Thanks to a styling refresh, the 2022 GMC Terrain looks bolder and more truck-like than previous iterations of this popular crossover.
It still uses the same powertrain as before, but with a redesigned grille, as well as new LED headlights and daytime running lights, the tweaked Terrain has a big-truck look that certainly has its appeal.
If you like small trucks that look like their bigger siblings, then you’ll welcome the 2022 Terrain’s facelift. Designers overhauled the front end and added new taillights, while eye-pleasing interior materials have been added.
An AT4 trim has been added to the Terrain lineup for the first time. It includes standard all-wheel drive, along with a skid plate up front for improved protection – and looks – as well as black painted aluminum wheels and beefier tires.
The Terrain is packed with valuable safety features, but some are only available as optional upgrades or as part of the top Denali trim level. Standard equipment includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning and keeping assistance, a follow distance Indicator (although it’s a little useless without adaptive cruise control to go with it), and automatic high-beam headlights.
Also standard is a so-called teen driver mode that can be used to limit certain features, as well as turn on all safety systems the vehicle is equipped with. It even offers an in-vehicle report card on driving habits. Meanwhile, a rear seat reminder feature prompts the driver to check the back seat for children before leaving the vehicle. Other advanced safety features are only available as options, or come standard with the Denali, including blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, and a unique driver’s seat that can vibrate to warn of a potential collision.
The Terrain comes with standard convenience items like set-it-and-forget-it automatic exterior lights, heated power-adjustable mirrors, a 12-volt outlet in the cargo area (great for plugging in a cooler for a road trip), USB charging ports front and back, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, keyless entry and push-button start, remote start, and rear air vents (surprisingly rare in this and other segments).
This tester came equipped with an optional head-up display, which projects information onto a small screen that pops up from the dashboard. It’s not as fancy or sophisticated as technologies used on more luxurious vehicles that project directly onto the windshield, but it does a good job of keeping the driver’s eyes on the road. This unit was also fitted with an optional seven-speaker audio system, but it wasn’t especially impressive.
Everything about the Terrain is self-explanatory and intuitive. Even the audio, infotainment, and climate controls are easy to access and use.
Getting in and out of the vehicle is as easy as it should be in a crossover of this size, and the cargo area is easy to access and configure thanks to handy levers in the back that fold down the 60/40 split-folding rear seats.
Whether commuting to work, dropping the kids off at school, or hauling a load of goods to the cottage on the weekend, the Terrain is up to the job. While it seats five, the middle seat in the back row is not as comfortable as the outboard seats, so long road trips for the middle passenger will be less than comfortable.
While this is no off-roader, the Terrain is perfectly suitable for romps to the cottage. No, it’s not built for serious rock-crawling, but the AT4 trim in particular can venture farther off-pavement than the average crossover like this. Regardless of trim, towing capacity is capped at 680 kg (1,500 lb).
The firm seats are supportive,and very comfortable, even on long trips. While the seats and steering wheel are supposed to be heated, certain units – including this tester – are missing the functionality due to the global microchip shortage that continues to impact the auto industry. Once the semiconductors are available, customers will be able to have them installed at their local dealers free of charge.
All Terrain models get the same 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It produces 170 hp and 203 lb-ft of torque that peaks at 2,000 rpm, which is a welcome boost when you’re accelerating from a dead stop, or when you need to mash the accelerator when passing on the highway.
Driving Feel: 8/10
The Terrain feels solid and steady. It’s easy to drive and maneuver. The nine-speed automatic transmission is exceptionally smooth and never seems confused about which gear it should pick.
Most trims are equipped with all-wheel drive; only the entry-level SLE has standard front-wheel drive. The Terrain is also unique in that its all-wheel drive system can be deactivated, while different drive modes can be selected to tailor the powertrain and various systems to conditions. That includes an off-road setting for the AT4 version, although it wasn’t used during this test.
Fuel Economy: 9/10
According to Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), the all-wheel-drive Terrain consumes 9.6 L/100 km in the city, 8.3 on the highway, and 9.0 combined. This tester did a bit better, burning an average of 8.8 L/100 km, although driving was done with the all-wheel drive system decoupled.
Compared to rivals like the Ford Escape or the Jeep Compass, the Terrain doesn’t stand out in any particular way. Like the competition, it’s a practical vehicle with room for five, lots of space for cargo for its size, and modest towing abilities. It’s also priced competitively amongst its rivals.
The entry-level SLE starts at $30,598 before tax but including a non-negotiable freight charge of $1,995. All-wheel drive adds another $2,400 to the asking price. The rest of the lineup features all-wheel drive as standard starting with the SLT ($37,593), followed by the AT4 ($38,193) and Denali ($43,593). Options and extras can, of course, push those prices higher, as was the case with this tester that rang in at nearly $43,000 before tax.
The 2022 GMC Terrain’s facelift is a welcome upgrade in appearance, especially for those who like the big-truck look. The interior is eye-pleasing, and everything works the way it should. No, you won’t impress the neighbours with a new Terrain parked in your driveway, but you will be able to take advantage of its ability to haul cargo and people with ease. Whether running errands or commuting to work, this crossover is handsome and handy.
|Engine Cylinders||Turbo I4|
|Peak Horsepower||170 hp @ 5,600 rpm|
|Peak Torque||203 lb-ft @ 2,000–4,000 rpm|
|Fuel Economy||9.6 / 8.3 / 9.0 L/100 km cty/hwy/cmb|
|Cargo Space||838 / 1 792 L seats up/down|
|Model Tested||2022 GMC Terrain AT4|
|Price as Tested||$43,093|
$4,800 – Tech Package, $995; Engine Block Heater, $195; GMC Pro Grade Package, $2,000; GMC Pro Safety Plus, $995; Roof Rack Cross Rails, $370; Front/Rear Splash Guards, $245