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Generally, if automotive journalists have a significant problem with a vehicle they’ve driven the article that follows the test drive will quickly list all of the positive highlights first, subtly hinting that there is an opinion changing problem near the end. Today, instead, I will start by deviating from the traditional article structure and tell you straight up that my only problem with the 2010 GMC Terrain is its styling, which is interesting at best.
Don’t get me wrong– the car is an excellent drive and a very nice place to be in. But first impressions are key and when big square wheel wells are coupled with a huge chintzy chrome grill, some may not know that beauty isn’t just skin deep.
Stepping into the Terrain changes all of this, however. The dash and center console are clean, focused and well laid out, the seats (including the back row) are comfy with extra points going to GMC for perfecting lumbar support, and the amount of space inside is surprisingly more than expected. Technical goodies like rear view cameras and USB ports are standard on all trims. GMC has even included a height adjustable rear tail gate, a feature handy for not putting holes in your garage ceiling and impressing girls at the mall (I’d assume).
On the road, the Terrain is a great drive. Just like a good pair of running shoes, it simply blends in with the moment– you forget about what you’re driving and just concentrate on the driving. Steering was sharp and responsive, with adequate power coming from the direct injected V6. Most notable, however, was the lack of road noise even on wet and snowy pavement.
So it drives good, the interior is superbly executed, and with a base price of $24,250 the Terrain isn’t bad value for money.
But what about those looks?
Because I am very picky on what cars I do and do not like to look at, I arranged a test to see what the general public thinks of the Terrain’s styling and see if maybe I had been too harsh, too quick. Holding a large profile picture of the vehicle (which I printed straight from GMC’s website), I took a trip down to the local grocery store, chose ten random women, and asked them one simple question: “Would you date a man who drove this?”
After several minutes and several quizzical looks, the results were in. Of the ten women asked, nine said they would date a man who drove a Terrain– landslide victory for GMC!
So what do we take away from this whole experience then? The next time you see a GMC Terrain just remember its three key points: a great drive, a great interior, and a design that will get you women at grocery stores.