2010 GMC Terrain
The Terrain has a more chiseled physical shape than its Equinox cousin, and it does offer a slightly different driving experience. Slightly. One of the positives of the Equinox is its car-like ride and handling, and the Terrain differs here in how it feels. Like Equinox, the Terrain's ride can be safely described as "car-like", but there are times at which the Terrain does feel more like the traditional SUV, with a stiffer, more upright ride around town. The steering feels somewhat heavier than Equinox, but it maintains its accuracy.
Like the Equinox, the four-cylinder is quiet in light-duty cruising but it turns into a noisy, growling beast when pressed. And it will be pressed often--if you prefer to move in a hurry, you'll need to dig deep into the throttle quite a bit. A rocket, the Terrain is not. Stopping isn't a picnic either, thanks to brakes that are more than a little bit on the soft side.
It's not all bad news. The highway ride is pleasant enough, and the transmission does its job competently and quietly. The interior is handsome and well-appointed, although the slanted center-stack cants away from the driver, meaning some controls are a long reach from the driver.
Four-cylinder buyers may be searching for the best fuel-economy possible, and GM is promising a range of at least 500 miles on a tank. The four-cylinder Terrain is listed at an EPA-rated at 22 mpg city and 32 mpg highway, and I averaged 21.8 mpg over 218 miles of combined city and highway driving.
The Terrain isn't a bad vehicle, and it fills the compact SUV niche nicely for GMC, now that Pontiac and its unloved Torrent are no longer with us. The trouble is, the Equinox does most of what the Terrain does better, at a lower price. If rugged styling and extra luxury features are important to you, then it makes sense to move from the Equinox to the Terrain. Otherwise, the already excellent Equinox should meet your needs.