By on August 14, 2018

Image: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde

A Jeep Wrangler fighter it ain’t, but that doesn’t mean General Motors’ truck division can’t go smaller and still have buyers lining up at its door.

Spy shots taken in Arizona show not one, but three small camouflaged crossovers undergoing tests, and the horizontal chrome slats filling the grille should tip you off that there’s a future GMC vehicle under those wrappings. A small or subcompact model has long been in consideration for the brand, and one look at Buick would tell GMC brass why it’s a good idea to have an Encore-like model of its own.

However, GMC buyers would not be pleased if their new vehicle looked like a Chevrolet Trax or Encore.

Image: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde

As we see here, GMC isn’t following its sister divisions’ lead to the letter when it comes to styling. This model, tentatively called the Granite (GMC released a concept vehicle under that name in 2010 and trademarked the nameplate in 2015) rides atop whatever platform underpins the next-generation Trax and Encore, but looks more butch doing it.

Think back to the first-gen Terrain, and how it stood out against its Chevy sister. (Try not to think about the second-gen Terrain.) After looking at recent spy shots of the next Encore, this model appears slightly longer in body — it could be a trick, but perhaps it’s necessary to attain a more squared-off look. Check out that front overhang!

Image: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde

While the front-end camo ends up making this thing look like something rejected by Fiat Chrysler designers, circa 2014, it’s clear there’ll be a generous grille opening, putting further design distance between it and its siblings.

GMC boss Duncan Aldred previously said that going smaller is a logical step for the brand. Unfortunately for those GM fans who like to play in the mud, rumors of a brawny, compact off-roader failed to materialize, though this family-friendly gambit seems like the more profitable choice.

Powertrain-wise, there’s little to go on, but sharing architecture also means sharing a great deal of moving parts. The Granite, if that is the model’s name, will likely appear in 2020 and field a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder, at least as a base motor. As six speeds is still enough for the Acadia, expect a similar number of cogs in this one.

GMC’s U.S. sales rose 2.4 percent over the first half of 2018, with volume up 6.6 percent in the second quarter of the year.

Image: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde

[Images: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

33 Comments on “Granite State: It Looks Like GMC’s Finally Pulling the Trigger on a sub-Terrain Crossover...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    The GMC Pebble!

  • avatar
    DEVILLE88

    Im getting tired of these uninspiring little things. Idon’t mean just GM im talking the whole cuv thing as a whole.

    • 0 avatar
      Alcolawl

      They’re honestly awful. Probably close to 75% of the vehicles I encounter on the road during my 30 mile commute to and from work are CUVs and SUVs driven by one person. Need that AWD for all the snow you’re not gonna drive in. Need that ride height and extra weight so you crash into and kill the lowly scrub driving a proper commuter car while scrolling on Instagram.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Geez, did a CUV run over your dogs? What’s so bad about returning to the more natural position and space-efficient packaging of pre- and immediate post-war cars? Long, low, and wide looks nice, but it’s not very practical.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          “Longer, lower, wider” was a fad and we are now returning to upright, space efficient cars with a lot of ground clearance, the way God intended cars to be ;-)

        • 0 avatar
          Alcolawl

          My comment may have been a little over the top but my point remains unchanged.

          These things fly off the lots in my area and are used primarily as commuter vehicles on smooth, straight, freshly-paved highways by single 24-30 year olds. You don’t need the space, You don’t need the ground clearance, you call out when it snows, and you don’t pay attention while you drive. So every day I get stuck behind many of these CUVs hogging the left lane, doing 10 mph under, zig-zagging between the shoulder and the lane next to them. Eventually I have to pass on the right, only to see that it’s a person my age, by themselves, looking up and down between the road and their phone. Unfortunately, I have a few friends that bought vehicles like these and their reasoning is always AWD and/or safety. Sometimes ride height is associated with the latter. News Flash: You’d be a lot safer if you weren’t Snapchatting while driving.

          Source: Am between 24 and 30 years old and I have to cross the Hudson River every day.

          I see the appeal in more cabin space, head room, etc. I actually found myself considering mid-size sedans when car shopping recently. Was also really impressed with a top trim Impala Uber ride I got a few months back. I just don’t see the appeal in driving a big, tall, underpowered box because it has AWD for those rainy days on I-87.

          Full Disclosure: I bought a semi-cramped, low slung car. A Focus ST. lol

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            From your comments, it seems like you take less issue with the cars and more with the drivers, and you also can’t fathom why people like things you don’t like.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “Full Disclosure: I bought a semi-cramped, low slung car. A Focus ST. lol”

            For a few dollars more you could have bought an Escape, same platform with more usable space and a ride height that would keep you eye to eye with your fellow commuters resulting in less frustration and grumpiness on your part making for a better day for both you and your coworkers

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I tend to agree.

  • avatar
    DEVILLE88

    Im getting tired of these uninspiring little things. I don’t mean just GM im talking the whole cuv thing as a whole.

  • avatar
    John

    These compact SUVS are geared towards kids, who these days don’t want entry level compact cars.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Ok now where is the Cimmaron XT -2?

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I’m glad to see that sub-compact crossovers are moving back toward a more boxy style which equals a more practical use of space. These over-designed small crossovers not only looked silly they were obviously a waste of space

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    Professional Grade Sub Compact SUV (PGSCSUV).

  • avatar

    now just keep the marketing people away and it will sell well.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    I would love to see the GMC Jimmy return based on a shortened Canyon/Colorado platform, a true off-road SUV. Not a copy of the Wrangler (or the ungainly TrailBlazer from other markets), but a worthy competitor. Two and four door, removable top, true 4WD. Oh, and the diesel from the Canyorado would be icing on the cake. Make it exclusive to GMC. Chevy can sell its own versions wherever GMCs aren’t sold (world markets).

    I’m still holding out hope that Ford’s Bronco will be a true off-road warrior, and perhaps it’ll inspire GMC to field its own entry.

    The Wrangler is an icon, but like the Mustang, it deserves some serious competition.

    All these FWD CUVs like this, the EcoSport, Kicks, etc- I get why they exist (there is obviously a market for them), but they’re far from the enthusiast’s consideration (unless he/she is buying them for their college-attending daughter, or grandmother in the case of the Encore).

    • 0 avatar
      scott25

      Agree, bringing back the Jimmy name for that purpose is so obvious.

      The Bronco will be a bellweather, determining if the Xterra returns, if Toyota makes a small off-roadish utility, and if GMC enters that space. They just need more proof than the 4Runner that a proper SUV that isn’t the Wrangler will sell.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    I absolutely loved the Granite concept car when it came out almost a decade ago. That was near the end of GM’s clean-lined and cohesive designs, before they became hunday and started throwing blobby lines everywhere to eliminate negative space. I’d have bought one of those, but this may as well keep the camo on.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • dal20402: “Best” implies that getting flung over the handlebars headfirst isn’t a design objective...
  • dal20402: I wasn’t talking about the LY7, but the LFX and LGX. There are a million Traverses and Impalas on the...
  • 28-Cars-Later: I feel the same way Ajla, GM products aren’t even in my consideration save a few and I’m...
  • 28-Cars-Later: No, they really don’t for a variety of reasons. But I have to agree with the overall point,...
  • ajla: I really don’t want to sound like an insufferable fanboy but GM doesn’t have anything that would...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber