With the introduction of an all-new, second-generation model last year, the 2019 GMC Terrain continues to be one of the class leaders in the compact crossover SUV segment. With its popular, easy-to-drive size and upscale features, the Terrain is a do-it-all machine that'll have you questioning the need for something bigger. GMC might be known for its luxurious pickups, but the Terrain solidifies the automaker's role as a major player in the compact crossover segment.
USED 2019 GMC Terrain FOR SALE NEAR ME
Auto Giants Mitsubishi of Manassas, VA (20 mi)
Sport Chevrolet Cadillac of Silver Spring, MD (29 mi)
2019 GMC Terrain Overview
What's New for 2019
After the debut of an all-new model last year, the 2019 Terrain doesn't come with a lot of changes for the new year. The most noteworthy additions come in regard to technology features, which include full-speed adaptive cruise control and front pedestrian braking. The rest of the changes are related to the SUV's packages – the most obvious change being the introduction of the Terrain Black Edition.
Choosing Your GMC Terrain
GMC has sized the Terrain uniquely, as it's larger than the majority of compact crossovers in its class, but noticeably smaller than mid-size SUVs. The Terrain makes the most of its size with a roomy cabin that offers an ample amount of space for five. Besides the Terrain's interior space and generous cargo area, which measures in at 29.6 cubic feet with the rear seat down and 63.3 cubic feet in total, the SUV has numerous powertrain options to fit into any driving style.
The base engine is a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder that's rated to make 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission. The next step up is an optional turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The larger 2.0-liter motor is also paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Both engines come with front-wheel drive as standard, but can be fitted with an all-wheel-drive system, as well.
When it comes to fuel economy for the two engines, the 1.5-liter unit is the clear choice. The engine, when paired with front-wheel drive, is rated by the EPA to get 26 miles per gallon city, 30 mpg highway, and 28 combined. Stepping up to the 2.0-liter turbo brings fuel economy ratings of 22/28/24 mpg (city/highway/combined).
GMC offers a diesel powertrain for consumers that want the best fuel economy numbers possible for their Terrain. The 1.6-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine generates 137 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. Once again, the turbodiesel motor comes with front-wheel drive as standard, while all-wheel drive is optional. The Terrain with the turbodiesel engine and front-wheel drive is rated to get up to 28/39/32 mpg.
The Terrain comes in six different trims:
While diesels have been frowned upon recently, the diesel-powered 2019 GMC Terrain is the best choice for commuters that travel on highways a lot. For everyone else, the SLT trim is the sweet spot, as it adds the ability to tack on all of the latest safety features. The other optional packages are hard to justify, as the Terrain SLT comes with a good mix of technology and luxury features as standard.
2019 GMC Terrain Review
The compact 2019 GMC Terrain operates in a highly competitive segment with models from Toyota, Nissan, and Honda leading the game. In the Terrain, GMC brings premium elements to the market, especially with the Denali trim. You’ll also find a segment rarity: a diesel engine, but only if you’re willing to pay the price.
The 2019 GMC Terrain is a compact crossover utility vehicle with room for five. It comes with standard front-wheel drive and available all-wheel drive. You have a choice of three engines, including a turbodiesel. Each engine works with an automatic transmission.
Standard features include a turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. GMC also includes keyless entry, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a fold-flat front passenger seat, a seven-inch diagonal infotainment system screen, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility.
- Model: 2019 GMC Terrain SLT
- Engine: 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
- Output: 170 hp / 203 lb-ft
- Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
- Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
- Fuel Economy: 26 City / 30 Hwy
- Options: Infotainment Package II ($1,180, navigation, HD Radio, a seven-speaker Bose audio system), Preferred Package ($1,250, hands-free liftgate, a heated steering wheel, a six-way power front passenger seat with lumbar control, memory driver seat and outside mirrors), Driver Alert Package I ($445, rear park assist, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, lane change alert, safety alert seat)
- Base Price: $31,895 (including a $995 destination charge)
- Best Value Price: $34,770
The turbodiesel would be our pick here, except that it’ll cost you nearly $3,000 more for the upgrade. That’s too bitter of a cost pill to swallow, so we went with the standard 1.5-liter turbocharged gas engine with 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque. GMC pairs this engine with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
This engine’s torque kicks in early, so you'll enjoy an extra bit of grunt as you make your way around town. Perhaps its only disadvantage is when the engine is tasked with hauling four people and all their gear on high terrain. In this case, expect to feel some breathlessness – for the engine, that is.
We’re happy with the nine-speed automatic transmission, which never seems to struggle to find the right gear for the moment. Sadly, GMC doesn’t include paddle shifters, which would hold gears in place longer, especially when plunging down steep grades or rounding corners.
We didn’t opt for all-wheel drive, as most people probably can do without it. That said, if you live in a snowy climate, the all-wheel-drive system is an important feature, but it's only part time in this model. This means you have to activate it with a dial and that’s a curiosity to us. Kudos, however, to GMC for delivering superior steering feedback.
The first-generation GMC Terrain had an almost utilitarian look with its squared edges. Its earlier designers may have had the Yukon and Yukon XL brethren in mind, the two real body-on-frame SUVs offered by GMC. But that look on the Terrain grew wearisome after a while.
The new model, which rolled out last year, cleaned things up, aligning this vehicle closer to the larger Acadia crossover. The grille still dominates the front fascia, but this SUV’s underbite is now restrained and the headlights bring in a sporty, even upscale flair. The look is cleaner and more elegant front to back.
Inside, the 2019 GMC Terrain seats four with ease and five in a pinch. We like that the front passenger seat folds flat as that makes it possible to carry a ladder or other large object inside. The standard cargo space is 29.6 cubic feet, expandable to 63.3 cubic feet with the rear seat folded. Oddly, the second-row seat no longer slides forward as it once did.
The cabin is quiet and comfortable. The look is a slight cut above the similar Chevrolet Equinox. In Denali guise, this crossover adds soft-touch materials for an overall refined feel.
The Best and Worst Things
The GMC Terrain is the right size for people who want a comfortable, two-row SUV. It isn’t quite as large as the previous model, but it's an entirely suitable layout nevertheless.
What disappoints us is the lack of standard active safety features. Yes, they’re available across the model line, but they’ll cost you extra. That’s surprising for a premium brand such as GMC.
Right For? Wrong For?
The Terrain gets our nod for its upscale styling and range of available engines. We think these are attributes that'll attract buyers.
But if you’re looking for advanced safety features and you don’t want to pay a bundle for the package, the Terrain isn’t right for you.
The Bottom Line
The 2019 GMC Terrain offers a handsome exterior and a composed ride. The cost can jump in a hurry, especially if you add the diesel engine, all-wheel drive, and opt for the advanced driver assist safety package. Fortunately, there's a middle ground that should satisfy most buyers.
Find Your New GMC Terrain On CarsDirect
We have information you must know before you buy the Terrain. We want to send it to you, along with other pricing insights.
I agree to receive emails from CarsDirect. I understand that I can unsubscribe at any time.