The GMC Terrain is a compact SUV that faces stiff competition. There are many reasons that drivers may want to consider this option, including a large and well-designed cabin. The 2021 GMC Terrain is a member of the second generation of this vehicle, which made its debut in 2018. Significant changes have been made each year since, helping to keep the Terrain fresh.
What's New for 2021?
Drivers no longer have the option of choosing the diesel engine for the Terrain. It is not all bad news, however, because the Pro Safety Plus Package is now standard equipment for the entire lineup. Otherwise, the Terrain moves into 2021 unchanged.
Now that there is no diesel option, drivers have two powertrains to consider. Standard for the SL, SLE, and SLT trim levels is a turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder that makes 170-horsepower. This is respectable, although many drivers will be attracted to the more powerful 2.0L four-cylinder. It brings power up to 252-horsepower. This engine is available for the SLT and standard for the Denali model.
A nine-speed automatic transmission is paired with either of the options. Like the majority of the class, front-wheel drive is the standard and all-wheel drive is available. With the standard engine, 1,500 pounds is the towing capacity. Models with the larger option can go up to 3,500 pounds.
Fuel economy estimates are strong for the 2021 Terrain. Sticking with the standard engine and front-wheel drive will get drivers 25mpg city and 30mpg highway. All-wheel-drive models with that same engine get the same efficiency in the city but drop down to 28mpg highway. With the 2.0L engine and all-wheel drive, the 2021 Terrain manages 21mpg city and 26mpg highway.
The 2021 Terrain is a smart buy for safety-conscious families after the latest tech. Thanks to the additions made for this year, all models now come equipped with lane-keep assist, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, and a following distance indicator. Teen Driver, the system that allows parents to place limits on their teenager's driving and receive reports, is standard as well.
Testing conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration saw the 2021 Terrain performing well. It received five out of five stars overall, including five stars for frontal and side crashes. Buyers who go with higher trim levels get extra driver aids to boost their confidence, such as adaptive cruise control, a safety alert seat, parking sensors, and an automated parking system.
A 7-inch touchscreen starts out the standard technology equipment list. The infotainment system is compatible with Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, and Apple CarPlay to make the Terrain a convenient and practical choice. A Wi-Fi hotspot is also standard, along with Bluetooth and four USB ports.
When buyers go with upper trims, like the ultra-luxurious Denali, they will find even more advanced features. Highlights include wireless device charging and satellite radio. A rear-seat entertainment system with a DVD player is available for select 2021 Terrain models as well.
Interior Space & Quality
When just looking at the numbers, the Terrain may not seem as practical when it comes to hauling cargo as its competitors. It offers 29.6 cubic feet behind the backseat and 63.3 cubic feet behind the first row. However, the Terrain has available features like a fold-flat front passenger seat. There are also plenty of little storage cubbies located throughout the cabin for smaller gear. A hands-free power liftgate is available.
As far as passenger space, the Terrain really shines. Both of the rows offer plenty of space for adults. The seats are supportive and comfortable, making the Terrain an excellent choice for road trips and daily driving alike. Cloth upholstery along with manually-adjustable front seats and standard. Available upgrades are plentiful, however, with things like heated and ventilated front seats and leather upholstery available.
Automatic climate control and proximity keyless entry are both standard features for the 2021 Terrain. The interior of the entry-level SL is decently upscale, coming with things like a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a six-speaker audio system. Moving up to the SLT is where buyers will find things like heated front seats and power-adjustment for the driver's seat. The Denali lives up to its luxury reputation with things like a heated steering wheel and premium sound system from Bose.The 2021 GMC Terrain is perfect for families who need plenty of space and who also are after today's latest features. This is not one that buyers will want to forget in the crowded compact SUV market.
Formula for Calculating Dealer Cost:
Total Dealer Cost - Rebate and Incentive + Taxes / Licensing Fees = True Dealer Cost. (You can get rebates and incentives here.)
Note: All GMC Terrain MSRP, invoice and dealer cost dollar figures above are approximate amounts. Prices are subject to change without notice.
A note about rebates: Most rebates are subtracted from the "on the road" figure. In most cases, you can have the rebate if you are arranging your own financing or you are paying cash. If you decide to use the manufacturer’s low interest financing, you do not usually get the rebate. Ask your dealer for details.