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In America, one vehicle owner out of every 10 is most likely an SUV owner. SUVs are in higher demand than sedans because they offer more space and comfort when driving. As a result, many automakers, such as GMC, have even shifted from making sedans and are now specializing in making SUVs. One of GMC’s most recent models is the GMC Terrain, a respectable SUV that is both relatively spacious and has useful technology features.

Consumers rely on input from reputable organizations like Edmunds to know which vehicle would be the best to buy. To many people’s surprise, the Terrain got the lowest overall score for small SUVs. According to the review, the Terrain had a significant problem in three crucial areas, which have been discussed below.

The GMC Terrain has a weak base engine

A red 2022 GMC Terrain parked indoors.
2022 GMC Terrain | Creative Commons

SUVs must be equipped with moderately powerful engines for better performance on the road. However, the Terrain’s engine has been continually frowned upon, as it is always below average expectations. While the average horsepower for a small SUV is 240, the 2022 GMC Terrain generates 170 hp and a torque of 203 lb-ft. 

Contrary to the average mileage of 30 mpg, the model has a fuel economy of 25 mpg, which isn’t all that bad, but it failed to meet people’s expectations. The 2023 model isn’t much better since it has a fuel economy of 24 mpg. Additionally, this model generates 175 hp and a torque of 203 lb-ft, both below average for a small SUV.

Looking back to the 2021 Terrain, the engine specifications are still more or less the same as their successors. Like the 2022 model, this vehicle is equipped with a four-cylinder 1.5-liter turbo engine, which generates a hp of 170 and a torque of 203 lb-ft. It also has a fuel economy of 25 mpg, which proves that, on average, the Terrain’s engine could use an upgrade.

Transmission problems impact the Terrain’s performance

According to Edmunds, the Terrain has a sluggish transmission that frequently causes problems for drivers while using the car. Many users complain that when changing gears, the transmission takes a while to shift into the next gear, increasing the driver’s chances of being involved in an accident. What’s worse, having an unresponsive transmission may sometimes cause the vehicle not to move, which may inconvenience both the driver and other road users if the car acts up while driving.

Occasionally, the Terrain’s transmission causes it to jump while accelerating. If this doesn’t happen, the vehicle may produce grinding noises or even whistling sounds while in use. Not only are these sounds uncomfortable for the driver, but they may also indicate a dangerous fault in the transmission, mainly when a burning smell is present when the vehicle is being driven. In such a case, it is fair to rule the Terrain as unsafe, and therefore drivers should be wary of encountering such issues.

The Terrain could offer a better ride quality

Lastly, the Terrain has an uncomfortable driving experience, which many find displeasing. When driving, the Terrain’s cabin seems unsteady and bouncy, sometimes even at low speeds. A vehicle’s ride quality is one of the major factors that are considered by consumers when purchasing vehicles, and the Terrain has failed to improve its ride quality. This has also contributed to the low rating associated with the Terrain.

A car with this many issues ought to at least be priced fairly on the market. However, the Terrain still has an MSRP of between $29,900 and $38,600, while there are many other high-quality SUVs on the market and even at cheaper prices. But, we’d expect nothing less from a reputed, world-class automaker such as GMC. 


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