For a flexible small SUV capable of taking you up mountains and into malls, you should try the GMC Terrain for size, says Chris Fisher
Driving a GMC Terrain made me feel like a senator or a very important person because the car was so grand and stately. I also pictured being in a Transformers film – the GMC brand features in the movie franchise – only I was transforming into the sort of man who befits a Terrain, who I imagine to be a businessman with a family or someone with an adventurous streak.
My first impressions were that the Terrain was smaller and less bulky than I expected. It was also a very good looking car with its shiny metallic paintwork, muscular fender flares, striking grille and chrome alloy wheels, which means you immediately get noticed on the road. It’s quite a bold design and I like that in a car. I’m a larger than life personality, so a shy and retiring type of car doesn’t really suit me. The Terrain looks tough and, as it’s name suggests, seems it could handle all sorts of ground conditions with ease, which makes it perfect for Oman’s varied landscape.
Once sitting inside, the immediate thing that strikes you is a sense of security, with the Terrain’s height giving a commanding view of the road ahead. It’s the safest that I’ve felt in a car for a long time. If safety is your prime consideration, I can tell you that the Terrain is fitted with six airbags, including front side-impact and head curtain.
I was a big fan of the rear-view camera, which is cleverly integrated into the rear-view mirror.
Another great feature is the Forward Collision Alert. This provides an audible and visual – a beeping noise and red light – warning to give you the heads up that collision may be imminent because the car in front is too close. This is a great way to stop the habit of tailgating, which seems omnipresent among certain drivers on the Sultanate’s roads. It’s also great to get a warning that a car is about to veer in front of you, as can happen on the roads as drivers suddenly cross lanes without indicating their intention to do so.
Mind you, when you’re driving such an imposing car as a Terrain you enjoy a certain respect on the road.
Families will like the flexible rear seating set up, which can be folded down completely to create more cargo space. You can also make use of the push-button boot access, giving hands-free entry – perfect for when you’re loaded down with shopping or camping equipment. See what I mean about this car being so versatile? It would suit families needing lots of space for children and accouterments or single outdoor types wanting an SUV with style.
The cargo space is also huge, the sort of size you would expect from a larger SUV.
The Terrain doesn’t compromise on the interior either. It feels luxurious with a very nice touchscreen and rear LCD screens in the back to keep adult passengers or little monsters alike entertained during journeys. My car (the SLT-2 model) had buttery soft two-tone leather seats with matching colours on the dashboard and a decent enough stereo system. It comes with Bluetooth connectivity and was ridiculously easy to sync with my phone, taking just 30 seconds.
There was also plenty of leg and headroom, another feature I appreciate.
My only small gripe was that the touchscreen had an awning, which was meant to shield the screen from the glare of the sun, but merely impeded my view of it.
As for handling, the 3.6L engine was responsive, though a touch slow shifting between gears, and the handling was smooth and assured. Cruise control allows you to sit back and the let the car do the hard work.
The Terrain is designed to be the perfect combination of luxury and utility and it does it very well. If you’re looking for a good value SUV with great safety and finish both inside and out, it could well be the perfect package.
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