Making its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the 2018 GMC Terrain reflects a complete remake of the division’s popular compact crossover SUV. Subtly resized, smartly reshaped and rolling on an all-new platform, the Terrain offers even greater refinement and mechanical sophistication including a host of new or improved comfort/convenience touches and enhanced safety/driver assist features.
As before, the 5-passenger Terrain will be available in SL, SLE, SLT and range-topping Denali form when it arrives in showrooms this summer. The Terrain accounts for 25 percent of the division’s annual sales volume, and Duncan Aldred, vice president of global GMC Sales and Marketing, is confident this striking successor will play a key role in maintaining that momentum.
Like its equally new cousin, the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox, the 2018 Terrain rides on a a version of GM’s D2XX global architecture that also underpins the Buick Envision. Slightly shorter and lower than the existing vehicle, it also jettisons over 460 pounds of weight in the transition and sees its wheelbase decrease from 112.5 to 107.3 inches. The 2018 Terrain introduces the next generation of GMC design language. Its exterior embodies a combination of style and substance that elevates the division’s signature cues to a new level. Carefully sculpted bodywork refined in the windtunnel optimizes form and function in a way that differentiates the new Terrain from the Equinox, from its edgier front clip to a more flowing roofline and the striking “floating” D-pillar treatment.
In keeping with tradition, the Terrain Denali makes a stronger visual statement thanks to a selection of model-specific trim elements that include body-colour fascias, a satin-chrome grille finish and a bounty of bright trim. The Denali also replaces HID headlamps on the SL/SLE/SLT with full LED units and wears 19-inch ultra-bright machined-alloy wheels in place of the 17-inch rims found on the SL/SLE and 18-inche alloys that come standard on the SLE and are optional on the SLT.
More style and serenity
The passenger compartment in the new Terrain has a more user-friendly character throughout, with premium materials and more soft-touch surfaces. Standard active noise cancellation ensures a more relaxing on-road experience. Whether fitted with a 7.0-inch or available 8.0-inch central display screen, the infotainment systems in the Terrain feature standard OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, five years of OnStar Basic Plan and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay support. While marginally smaller inside, usable passenger space in the new Terrain is virtually unchanged. Base cargo capacity does dip from 31.6 to 29.6 cubic feet, but a new flat-folding the second-row split bench raises that to a quite usable 63.3 cu ft – a mere 0.6 cu ft reduction — and the new flat-folding front passenger seatback now lets the Terrain carry longer objects.
The Terrain Denali goes the extra people-pleasing mile here as well, swapping cloth upholstery for leather (which also is standard on the SLT) and gaining unique trim colors and accents along with Denali-specific logos. Additional features include a premium 7-speaker Bose audio system, navigation, heated steering wheel and power liftgate.
The power of four
Like the Equinox, the 2018 Terrain will offer a trio of new turbocharged 4-cylinder engines – including a new turbodiesel. The gasoline-fired 1.5-liter makes 170 horsepower and 203 lb-ft of torque while the 252-horse/2.0-liter that will be standard in the Terrain Denali develops 260 lb-ft of peak twist – sufficient to let it tow up to 3,500 pounds. Both are backed by a new 9-speed Hydra-Matic transmission activated by a new space-saving electronic mechanism that replaces the conventional shift lever with push buttons and pull triggers. For maximum fuel efficiency, there’s a 1.6-liter turbodiesel that makes 137 horses and a solid 240 lb-ft of torque which is backed by a 6-speed automatic. Whether front-drive or all-wheel drive, every Terrain comes with GMC’s driver-controllable Traction Select system. In addition to an active on-demand mode, the Terrain’s optional AWD system also incorporates a fuel-saving FWD mode that effectively disconnects the rear wheels to minimize unnecessary drag.
The 2018 GMC Terrain makeover bolsters the existing passenger protection elements with enhanced driver-assists. Highlighting the list of new standard/available features are 360-degree Surround Vision, Forward Collision Alert with Following Distance Indicator, Low-Speed Forward Automatic Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning and a Safety Alert Seat to supplement the existing Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert systems. The new Terrain also will benefit from the standard fitment of GM’s Teen Driver and Rear Seat Reminder systems that can help monitor hone the skills of less-experienced operators and prevent a child or pet from being inadvertently left behind when the vehicle is parked.
The new 2018 GMC Terrain should be more than capable of challenging key rivals like the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and its own kin, the new Chevy Equinox. Pricing for the new Terrain will be announced closer its on-sale date.