GMC Terrain Ground Clearance

The GMC Terrain starts at 6.9 inches of ground clearance. Upgrading to the SLT, AT4, or Denali trims will get you a ground clearance of 7.9 inches.
Written by Nathan Porceng
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Mar 23, 2023
The base trim of the 2022 GMC Terrain is the
, which has a ground clearance of 6.9 inches. The
, AT4, and
trims all have ground clearances of 7.9 inches.
SUVs are excellent for off-road adventures. Many feature specialized tires, powerful engines, and performance suspensions. An often forgotten but just as important feature is ground clearance. If your SUV can’t clear the brushes, bramble, sticks, and stones underneath, you shouldn’t take it offroading. 
We've created a guide to the GMC Terrain’s specs—and we've got some tips to help you save hundreds of dollars on
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2022 GMC Terrain ground clearance

The ground clearance of the GMC Terrain varies depending on its trim: 
  • SLE
    : 6.9 inches
  • SLT
    : 7.9 inches
  • AT4: 7.9 inches
  • Denali
    : 7.9 inches 
The SLE is the GMC Terrain’s base trim and has the lowest ground clearance. All higher-end trims have an extra inch of ground clearance over the SLE.

GMC Terrain ground clearance over the years

Typically, if a model hangs around long enough, you’ll see a variation in ground clearance over the years. Sometimes, it’s just a change of a couple of tenths of an inch. Other times it’s more dramatic.
Though the GMC Terrain has been around for over a decade, there’s been no real change in the ground clearance of its base models. Let’s take a look:
  • 1st generation (2009-2015): 6.9 inches
  • 2016 refresh (2016-2017): 6.9 inches
  • 2nd generation (2018-2022): 6.9 inches
Pretty stable, right? Remember, those ground clearances are just for the Terrain’s base trim. The ground clearance can still vary a bit depending on trim and model year. For example, a 2015 Denali has a ground clearance of 6.9 inches, while a 2018 Terrain Denali has a ground clearance of 7.9 inches. 
Make sure you check your Terrain’s ground clearance before taking it offroading. 

What is ground clearance—and why does it matter?

So what exactly is ground clearance? Simply put, it’s the distance between the ground and the lowest point of your vehicle’s chassis. 
The higher your ground clearance, the rougher the terrain you can drive over without causing damage to your undercarriage. Experts typically recommend having a ground clearance of at least 8.5 inches if you’re going offroading. That makes offroading with an SLT, AT4, or Denali a bit dicey, and offroading with an SLE highly inadvisable. 

Is the GMC Terrain a good off-road vehicle?

Just because you can take a vehicle offroading doesn’t necessarily mean you should. So what about the GMC Terrain?
The GMC Terrain’s relatively low ground clearance makes it less than ideal for offroading. All trims have ground clearances under the 8.5 inches recommended by experts, so if you really want to get out in the wild, this car is probably not your best option.
That said, though not the best for offroading, the 2022 GMC Terrain is no slouch. All trims are available with all-wheel drive. Higher-end trims also come with underbody protection and performance suspensions. Best of all, even new GMC Terrain’s are relatively affordable, starting at just $29,095.

Guard against accidents with the best GMC Terrain insurance

Whether you drive a high-riding Denali, a cost-conscious SLE, or another vehicle entirely, saving time is nice, and saving money is even better.
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