Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A popular GMC Terrain for sale, a black 2024 GMC Terrain, is shown driving on a highway.

Is the Terrain on Top?

Has there ever been a classic something that gives you nostalgia or an item that is not made anymore, but you really wish they did because it is like the best thing ever? Well, that may be true soon for the GMC Terrain, as the 2024 model year is rumored to be the last version of this unique compact crossover SUV. (This is because they are preparing for the fourth-generation model). Of course, there are competing models (which will hopefully be around for the upcoming years) that are similar, but nothing will quite live up to Terrain’s second-generation name.

If you are on the hunt for a GMC Terrain for sale, hurry as quickly as possible to a car lot or a trustworthy dealership. As mentioned, the second generation is leaving us with a final hoorah in 2024. There is only enough time to enjoy it in the present moment and drive until the final time counts down when it is just not worth the money to replace parts anymore, as you do with all older cars. However, that is far into the future. The GMC Terrain is still young and vibrant, ready to take on whatever you throw at it.

A black 2023 GMC Terrain SLT is shown driving on a watery road.

GMC Terrain 2023 vs. 2024

The two most recent model years, of course, are the 2023 and 2024 options. While there is not too much of a difference, especially in price, with 2023 being actually more expensive than the newest model, the changes are color options (with some being added and others taken away) and safety/ feature packaging. Both options are suited with a 1.5L Turbo I-4 engine that offers 175 hp and 203 lb-ft of torque. They also get excellent fuel economy, 24 MPG in the city and 29 MPG on the highway. Overall, as a compact SUV that reminds you of a sedan in terms of seating and practicality, this is a reliable ride with features available to make you feel like you are driving a powerful SUV.

If I had to give any points out in this not-so-much battle, then one point for the 2024 model year for safety and technology features. This is because, while the 2023 offers the same options, the 2024 model has more included in smaller packaging, which is easier on your wallet. Features like GMC Pro Safety Plus are now considered a standard and will be available on other affordable trims like the AT4, giving you things like lane change alerts, blind side alerts, and rear cross-traffic alerts. Plus, the additional tech you love will, of course, show face again in 2024 with a heads-up display, an eight-inch infotainment display, and OnStar connection services. While the external appearance is structurally more or less the same, there are some exciting color options: Riptide Metallic and Downpour Metallic (Riptide Metallic will definitely turn heads). The color options like the Marine Metallic and Desert Sand Metallic will not be returning for the new year. However, there are more things to enjoy than just the exterior color options, like a heated steering wheel and front seats, as well as the skyscape sunroof to add a bit of airiness to your daily drive.

Overall, some of the highlights of the Terrain are the bold designs like the GMC distinct grille, signature LED lighting, and the convenient power liftgate that affords you a stylish ride that aids in “getting the car ready” for whatever your day-to-day brings you. With high-definition surround vision and a heads-up display, this vehicle can take some of the worry off your shoulders by keeping your eyes where they need to be—on the road ahead. The premium seating will keep you and your family comfortable on the journey, and the Terrain will tow up to 1,500 lbs for some extra fun on camping trips or weekend vacations!


Who is strong enough to take on the GMC Terrain (as if that’s even a question)? Well, gunning for the number takeover is the Chevy Equinox. With a trusted background and spacious interior, you can see why this is a close match for the Terrain. There are, of course, others like the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Toyota Rav4, and Subaru Forester. However, let’s talk about why they are so similar and even some different things that will shine on the uniqueness of these vehicles to see who comes out on top for a superior driving experience.

To start with, the Honda CR-V will be tough to beat in terms of fuel efficiency, getting 43 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway. While prices will always vary, all six of these models stay close together, ranging in the upper 20,000s. However, what makes these vehicles so similar is their build. They are compact SUVs that are designed with a Sport Utility body style. They are easy to handle, make great first cars, and can seat up to five people to protect your small family on busy streets. Their structures make it easy to carry cargo and tow smaller weight loads than that of a rugged truck. It is what it was built to be—practical for families with a few magical touches. If legroom is important to you, the Mazda CX-5 might not be the vehicle for you out of this lineup. While it handles great and gets a bit of punch in its engine, the roomy interior is just not there in this model. Another significant difference between these savvy competitors is their trim options—some offering hybrid powertrains or EVs without the need for gasoline. It all depends on what you are looking for, but the closest model to the Terrain is the Equinox in terms of design, ability, and features.

Going over this entire lineup, the CR-V comes out looking pretty good. Unfortunately, the Terrain has a little more torque, a roomy, cozy interior, and excellent safety ratings. I do admit there are truly not so many differences between these models—only simple features that change the driving experience slightly. They are all vehicles worthy of your attention, with added features to keep you safe and entertained on the road.

A red 2023 GMC Terrain is shown driving on road.

Life Lasting Expectancy of GMC Terrain and Competitors

When we talk about a car and its life expectancy, we are talking about its mileage. In this case, that means how many miles can these cars get up to? A good number to keep in mind is 200,000 miles, while a great life expectancy can reach up to 300,000. Across the board, these competitors have an average life expectancy of 250,000 miles. While the Mazda CX-5 and the Subaru Forester are on the lower end of that spectrum, the GMC Terrain and the Toyota RAV4 take the cake at 300,000 miles. All of these models estimate around $400-$700 for yearly maintenance. If this is doable for you, then I say go for it!

Where Will GMC Take You?

The GMC Terrain is bound to take you leaping and sprinting across rough terrain and long roads ahead. It is a compact SUV designed for durability and practicality mixed into one solid ride. With new packaging and color options, you will not want to miss out on this affordable and well-rounded vehicle. While there will always be competitors, this will be your only chance to enjoy the last version of this second-generation Terrain model. Take my advice and do not wait until this car becomes one of those “somethings” that give you great memories. Live in the moment!