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GMC Terrain




In an unsteady economy with strangely fluctuating gas prices, the only thing consumers can count on is that it's best to be prepared for the worst. That means buying fuel-efficient, durable and practical transportation. Trucks and SUVs generally don't meet all those requirements. The new breed of car-based SUVs, which we like to call crossovers, is trying to change that by focusing heavily on fuel-economy improvements. The results speak for themselves.
The GMC Terrain is based on the Chevrolet Equinox, but looks nothing like it. It's a 5-passenger crossover with bold styling, and it's available with fwd or awd. Making it unique is its base 182-bhp direct-injected 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that is tuned for the best possible fuel economy. GMC anticipates an EPA rating of 21/30 mpg. That's quite close to the 32 mpg highway rating of the Saturn Vue Hybrid, and 5 mpg better than the 2009 Chevrolet Equinox's city rating.

But don't expect great performance; to achieve these fuel-sipper numbers requires a special driver-selectable "ECO" mode that results in a low-rpm torque converter lockup of the 6-speed automatic and likely a sluggish throttle map. The 4-cylinder also has electric-assist power steering to help maximize efficiency.

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