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.