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2018 GMC Terrain Features Bold Design, Diesel Engine Option
2018 All-New GMC Terrain SLT (Left) and Denali (Right)

2018 GMC Terrain Features Bold Design, Diesel Engine Option

GMC is hoping to break away from the pack of the crowded compact crossover segment with the all-new 2018 Terrain. With a bold new design theme inside and out, more features and an all-turbocharged engine lineup, it appears GMC really is bringing its A-game here.

By now it appears to be no secret that GMC as a whole is moving up-market, largely thanks to the success of the Denali sub-brand in recent years. The elevation to becoming a premium brand is very evident with the new Terrain just by looking at it.

With a new floating roofline and unusual exterior design cues, the new Terrain looks the premium part. It also shares virtually no design cues with its sister vehicle, the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox, another positive indicator for the GMC brand as a whole. Both crossovers are based on GM’s D2XX platform that also underpins vehicles such as the Chevrolet Cruze and Opel Astra.

Where the Terrain is sharing with the Equinox is in the powertrain department. Like the ‘Nox, the Terrain will be offered with three turbocharged inline-four engine options. The base engine will be GM’s 1.5-liter turbo with 170 horsepower, while up-level models can opt for the more powerful 2.0-liter turbo gas engine with 252 horsepower. If a gas engine isn’t your preference, buyers can also opt for a 1.6-liter turbo-diesel with 137 horsepower. Both gas engines are mated to GM’s new 9-speed automatic transmission, while the diesel will have to make due with a 6-speed.

Inside GMC has given the Terrain a premium looking interior with materials such as authentic aluminum trim and soft-touch plastics. The brand has also launched its first electronic gear selector in the new Terrain, which it’s calling Electronic Precision Shift. The button-based gear selector is allowing for more interior space and giving the Terrain a more premium vibe versus other compact crossovers. Interior space is also maximized thanks to a front passenger and rear seat that both fold flat for additional cargo storage.

GMC is ensuring its premium image with standard features such as a driver-controllable Traction Select system and active noise cancellation. All-wheel-drive models also have various modes for owners to put the AWD system in, such as two-wheel-drive mode for fuel economy benefits.

Terrain buyers wanting even more premium features can opt for the Terrain Denali, which of course features unique exterior design features, such as the iconic aluminum/chrome grille. Denali trim also adds standard 19-inch wheels.

Inside the Denali features unique piping and tinted aluminum trim, with Denali badging throughout. Basically the standard Denali guise we’ve all come to expect on GMC models.

Naturally, to be competitive in this fiercely competitive segment, the Terrain is gaining a host of optional safety technologies for 2018. The list includes gadgets such as a surround view camera, lane keep assist, automatic braking and more. GM stalwart features such as the company’s safety alert seat and new rear seat reminder are also found on the new Terrain.

The new 2018 Terrain will roll into GMC stores in mid-2017. Pricing will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch.

Engine Details

Specification1.5-liter Turbo2.0-liter Turbo1.6-liter Turbo Diesel
Horsepower170 hp252 hp137 hp
Torque203 lb-ft240 lb-ft
Transmission9-speed auto9-speed auto6-speed auto

260 lb-ft







About Nick Saporito

AutoVerdict Senior Editor Nick Saporito began writing about cars at age 13. Nick ran a couple of automotive enthusiast sites for several years, before taking some time off to focus on his career and education. By day he's a marketing executive in the telecom world and by night he hangs out here at AV. You'll find him focusing on tech, design and the industry's future.
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 Latest Forum Messages
  1. member12
    That has to be the stupidest shifter that I've ever seen. The buttons are too far away from the driver.

    Yep. Very terrible setup IMO.

    Not a huge loss. I didn't care for the existing Terrain either. I don't understand its popularity.
    Ugly and boring.....I have nothing nice to say about it.
    I get a Nissan vibe from it. Meh...but to be fair, I'm not a CUV guy either
    I can't figure out why column shifters aren't making a comeback. It seems like a time-tested solution to an apparently new problem.

    Mercedes has them now.

    I am not feeling this design at all I am almost getting a pig vibe. One of the few times I prefer the Chevy design over the GMC design. I also hate the floating roof trend.
    I can't figure out why column shifters aren't making a comeback. It seems like a time-tested solution to an apparently new problem.

    Most of these new 8/9/10-speed transmissions are fully electric, meaning no mechanical lever that puts it in gear. It just seems easier to put an electric switch or buttons to tell the transmission what gear you want rather than a column shifter that has to feel like it's mechanical.
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