GMC Terrain

The 2020 GMC Terrain is an exciting contender in the mid-size crossover segment. It uses the same platform as the Chevrolet Equinox and shares an aesthetic with both the Acadia and the newest Chevrolet Malibu. The Terrain's rocker panels are integrated into the doors, narrowing the area over which a passenger must step. The body is stiffened with single-piece side stampings plus high-strength steel in critical areas.

The Terrain benefits from three efficient engine choices, each making use of variable valve timing, direct injection and now diesel. A standard 1.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that delivers 170 horsepower with an impressive 30 mpg on the highway. A more powerful 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder is optional producing 252 horsepower and 262 lb-feet of torque. Finally, the turbo diesel 4-cylinder engine makes less horsepower rated at 137 but makes up for it with 240-foot pounds of torque and an EPA-estimated 39 mpg on the freeway. A 9-speed automatic transmission is standard for all trims except the diesel which is paired with a 6-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is the standard drivetrains, but all-wheel drive is available.

Storage areas are everywhere in the cabin, including an oversized glovebox, an expanded center console with pass-through storage underneath large enough for a laptop computer. The rear seats feature MultiFlex, which allows the seats to move back and forth a total of eight inches for the best rear legroom in the segment.

Standard equipment on base SL includes Bluetooth, a rearview camera, 17-inch painted aluminum wheels, StabiliTrak stability control, traction control, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes, six air bags, an anti-theft system, an XM Satellite Radio-ready audio system, iPod and MP3 capability and six months of OnStar service. Power windows, door locks, remote keyless entry, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, as well as power mirrors and automatic headlamps round out the generous standards list. Equipment on the SLE trim includes satellite radio and heated front seats, and upgrades include LED daytime running lights, a leather steering wheel, 8-way power driver's seat, automatic climate control, an 8-speaker audio system and IntelliLink with Bluetooth audio streaming.

The upscaled SLT trim includes luggage rails, a Bose 8-speaker stereo, heated power seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and remote start standard. Options on the SLT include a rear entertainment system, navigation system, a power sunroof and 18- or 19-inch chrome wheels.

The Terrain Denali is immediately recognizable by its unique wheels, chrome grill, satin chrome accents and unique headlight and tail light design. Inside, the Denali comes with black leather seating surfaces with contrasting stitching, a soft touch instrument panel with French stitching, smoked mahogany wood trim, 8-way power adjustable front seats and a sunroof. The Denali also includes a lane departure warning system, a cross traffic detection system and a power liftgate as standard features. Options on the Denali include a rear seat entertainment system and a navigation system.

Editors' Review

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It's about time GMC launched a new Terrain. After nine years on the market, the original was looking and feeling every bit its age by the time it was put out to pasture. The slightly more luxurious cousin of the Chevrolet Equinox, the Terrain sets itself apart by way of beefier exterior looks, exclusive cabin touches and unique technology features to set itself apart.

The differences between the Terrain and its Chevy counterpart are even more apparent when you step up to the Denali trim level, mostly in the way of extra chrome and more standard niceties. The problem, however, is that if you get too carried away checking option boxes, the Denali's price tag can creep up to uncomfortable heights. In the case of my test car, that means an as-tested price of $44,370 for what's essentially a nice-ish compact crossover.

More stylish

With its Ebony Twilight Metallic paint job, the Terrain Denali receives a surprising number of compliments. Some on the Roadshow staff aren't fond of all the chrome slathering the grille, rockers, roof rails, mirror caps and door handles, but the elements really do pop, catching the attention and approval of folks in parking lots and gas stations.

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The Good Swift handling reflexes. Imposing looks with added flash from chrome trim. IntelliLink infotainment system is responsive, intuitive and feature-rich with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities.

The Bad Transmission hunts for gears on downshifts. Adaptive cruise control isn’t available. Some interior trim isn’t up to snuff for a $44,000 vehicle.

The Bottom Line The GMC Terrain Denali may be worth the price of admission for people who value flashy exterior style and sportier handling, but people expecting a more luxurious ride for the money will want to look elsewhere.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 7.5
  • Features 8
  • Design 6.5
  • Media 8.5

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