2021 GMC Terrain Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
Looking for a reliable and luxurious ride with plenty of power that'll turn heads wherever you go? The 2021 GMC Terrain is sure to fit the bill. Its modern exterior and advanced technology make it an appealing choice, but before you decide if this car is right for you - here are ten reasons why it could be your dream vehicle... plus five potential drawbacks so no stone goes unturned in making the best decision! Whether driving around town or getting away every once in awhile, get ready to experience life behind the wheel like never before when selecting a new GMC Terrain.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2021 GMC Terrain – The Pros
1. Can Deliver Good Gas Mileage for an SUV
The 2021 GMC Terrain offers a considerable fuel-efficiency advantage over other SUVs - its standard base powertrain can return an impressive 26 mpg city/30 highway, while even the more powerful option still manages 22 town/28 freeway. This combination of performance and efficiency make it one of the best options in SUV class for budget conscious drivers.
2. Stronger Engine Comes Equipped on Denali Trim
When preparing to test drive the 2021 GMC Terrain, you’ll have two turbocharged four-cylinder engines to pick from. The Denali trim’s larger 2.0-liter engine is clearly the better performer. It produces a more satisfying 252 horses and 260 lb-ft of torque. As soon as drivers step on the gas, they’ll notice a big difference in acceleration. There’s ample passing power under the hood. Automotive reviewers have clocked the 2.0-liter Terrain with a 0-60 mph time of around 7.2 seconds.
3. More Versatile Than You May Think
The 2021 GMC Terrain is a reliable family vehicle with an added bonus of versatility. With its upgraded engine, robust tow package and Off-Road mode tackling terrain up to 3,500 pounds will be smooth sailing - perfect for pulling your ATV or small boat along on weekend adventures! While other SUVs in the segment boast more off-road capabilities, this SUV offers just enough capability to conquer any muddy trail you come across.
4. Handles and Rides Well
Most people will be more than satisfied with the Terrain’s driving dynamics. It doesn’t feel clumsy like some big, truck-based SUVs. This crossover handles well enough for drivers to approach curves with confidence. While the Terrain is certainly not as agile as a sports sedan, it still displays a lot of athleticism for a two-row SUV. An agreeable ride also makes the Terrain great for taking road trips. An upgraded suspension is found on the range-topping Denali model, which promotes an even softer ride.
5. Base SL Model Comes Loaded With Many Features
Priced at around $25,000, the base 2021 GMC Terrain is highly recommended for buyers looking to save money. It doesn’t feel like a cheap ride on the inside. Active noise cancellation, which is typically a premium luxury feature, comes standard on the value-packed Terrain SL. Meanwhile, active grille shutters help optimize fuel economy at highway speeds. Some of the other standard items include a 7.0-inch touchscreen, four USB ports, Bluetooth, and onboard Wi-Fi.
6. Stylish Enough to Turn Heads
Most people consider the 2021 GMC Terrain to be a very nice-looking crossover SUV. While the lower trim levels have a simple design, they are still attractive. Drivers looking to really turn heads will be looking at the higher trim levels. GMC’s optional Elevation package gives the Terrain an extra wow factor. It decks out the SUV with black exterior accents and 19-inch black alloy wheels. Meanwhile, LED headlights come standard on the chrome-accented Denali model.
7. IntelliLink Infotainment System Featured On Every Trim
GMC's IntelliLink system is a user-friendly infotainment option for any driver. Its intuitive touchscreen design responds quickly and makes it simple to access Apple CarPlay or Android Auto with just one tap, delivering crystal clear graphicsso you never miss a beat on the road. With such connectivity at your fingertips, IntelliLink brings convenience right into the car cabin.
8. It’s Safer Than Ever
The Terrain already ranked among the segment leaders in crash protection. However, GMC designed the 2021 model to offer more security on the road. A Pro Safety Plus package has been added to the SUV’s list of standard equipment. It brings automatic panic braking with pedestrian detection, lane keeping technology, and automatic high beams. Drivers will also appreciate the standard Following Distance Indicator, which further helps them to avoid rear-end collisions. Blind-spot warning and smart cruise control are offered on the upper trim levels.
9. Spacious, Comfortable Interior
Families can comfortably gather inside the 2021 GMC Terrain. There’s a good amount of passenger room in both rows. Well-cushioned seats also help ensure a relaxing trip. Ventilated front seats and heated rear seats are offered on the more luxurious Terrain Denali. Another big highlight is the SUV’s flexible cargo area. Although some competitors provide more overall storage room, the Terrain maximizes its available space. Even the front seat folds flat to accommodate longer items, like lumber and surfboards.
10. Good Predicted Reliability Rating
Owners can expect this SUV to be reliable. It received a 3.5 out of 5.0 dependability rating, which is above average for the class. Maintenance costs for the new Terrain are also very affordable.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2021 GMC Terrain – The Cons
1. Base Engine Reduces the SUV’s Performance Capabilities
The Terrain's base 1.5-liter engine may be efficient on fuel, but doesn't offer the muscle that many drivers are looking for. Tests indicate models equipped with this engine reach 0-60 mph in around 9.3 seconds, yet also have a lower tow rating of 1500 pounds compared to its upgraded counterpart which delivers a much more powerful performance experience - one which critics agree is worth the investment.
2. Automatic Transmission Has Some Shortcomings
The new Terrain boasts a nine-speed automatic transmission that is designed to provide improved fuel economy. Despite this, however, its shifting functionality has not gone unnoticed by drivers who have pointed out potential hesitations when transitioning between gears. While the inconvenience may be minimal for many buyers, it’s still worth noting before making your final decision on whether or not the vehicle suits your needs.
3. Denali Trim Can Become Expensive
The GMC Terrain offers a variety of trims at competitive price points, but buyers may be better served to look towards luxury models if they're considering the top-tier Denali trim. Boasting smart cruise control and an automated parking system, the MSRP for this range-topping option starts northward of $38K - so while it looks and feels luxurious, there are certainly more budget friendly choices available in premium segments as well.
4. Outward Visibility Could Be Better
While the Terrain is a safe vehicle, its outward visibility could improve. The cabin’s angled dash can somewhat hamper a shorter person’s forward view. Visibility out the rear window is also a bit restricted. Drivers must overcome the SUV’s sloping roofline. Nevertheless, GMC’s available blind-spot warning system will help drivers to monitor oncoming traffic in the next lane.
5. Push-Button Gear Selection
GMC unveils modern automotive paradigm shift with their push-button gear selector, found on the 2021 Terrain. Driver's transitioning from traditional shifters may find this feature an adjustment; however in exchange they benefit from more space up front for a lighter and simpler experience behind the wheel.
How It Stacks Up Against the Competition
2021 GMC Terrain vs 2021 Honda CR-V
With the 2021 GMC Terrain, drivers can enjoy a vigorous ride experience that doesn't lag behind. From its impressive Denali engine for zippier acceleration to an intuitive infotainment system - this stylish SUV takes performance and usability seriously without compromising on style. Plus it offers up to 3,500 pounds of tow capacity compared with just 1,500 found in the Honda CR-V; making journeys even more dynamic than expected.
2021 GMC Terrain vs 2021 Mazda CX-5
In terms of driving fun, the 2021 Mazda CX-5 ranks near the top of the segment. It offers superior road handling. Many people also like the CX-5’s posh interior. However, there’s more room for passengers inside the new GMC Terrain.
2021 GMC Terrain vs 2021 Subaru Forester
Adventure-seeking drivers love the Subaru Forester. High ground clearance and a standard AWD system enable the Forester to topple rural trails. While the Terrain may not be as rugged as the Forester, it does offer a powerful engine upgrade.
The 2021 GMC Terrain provides families with a dependable hauler for everyday driving. An array of standard safety features and an impressive infotainment system with Wi-Fi make it all the more desirable, although there are some slight downsides such as its lack of responsive performance from the base powertrain and pricey options. On balance though, this is a great buy that does not disappoint.
• Why buy a 2020 GMC Terrain? w/ pros vs cons