There Goes the 2018 GMC Terrain

Lions, tigers, and turbos, oh my, this is the 2018 GMC Terrain…

GMC pulled the sheet on the scalloped and sculpted compact SUV at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit, a not so subtle reminder of the brand’s new found focus on design. Traditional company cues like the squared wheel wells and smash mouth grille remain, which when coupled with new ones, like the floating D-pillar, sketch out the future of the brand’s design language.


The grille and headlamps share resemblance with big brother Acadia, except refined further, kind of like parenting a second child; while its profile was perfected in the wind tunnel to wring the most efficiency out of the Terrain’s three new powertrains.

“It is a striking design with functional beauty,” said Helen Emsley, executive director, Global GMC Design. “There’s confidence and optimism in its stance, with exceptional attention to detail that speaks to GMC’s rise as a premium brand.”


Denali trimmed Terrains will get the traditional chrome grill, along with body-color accents, chrome trimmings, standard LED headlamps, and exclusive 19-inch boots.

The rest of the Terrain family will feature LED daytime running lights and tail lamps, with HID headlights standard kit on SL, SLE and SLT trims. SL and SLE trucks will make due with 17-inch wheels, although the SLT’s standard 18-inchers are available for upgrade.


Besides its bodacious bod, the 2018 Terrain also brings three brand new, all-aluminum, four-cylinders–including a diesel, GM’s second in this segment.

Much like it’s less stylish sister, the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox, the Terrain will offer two turbocharged gas engines, a 170-hp 1.5-liter turbo base engine, and the uplevel 252-hp 2.0T; GMC says both engines will be hooked to an all-new 9-speed automatic transmission. The 136-hp 1.6-liter turbodiesel will make due with GM’s tried and true 6-speed auto.

2018 All-New GMC Terrain SLT Interior

A first from GMC and tricking down from the Cadillac XT5 is GM’s Electronic Precision Shift system. In the Terrain it digitizes gear selection into a gaggle of buttons and triggers mounted on the center stack, below the HVAC and heated seat controls, leaving plenty of room for iPhones and paraphernalia.

Aping the Acadia again, all Terrains will come standard with GMC’s Traction Select rolodex, which lets you fiddle with different drive modes; AWD models add a disconnect mode which drops the rear diff to help up fuel economy.


The interior is typical GMC polished precision, soft touch materials line the doors and dash, with aluminum trim dabbed thoughout. Active noise cancellation comes standard, as does Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and an OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. Both the front and rear passenger seats will fold-flat for versatility’s sake, along with new under-floor storage compartments in the back.

Denalis get additional standard stuff like a heated steering wheel, nav, Bose 7-speaker sound system, hands-free power liftgate, unique tint, seat piping and logos.

GM’s Safety Alert Seat will again vibrate your junk in the event of impending doom, and the Terrain gains forward-collision alert, low-speed automatic braking, lane-keep assist and lane-departure warning; which joins blind zone monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and Surround Vision.


“GMC’s strong growth over the past decade is due in large part to Terrain,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of global GMC Sales and Marketing. “The all-new Terrain builds on that success, leveraging GMC’s proven premium SUV experience to shake up the largest vehicle segment, with a strong blend of design, functionality and engineering excellence.”

Look for the 2018 Terrain to hit stores this summer.