2014 GMC Terrain Expert Review

3.7 Overall Score
Performance 3.3 Comfort 3.9 Styling 3.4 Value 3.4

Editor's Overview

GMC’s 2014 Terrain typifies the best attributes of a tidy-sized SUV. With a rugged truck-like exterior that perfectly matches its GMC heritage, it rides and drives like a medium-size sedan, seats five in comfort, has room for ample cargo, offers all-wheel-drive capability for bad weather, delivers good fuel economy and includes an upscale interior with luxury trim and fittings.

You'll Like The 2014 GMC Terrain If...

If this size and type of vehicle fit your needs, and you’d like something with a more truck-like image and appeal, or an available V6 engine, see your local GMC dealer for the Terrain.

You May Not Like The 2014 GMC Terrain If...

For the serious off-roader, there are alternatives that will prove more satisfactory. While the Terrain’s AWD is perfectly fine for snow-covered roads, those who deal with rough and rugged off-road trails will be happier with a Jeep Wrangler or Subaru Outback.

What's New

For 2014, the GMC Terrain has only minimal changes. There are 17-inch wheels standard on the SLE and SLT1 trim levels, 18-inch wheels are standard on the SLT2 and available on the SLE2 and SLT1. And you can now have the Terrain with the exterior painted in Silver Sky Metallic.

Interior Features

The Terrain shares a lot with its GM sibling, the Chevrolet Equinox, but comes across as more upscale, with higher-quality materials and a snazzier, more luxurious look that includes satin metal trim and 2-tone leather. Going further, the Terrain Denali includes an 8-way power passenger seat, smoked mahogany trim and French-stitched seams on the upholstery. More details show in the GMC signature instrument panel, with glowing red lighting and backlighting for the control functions – even the USB port is made easier to find at night, thanks to a lighted surround. Another nice touch is a touch-screen radio and sound system that includes icons similar to those on smartphones in order to operate the various functions.

Exterior Features

If you want your SUV to look more rugged and truck-like than others in this size category, the GMC Terrain is for you. The strong, angular wheel openings and big grille – with block GMC lettering and capped with a generous piece of chrome – will certainly catch your eye. There are optional 19-inch wheels to fill out those big wheel openings, and on top is a sturdy roof rack for whatever you want to tie down. Also, even though the Terrain looks substantial, it’s not particularly high off the ground, so it’s easy to get in and out and to reach that roof rack, as well.

Driving Impressions

Occupants of the 2014 GMC Terrain will appreciate the remarkably quiet interior – thorough applications of laminated glass, active noise-cancellation technology and triple-sealed doors have resulted in an almost luxury-car level of quiet, even at highway speeds. The base engine is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder of 182 horsepower that delivers adequate performance along with exemplary fuel economy. Optionally available is a 3.6-liter V6, rated at 301 horsepower, that cranks out plenty of performance for passing or tackling long hills along with commendably-decent fuel economy. Going down the road, the Terrain has a comfortable ride, with predictable steering feel and reassuring directional stability. It might have the looks of a rugged truck, but it has the easy driving manners of a medium-size car.

Pricing Notes

The 2014 GMC Terrain SLE1 has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just over $27,000, while the SLT1 will be just over $30,000. Adding all-wheel drive will set you back $1,750 on either model. Competitors of the Terrain include the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and the Subaru Outback, all of which cost less than the Terrain, but come with less standard equipment. To ensure that you get the best price on the 2014 GMC Terrain, be sure to check out the Fair Purchase price on kbb.com, which will give you an idea of what people in your area are paying for theirs. We expect the 2014 Terrain to hold its value quite well over the years, far better than the Journey and the Compass, but still well behind the segment residual leader, the Honda CR-V.

Notable Equipment

Standard equipment on the base 2014 GMC Terrain includes the 2.4-liter 182-horsepower 4-cylinder engine, 6-speed automatic transmission, 17-inch wheels, rearview camera, color touch-screen radio, USB port, iPod support, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, XM Satellite Radio, OnStar, six airbags, and the very handy sliding rear seat that can be moved fore or aft nearly eight inches. Another nice feature is the Active Noise Cancellation that helps to keep the interior quieter by the projection of sound waves through the speakers to counteract loud and obnoxious exterior noises.

Notable Options

The 2014 GMC Terrain includes most of what you would want as standard, but the options list includes the 3.6-liter V6 engine (which is heartily recommended for those who will be carrying heavier loads or spending long times on the highways) and 19-inch alloy wheels. A 2nd-row entertainment system with two independent screens will keep the kids occupied on long trips. Other options include color touch-screen navigation with IntelliLink, a 10-gigabyte music-storage hard drive, Pioneer audio and a programmable rear liftgate that can be set to open at a desired height. Safety options include Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Alert, and the Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

Favorite Features


In a world of swoopy compact and mid-size SUVs, the Terrain’s somewhat squared-off styling, with its prominent fender flares and truck-like grille, stands out from the crowd. It might not be for everyone, but we like it.


The Terrain’s entire second row can be moved forward or back eight inches, allowing for taller passengers to gain more legroom or for parents to pull kids in car seats significantly closer.

Under the Hood

The GMC Terrain for 2014 offers a choice of two engines: A 2.4-liter 4-cylinder of 182 horsepower or a 3.6-liter V6 of 301 horsepower. Both feature the efficiency benefit of direct fuel injection and are matched to 6-speed automatic transmissions, and both deliver remarkably good fuel-economy numbers. Most drivers will probably find the 4-cylinder entirely adequate around town and, if not too heavily loaded, will appreciate its fuel economy on the highway. But those who carry more or drive in hilly conditions should consider the more-powerful V6, which still has decent fuel economy ratings and is known for smooth, quiet operation.

2.4-liter inline-4 (SLE, SLT, Denali)

182 horsepower @ 6,700 rpm

172 lb-ft of torque @ 4,900 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/32 mpg (front-wheel drive), 15/22 mpg (E85, front-wheel drive), 20/29 mpg (AWD), 14/20 mpg (E85, AWD)

3.6-liter V6 (SLE-2, SLT, Denali)

301 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm

272 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 mpg (front-wheel drive, gasoline), 13/22 mpg (front-wheel drive, E85), 16/23 mpg (AWD, gasoline), 12/17 (AWD, E85)

Editors' Notes

Fitting into what might be called the “just-right- size” SUV category, the 5-passenger 2014 GMC Terrain has a rugged-looking truck-like – yet handsome – exterior, a roomy and luxurious interior, an all-wheel-drive (AWD) system that gives it all-weather capability for snowy days and a choice of two engines, each of which delivers commendably-good fuel economy. It does not offer a 3rd-row seat and it’s not really intended for off-road duties. Still, for the more reasonable uses that most of its owners will require, the Terrain will more than fill the transportation bill. Compared to some of its likely competitors, such as the Ford Escape, Hyundai Santa Fe and Honda CR-V, the 4-cylinder Terrain has fuel economy ratings around the upper-end of the category, and the optionally-available V6 engine delivers 301 horsepower-worth of performance, yet is still remarkably fuel-efficient.

Road Test Video Reviews

2014 GMC Terrain Owner Reviews

203 Reviews
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GMC terrain, designed for comfort and safety, but not for great gas mileage.

2014 GMC Terrain

I have a 2014 GMC terrain, fwd., 4 cylinder, sle 2, equipped with moonroof, chrome wheels, backup camera, remote start, keyless entry, OnStar-ready, hands-free communication (Bluetooth capable), anti-theft system and much more. It is very spacious and has tons of room in front and back. There's also plenty of room for luggage, etc. It rides very smooth, and is easy to drive. It is also equipped with the ethanol 14 engine (eco-fuel) which allows it to use e85 (a lot cheaper than regular unleaded). Although I have read that it burns through the e85 more quickly, thus having to fill up more often, I personally haven't experienced that, the gas mileage overall is not that great, approximately 24-25 miles per gallon. Because I bought the 4-cylinder, it does not have a whole lot of power, especially upon 'taking-off', but it is not terrible. Through OnStar, you can subscribe to various extra features for additional safety, navigation, etc. , and each are priced differently. I subscribe to the navigation feature for $10/month and can simply push the blue OnStar button and have directions immediately sent to the vehicle. But, it does not have the navigation 'display' screen (GPS). I believe you can purchase an aftermarket radio/stereo equipped with this if you want it. The car seems to handle very well during bad weather (rain and snow). It also has a warning indicator if there's possible ice on the roads. Additionally, it is equipped with tire pressure monitoring system, which warns you if one/all of your tires are low, or under spec. But - if or when you have the tires rotated, remember to have them 'reset' this system to default, or the display will indicate the wrong tire is low. Overall, it's a great car. Dependable, fun to drive and very safe.

- Lisa M

A pleasure to drive. This vehicle has a fine ride, great visibility.

2014 GMC Terrain SLE

We really enjoy our GMC terrain. The vehicle is a pleasure to drive and gets very good mpg for the size vehicle it is. My wife and I both enjoy the higher visibility from sitting up a little higher than our sedan. All things considered it is a good vehicle for travel as well as grocery shopping... There are many reviews that mention people have had problems with the crankshaft sensor in these vehicles,, our model a 2014 had just had one replaced when we purchased it. The fact that it was replaced was satisfactory with us, and knowing in advance there may be that issue is a good thing.. Many people have stated the earlier models of the terrain would use oil quickly.. We have not had an issue with that at all, we drive it much more than our sedan (which we loved) until we purchased this GMC terrain.

- jerry M

I love my 2014 GMC Terrain

2014 GMC Terrain SLE

I was set on getting a GMC Terrain after test driving a few Acadias I decided they were too big. For a couple with no kids or maybe only one child the Terrain would be perfect. We do not currently have any children so this vehicle is perfect for us. It has plenty of trunk space, as well as leg room in the back seat. We comfortably travel with 4 adults in the vehicle with no issues. My favorite thing about GMOs are their trim packages. My Terrain is a SLE2. A SLED is the lowest package, they make a SALE 1 & 2. Like I said mine is a SLE 2. I have cloth seats, but they are heated, as well as heated mirrors, sunroof & touch screen radio, and a back up camera. There isn't much this 'bottom of the line' doesn't have. I love my GMC Terrain & would recommend it to anyone!!

- Emma P

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