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

Specification 1.5-liter Turbo 2.0-liter Turbo 1.6-liter Turbo Diesel
Horsepower 170 hp 252 hp 137 hp
Torque 203 lb-ft 240 lb-ft
Transmission 9-speed auto 9-speed auto 6-speed auto

260 lb-ft