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In-depth Review Of The 2023 GMC Terrain

The 2023 GMC Terrain’s attractive and assertive look belies the fact that its features and performance fall short of creating a competitive package in the highly competitive compact crossover market.

The universally available and underwhelming 175 horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes all GMC models look less fierce. The minimal equipment and merely average material quality limit the roomy and welcoming interior.

The expensive 2023 GMC Terrain Denali model addresses some of these issues, but rivals like the Mazda CX-50 and the Honda CR-V provide better features and performance at a comparable price.

Engine and Performance

The Terrain is available with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive and a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine with a nine-speed automatic transmission as standard. The Terrain offers its passengers a comfortable, cozy ride.

On long highway drives, the softly sprung crossover is a blessing, but once the tarmac becomes winding, the comfort-oriented setup saps the compact crossover of driver engagement.

The direct but syrupy steering, which offers effortless turn-in at low speeds, is similarly uninformative as a mob boss in a police interrogation room.

Fuel Economy

The EPA estimates the Terrain with front-wheel drive will earn up to 25 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway; going with all-wheel drive drops the highway estimate to 28 mpg.


A spacious and accommodating interior is marred by poor build quality and an average selection of materials. Meanwhile, the Terrain’s ergonomically challenged push-button shifter adds salt to the interior wounds of the small crossover.

It consists of a number of switches that look like power window controls, are difficult to operate, and are located low on the center console.

Although we believe owners will eventually grow accustomed to it, we found the small buttons challenging to locate at a glance, particularly when groping for reverse, making it challenging to perform quick three-point turns or engage the transmission’s manual mode.

The Terrain makes an accommodating partner for towing heavy loads of all sizes. Credit a fold-flat front seat and a standard 60/40 split-folding rear seat. Competitive space is provided by the Terrain’s cargo area.

The Terrain held 24 cases in our carry-on luggage test when the back seats were folded; however, the CR-V is a better option for those looking for the most cargo space possible.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

Numerous driver assistance features are provided as standard equipment, and more can be added as options. Also, the likes of Adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and pedestrian detection are some of the main safety features that are available.

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