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2020 GMC Terrain review

Research, photos, specs, and expertise
7 photos

GMC Terrain highlights

Customer rating

Pros

  • Comfortable and upscale interior
  • Infotainment touchscreen is intuitive and easy to use

Cons

  • Complete package of driver aids remains optional
  • 1.5-liter turbocharged engine disappoints with power, fuel economy and refinement
  • Less cargo space behind the back seat than in most competitors

Mileage (EPA estimate)

21 city, 26 highway, 23 combined

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Year
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Upscale styling and a comfortable interior highlight 2020 GMC Terrain

With premium styling and a comfortable interior, the 2020 GMC Terrain aims for a slightly more upscale feel in the compact SUV class, especially the Denali trim. In conjunction with the ruggedly handsome exterior and comfy interior is modern and easy-to-use technology.

If you like road trips, the Terrain’s firm and supportive front seats and overall quiet ride make long drives a breeze. The upscale interior has a stitched dash and touches like separate heating controls for the seat bottom and seatback. The cargo space is augmented by a hands-free power hatch and a front passenger seat that folds flat for long items. Note that some interior controls are frustrating to use, like the gear-selector buttons that are oddly placed low on the dash.

For 2020, GMC dropped the diesel engine option, leaving the standard 1.5-liter and optional 2.0-liter gasoline engines. Of the two, we prefer the bigger 2.0-liter thanks to its more generous power, and the fuel economy penalty is a small price to pay to avoid the sluggish base engine.

All GMC Terrain years

What is new for the 2020 GMC Terrain?

  • Terrain trims have been upgraded with Lane Departure Warning as standard equipment this year.
  • The SL trim now comes with Power Seat(s) as standard equipment.

2020 GMC Terrain trims

Curious how GMC Terrain trims differ? Use our side-by-side vehicle comparison to see the differences and similarities

SL

  • The base trim includes power-adjustable heated mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, a seven-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and more.

  • View all GMC Terrain SLs in stock

SLE

SLT

Denali

  • The top-trim Terrain includes all of the features of the other trim levels plus a french-stitched leather interior, a heated leather steering wheel, burnished aluminum accents, a Denali premium suspension, LED headlights with signature lighting, and more.

  • View all GMC Terrain Denalis in stock

GMC Terrain photos

5 reasons to buy the 2020 GMC Terrain

What We Like:

Technology: The standard touchscreen interface has big icons and is easy to use, but what’s better is that every GMC Terrain comes standard with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto smartphone integration and four standard USB ports. The Terrain also comes standard with automatic emergency braking and forward-collision alert, lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist, and even automatic high beams. However, we suggest looking for models with the optional Pro Safety Plus package, which adds adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

Interior Comfort: We like the firm and supportive seats, and the fact that the side cushions manage to hold you in place without making it hard to get in and out of the vehicle. Combined with the overall low noise levels, the Terrain makes a good choice for road trippers.

Cargo Flexibility: It’s true that other vehicles in this class offer more cargo space, but the Terrain makes up for it with excellent flexibility. Sweep a foot under the rear bumper to activate the hands-free power tailgate (SLT and up) for easy access, and once inside the rear seatbacks fold flat for added capacity. The best trick is the fold-flat front passenger seat, which can accommodate extra-long items like a surfboard. It even has a hard plastic back to avoid damaging the upholstery.

What Needs Improvement

Interior Controls: We like the interior’s comfort, without question. But it’s hampered by controls that are awkwardly placed and difficult to use. Primary among these is the transmission gear selector, which is a series of four buttons located low on the dash. While long-term owners will get used to the placement, it’s still a stretch to reach.

Similar vehicles

If you're interested in the 2020 GMC Terrain, you should also check out these similar vehicles from Previous generation years.

Image of GMC Acadia

GMC Acadia

The GMC Acadia is a great midsize crossover that seats up to seven and comes with lots of cool features. The 2017 model year started the Acadia's second generation and the SUV got a bunch of upgrades. Choose from the standard 193-horsepower 2.5L four-cylinder, or opt for the 3.6L V6 which is good for 310 horsepower. Both powertrain options are available with all-wheel drive. Start with the 2019 Acadia base model SL/SLE-1 or move up the trim levels to the upgraded SLE-2 which adds standard features like an eight-way power driver seat, heated front seats, and a remote vehicle starter system. The All-Terrain trim adds standard AWD and then you can step up to the more luxurious SLT-1 and SLT-2, both with standard leather seating, or opt for the cool Acadia Black Edition or the top of the line Acadia Denali. The GMC Acadia lineup has something for everyone.

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Ratings & reliability

Customer ratings

4
Above Average

RepairPal gave the GMC Terrain an overall reliability rating of 4 out of 5 stars, which RepairPal describes as Above Average. This rating ranks GMC Terrain 11th out of 29 among Compact SUVs.

View RepairPal's full rating of the GMC Terrain

GMC Terrain features and specs

SLT 2WD 4D Sport Utility

Standard Features

  • ABS Brakes
  • Air Conditioning
  • Alloy Wheels
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • Cloth Seats
  • Cruise Control
  • Front Seat Heaters
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Leather Seats
  • Overhead Airbags
  • Power Locks
  • Power Mirrors
  • Power Seat(s)
  • Power Windows
  • Rear Defroster
  • Rear View Camera
  • Remote Start
  • Satellite Radio Ready
  • Side Airbags
  • Smart Key
  • Traction Control
  • Turbo Charged Engine
  • Automated Cruise Control
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • Blind Spot Monitor
  • BOSE Sound System
  • Full Roof Rack
  • Heated Steering Wheel
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Leather Seats
  • Memory Seat(s)
  • Navigation System
  • Panoramic Sunroof
  • Parking Sensors
  • Power Hatch/Deck Lid
  • Rear Entertainment System
  • Rear View Camera
  • Running Boards
  • Satellite Radio Ready
  • Tow Hitch

Drive Wheels

Front Wheel Drive (2WD)

Engine size

1.5L

Engine type

Turbo Gas

Fuel capacity

14.9

Wheelbase

107.3"

Overall length

182.3"

Width

72.4"

Height

65.4"

Leg room

F 40.9"/R 39.7"

Head room

F 40"/R 38.5"

Front tires

P225/60R18

Rear tires

P225/60R18

Seating capacity

5

Max towing capacity

150/1500 lbs.

Transmission

Automatic

2020 GMC Terrain FAQ

More about the 2020 GMC Terrain

Color options

Exterior colors

  • Blue Emerald Metallic

  • Ebony Twilight Metallic

  • Graphite Gray Metallic

  • Quicksilver Metallic

  • Red Quartz Tintcoat

  • Satin Steel Metallic

  • Smokey Quartz Metallic

  • Summit White

  • White Frost Tricoat

Interior details

The 2020 GMC Terrain is available with lots of great interior features:

  • Base SL and SLE models feature premium cloth seating with four-way manual adjustment for the front seats.

  • SLT and Denali trim levels feature perforated leather seating while front passenger seats are both heated.

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