GMC Terrain – Another Ugly Truck

May 24, 2010 at 11:19 pm (Cars & Trucks, General) (, , , , , , , , )

Greetings, fellow citizens and auto enthusiasts! I’m back to abuse GM’s styling department once again. (Yes, the very people who brought us the Pontiac Aztek.) Sorry, but it’s just the sort of hateful, bilious, unhappy little man that I am.

(And sorry about the lapse in posting. It’s been a bear of a month. E-mail me if you really must know more.)

OK! Let’s get on with the sneering, giggling and pointing, shall we? Today’s styling victim – the GMC Terrain.

I do have to give GMC some props – they did make the effort to create a vehicle that gets 32 mpg with its 4 cylinder engine, and they’ve included some nice comfort features. There’s even a rear-facing camera. And I’m sure, a plethora of cupholders. But for Pete’s sake! Why do automotive styling departments seem incapable of designing an SUV that doesn’t look like a smiling chimpanzee?

What is it with auto stylists these days, that makes them think that cars and trucks need to have a face?

Notable examples of this are the recent Acura and Mazda cars, and the new Chevy Camaro. For some reason, they seem to have stupid little grins pasted to their front ends. Why? Do focus groups really say that they like to have cars that smile at them? Or are the people in the focus groups just screwing with the auto makers?

So, what makes the Terrain look so ungainly? What’s the deal with the bulges around the wheel wells? Is that supposed to make the truck look “muscular”? Not even close. It looks like a fat chick stuffed into an undersized pair of sweat pants.

Sad, really. Sad that the guys that designed this wee beast don’t seem to have heard of Harley Earl. That’s a guy who really knew how to design a vehicle that looked great – sleek and well-proportioned. The Terrain suffers from a disproportionate design. The fender bulges are too pronounced, and look like an afterthought. The beltline is in the wrong place. It’s either too high, or not high enough. Wrong place! The front clip is bulky, bumpy, and fails to appeal – well, at least to me. The overall effect is of an upside-down bathtub on wheels.

These are pretty much the same complaints I have with the Jeep Compass. And I stand by my assessment. If need be, nose to nose with the lead designer. I’ll bring my pencil and sketchbook. But I realize it’s an uphill battle, trying to make a good-looking SUV. Better to swing and miss than not to swing at all.

(Gawd, I’m a bitch tonight! Bring on the insults, Terrain owners!)

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  1. lordhelpus said,

    OMG. O.M.F.G. I think my new neighbors just bought one of these things. I saw it in their driveway today when I went for my walk. Sadly, it doesn’t look any better in the flesh. I hope they don’t read this blog. I’d rather not be lynched. Or doused in toluene, set alight, and kicked down a long flight of steps. Oh, well. Such are the hazards of being a modern-day Solzhenitsyn. And so far, no angry ad hominem attacks from Terrain owners. Huh. Well, I’m sure they’ll catch up with me at some point. Maybe they’ll excoriate me for even mentioning Solzhenitsyn, let alone having the unmitigated gall to compare myself to him.

    To this I say, in advance:

    Get a grip! It’s just one jerk’s opinion, and it’s all in fun! Now go have a nice spanakopita or something.

  2. Connie Larsh said,

    Terrains look awesome. You people are on drugs! It’s about time that they created a crossover or SUV that doesn’t look like a bubble. To each his own I guess!

  3. lordhelpus said,

    Hey, Connie. Sorry, no drugs here. Dagnabbit.

    But you’re right – to each his own. As I get older, I continue to come to terms with the fact that there are designs that appeal to others, yet simply leave me cold. Now of course, my ego insists that my view is obviously correct, and that’s what makes me the snarky critic of automotive styling that I am.

    And oddly, I agree with you on SUVs – maybe more so. There’s not a one that I really like the looks of. To me, they all look like overgrown VW Rabbits / Golfs, or worse still, self-important pickup trucks with leather seats.

    My ongoing quest is to hold the feet of the design community to the fire, and see if there isn’t a better way. Thanks for reading, and responding. (But, truthfully, doesn’t the Terrain grille look just a little bit like a chimp?)

  4. EJWright said,

    Wow, did the same guy that designed the Aztek design the Terrain? How can a company that design great looking vehicles like their trucks and the original Acadia, not the new one, create something so ugly? Im an artist and I look at lines and proportions and both are not pleasing on the Terrain the lines and proportions are similar on the Aztek, “UGLY”.
    Not everybody have the same tastes but try to design a vehicle that appeal to the majority not the minority.

  5. lordhelpus said,

    How strange, EJ – I was just discussing this very post with one of my housemates, earlier today. With you 100%. GM doesn’t seem to have had any styling consistency since the ’70s. Hard to believe he same company that brought us the split-window Corvette Stingray also gave us he Aztek, the Terrain, and the Hummer H3. When you get a chance, check out the similarity between the 2010 Chevy Equinox and the Pontiac Aztek. Deja vu, all over again. History seems to be repeating itself all the time now. Glad you enjoyed the post!

  6. Doll said,

    You’re all full of crap. I think the look is AWESOME!!! It doesn’t look like all the rest of the SUV’s – as if the back of the roof was smashed down. I bought one and I LOVE IT. AND… I get ALOT of compliments on it… ALOT!

  7. lordhelpus said,

    Cool, Doll! I’m glad it’s working out for you. Tastes vary, of course. Take care!

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