First Drive: 2022 GMC Terrain AT4

We can expect to see the AT4 model continue its surge for the GMC brand in Canada.
We can expect to see the AT4 model continue its surge for the GMC brand in Canada.

by Ben So | May 6, 2022

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TORONTO, ONTARIO – Since introducing the rugged AT4 trim in 2019, GMC seen its popularity grow, particularly amongst younger and more family-oriented buyers. We had the opportunity to sample the GMC Yukon AT4, Sierra AT4, and the Canyon AT4 last year, and now the time has come for the baby of the family to receive this toughness upgrade and complete the AT4 overhaul. This is the 2022 GMC Terrain AT4 and we were invited to the Village of Creemore for a scenic first drive.

Featuring a reworked fascia, new 18- and 19-inch wheels, and new LED lighting all around, the changes on the new 2022 GMC Terrain are quite subtle. The Terrain is instantly recognizable as a GMC product thanks to the distinctive family styling cues and the red GMC badge up front, and the AT4 trim adds a front steel skid plate that enhances both form and function and it has become one of our favourite ‘off-road inspired’ designs in its segment.

The interior has also been refreshed with new trim and fabric, and the most welcomed change is the addition for an optional head-up display. It’s available on SLT and AT4 models that is standard in the top-of-line Denali. Interior layout is unchanged, with an eight-inch touchscreen atop the centre console and various shortcut buttons for quick system access and climate control.

We enjoyed the accessible layout of the native system and the infotainment is simple with commands accepted through touch or the knob below the screen. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard across the lineup with built-in capabilities for Amazon Alexa, but we would have liked to see a wireless charging tray to keep out the clutter.

The 1.5-litre turbocharged powertrain is also carried over from the previous year, outputting 170-horsepower and 203 lb-ft. of torque. While it cannot be considered fast, there is ample power to get the Terrain AT4 going swiftly, and the standard nine-speed automatic gearbox is quick to upshift to continue sending power to all four wheels. There is a bit of lag on downshifts but most buyers in this segment won’t mind, and the Terrain is just as capable as its competitions when it comes to performance.

The beauty of the GMC Terrain AT4 is that while it looks the part as an off-road capable SUV, its driving dynamics are nowhere as intolerable as actual body-on-frame models when you are driving on the pavement. Steering is light with some decent road feel, and the suspension is well tuned for street comfort rather than outright capabilities. We had the opportunity to take the Terrain AT4 over some dirt road in the countryside, where it felt right at home, making it a good crossover for users who want just a bit of ruggedness and confidence to handle the elements.

Fuel consumption is rated at 9.6L/100km in the city and 8.3L/100km on the highway for a combined average of 9.0L/100km, closely matching our observed figure during our 350km run. The Terrain AT4 has a towing capacity of 1,500 pounds, and will haul up to 838 litres of cargo behind the rear seats which is about average for the segment.

New for 2022 is the inclusion of GMC Pro Safety Plus package (Lane Change with Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Safety Alert Seat). Again, it’s standard on the Denali model, and is available as an optional package for the rest of the lineup including this AT4.

MSRP for the new 2022 GMC Terrain AT4 is $38,098, and our tester tops out at just over $42,000 with options loaded. Noteworthy is that the two lower trims – SLE and SLT– both saw a price reduction for this year. The luxurious range-topping Denali had about $3,000 worth of options included for just $1,000 more than last year’s model.

While the GMC Terrain competes against the likes of Nissan Rogue, Toyota RAV4, and Honda CR-V, the new 2022 GMC Terrain AT4 is actually more aligned with the Subaru Forester Wilderness. They both offer similar appeal with their rugged appearance with a urban friendly driving experience, and we can expect to see the AT4 model continue its surge for the GMC brand in Canada.

See Also:

2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness

First Drive: 2023 Mazda CX-50

2022 Honda Passport TrailSport

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About Ben So

Editor-in-Chief

Ben has been living and breathing car magazines, spec sheets, and touring auto shows for his entire life. As proud member of the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada, he keeps a close eye on the latest-and-greatest in the auto industry. When he isn't geeking out about the coolest new cars, he's probably heading to the next hidden-gem ice cream shop with his three quickly growing kids.

Current Toys: '97 Integra Type R, '07 LS 460 RWD, '08 Corvette Z06, '13 JX35 Tech

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