2023 GMC Terrain
GMC is where you find “professional grade” vehicles that combine a bit of luxury with everyday usability. They are supposed to look tough and make you feel equally above it all.
When it comes to their SUV offerings, some have said that they do not fulfill that promise of being “professional grade.” One drive in a 2023 Terrain could change your mind.
That is what we did. We drove a 2023 Terrain SLT with the Elevation Edition package to see what GMC is offering to not just the “professional grade” consumer, but for the rest of us.
The Terrain has been around since the 2018 model year. It underwent an update just last year to keep it fresh in our minds. That update sharpened up the front end to align the headlamp and grille designs to the rest of the lineup. The result is a sharper looking Terrain that is bolder, but friendlier. They did not do much for the roofline, with its narrow C-Pillar glass and claw-like taillamps.
Our SLT tester with the Elevation Edition package adds blacked-out elements to the overall look. That includes black finished badges, trim, and a set of 19-inch alloy wheels to round out the aggressive look. In all, you get a sporty upgrade to a “professional grade” SUV.
Inside the Terrain, GMC offers up an instrument cluster with small-ish analog dials and a robust information screen between them. The transmission controls are at the top of the center console by the center stack with a series of buttons and toggles. It is reachable for most drivers. All other controls are tactile, including the climate controls and the control knobs for the infotainment system.
It seats up to five, and there is room for adults the rear seat area. Front seats offer plenty of support and are pretty comfortable. The SLT trim comes with a set of nicely upholstered perforated leather seats. Cargo space is generous, with 29.6 cubic feet available behind the rear seats. With the rear seats folded down, cargo space grows to 63.3 cubic feet. Very generous, indeed!
The Terrain comes with a 175-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, also putting down 203 pound-feet of torque. It is connected to a nine-speed automatic transmission sending power to all four wheels.
We wished there was more punch to this engine. Yet, if you simply let it cruise and go around town, the driveline is fine. We found the shifts to be smooth. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Terrain with AWD can turn in a fuel consumption average of 26 MPG.
Ride is very smooth and comfortable. It does a great job absorbing rougher road surfaces without hesitation. We found the handling a bit on the soft side, but very controlled when going through evasive maneuvers. It corners quite nicely, as well.
The steering system works quite well with a solid turning radius. On-center feel was a bit on the soft side, but It kept the Terrain within the lane. Brakes felt very good and offered a solid pedal feel. We experienced pretty solid stops in normal and panic situations.
Pricing for the 2023 GMC Terrain lineup starts at $30,395 with a choice of four trims. Our SLT tester with the Elevation Edition package came with a sticker price of $41,680.
The GMC Terrain continues to compete is hotly contested size class of SUVs. Consumers have compared the Terrain to the Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rouge, Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, Mazda CX-5, Mitsubishi Outlander, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Volkswagen Tiguan, Chevrolet Equinox, Jeep Cherokee, Ford Escape and Bronco Sport.
Where the GMC Terrain stands out in that crowd is its “professional grade” approach to the compact SUV. It remains a relevant choice in a market where the bar for the class continues to be raised.
Credits: CarSoup Editors