The compact crossover segment has become a cash cow for many automakers, and the pressure is on for each manufacturer to put its best foot forward in this competitive category. Though the previous generation of the GMC Terrain was popular, it was starting to get a bit stale, having been on the market since 2009. To properly compete in this bustling segment, GMC needed an entrant that was less dated and more modern.
GMC has remedied this situation by giving the Terrain a sweeping redesign for the 2018 model year. The overhaul gives the Terrain’s sheet metal a handsome upgrade, endowing the crossover with a countenance that’s muscular and assertive. The cabin has been reimagined in ways that boost versatility, ushering in features such as a fold-flat front-passenger seat. The Terrain also gets a broader range of powertrains and expanded feature content.
All this means you have another strong choice to consider when evaluating compact crossovers. Still, the Terrain isn’t perfect, and it comes with a weakness that you’ll want to keep in mind when making a final selection.
Here are eight great traits of the 2018 GMC Terrain… as well as a shortcoming you should consider before deciding whether to welcome one into your driveway.
A diesel powertrain represents an appealing choice for car buyers who want a power plant that offers certain advantages relative to a standard gas engine. Diesel engines tend to be more frugal than gas powertrains, and they typically offer outstanding amounts of torque.
The Terrain adds a diesel option to its powertrain lineup for 2018, and this engine brings 137 horsepower and a healthy 240 lb.-ft. of torque. Paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission, the diesel power plant also allows you to enjoy exceptional fuel economy.
It’s the most efficient choice in the Terrain’s powertrain selection, and it comes with an EPA rating of up to 28/39 mpg city/highway.
So yes, the diesel engine offers great mileage. But if fuel economy is a concern and you’d rather not go the diesel route, you’ll also find some strong choices among the Terrain’s roster of gas power plants. The Terrain’s gas engines are teamed with a 9-speed automatic transmission.
Base models are equipped with a turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that achieves mileage of up to 26/30 mpg, and this engine delivers 170 horsepower and 203 lb.-ft. of torque. For a bit more muscle, there’s also a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine good for 252 horsepower, 260 lb.-ft. of torque, and fuel economy of up to 22/28 mpg.
Some small crossovers can feel unwieldy on the road, especially in turns. You won’t have this problem with the 2018 Terrain. Curb weight has been trimmed relative to the outgoing model’s, and this loss of heft helps the Terrain feel spry and nimble during daily travels. Body roll is slight, and this little SUV feels secure when cornering.
It all adds up to create a driving experience that’s memorable for all the right reasons. For maximum enjoyment, we’d recommend equipping the Terrain with the 2.0-liter engine.
Compact crossovers are less roomy than their midsize counterparts, but that doesn’t mean you have to make compromises when it comes to the stuff you’re able to carry. Some choices in this segment offer the sort of flexibility that allows you to tote outsize cargo without breaking a sweat.
The Terrain’s cabin provides versatility that simplifies the cargo-hauling process. Thanks to its fold-flat rear seat and fold-flat front-passenger seat, this GMC crossover gives you the space you need to get longer items on board. With the rear seat and front-passenger seat folded flat, the Terrain can accommodate items that are up to 8 feet long.
A blanket of snow can be picturesque to behold, but if this snow is on a roadway, it can create conditions that increase the likelihood of an accident. Both snow and rain make it more difficult for your vehicle’s wheels to maintain their grip on the road. This loss of traction makes it much easier for you to lose control of your vehicle in wet or snowy weather.
All-wheel drive (AWD) is the best solution from this problem. This feature sends power to all four wheels, providing you with more secure handling on slick roads.
The Terrain is available with AWD, and it’s a must-have for rough weather. AWD Terrains allow you to easily switch off the AWD system from the dash when you don’t need it, so you can reduce drag and maximize fuel economy.
Compact crossovers are often a good choice for small families, and one factor that all families should consider when evaluating a vehicle is safety. Driver-assistive features enhance safety by providing technology that can help you avoid an accident.
GMC gives the Terrain more driver-assistive technology than ever before for 2018. New features include a surround-view camera, forward collision warning, low-speed forward automatic braking, lane keep assist, and lane departure warning. The Terrain also offers blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic parking assist is available to help you finesse parallel and perpendicular parking maneuvers without incident.
A Wi-Fi hotspot can keep you and your passengers connected when you’re on the road. This feature can be invaluable on long road trips, enabling you and your family to easily check email and social media accounts while traveling.
A Wi-Fi hotspot is standard with the Terrain, and it comes with 4G LTE connectivity. This amenity provides a secure internet connection for up to seven devices.
Parents of teen drivers often wish they could clone themselves so they’d always be available to tag along when their teens are behind the wheel. Inexperienced drivers face a number of challenges on the road, and this fact can leave parents with a great deal of anxiety.
The Terrain provides technology that can help. This GMC crossover comes standard with a Teen Driver feature that allows parents to set restrictions on secondary drivers. This feature automatically mutes the sound system when front-row seatbelts are unfastened, and it can be used to limit the vehicle’s top speed and the maximum volume of its sound system. You can also use the Terrain’s Teen Driver feature to generate a report card that shines a light on your teen’s driving habits.
Many of us have come to lean heavily on driver-assistive technology. These features provide support that helps us safely cruise the roads.
While the Terrain offers an impressive array of driver-assistive features, many of these amenities are available only on the top trims. This may put them out of reach for drivers who face budgetary constraints. Features such as forward collision warning and lane keep assist are offered only on SLT and Denali trims, and a surround-view camera and automatic parking assist are available solely on Denali models.
The 2018 GMC Terrain works hard to please on all fronts.
It’s an agile and rewarding companion on the road, especially when equipped with the available 2.0-liter engine. It comes with a flexible cabin that bends over backward to make room for taller items. The Terrain also brings the gift of frugality, with powertrain choices that will save you money at the pump.
When you factor in its striking sheet metal, the Terrain becomes a top catch in a sea of very worthy candidates.