By on January 9, 2017

GMC Vice President Global Sales and Marketing Duncan Aldred introduces the 2018 Terrain and Terrain Denali Sunday, January 8, 2017, on the eve of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. The compact SUV's shape was refined in the wind tunnel to ensure its new profile cuts through the air with optimal efficiency and quietness. The Terrain is available with three new turbocharged propulsion systems, including a new 1.6L turbo-diesel. The 2018 Terrain will go on sale this summer. (Photo by John F. Martin for GMC)

GMC rolled out a redesigned 2018 Terrain SUV at the North American Auto Show in Detroit, with the usual promises of added refinement, new electronic convenience and safety features, and greater versatility. But GMC also added one feature not commonly found in an SUV, particularly one of the non-behemoth variety: An available diesel engine.

The diesel Terrain gets a 137-horsepower 1.6-liter turbodiesel with 240 lb-ft of torque matched with a six-speed automatic transmission. Gasoline powertrains include a 170-hp 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and a 252-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder, both with direct injection and paired with a nine-speed automatic.

2018 All-New GMC Terrain SLT Interior, Image: GMC

All get a new electronic gear selector that threatens to raise the bar for unintuitive and awkward shifting experiences, with a combination of push buttons and pull toggles for different gears, in place of a conventional shifter. Claimed to save room and open up more console storage space, what it’ll be like to live with on a daily basis remains an open question until we get a stint behind the wheel.

2018 All-New GMC Terrain Denali Interior – Electronic Precision Shift and Center Console, Image: GMC

The Terrain will sport both front- and all-wheel drive, and AWD models will offer drivers a choice of different driving modes for varied conditions. Front-wheel-drive models will feature an Eco driving mode for increased fuel economy.

2018 All-New GMC Terrain SLT (Left) and Denali (Right), Image: GMC

Exterior styling is smoother and less chunky than the outgoing Terrain, if a bit on the generic side. GMC says the shape was refined in a wind tunnel to optimize efficiency and reduce noise.

2018 All-New GMC Terrain Denali, Image: GMC

A boatload of new available electronic safety features include a surround vision camera, forward collision warning, low-speed automatic braking, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, and a safety monitoring system that monitors rear seat use and reminds the driver to check for forgotten children or snoozing passengers when the engine is turned off.

2018 All-New GMC Terrain Denali Interior, Image: GMC

Inside, the Terrain gets more soft-touch surfaces and upgraded materials, and active noise cancellation for a quieter environment. Both the second row and front passenger seats fold flat to accommodate longer items. There’s also a concealed storage compartment under the rear cargo floor.

2018 All-New GMC Terrain SLT Interior – Fold flat seats, Image: GMC

Depending on equipment level, all Terrains get either an eight or nine-inch center touch screen and both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. A rolling hotspot, all models come standard with 4G WiFi capability that can support up to seven devices, and a trial subscription to help get the whole gang hooked.

GMC did not reveal details regarding pricing or when the new Terrain will land in showrooms.

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46 Comments on “NAIAS 2017: Redesigned 2018 GMC Terrain Shows Up in Detroit with Diesel Power...”


  • avatar
    ceipower

    From the photo it seems fairly obvious that GM styling is all about follow rather than lead.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Agreed. GMC was one of the last holdouts when it came to making a car-based CUV look like a blocky truck-based SUV. The Acadia blended the old and new styles well IMO, but this Terrain lost most of its distinctiveness.

    • 0 avatar
      runs_on_h8raide

      That may be so, and judging by that c-pillar a driver should definitely follow as well. Considering the amount of females that buy these CUVs, I hope BSP and lane-watch is standard.

  • avatar
    NoID

    As much as I hate the narrowed rear side windows due to their reduced function as, well, windows, they do work well to visually lengthen the vehicle.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    That shifter is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

    Who did the engineering of the 9-speed auto? GM or is it the Z-F unit that everyone is using now?

    • 0 avatar
      Chocolatedeath

      The transmission is created by GM/Ford collaboration.

    • 0 avatar
      Silent Ricochet

      I believe the article published earlier about the Traverse mentioned that it’s a GM Hydra-Matic 9T50. According to Wards, this transmission was developed in collaboration with Ford. Much like the 10-Speed transmission they developed together for RWD applications.

      EDIT: ChocolateDeath beat me to it.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      So long as the parking brake sets electronically when you punch the P button, it should be OK.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      “That shifter is a lawsuit waiting to happen”

      What a squint and finger-peck nightmare.

      Push to park. Pull for Drive. Push for neutral. Pull for reverse. Push for Low. Each option getting farther away from you and in a horizontal orientation no one is accustomed to. Teeny tiny +/- buttons to ensure that no one ever engine brakes again. What could go wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        The DOT/NHTSA will end up having to step in, like when (pre-DOT) the industry had to standardize the shift quadrant, in the days when some cars were PRNDL, and others were PNDLR.

      • 0 avatar
        Silent Ricochet

        That shifter layout really is hideous. I can see where they were going with it (to an extent). It frees up a lot of space in the center console, which is nice, but, as you mentioned, the layout of the buttons, especially the +/- buttons, is awful. I don’t know how I would do it differently, but if you gave me a few minutes with a piece of paper I’m sure I could come up with something. There’s just no comfortable way, in my eyes, to implement a manual upshift and downshift mechanism without a “slapshift” type system. I don’t even like using the +/- buttons on my Focus unless it’s snowing. Then again, most of the people that buy these won’t use that feature anyways.

      • 0 avatar
        Advance_92

        “Push to park. Pull for Drive. Push for neutral. Pull for reverse. Push for Low”

        Does bopping it call OnStar?

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          @Advance_92 – Every grandmother who comes into the GMC/Buick store and can’t be sold on an Encore will end up in a Terrain and calling OnStar when she can’t remember how to get the dang thing out of park.

    • 0 avatar
      brentrn

      It looks like they spaced the buttons to reduce accidental pushes, plus the pull vs push also reduces false selections. It looks like it takes up too much room on the console but I think they needed to keep something that could be operated with gloves and eliminate errors.

    • 0 avatar
      Johnster

      It sort of looks like an old Chrysler push-button transmission, but with much bigger buttons.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    The whole “floating roof” thing is getting out of hand, like LED DRLs.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I don’t understand the rear pinched side window feature that’s showing up all over the auto landscape. In a way I appreciate it, but it seems to me something better can be done.

    Other than that, I like the overall look.

    It does need chrome all around the side windows, not just along the top. Looks somewhat incomplete.

    What I do NOT like is the wholesale use of 4 cylinder engines powering 4,000 lb. vehicles. I don’t care if it’s turbo or not, just the laws of physics moving too much metal and powering too many add-ons, but not enough cylinders to do the job over the long haul. maybe that’s the plan?

  • avatar
    scott25

    The side profile looks like a Jeep Compass designed by Nissan.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    You know society has truly given up on actually driving the vehicle when a terrible horizontal row of push & pull buttons replaces a normal shifter just so there is room for a big tray to plug in and store the electronic devices we’d rather be operating instead.

    The diesel looks interesting and the 2.0 turbo probably moves well. The 1.5T scoots the Malibu adequately because that is quite lightweight for the segment, but it is probably going to be lethargic in the heavier Terrain.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @30-mile fetch
      After some of the idiotic anti diesel posts on this blog. Chevrolet has diesels in the Terrain SUV, GMC Silverado and Colorado Misdsize Pickups . Ford now in the Transit, F150, and 3/4 and 1 Ton and Chrysler in the RAM

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        “After some of the idiotic anti diesel posts on this blog.”

        You don’t have an understanding of diesels in the US market. If you tell me you bought one because you like the way it drives, tows, or enjoy the range between fills I’ll believe that. But understand compared to any gas engine in a similar vehicle, those attributes come at the expense of a vehicle that overall is more expensive to own.

        I’d love a diesel Colorado for the towing aspect but I know damn well that it will be a lot more expensive of a truck to own over 10-12 years than one with the gas V6. I don’t make up the rules that’s just the way it is.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Carlson Fan
          They will keep offering more in the US. Not at the pace or variety outside NA, but an increasing number.
          Still this new offering is in basically a fairly compact SUV/Crossover

  • avatar

    More proof America got it right with the traditional column shifter

  • avatar
    Frylock350

    “Claimed to save room and open up more console storage space”
    You know what else does this very well? A column shifter. Lots of console space in my Silverado with no nasty pushbutton shifter needed.

    As a current gen Terrain owner I won’t be replacing mine with a new one. It seems they’ve removed everything about it that made it desirable for us. The masculine styling is gone, there’s no naturally aspirated engines, the wheelbase has been shortened and that floating d-pillar is vomit inducing. Jeep just earned another sale.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      Do you have the V6 or I4 Terrain?

      • 0 avatar
        Frylock350

        I have an I4. I regret the decision, the 3.6L was only a $1200 upgrade. I pinched those pennies too hard. I still maintain that the I4 has more than adequate power; its just no fun. Then again the Mrs. doesn’t mind the power of the I4 and I don’t drive it that often so what does my opinion matter? I see a JGC Laredo being its eventual replacement. Potentially a Wrangler Unlimited if the new ones have a optional V6.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    Gonna sell an absolute boatload of these. Checks every box.

    The shifter buttons are in an awkward place. Don’t mind the buttons, but looks like you might have to lean and reach down?

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Front is cheap & easy to repair – even as DIY -which should translate to insurance savings:

    http://hf-wiremesh.en.hisupplier.com/product-724757-crimped-stainless-steel-square-wire-mesh.html

  • avatar
    cdotson

    The whole world called and demanded GM give Nissan it’s D-pillars back where they can languish in relative obscurity.

  • avatar
    slance66

    Not as good looking as the Acadia, but better than the outgoing Terrain, which was an abomination (if you are going to make something that blocky, better lift it a bit). This will sell and at least put GM into the relevant class in this category.

  • avatar
    Middle-Aged Miata Man

    The rear fender extensions – should we call them fins? – look very much like they were tacked on at the final minute, perhaps after someone at GM took notice of a Nissan Murano. Imagine how much better this would look if the lower window cutline was continuous to the rear.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      They are pretty much the same shape as the fins on a ’59 Cadillac, aren’t they? I assume this is GM’s attempt to punish anyone who doesn’t spring for a model equipped with blind spot monitoring. At this point, they should just go full metal panel, to emulate those weird semi-panel GMC Safaris.

  • avatar
    mfgreen40

    GMC says the shape was refined in a wind tunnel to optimize efficiency and reduce noise. The narrow rear side glass must have increased mpg by 25% and cut wind noise by 25% to be worth it.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    How much cooler if they had spent time & resources to offer the new Terrain with a Voltec drive train versus a diesel. Then they’d really have something to set themselves apart from the rest of the market.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    The Denali version looks like a Kia. All of the Denali versions have uglier grills than the less luxurious standard versions.

    No matter what version of GMC, I would be inclined to buy a Denali version, but then install the grill from the standard model.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    SMH.

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    The shift button arrangement is ridiculous. You could even free up THAT space too, just put a column shift on it. The most space is taken up by cup holders in the console, which could be relocated easily enough.

    Poor.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Wow nice new Nissan there GMC. It hasn’t been introduced yet and already has 6 strikes against it.

    Strike 1) Nissan generic styling cues
    Strike 2) Too small base engine with only 170 HP
    Strike 3) No more sliding rear seat
    Strike 4) Smaller than outgoing model so it loses that advantage to it’s competitors
    strike 5) Going to made in Mexico
    Strike 6) That idiotic precision shift setup has fail written all over it


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