GMC Terrain in Snow and Winter Driving (Tested!)

As winter months approach, many drivers face the challenge of navigating snowy and icy roads.

One of the key questions is: what kind of vehicle can best handle these tricky conditions? Enter the GMC Terrain, which promises comfort and reliability in winter driving.

Let’s dive into what makes this vehicle suitable for snowy roads.

Is GMC Terrain Good for Snow?

GMC Terrain AT4 In Snow

The GMC Terrain is more than just adequate for driving in snowy conditions; it’s built for it. Its All-Wheel Drive (AWD) option and a decent ground clearance of 6.9 inches offer substantial benefits for winter driving.

In addition to the technical aspects, it caters to comfort with features such as heated seats and a heated steering wheel.

Which GMC Terrain Features Will Improve Winter Driving?

Front-wheel drive as Standard

The standard Front-Wheel Drive (FWD) in the GMC Terrain offers an advantage over Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD) configurations for snow driving.

With FWD, the engine’s power is directed to the front wheels, which leads to better traction and control, especially when accelerating from a standstill in snowy or slippery conditions.

Optional AWD

All-wheel drive (AWD) is an optional feature for those requiring additional traction and stability. AWD distributes power to all four wheels, allowing the vehicle to adapt to various road conditions more effectively. If you frequently drive in snowy or icy conditions, the AWD option should be seriously considered for added safety and control.

StabiliTrak System

The StabiliTrak electronic stability control system is a standout feature in the GMC Terrain. This advanced system constantly monitors the speed of each wheel individually and can adjust power distribution to improve grip. During winter driving, where roads can be slippery, this system can be a lifesaver by reducing the likelihood of skids or spins.

High Ground Clearance

The GMC Terrain’s ground clearance of 6.9 inches enables the vehicle to navigate snow-covered roads more easily. Higher ground clearance means you are less likely to get stuck in deep snow, adding another layer of versatility and reliability to your winter driving experience.

Comfort Features

Cold winter mornings can be much more bearable thanks to the heated front and rear seats. Moreover, the heated steering wheel ensures that your hands remain warm, enhancing your overall driving comfort and allowing you to focus better on the road.

Effective Lighting

Visibility is often compromised during winter due to shorter daylight hours and weather conditions like snow or fog. The GMC Terrain’s powerful headlights and fog lights can significantly improve your visibility, helping you navigate the toughest winter conditions more safely.

Does the GMC Terrain Have a Snow Mode?

While the GMC Terrain doesn’t have a dedicated “Snow Mode,” it has the AWD Traction Select System. This feature allows drivers to easily switch between FWD, AWD, and Off-road modes to adapt to changing road conditions.

AWD Traction Select System

Does GMC Terrain Need Winter Tires?

Although the Terrain is well-equipped for snowy conditions, a good pair of winter tires is essential for maximum safety and control.

While all-season tires can handle light snow, a proper set of winter tires is recommended for slippery ice-covered roads.

AWD will make your car easy to move, but winter tires make it easier to control.

How Much Snow Can a GMC Terrain Handle?

Given its 6.9-inch ground clearance, the GMC Terrain can confidently handle snow up to 5 inches thick.

However, when roads are frozen and slippery, additional features like winter tires, AWD, and the StabiliTrak system become crucial for safe driving.

Is the GMC Terrain Reliable in Cold Weather?

The GMC Terrain is a reliable SUV in various hot and cold weather conditions. Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that extreme cold can adversely affect battery performance. For this reason, checking the battery regularly, especially before winter sets in, is advisable to prevent any unpleasant surprises.


The GMC Terrain offers a solid package for those looking to conquer snow-covered roads during winter.

This SUV stands out as a strong contender for reliable winter driving with features like optional AWD, high ground clearance, electronic stability control, and comfort amenities like heated seats.

Remember, even the best vehicle systems should be complemented by a good set of winter tires for optimal safety.