buyers want, and the Terrain delivers." -- AutoTrader
  • The availability of a V6 engine also sets the 2014 Terrain apart from many of its rivals in this price range, although you'll typically encounter the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that's standard on all trim levels. … If your budget allows, the optional 3.6-liter V6 provides much stronger acceleration and a more enjoyable driving experience, especially on the highway." -- Edmunds (2014)

Acceleration and Power

The Terrain comes standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 182 horsepower. A 3.6-liter V6 with 301 horsepower is available. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard with either engine. The base, front-wheel drive Terrain gets an EPA-estimated 22/32 mpg city/highway, which is typical for the class. The V6-powered Terrain gets up to 17/24 mpg city/highway, which is a bit low for an affordable compact SUV.

The automotive press notes that four-cylinder Terrains feel lethargic off the line and that highway passing power is in short supply. Others add that the available V6 makes the Terrain quite a bit quicker, with potent acceleration from a stop and plenty of pep for passing on the freeway. The transmission earns reviewer praise for its timely and imperceptible shifts.

  • The base engine is a 182-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that offers up good fuel economy, but at the cost of anything resembling snappy acceleration. On the other hand, there's a 301-horsepower V6 that's smooth and quiet, and offers much better punch even if fuel economy is only so-so." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • Equipped with the 3.6-liter V6, the Terrain is noticeably more powerful. Off-the-line acceleration feels strong, and the V6 Terrain pulls highway-passing maneuvers without struggling, but compared with the base 4-cylinder, this engine takes a beating on fuel economy." -- AutoTrader
  • "Although the four-cylinder GMC Terrain matches the acceleration times of other compact crossovers in this price range, it doesn't feel as potent out in the real world. You'll have the gas pedal floored during routine merging and passing maneuvers, and this isn't very relaxing." -- Edmunds (2014)
  • "The automatic transmission is very well behaved with both engines. Shifts are smooth, and downshifts occur promptly when needed." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Handling and Braking

Most reviewers say that the Terrain remains composed on rough roads and has a comfortable, car-like ride. However, they add that the Terrain’s steering is vague and that there’s a fair amount of body lean in turns. As a result, some note that the Terrain isn't especially engaging to drive.

  • "The Terrain really isn't fun to drive, though. Its handling is lackluster, and its steering feels numb and disconnected. Furthermore, the Terrain exhibits noticeable body roll in corners." -- AutoTrader
  • "Going down the road, the Terrain has a comfortable ride, with predictable steering feel and reassuring directional stability. It might have the looks of a rugged truck, but it has the easy driving manners of a medium-size car." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)
  • "Ride quality is excellent on all 2014 Terrains. GMC's compact crossover glides over road imperfections and boasts a hushed cabin at interstate cruising speeds." -- Edmunds (2014)
  • "Terrain is far from sporty, even taking into account the Denali's revised suspension. This crossover exhibits moderate body lean in fast turns. Steering feel is unexceptional." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

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