2018 GMC Terrain – Everything That Predecessor Wasn’t

2018 GMC Terrain

Having a product much longer on the market than other competitors don’t have to signify pretty much anything in some cases. GM story with compact SUVs started even in the 80’s with Chevy’s S10-Blazer and GMC’s S-15 Jimmy, when crossover wasn’t even a word, leaving them with truck underpinnings. In the mean time Chevy’s offer grown in size protruding to mid-size segment, but keeping compact aspirations, and same story applied to GMC’s counterpart. Both recent Equinox and Terrain were just oversized, heavily obese and two thirsty crossovers with dull driving dynamics and cheap and badly built cabins. And that was until GM decided to turn the page. And we don’t have a new capture. No, we have a whole different story with 2018 GMC Terrain.


Everything that was supposed to. And everything that was already done to the new Equinox, which we all already praised. 2018 GMC Terrain lost 3.2 inches in length, 5.2 inches from wheelbase and an inch from the height. Worried by that? Don’t be. Rear leg room is just 0.2 inches shorter and trunk lost just 2 cu ft, which didn’t stop it being cave-like with 30 cu ft. Mind you, the whole deal is still big, but now it respects better compact denomination.

2018 GMC Terrain

source:gmc.com                                                                                 2018 GMC Terrain

Want bigger? Take Acadia. Want biggest? Get Yukon. All that shrinkage along with new D2 platform most importantly brought down weight figures, by significant 350 to 425 pounds. And the same platform improved stiffness by 34 percent, which taught him some driving manners, alongside sharper steering wheel and better-tuned suspension, especially in Denali trim.


A wave of improvements swept through Terrain, and yes, nothing was left out, as you will see. That includes styling. The old one looked either charming or ridiculous to you with all that angularity, but suggesting by sales figures, a majority of people experienced that second feeling. New one tells a different story, less intriguing one, but with all the stuff in the right places. And it looks much, much better than Equinox this time.

2018 GMC Terrain

source:gmc.com                                                                        2018 GMC Terrain

We have perfect dose of masculinity and posture with more dynamic creases and lines than in Acadia’s case, all flavored with some stylishly crafted bits in form of C-shaped lights front and rear, blacked-out pillars and floating roof. Stretch to Denali and you’ll get as always fair amount on chrome a top of that. For the first time, you may as well go after it just because of its looks, but keep reading as there is more of the good stuff.


By now you know that interiorly is a bit smaller, but feel free to be amazed by all other improvements. Design of the cabin mimic that of latest Acadia and we don’t mind that. It doesn’t set the new bar in the segment, but it definitely went far from that plasticky predecessor. Chrome and wood inserts add a bit of luxury flavor and whole shape glow with a certain dose of manliness and robustness.

2018 GMC Terrain Interior

source:gmc.com                                                             2018 GMC Terrain Interior

Equinox chose a meeker approach, and yes, finally those two doesn’t share same interiors. And now there is one strange move with this GMC. Unlike Equinox, Terrain chose to experiment with gear lever leaving you searching for it on lower console or steering column. But you won’t find it there. It settled just below the dash and it took a form of five buttons. That would take some adaptation time, but it leaves nice cubby for your stuff below it.


Let’s just start with the statement that all engines are new. And they are all turbocharged. Base offer is 1.5-liter L4 rated at 170 hp and 203 lb-ft of torque paired with nine speed automatic, returning fuel economy of 23/32 mpg (city/highway). Top engine offer is 2.0-liter L4 boosting 252 hp and 260 lb-ft paired with same automatic, reducing mpg figures to 21/28. If you are a bit disappointed by these figures since previous naturally aspirated 2.4 and 3.6-liter delivered higher hp figures, don’t be. Weight is down and new turbo four cylinder propels Terrain faster to 60 mph that old one, while stronger L4 is supposed to return 6.4 second acceleration time or two-tenths better than the old V6. And, they don’t ruin your day at the pump anymore. Since at the pump theme, GM is leading the diesel game with smaller cars, since Volkswagen… well, you know. In that manner turbocharged 1.6-liter L4 producing 137 hp and 240 lb-ft is available, allowing beautiful 26/39 mpg figures, but arriving with only 6-speed automatic and painfully long 10.6 seconds to 60 mph.

 2018 GMC Terrain
Dimensions And Weight
Wheelbase 107.3 in
Length 182.3 in
Height 65.4 in
Width 72.4 in
Weight N/A
Engine And Transmission
Engine type 2.0-liter L4 
Displacement 2.0-liter
Power/torque 252 hp/260 lb-ft
Transmission 6-speed automatic 
0-60 mph 6.4 second
Top speed N/A
PRICE RANGE:$25,970 – $38,495


So, obesity gone, properly resized, more fun to drive, substantially less thirsty, decently refined, prettier and quicker, it seems that 2018 GMC Terrain checked all the boxes compared to the predecessor. It’s not going to knock down CR-V, Escape, RAV-4 or Rogue from their sales thrones, but if this doesn’t attract more buyers to it, we don’t know what will. If you were swayed by it, it could be yours from $25,970 all the way to $38,495 in case of glitzy Denali model.