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2023 GMC Terrain

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Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

Select a Trim
Select a Trim
2023 SLE Front-Wheel Drive
most popular
Price:   -  From $31,295
2023 SLE All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $32,895
2023 SLT Front-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $35,295
2023 SLT All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $36,895
2023 AT4 All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $37,395
2023 Denali All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $39,995


What's New

The 2023 GMC Terrain is mostly a carryover model, however, there is a new Black Diamond trim on the top-tier Denali and a few hardware updates such as a new 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine and an electro-mechanical braking system for improved chassis control.

Choosing Your GMC Terrain

The GMC Terrain is available in four trims: SLE, SLT, AT4, and Denali. Base prices range from $31,045 to $39,745.

Engine Choices

The Terrain is available with a single powertrain. The new 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine retains the same displacement but is slightly more powerful with 175 peak horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque from 2,000-4,000 RPM while its nine-speed automatic is retained. Power is sent to the front wheels or all four in the AT4 and Denali trims. All-wheel drive is a $1,600 option for the SLE and SLT trims.

The Terrain earns EPA estimates of 24 miles per gallon city, 29 MPG highway, and 26 combined in FWD guide or just one less highway MPG point with the all-wheel-drive system which has a default front-wheel-drive mode for maximum efficiency. Unlike much of its competition, there are no hybrid powertrain options.

Passenger and Cargo Capacity

The Terrain’s length of 182.3 inches lands it right in the middle of the competitive pack that includes the new Honda CR-V, the new Kia Sportage, and the Toyota RAV-4. It offers 39.7 inches of rear legroom, 38.5 inches of rear headroom, and nearly 52 inches of rear hip room, making it essentially just as roomy as those models inside too. Cargo capacity is where the GMC falls behind the others, however, with just 29.6 cubic feet behind the back seat and 63.3 cubic feet of space with the rear seat folded. At least the front passenger seat can fold flat to fit objects up to eight-feet long.

The Terrain is rated to tow 1,500 pounds.

GMC Terrain

Safety Features

All Terrain trims are equipped with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, following distance indicator, and lane keep assist, while adaptive cruise control, blind-spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert, rear park assist, and GM’s vibrating safety seat are included in the $695 Terrain Pro Safety Plus package. With that package selected, the Tech Package is offered (in the SLT and AT4) and includes front parking sensors, a surround-view monitor, and a head-up display for a very reasonable $850. The Denali includes blind-spot detection, a head-up display, and forward parking sensors as standard and offers adaptive cruise control, parking assist, and a surround-view monitor through the $1,445 Denali Premium Package.

The Terrain earns five stars from NHTSA and receives Good crashworthiness scores in most categories from IIHS.


The SLE features a seven-inch touchscreen with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, SiriusXM, remote connectivity, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. There are two USB ports in the center console and two on its backside for rear passengers.

The SLE offers the Infotainment Package I ($795) and it includes an eight-inch display with navigation, a 110-volt power outlet, and an upgraded rear camera. The package also requires the Driver Convenience Package for an out-the-door cost of $2,170.

The SLT and AT4 include the features of the Infotainment Package as standard and offer navigation and a seven-speaker Bose sound system through the Infotainment Package II ($1,180) which are included in the Denali trim that also receives wireless charging.

GMC Terrain

2023 GMC Terrain SLE – MSRP From $31,045

The base trim features 17-inch painted alloy wheels, LED headlights and taillights, a chrome grille surround and window trim, body-color door handles and mirror caps, and proximity entry. Inside, cloth seats, a 4-way manually adjustable driver’s seat, a 4.2-inch driver information display, aluminum trim, and rear HVAC vents are also included.

The Driver Convenience Package ($1,375) incorporates a power driver’s seat, heated front seats, a remote engine start, and dual-zone climate control.

The Elevation Package is offered for $995 and includes 19-inch gloss black wheels, black exterior trim on the front grille surround, upper window opening, roof rails, mirror caps, and tailgate garnish, and black badging.

2023 GMC Terrain SLT – MSRP From $35,045

The SLT trim incorporates 18-inch wheels, a hands-free power tailgate, heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, chrome grille inserts, fog lights, remote start, and chrome front and rear bumper trim as well as perforated leather seats with heating for the front row and eight-way power-adjustability for the driver, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, ambient lighting, and dual-zone climate control.

A sunroof is offered as a stand-alone option for $1,495 and the Elevation Package is also available.

2023 GMC Terrain AT4 – MSRP From $37,145

The AT4 trim adds a bit of an off-road flare with 17-inch wheels with more rugged tires, a skid plate for the engine, dark chrome grille inserts, front and rear bumper trim and tailgate garnish, black window trim, roof rails and mirror caps, and AT4 logos embroidered into the headrests. Otherwise, it is similarly equipped to the SLT trim.

2023 GMC Terrain Denali – MSRP From $39,745

The Denali includes 19-inch machined wheels with painted pockets, chrome trim on the door handles, body-color fender flares, lower door trim, lower front, and rear fascia, a bright chrome mesh grille, updated headlights, unique exterior colors, and a two-tone interior with unique trim and contrast stitching.

The Denali Premium Package ($1,445) adds additional safety features, ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats. The Black Diamond Package ($3,240) further includes a sunroof and dark-painted 19-inch wheels.

Compare Terrain Trims Side-By-Side

CarsDirect Tip

The SLT trim with the Safety Package offers the best value as pushing further upwards in the Terrain line-up invites unfavorable comparisons with its much newer rivals.

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Automotive Editor
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Prices & Deals

Expert Review

  • Generous standard equipment
  • Reasonable safety report card
  • Impressive cargo capacity
  • Rides and handles well
  • Underpowered and thirsty
  • Awful AWD system and gearbox
  • Can’t seat five people in comfort
  • The seats aren’t comfortable, either
Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

author image
Automotive Editor

The law of diminishing returns. There’s a sense that GMC isn’t entirely committed to their Terrain SUV. As the smallest model in the manufacturer’s range, it’s forced to wear the same brusque grille and outsized badging as its truck cousins, despite offering softer and more effective lines from the A-pillars backward. It’s also disappointing that two of the three previously available engines have now been dropped, leaving a 175 hp turbo-4 gas unit as the sole method of propulsion.

That wouldn’t be such a hardship if the engine was potent and smooth, but it’s notably underpowered when fully laden. Spooling up just 203 lb-ft of torque means a heavy right foot is required on long inclines, while the nine-speed automatic transmission has too many ratios for such modest power. Little wonder that you’ll struggle to better 25 mpg on the combined cycle, whether you opt for a front or all-wheel drive. The latter system needs to be manually activated from the dash each time you want to engage it, and it still doesn’t imbue the Terrain with go-anywhere credentials. Nor does it increase a feeble towing capacity of 1,500 pounds.

So it’s not an off-roader, then? Don’t be fooled by the rugged styling and underbody skid plate fitted to AT4 models because Terrain’s manually selectable AWD transmission is basic. It’ll cope well with slippery conditions if you remember to engage it, but there’s limited ground clearance and the 17-inch tires on lesser models aren’t going to offer much traction.

The Terrain’s natural habitat – its preferred terrain – is the road, where a compliant ride isn’t unduly compromised by the 19-inch rims fitted to premium models. The steering is responsive and communicative, allowing you to spin the four-spoke wheel with confidence. Because the car is relatively low riding, there’s less crosswind deflection or body lean in corners than some SUVs serve up.

Fine for four, not five. GMC fit five seatbelts in the Terrain, but pity the fool who agrees to sit centrally in the rear bench. There’ll be almost 40 inches of legroom in front of them, but precious little elbow room beside them. The center seat is curiously recessed at the lumbar region, while the flat base offers little comfort, though the outboard rear seats are also lacking in support. The front seats aren’t a revelation, but they’re better, thanks to additional bolstering and a center elbow rest (it’s not long enough to qualify as an armrest).

The dashboard is a sea-of-grey affair that looks like it belongs to a much older model, with a small seven-inch touchscreen on base models. This expands to eight inches higher up the Terrain range, but even that system feels behind the times here in 2023. The rest of the dash is plasticky and unexciting, with awkward-to-use toggle switches, and the button-controlled gearbox (positioned above a series of USB charging ports) will confuse first-time occupants. Speaking of occupants, the trunk can accommodate just under 30 cubic feet of cargo, increasing to 63.3 cubes once those hard rear seats are dropped (as) flat (as they can be).

GMC Terrain

Which model should I choose? It’s inevitably the case that buying on a budget limits specifications, though the $32,960 Terrain SLE does offer wireless smartphone mirroring plus keyless entry and start. It’s also impressively safe, with active lane control and automatic emergency braking standard across the range, though the IIHS has expressed concerns about the Terrain’s headlights. Moving up to SLT trim brings heated leather front seats and a power tailgate, while the AT4’s decorative adornments are best ignored in favor of Denali’s soft leather and myriad creature comforts. These extend to navigation and parking sensors, LED headlights, and a heated steering wheel.

A $3,240 package available on Denali models adds heated rear seats and ventilated front ones, parking assistance, and safety features like adaptive cruise control that should probably be standard on all models. The surround-view camera system is another useful component since rear visibility is poor. Safety is otherwise decent with a five-star NHTSA rating, though the IIHS’s decision to grade the Terrain’s headlights as ‘poor’ is unusual – and potentially troublesome if you live in an area without streetlights.

Final thoughts. The SUV market is fiercely competitive, with almost every manufacturer offering at least one such vehicle in their line-up. To stand out, an SUV needs a point of excellence – a stunning interior (Volvo), legendary build quality (Subaru), or sheer opulence (Calligraphy-edition Hyundais). GMC’s Terrain is an also-ran in a field of all-stars, and where it does stand out, it’s for the wrong reasons. Foremost among these are the manually engaged AWD system and the push-button transmission, neither of which belong in a modern vehicle. The seven-inch touchscreen in base models could also be added to that list, as could its glow-worm-in-jam-jar headlights.

In most respects, the Terrain isn’t a bad car, but it’s betrayed by the remorseless competence of rivals like Honda’s CR-V and Mazda’s CX-5. If you must have a GMC badge on your driveway, Terrain prices are reasonable and road manners are quite impressive despite lethargic performance and nominal towing capacity. Standard equipment is fine, safety is good, and Denali models offer decent luxury credentials. Ultimately, though, that’s nowhere near enough to make this a recommended SUV.

Check 2023 GMC Terrain Prices Near You

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Specs & Features

Overall Crash Safety Rating
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
1.5L I-4 / 175 HP / 203 ft.lbs.
9-spd sequential shift control auto w/OD
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
24 / 29 / 26 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
1.5L I-4 / 175 HP / 203 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
24 / 29 / 26 Mpg
4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Rear Suspension
Independent Multi-link
Spare Tire And Wheel
Compact Steel
Fuel Tank
14.9 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Regular Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
63.3 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
Exterior Length
182.3 "
Exterior Width
72.4 "
Exterior Height
65.4 "
Front Headroom
40.0 "
Rear Headroom
38.5 "
Front Legroom
40.9 "
Rear Legroom
39.7 "
Front Shoulder Room
57.2 "
Rear Shoulder Room
55.6 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
3,419 Lbs.
Wheel Base
107 "
Turning Radius
18.7 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
17.0 " Silver Aluminum / 19.0 " Black Aluminum
Clearcoat Monotone / Clearcoat Monotone With Badging / Metallic Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote Heated Convex Spotter
Grille Moldings
Black W/chrome Surround / Black
Rear Spoiler
Stainless Steel
Interior Features
Passenger Capacity
Seat Trim
Premium Cloth
Front Seat Type
Heated Front Seats
Driver And Front Passenger Heated-cushion, Heated-seatback
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
6-way / (8-way Power)
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
Front Armrests
6-way / (8-way Power)
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
60-40 Bench
Radio & Infotainment
Siriusxm Am/fm/satellite, Clock, Seek-scan / Siriusxm Am/fm/satellite, Seek-scan / Am/fm/satellite, Seek-scan / Clock
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Telescopic Tilt
Climate Control
Automatic Air Conditioning
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Express Open/close
Rearview Mirror
Auto-dimming Day-night
One Touch Open Window
Front And Rear
Tinted Windows
Vanity Mirrors
Dual Illuminated
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Forward Collision Alert With Automatic Braking Forward Collision Mitigation
Blind Spot Sensor
Lane Change Alert With Side Blind Zone Alert Blind Spot
Lane Departure Warning
Lane Keep Assist With Lane Departure Warning Lane Departure
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Front Pedestrian Braking Front Pedestrian Detection Prevention
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Intellibeam Auto High-beam
Adaptive Headlights
Parking Sensors
Rear Park Assist Rear
Security Systems
Security System
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Major Components Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
12 Months / Unlimited Miles
Roadside Assistance Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Corrosion Perforation
72 Months / 100,000 Miles
Accessories Months