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Review: 2011 GMC Terrain AWD SLT2

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So a few weeks ago, GM loaned us a brand new 2011 GMC Terrain to take up to NYC for the NFL Draft. I blogged about the trip on Eagles Gab, but I didn’t go into great detail about the car. But for Guys Gab, an in-depth review is a must!

Base price for a 2011 GMC Terrain is $24,995. Our loaded tester came in at $38,580!

So what do you get for an extra $14K? The SLT2 package added the following: Steering wheel audio controls, automatic climate control, a Pioneer sound system, leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth, 8-way power drivers seat (no love for the passenger), heated leather seats, remote start, sunroof, chrome package, rear parking assistant, and more!

In addition, our car had AWD, an upgraded audio system with navigation and a 40GB hard drive, the 3.0L V6 engine, a rear entertainment system, and 19″ chrome wheels (which got lots of attention on the drive up). Most people won’t go this crazy on options, but it’s good to know that these premium options are available.

The Terrain is the GMC version of the Chevy Equinox, and shares chassis, engine, drivetrain and suspension. The Equinox and Terrain are also related to the Cadillac SRX ­by their common “Theta” chassis platform.

The most striking thing about the Terrain is the exterior styling. The first impression was that GMC was conserving some of the Hummer DNA with the large square box flares around the wheel wells and the defiant blocky front end. Not quite the Tonka truck look that defined Hummer, but definitely a family resemblance.

So how did it drive? Overall, we were pretty happy with the ride quality. We were concerned that the 19″ wheels would be harsh (especially on the pothole-ridden roads of NYC), but they soaked up the bumps without complaints. The car seems big in person, but when you look at the actual dimensions (185.3″ length, 72.8″ width, 66.3″ height), it’s actually quite reasonable! Slightly longer than the WRX, but shorter than the TL. The parking guy didn’t even charge us the oversized vehicle fee!

We had the upgraded 3.0L engine, which puts out 264HP and 222 lb-ft of torque. We felt that this engine was lacking in power, and more torque was needed to handle the 4200lbs truck. (I can’t even imagine what the 2.4L must be like)

On the plus side, the mileage is respectable at 16/22 MPG. And it runs on regular Unleaded, as opposed to premium. But with a HUGE gas tank, expect a hefty bill at the pump.

The GMC Terrain is a competitive offering in the crowded crossover space. Auto makers are bringing their A game, so consumers really can’t go wrong. Our suggestion? Drive all of the crossover SUVs you’re considering, and find the one that best suits you.

Sujeet Patel is the founder of Guys Gab, and one of the biggest automotive enthusiast you'll ever meet. He's been fortunate enough to turn his passion for cars into a full-time job. Like they say, "If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life."

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