GMC Terrain Denali test drive

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 The GMC Terrain looks much nicer and upscale than the previous version.
It is just a much more refined design. Gone is the rather cheap looking blocky shape.

It does look larger than it is. While it is the same size as a Honda CR-V, it somehow seems more imposing.
Which might just be what GMC wants. Since, unlike Honda, they are known as a truck company.

 I was just wondering what had happened to bumper regulations.
But forgot this is actually an SUV. Therefore not required to have bumpers.
It just seems weird at first to see the front hood go all the way to the end of the car, without any protection of any kind.

 The Denali grille is pretty much a huge chrome dish.
Like it or not, this is the way GMC chooses to remind you this is the expensive version.

 The interior is a very pleasant place to be. Everything feels solid.
The design has small reminders of the larger GMC trucks, which is fine.
The back seat is about as roomy as most mid sized sedans.
There is plenty of room in the trunk even wth the rear seats up.

 The wood trim GMC chose for the Denali (Not sure if it is also included in other versions) isn’t very convincing. But maybe it works better with another color interior…

 The giant glass roof is fantastic. And one of the best features of the Terrain.
(unfortunately, a $1495 option, even on the Denali)

 The Denali seats look great and are very comfortable.

 Unfortunately, the passenger seats are not 100% power. As you can see, the seat back adjustment is still manual.
Which would be OK in lesser versions. But the Denali starts at over $37 000. And the version tested here is over $44 000.

 I know their new electronic gear system is pretty controversial. But I actually love it. I never had a problem with it. And it’s actually quite fun.
What is ridiculous is the inclusion of a fake manual mode. No one driving this car will ever use it in the first place.
And the design of it is just ridiculous….

 The first thing I noticed about the Terrain was the size. It drives like a larger car. Again, I think it does fit with the GMC “truck image” and it is fine.
The steering is excellent, with a very nice refined feel. The suspension is slightly firm, but always smooth.

The 2.0 Liter engine is just excellent. It starts very quietly even when cold in the morning. And it is just always smooth and quiet at any speed.
The 9 speed automatic is quite amazing. Very quick and smooth. And always pretty much invisible .

The 2.0 Denali AWD is rated at 21/26MPG.
Which is pretty much what I got in my weekly drive.

 The “super chromy” look is a matter of taste (It isn’t mine)

Otherwise, I do like the design of the Terrain. And how it drives.
But it has one big problem: price.

The regular model starts at around the same price as a Honda CR-V. Which is great.
But at $37 000, the Denali should not have any options. My test car had over $4000 of options. It doesn’t make any sense to me. If Denali is top of the line, it should just be offered at one loaded price.

As it its, you can get most of the good stuff like the Bose stereo, Glass roof, 2.0 Liter, leather etc…. on a regular Terrain for about $36 000.
Not cheap. But more in line with the competition.

As usual, you can click on the picture above to see the detailed pricing of the Terrain Denali I was driving. 

Conversation 11 comments

  1. I just looked online at a local (Houston, TX) GMC dealership and a fully loaded Terrain Denali, msrp for almost $44K, is being sold for $10K less, so the sticker price on most of these vehicles, especially American cars, is very deceiving.

  2. $44k is a crack pipe price. For $44k you can also get a Sierra 1500 SLE extended cab with leather and a V8. I cannot even believe the prices on the compact crossovers these days. Insanity. Of course, you can probably get $8-10k off one of these, GM's incentives are insane right now.

    And can anyone explain why GMC uses the same styling cues on the rear quarter of the Terrain as Chevy uses on the Bolt?

  3. While the Terrain seems like it would be a competent small crossover it is way over priced for what it is especially in the Denali trim. Ii am glad I chose the 2018 CR-V Touring over this.

  4. The floating roof is a hoot as in bad looking! Over all, looks very badly designed interior as well as exterior! The new RDX takes off where the Terrain left off and looks more feminine looking! Both look outdated now!

  5. Face: obnoxious.
    Grille: Jesus.
    Headlights: uhh.
    Profile: Blocky.
    Floating roof: No thank you.
    Rear: Sort of odd but ok.
    Interior: Black.
    Brand cachet: "less than Honda"
    Verdict: Not as bad as before?

  6. 44k for this? Why does GM overprice their vehicles then throw a 8-10grand rebate? Consumer Reports and many reviews panned this vehicle as basically crap. For 44k they're many better SUV's out there.

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