I still don't subscribe to the logic of selling two mechanically identical compact crossovers for the same price under two different brands, but I will admit that I like the Terrain a bit better than I did the Equinox. The beefy, blocky sheetmetal certainly has a more masculine image, which might appeal to people downsizing from something bigger and more truckish.
The Terrain, like its Chevrolet Equinox twin, feels considerably larger than other compact crossovers, attributable both to its actual size - six inches longer and roughly 300 pounds heavier than a Honda CR-V - and to its high beltline and thick A-pillars. The interior appears largely identical to the Chevy's, save for a darker color scheme, but is in any event more stylish and interesting than what you'll find in most non-GM competitors. I was a bit put off at first by the lack of a navigation screen for $33,840, but I soon remembered that with OnStar, one can get turn-by-turn directions beamed right to the radio without having to fuss with entering a destination while driving. Still an underrated feature, I think.
One feature I don't appreciate, unfortunately, is this 3.0-liter V-6. For the extra cost and whopping 5-mpg penalty in highway fuel economy versus the base four-cylinder, this light-on-torque V-6 doesn't provide all that much improvement in drivability and is thrashy to boot. The last-generation Equinox/Pontiac Torrent was available with the 3.6-liter V-6, which seems to make much more sense.
David Zenlea, Assistant Editor