Whenever General Motors has too little cash to serve too many divisions, the result is too much badge engineering. The 2010 GMC Terrain doesn't suffer badge engineering like its predecessor, the Pontiac Torrent. Based on the second-gen Chevrolet Equinox on sale soon, the Terrain has distinct sheetmetal and a slightly upgraded interior featuring lots of red ambient lighting, including along the center-stack-control outline, the CD player opening, and in the door handle openings.

The Terrain will come with slightly more standard equipment than the new Equinox, and we'd expect base prices for the SLE and SLT trim levels, both available in front or all-wheel drive and I-4 or V-6 configurations, to run from the very low to the upper-mid $20s.

Underneath it all, the Terrain will be familiar to those of you who have studied the '10 Equinox's spec sheet: 2.4-liter Ecotec gas direct-injection four or a new 3.0-liter gas direct-injection V-6, with fuel economy ranging up to 30 mpg highway. The driving range will top 500 miles with either engine and the Ecotec four features an "ECO" mode in which the driver can lower torque lockup speed to 1125 rpm with the touch of a button.

Strong, square fender openings that work pretty well on the Acadia look forced a crossover this size, much like what Jeep did with the Patriot's side surfacing to make it look true to the brand. And the large, chrome-laden grille is just too much on this Hyundai Santa Fe/Ford Edge competitor. One thing is certain: When the new Terrain replaces the Torrent in Pontiac/Buick/GMC dealers this summer, it replaces an inoffensive split-grille rebadge with a crossover that's its own model, with styling that will evoke strong responses, positive and negative. Could it be the 2010 Aztek?


2010 GMC TERRAIN
Base price $22,000 (est)
Drivetrain Front-engine, FWD/AWD
Engines 2.4L/182-hp/174-lb-ft DOHC I-4, 3.0L/264-hp/222 lb-ft DOHC V-6
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Curb weight 3800-4100 lb (mfr est)
Wheelbase 112.5 in
Length x width x height 185.3 x 72.8 x 66.3 in
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 17-21/24-30 mpg (est)
CO2 emissions 0.80-0.99 lb/mile (est)