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  • John Diether
    Automotive Editor - October 18, 2017

    Expert Rating

    4.0 (Excellent)
    26 City / 32 Highway

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    2018 GMC Terrain OVERVIEW

    The 2018 GMC Terrain enters its second generation with big shoes to fill, following the sales success of a model that debuted way back in 2010. This full-scale redesign changes everything about the Terrain, most notably its engines and exterior design. The result is an expressive family vehicle that's completely up with the times.

    What's New for 2018

    The 2018 Terrain is a full-scale redesign.

    Choosing Your GMC Terrain

    The Terrain has always been on the larger end of the compact crossover class, so it's no surprise the 2018 model feels substantial, with ample room for five passengers and a stress-free ride. Cargo space is virtually unchanged at 63.5 cubic feet with the rear seat down, and yet the Terrain is three inches shorter and 400 pounds light than before. The familiar boxy shape is gone, replaced by fluid lines and well-placed styling flourishes that add up to a totally different visual theme.

    The Terrain shares its engine lineup with its fraternal twin, the Chevrolet Equinox. The base engine is a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder with 170 horsepower and 203 ft-lb of torque. The optional 2.0-liter four cylinder turbo raises the bar to 252 hp and 260 lb-ft or torque. Both engines come with a nine-speed automatic transmission, and can be paired with all-wheel drive in place of the standard front-drive setup. Models equipped with the 2.0-liter and all-wheel drive are rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds.

    The 1.5-liter is EPA-rated at 26 miles per gallon city and 30 mpg highway, for a combined rating of 28 mpg – moving to all-wheel drive sacrifices two mpg across the board. The 2.0-liter achieves an estimated 22 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 24 mpg combined with front drive or 21 city, 26 highway, and 23 combined with all-wheel drive.

    For maximum efficiency, GMC offers a 1.6-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder that makes 137 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque and works alongside a six-speed automatic. So equipped, the Terrain is rated at 28 mpg in the city, an impressive 39 mpg on the interstate, and 32 mpg combined. Going to all-wheel drive only costs one mile per gallon on the freeway, making it an easy choice for diesel customers.

    The Terrain carries more equipment this year at each trim level:


    Priced at $26,945 (including $975 destination charge), the SL is the most affordable entry, although it will also be one of the rarest – as is General Motors' tradition, this low-cost trim and its limited color palette is mainly reserved for fleet use.

    Only available with the 1.5-liter engine and front-wheel drive, the 2018 Terrain SL is only available in Summit White, unless the buyer springs for Ebony Twilight (black) or Quicksilver Metallic, both $395 extras.

    Aside from those limitations, the SL comes pretty well equipped with keyless ignition, a rearview camera, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, front and rear 110-volt outlets, and 17-inch alloy wheels. The six-speaker infotainment system features a seven-inch touchscreen, satellite radio, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. GM's Teen Driver technology is also standard. There are no factory options for the SL beyond a $450 Trailing Equipment Package that's available on all models.


    Starting at $29,770, the SLE is the effective base trim for the Terrain, adding a few standard features over the SL, including an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a compact spare tire, and a regular pallet of colors to choose from. All-wheel drive becomes available at this level for $1,750, as does the 2.0-liter engine for $1,745 (or $1,350 when combined with all-wheel drive). Dual exhaust outlets and 18-inch wheels automatically come with the 2.0-liter.

    The Driver Convenience Package ($1,375) adds heated front seats with driver power, automatic dual-zone climate control, remote start, and roof rails. With those features in place, buyers can select the Infotainment Package I ($995) with navigation, an SD card reader, and a 4.2-inch color driver information screen. The $985 Driver Alert Package I adds blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking sensors, and a vibrating safety alert in the driver seat. A panoramic sunroof is optional at $1,495.

    SLE Diesel

    The SLE equipped with the 1.6-liter turbodiesel starts at $33,540. The Driver Convenience Package comes standard, along with a power liftgate. Other equipment and options are shared with regular SLE.


    Priced from $33,270, the SLT builds on the SLE with leather seats, standard 18-inch wheels (with painted accents), and the Driver Convenience and Infotainment I features (except navigation) as standard. The Driver Alert Package I remains optional, and can be augmented with a Driver Alert Package II, featuring lane keeping assist, automatic high beams, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. The Infotainment Package II ($1,180) adds navigation and a seven-speaker Bose sound system. The Preferred Package ($1,250) includes driver memory, a heated steering wheel, a power passenger seat, a universal home remote, and a power liftgate. The 2.0-liter engine and all-wheel drive continue as options.

    SLT Diesel

    The SLT Diesel gets the 1.6-liter turbodiesel engine and the Preferred Package as standard, all starting at $36,115. Otherwise, it's equipped like the regular SLT.


    Powered exclusively by the 2.0-liter engine, the $39,470 Denali comes standard with nearly everything available on the lower trims. Only all-wheel drive and the Driver Alert Package II remain optional. The Denali carries unique trim inside and out – there's a lot of chrome – including a satin-chrome grille, bright 19-inch wheels, upgraded leather, and LED headlights. The suspension is tuned for greater ride comfort. There are two option packages available only on the Denali. The Advanced Safety Package ($745) adds surround-view cameras and an automated parking system, while the Comfort Package ($525) tacks on ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and wireless device charging.

    CarsDirect Tip

    Grab the diesel engine if your commute involves a lot of highway driving, while the SLT trim with the Driver Alert Package I. Pass on any package that adds navigation – standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto make it obsolete.

    Get your price on a GMC Terrain »


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