A little less boxy, a lot lighter, and now with a turbodiesel engine.
It’s not hard to see the importance of the Terrain compact crossover to the GMC brand. It’s the division’s second best-selling model, accounting for one in six GMC sales last year. Yet eight years after it was first introduced, the crossover is ready for an update. The all-new 2018 GMC Terrain bowing at the Detroit Auto Show arrives with a new design, a revamped interior, and a trio of turbocharged engines.
As we first saw in a teaser photo, the 2018 GMC Terrain takes a pretty big styling risk compared to its predecessor. With a sleek, swept-back design all round, highlighted by a floating pillar treatment below a sloping roofline, it’s a striking look. We’re also happy to see a bit more visual differentiation from the GMC’s platform-mate, the Chevy Equinox, than in prior years.
The new Terrain is 3.2 inches shorter in length on a 5.2-inch shorter wheelbase than before, and cargo room suffers as a result. With the rear seats raised, there’s now 29.6 cubic feet of storage, down by 2.0 from the 2017 model; with the back seats lowered, storage space increases to 63.3 cubic feet, which is only 0.4 cubic feet less than the outgoing model.
Like the Equinox, the new Terrain will use three turbocharged engines – say goodbye to the naturally aspirated inline-four and V6 of the prior model. There will be 1.5- and 2.0-liter turbocharged gas engines with a nine-speed automatic transmission, as well as a 1.6-liter turbodiesel with a six-speed automatic. The gas engines make 170 horsepower (127 kilowatts) and 252 hp (188 kw). The diesel Terrain will offer only 137 hp (102 kw) but cranks out an impressive 240 pound-feet (325 Newton-meters) of torque.
Just like its Chevy sibling, the Terrain has gone on a big diet for its new generation. GMC says the lightest model, a front-wheel-drive Terrain with the 1.5-liter gas engine, weighs 3,327 pounds, or 465 lb less than the skinniest 2017 model. That, along with the new engines and transmissions, should pay dividends in fuel efficiency.
As is de rigeur in the crossover class, both front- and all-wheel-drive models will be available. The GMC Terrain will have selectable drive modes, including one that switches the AWD system to disconnect the rear prop shaft to save fuel.
Interior features include a new electronic shift lever that takes up less space in the center console, a fold-flat passenger seat, and rear seats that now fold flat to the floor. The crossover also has active noise cancellation as standard, plus available aluminum and leather trim. Tech options include 7- or 8-inch touchscreen infotainment systems, an available Bose sound system, and an upgraded active-safety suite with a 360-degree camera system, forward-collision warning, automatic pre-collision braking, lane-keep assist, and the Rear Seat Reminder feature found on many General Motors vehicles.
In typical GMC fashion, trim levels start at SL, continuing through SLE, SLT, and the ultra-lux Denali. The lower two trims come with 17-inch wheels, the SLT wears 18s, and the Denali has 19. Other Denali-specific features include LED headlights, more exterior chrome than a disco ball, a heated steering wheel, a power liftgate, and navigation.