2022 GMC Terrain AT4: Looking Tough But Lacking Muscle

Strong points
  • User-friendly instruments and touchscreen
  • Spacious cabin and cargo area
  • Safety features work great
  • A comfortable SUV
Weak points
  • Lack of power
  • Significant road noise
  • Oddly positioned parking brake
Full report

The 2022 GMC Terrain introduces a new AT4 model with off-road driving in mind. We recently had the opportunity to put it to the test in various conditions in the Greater Montreal area as well as on some unpaved roads a little bit up north.

As part of a mid-cycle update that also includes redesigned bumpers, headlights and grille for a more rugged look, the Terrain AT4 brings a number of distinctive touches to the lineup, such as 17-inch alloy wheels in a gloss black finish, black trim on the mirror caps, roof rails and more, a front skid plate, embroidered “AT4” logos on the head restraints, and Traction Select enabling adjustments to key vehicle systems based on the selected drive mode.

Photo: Dominic Boucher

Most of the above is for show only, so don’t expect this GMC to keep pace with a Jeep Wrangler or Ford Bronco off the beaten path. It’s more like the brand’s answer to the Ford Bronco Sport, Subaru Forester Wilderness and Toyota RAV4 Trail.  

Inside, the instrument panel combines a pair of analogue gauges with a 4.2-inch digital display, all of which are clear and easy to read. Our tester also had a head-up display. Meanwhile, the seats provide adequate support and visibility is excellent. As for cargo space, you get 838 litres behind the rear seats and 1,793 litres when you fold them down.

Photo: Dominic Boucher

On the road, the first thing we noticed was that the Terrain AT4 has a bit too much steering assist. It’s not so much of a problem on other Terrain models, which feature slightly firmer steering. Still, this SUV proves surprisingly agile.

Later during the media event, we headed out to the country for a session on twisty gravel roads that would challenge the vehicle’s stability control and suspension. We had some fun pushing it a little bit sideways, and pulling it back in line felt easy. On the other hand, due to the lack of insulation around the wheel wells, we could seemingly hear every rock thrown by the tires, especially in the rear. While soft on dry pavement, the suspension shines when road conditions get worse.

Photo: Dominic Boucher

Decent Engine

The 2022 GMC Terrain is motivated by a turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine that produces 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic transmission handles shifting, and all-wheel drive is standard on all models but the base SLE.

This little engine does a fine job most of the time, but it sure could use a few extra horses. There’s an Off-Road mode you can select, which is great. On the flip side, towing capacity is limited at 1,500 pounds.  

Photo: Dominic Boucher

We drove approximately 200 kilometres and the trip computer read 8.2 L/100 km at the end of the day. The official rating for the Terrain AT4 is 9 L/100 km. We didn’t spend much time driving around town, though.

Plenty of Tech

The infotainment system powering the eight-inch centre touchscreen is arguably one of the strengths of the GMC Terrain. It really is well thought-out and user-friendly. If you prefer, there’s wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A seven-speaker Bose sound system is available.

Photo: Dominic Boucher

In keeping with the rest of the industry, GMC loaded the 2022 Terrain with standard active and passive safety features. The list includes lane keeping assist, forward collision alert and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.

Our tester also came with available features like rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control and lane change alert with side blind zone alert. These worked generally well, but the ideal weather and road conditions had something to do with that.

Photo: Dominic Boucher

As for pricing, the 2022 GMC Terrain ranges from $30,598-$41,598. The AT4 model slots just below the top-line Denali at $36,198, making it a slightly cheaper alternative to the rivals we mentioned earlier, although the various upgrades are mostly cosmetic.

To sum up, the new Terrain AT4 delivers surprisingly good handling, increased comfort and functional technology. While road noise is significant and the engine lacks a bit of power, it’s still an interesting product in the compact SUV segment.

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