2017 GMC Terrain Expert Review

3.4 Overall Score
Performance 3.1 Comfort 3.8 Styling 3.4 Value 3.6

Editor's Overview

GMC’s 2017 Terrain compact-crossover SUV combines rugged good looks with a practical size and a fuel-efficient engine. The Terrain plays in the same league as the Subaru Forester, Honda CR-V and Ford Escape, although its cargo area is the smallest of the lot. However, unlike these worthy competitors, the Terrain offers an optional V6 engine and a more upscale interior.

You'll Like The 2017 GMC Terrain If...

If you’re looking for a compact SUV that has more heft and presence than most small crossover SUVs, GMC’s 2017 Terrain might pique your interest. With an available V6, it has plenty of power and can tow up to 3,500 pounds. Its interior amenities are also very upscale.

You May Not Like The 2017 GMC Terrain If...

The 2017 GMC Terrain compact-crossover SUV might look rugged, but it’s not designed for serious off-road use. The interior is smaller than the Forester or Santa Fe Sport and it lacks some newer collision-avoidance technologies.

What's New

The 2017 GMC Terrain compact SUV gets a new Nightfall package featuring monochromatic treatment and unique wheels in four colors: Onyx Black, Summit White, Graphite Grey and Crimson Red.

Interior Features

Think of the GMC’s 2017 Terrain crossover SUV as the upscale cousin to the similar Chevrolet Equinox. It boasts higher-quality materials and a snazzier, more luxurious interior design that includes satin-metal trim and 2-tone leather. The Terrain Denali pumps up the luxury even further, adding an 8-way-power passenger seat, smoked mahogany trim and French-stitched seams on the upholstery. Instrumentation is easy to use, too. The USB port is easy to find at night thanks to a lighted surround, and the IntelliLink touch-screen system's familiar icons are similar to those on smartphones.

Exterior Features

If you think an SUV should look tough, then the GMC Terrain for 2017 is where you should stop shopping. The wheel openings and enormous chrome grille capped with big GMC letters are so angular, you'd think the SUV was made of Legos. 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. However, don't let the looks fool you: Although it looks substantial, the Terrain isn't high off the ground, meaning all but the tamest back-road trails are off-limits.

Driving Impressions

If a comfortable cabin and quiet ride are high priorities, few compact-crossover SUVs compare to the 2017 GMC Terrain. A combination of laminated glass, triple-layer door seals and GMC’s active noise-cancellation technology conspire to put the Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4 to shame. The Terrain’s 2.4-liter engine puts out 182 horsepower, pretty much in line with other 4-cylinder competitors, but it’s the available 301-horsepower V6 that sets this little compact-crossover SUV apart from all others. With the ability to tow up to 3,500 pounds, the V6-equipped Terrain is much more versatile than the base model, and it delivers impressive acceleration with decent fuel economy. On the road, the Terrain provides a comfortable ride, free of jarring responses to road imperfections and with a nicely weighted steering feel. The rear-seating accommodations are quite spacious, although the extra legroom comes at the expense of rear cargo space.

Pricing Notes

The 2017 GMC Terrain SL's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts at about $25,000, including destination, while the SLE-1 starts just over $28,000. Mid-level SLE2 and leather-clad SLT SUV models start at about $29,700 and $32,000, respectively. The Terrain Denali starts around $35,200. AWD adds about $1,750 on all models. While the Denali certainly has flash, you can get most of the same equipment on the mid-level SLE2 and SLT models, and save quite a bit of cash. Notable competitors include the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester, all of which cost less than the Terrain, but come with less standard equipment. Be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price on KBB.com to see what others are paying in your area, and note that the Terrain should hold its value well over the years, better than the Dodge Journey, but still behind the segment residual leader, the Honda CR-V.

Notable Equipment

The 2017 GMC Terrain compact SUV has a bare-bones SL trim, but we prefer the SLE models that add 17-inch wheels, a rearview camera, color touch-screen radio, heated outside mirrors, USB port with iPod support, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, XM Satellite Radio, and OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity that can be shared (for a fee) as a Wi-Fi connection. We like the additional quiet thanks to the active noise-cancellation system, and the rear seat features sliders that move back and forth eight inches to help with legroom.

Notable Options

The two most noteworthy options for GMC’s 2017 Terrain crossover SUV are the 3.6-liter V6 engine and all-wheel drive. But there's more. Upper trim levels add leather seating and a navigation system, and on SLE-2, SLT and Denali trims, active safety features like forward-collision alert, blind-spot detection and lane-departure warning. A 2nd-row entertainment system with two independent screens will keep the kids occupied on long trips. Other options include a 10-gigabyte music-storage hard drive, Pioneer audio and a programmable rear liftgate that can be set to open at a desired height.

Favorite Features


GMC’s distinctive exterior styling is applied in full force to the compact 2017 Terrain SUV, giving it a bold, boxy look quite the contrast to vehicles like the Mazda CX-5, Ford Escape and Honda CR-V. We particularly like the new Nightfall package in Onyx Black.


GMC’s Terrain compact SUV for 2017 includes a sliding 2nd-row seat that can move fore or aft a full eight inches. When the rear seat isn’t occupied, moving it fully forward can help create much needed cargo space.

Under the Hood

For 2017, GMC Terrain shoppers can choose between two engines and front- or all-wheel drive (FWD, AWD). The base engine, available in all models including the Denali, is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder with 182 horsepower. While it's fuel efficient on paper, it can at times struggle to overcome the surprising bulk of the GMC Terrain. It's no match for the 3.6-liter V6 and its 301 horsepower. Both engines come with a 6-speed automatic transmission, and both can be equipped with AWD. The 4-cylinder is probably acceptable for most drivers during in-town driving, but we'd suggest the V6 engine if you plan on loading up the Terrain for weekend excursions.

2.4-liter inline-4 (SL, SLE-1, SLT, Denali)

182 horsepower @ 6,700 rpm

172 lb-ft of torque @ 4,900 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/31 mpg (FWD), 15/21 mpg (E85, FWD), 20/28 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 (FWD, gasoline), 13/22 mpg (FWD, E85), 16/23 mpg (AWD, gasoline)

Editors' Notes

GMC’s compact Terrain SUV for 2017 combines rugged good looks with a practical size and good fuel economy. Draped in GMC styling cues, the Terrain plays in the same league as the Subaru Forester, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. However, unlike these worthy competitors, the Terrain offers the option of a V6 engine and a more upscale interior. Load up a Denali trim and the Terrain’s price tag quickly moves into Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and Ford Escape Titanium territory. The Terrain’s unit-body construction permits it a modern suspension that delivers a comfortable ride and sedan-like handling, and with available all-wheel drive (AWD), year-round driving confidence. Regrettably, the Terrain’s soft suspension and relatively low stance exclude it following the Subaru Forester or Jeep Cherokee off-road.

Road Test Video Reviews

2017 GMC Terrain Owner Reviews

167 Reviews
53% 37% 8% 1% 1 star 0%
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I have a 2017 GMC Terrain and it�s my families fifth one! We love them.

I absolutely love my GMC Terrain. It is my second one and my husband's third one. It drives so nicely and it's easy to get in and out of. I love how easy all the controls are to work and I love how comfortable my kids are in the backseat even in there car seats. The truck is roomy and so is the front seat. I like all the controls on the steering wheel to make controlling the radio or my Bluetooth easier. All the color sections are nice and I love the chrome finish on mine. It makes it look really nice with the extra details. I love the remote start for the winter and love how I can warm up my car. The push button to close the trunk is amazing too especially when my hands are filled with groceries and children. I obviously love the car since it's the fifth one for my family and both my husband and I drive one!

- Kerry M

Good car for family of 4 that likes to roll the windows down!

This car is great size wise however we wish it was a little bit wider. The back seat has enough for two car seats comfortably but not three or two and a person in the back. I love the most that the back seat can scoot forward and backward. Another downside is the seats have some sort of pattern on them that makes it extremely uncomfortable when you're wearing shorts. When you stand up there is a pattern imprinted on the back of your legs and it looks horrible. The car gets pretty good gas for an SUV but the ECO option doesn't have that much of an impact on the gas mileage and I wish it was a little bit better. With such bad gas mileage I would also think the air conditioner would work a bit better but on full blast it barely cools down the back seat.

- Christine D

GMC terrain review - the good and the bad.

I really love my car. It is extremely comfortable and easy to use. It has great features, and my seats are nice. The only issue with the car is that the back windows are extremely small so it makes it hard to see out - without the built in sensors I think I would have already been in many accidents due to the small windows. There are sensors in the mirrors that tell you when a car is within the blind spot and I have to rely on those basically 100% before I change lanes. Living in traffic-filled New York this can be a little scary. This vehicle is much easier than my previous vehicle, however, which was a Chevrolet Silverado. I have much more control and easier ability to turn and make smaller more precise movements.

- Madison M

2017 GMC Terrain. My car is red in color handles extremely well.

I really like my 2017 Terran. In the three years I have had It I have had no problems with it. The performance it has is great. Most of my driving is local and not more than 15 miles but I have driven it on a couple of trips and it was great. I have never been uncomfortable in my car. I have leather heated seats and they are great. On my next one I would like to have the air conditioned seats as well and the heated steering wheel for the cold weather. I would get 4 wheel drive the next time over 2 wheel drive just because of the area I live in for winter driving. I leased this car and my lease is almost up. I intend to buy this car when lease is up. It is a great car and just the right size for what I need.

- Ann H

Comfortable SUV with a finicky entertainment console.

My 2017 GMC terrain is a wonderful SUV. It performs well, handles the road well, and is great in all kinds of weather. I have had the car for a year and haven't experienced any malfunctions. The terrain is very comfortable and quiet on the inside. It also cools and heats quickly. The only problem I have with the 2017 terrain is one of the entertainment features. It does not automatically connect to the Bluetooth on my phone. It takes a bit of work to get my Spotify app to play through the stereo on the car. It would be much better if the Spotify app was available on the dashboard entertainment console. Otherwise, I am really glad I made the decision to purchase the terrain.

- Holly M

My 2017 GMC terrain highlights.

It has Sirius XM radio dashboard only, no CD player. Has AUX and USB port. Has rear camera that comes on when backing up in reverse. Has power windows and door lock. Automatic transmission. Power seat adjustments. Can display vehicle information like tire pressure and speed mph on screen behind steering wheel by fuel meter. Has OnStar. Automatic lights come on when dark. The windshield wiper is either too slow or too fast when used but can be done manually. Interior lights can turn on automatically when door opens or can be set to stay off. Speaker sound system can be better. 2 wheel drive.

- Mal B

Overall, seems to be a reliable car however a bit small.

On my terrain, the performance is good; the reliability is good; the comfort is average. With the average rating, I mean that the driver’s seat seems too hard. It becomes uncomfortable if driving for 2 to 3 hours. After having it for a few months, it seems to be too small for what t need. Also when putting the back seat down, the back storage area is not flat for ease in loading any needed gear or general item. The gas mileage is good. It has a lot of pep but also is a bit jerky because when you step on the gas pedal a bit hard, it shifts down very quickly and jerks.

- Linda P

The perfect car for my job and just about anything life will throw at me!

My vehicle is very practical for myself and my lifestyle. I love going on trips, so driving an SUV, I never have to worry about whether or not our luggage is going to fit. There’s also plenty of room in the car! I am a nanny, so I am driving kids around all day. I feel very safe in this vehicle and the children love to make a game of jumping out when we arrive at our destination. I recently moved to a new apartment and this car was perfect for transporting all my stuff. The back seats fold down giving me more space to fit some furniture and boxes.

- Sally M

Having a blind spot detector and a back up camera is like having an extra set of eyes.

I have wanted a suv for years but was afraid I wouldn't like it after getting it but I love it. It is comfortable and easy to drive. The back seats fold down for more cargo space. When I first got it new off the lot, I had a problem with the transmission but the dealer fixed it and I haven't had any problems since. One of the features I like is the blind spot detector. It is like having an extra set of eyes. The back up camera is a plus also. I like the shape of mine and am disappointed that they have changed it so not sure I will buy a new one.

- Shirley B

My GMC terrain 2017 highlights and personal details.

I like the color. It is dark blue. It has four doors and a rear door that opens upward. It has automatic windows and door lock. You can lock the windows so only the driver and make the windows go up or down. It is great for me and my kids. The backseat can move forward and backward a bit for more space. The backseat can go down to make more room for the back area. It has Sirius XM radio that you can subscribe to. It has an AUX port and a USB port. I can play my iPhone from the usb. The stereo sound system is not that great though.

- Valerie B

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