There is a long list of intimidating crossovers that wreak GMC Terrain. Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Nissan Rogue lead the largest number this year with more than 200,000 sales every July, and Ford Escape, Chevrolet Equinox, Subaru Forester, Jeep Cherokee, and Mazda CX-5 put up a strong battle GMC never positioned Terrain as a large volume player, instead opting to compete in the premium category. Although not a top seller, Terrain is not hiding in the background, at least not this time. The GMC 2018 brightness differentiates itself from others with atypical styles, available diesel engines, and a wide range of personality and model prices.
For 2018, Terrain adopts a much more appealing look with a revised grille design, headlights in quotation marks, and a buoyant roof. It is also shrinking to position itself firmly in the compact crossover segment. GMC cut 3.2 inches long, almost as tall as inch, and 5.2 inches from the old model wheelbase. It’s almost 350 pounds lighter than the previous Medan in basic shape or 425 pounds lighter when comparing topping engines with all-wheel drive. Like the 2018 Equinox, the new Terrain migrated to the D2 global architecture. With a 34 percent rigid body structure, Terrain sets itself up for a better driving experience.
You’ll be able to buy Terrain for $ 25,970, but the chrome Denali comes out at least $ 38,495. Recently, we drove the Denali Terrain with all-wheel drive and other content that drives the price to $ 44,450. Denalis comes standard with 2.0-liter 2.0 hp engine, the most powerful three turbocharged engine on offer in Medan 2018.
Equipped with 19-inch alloy wheels and a specially tuned Denali suspension, the range topper provides a slightly stiff ride. Driving through the streets of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, we could feel almost every little groove on the road. Fortunately, Terrain managed to withstand wind noise, though road noise sometimes crept into the cabin. The new nine-speed transmission did its job of getting out of the way and giving all the power seamlessly.
Currently, the Denali model accounts for about 10 percent of all Terrain sales, but GMC estimates that number will increase several percentage points as it enters a new generation. You do not have to choose Denali to get a powerful 2.0-liter-this is available as an option at SLE and SLT midrange trim levels.
The smaller 1.5 liter is targeted to be a volume engine, with GMC expecting it to generate about 55 percent of sales. When we jump into a field equipped with this engine, the standard nine-speed, and front-wheel drive, it feels refreshingly light and fun. Producing 170 hp, the model does not feel like a compromise because it provides power quickly and smoothly on demand. It does not feel like a big drop-off of 2.0 liters.
Finally we get to Terrain diesel. GMC recognizes this model will be niche and region specific, accounting for less than 10 percent of sales. Despite the low run, the option puts GMC in a good position in the compact crossover segment. This is the only vehicle in the category to venture into the region along with the new Equinox. Shortly, Mazda will follow the fray with the CX-5 diesel.
The 1.6G turodiesel Terrain produces 137 hp, but also pumps a healthy 240 lb-ft torque. This combination proves enough to make you rush when you need it. Paired with a six-speed transmission rather than a speed of nine, the model feels a bit gruffer than any other Terrain variant. It runs pretty quiet on the highway so you might forget that you’re driving a diesel. And during our 80-plus-mile trip back to the airport, I watched our average front-wheel diesel to be north of 38 mpg at one point on most of the highways. The diesel pump is in the Terrain range in terms of fuel savings, with an EPA rating of 28/39/32 mpg city / highway / combined.
All the Terrain models we drive have unique advantages, though we expect most customers to be satisfied with 1.5 liters. Light and easy, the steering helps make the SUV look small and maneuverable, although it does not have enough bites like competitors like the Mazda CX-5. Another thing that’s often overlooked: We have no issues with future visibility. The windmill drops low enough to see the front, and the mirror is just right to allow unencumbered views out of the side window.
The new Terrain shifter needs a bit of rumination again. The traditional tooth levers take precious real estate between the driver and the front passenger. The choice of electronic equipment in the new Terrain liberates this area so that it can be used for storage of cubbies, cupholders, and other functions. In the center console, simply press the appropriate button to enter the park or neutral, or drag the appropriate tab to select back or drive. It’s hard not to lie if you have to think about whether you need to press a button or pull a tab. That said, the feature works immediately, and that is something the driver will probably adjust from time to time. Making the final decision requires testing in situations that require quick change.
Above the shift key is a new infotainment system that is very similar to a smartphone, with scrolling capability and pinch-and-zoom maps. By resetting the main map screen, GMC makes it easy to access important functions such as the option to cancel the current route or change the volume of voice turn-by-turn directions. We also saw the back seat offering plenty of legroom.
From an athletic Denali model with fuel-efficient diesel, Terrain is a fish that comes out of water in a compact crossover segment. But at the end of the day, only the advantages will make a difference. We leave Terrain satisfied, though further tests will give more of his strengths and weaknesses.