2018 GMC Terrain SUV

#11
in Compact SUVs
2018 MODEL

$24,995 - $39,270

7.6

Overall Rating

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Overview

A new year, a new SUV. That's what the 2018 GMC Terrain is all about. Entering a new generation, the only thing the Terrain has in common with its predecessor is the name. It is virtually a new car! Getting major updates in design, interior, features, and power, the new Terrain is all set to stay at the top of the compact SUV segment with its leaner, lighter, and more modern persona.

The 2018 GMC Terrain offers 3 engine choices: a 1.5 L and 2 L turbo-four, and a 1.6 L turbo diesel. Each trim can be had with Front- or all-wheel drive. The price begins at $ 25,000 and goes up to almost $ 40,000 for the Denali, which is bit much for this segment. But the Terrain is still a bargain compared to all that it has to offer.

The Terrain faces strong competition from the likes of Honda CR-V and the step-brothers Chevy Equinox and Buick Envision. Many accused the Terrain to be too similar to Equinox, but with an all-new look, the Terrain is here to make a mark on its own.

See detailed review »

Pros

Fuel efficient, especially the diesel engine

Smooth ride

High-quality interior

Spacious in both row of seats

Cons

Limited visibility

Above average starting price for its class

Less cargo space than most competitors

Sluggish base engine

What's New?

GMC Terrain goes unchanged in 2018


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$24995

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

5

top speed

115 mph

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

91 cu. in.

horsepower

170 hp @ 5600 rpm

torque

203 lb.-ft. @ 2000 rpm

transmission

9-speed automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

11.3 in. ventilated disc brakes/11.8 in. ventilated disc brakes

dimensions

wheelbase

107.3 in.

length

182.3 in.

width

72.4 in.

height

65.4 in.

curb weight

3449 lbs.

ground clearance

6.9 in.

capacity

cargo volume

29.6 cu ft.

towing capacity

1500 lbs.

payload capacity

1146 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

6.4 sec.

zero to 100 mph

16.5 sec.

standing ¼-mile

15 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

26/28/30 mpg

highway range

447 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 years/36000 miles

drivetrain warranty

5 years/60000 miles

corrosion warranty

6 years/100000 miles

roadside assistance

yes



Styles

 2018 GMC Terrain SUV in Summit White color  2018 GMC Terrain SUV in Satin Steel Metallic color  2018 GMC Terrain SUV in Red Quartz Tintcoat color  2018 GMC Terrain SUV in Quicksilver Metallic color  2018 GMC Terrain SUV in Graphite Gray Metallic color  2018 GMC Terrain SUV in Ebony Twilight Metallic color  2018 GMC Terrain SUV in Coppertino Metallic color  2018 GMC Terrain SUV in Blue Steel Metallic color
Summit White

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

7.9

Engine

8.0

Fuel Economy

7.9

Interior

5.4

Exterior

8.0

Driving

8.6

7.6

OVERALL RATING

Variant Name

MSRP


 2018 GMC Terrain SUV SL

SL

Fuel: Premium unleaded (recommended), Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$24,995

Configurations
SL 4dr SUV (1.5L 4cyl Turbo 9A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 9A
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (26/28/30)
Torque: 203 lbs.-ft. @ 2,000 rpm

 2018 GMC Terrain SUV SLE

SLE

Fuel: Premium unleaded (recommended), Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$27,820 - $29,570

Configurations
SLE 4dr SUV (1.5L 4cyl Turbo 9A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 9A
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (26/28/30)
Torque: 203 lbs.-ft. @ 2,000 rpm
SLE 4dr SUV AWD (1.5L 4cyl Turbo 9A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 9A
Drivetrain: AWD MPG: (24/26/28)
Torque: 203 lbs.-ft. @ 2,000 rpm

 2018 GMC Terrain SUV SLT

SLT

Fuel: Premium unleaded (recommended), Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$31,320 - $35,915

Configurations
SLT 4dr SUV (1.5L 4cyl Turbo 9A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 9A
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (26/28/30)
Torque: 203 lbs.-ft. @ 2,000 rpm
SLT 4dr SUV AWD (1.5L 4cyl Turbo 9A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 9A
Drivetrain: AWD MPG: (24/26/28)
Torque: 203 lbs.-ft. @ 2,000 rpm
SLT 4dr SUV AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6A)
Seating: 5 HP: 137-hp @ 3,750 rpm
Torque: 240 lbs.-ft. @ 2,000 rpm MPG(City/Combined/Highway): MPG(28/32/38)

 2018 GMC Terrain SUV Denali

Denali

Fuel: Premium unleaded (recommended), Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$37,520 - $39,270

Configurations
Denali 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 9A
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (22/24/28)
Torque: 260 lbs.-ft. @ 2,500 rpm
Denali 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 9A
Drivetrain: AWD MPG: (21/23/26)
Torque: 260 lbs.-ft. @ 2,500 rpm

Expert Review


carhp editor October 10, 2018

7.6

Overall Rating


7.9/10
Features

 

8.0/10
Engine

 

7.9/10
Fuel Economy

 

5.4/10
Interior

 

8.0/10
Exterior

 
 
 
 

The 2018 GMC Terrain offers 3 engine choices: a 1.5 L and 2 L turbo-four, and a 1.6 L turbo diesel. Each trim can be had with Front- or all-wheel drive. The price begins at $ 24,995 and goes up to almost $ 40,000 for the Denali, which is bit much for this segment. But the Terrain is still a bargain compared to all that it has to offer.

Features

7.9/10

The 2018 GMC Terrain comes in 4 main trim levels: SL, SLE, SLT, and Denali. All trims come standard with front-wheel drive, while all trims except for SL can be had with all-wheel drive as well. A turbocharged 4 cylinder is standard, while a more powerful turbocharged 4 cylinder and a turbo diesel engine is also available.

Trims

SL SLE SLE Diesel SLT SLT Diesel Denali
MSRP (FWD) $24,995 $27,900 $31,600 $31,400 $34,200

$37,270

MSRP (AWD)

N/A $29,600 $33,400 $33,100 $36,000 $39,300
Features
  • Keyless ignition and entry
  • Cruise control
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Rearview camera,
  • Front and rear 110-volt power outlets
  • 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Six-speaker sound system with satellite radio
  • GM’s Teen Driver system and OnStar
  • All features of SL, plus:
  • Available Driver Convenience package
  • Optional Infotainment I package
  • Available Driver Alert I package
  • Same as SLE, plus:
  • Power liftgate
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Remote start
  • Heated front seats
  • Power-adjustable driver’s seat
  • All features of SLE, plus:
  • 8-inch infotainment touchscreen
  • 110-volt power outlet
  • satellite radio
  • Two additional USB ports
  • Leather seats
  • Same As SLT, plus:
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Hands-free power liftgate
  • Power-adjustable passenger seat
  • All features of SLT, plus:
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • HD Radio
  • Bose audio system
  • Upgraded infotainment system with navigation

Engine

8.0/10

The Terrain’s base engine is a 170-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder. It’s fine for daily driving, though it can feel overmatched on the highway at times” – US News

Engine & Transmission

There are a total of 3 engine choices for the 2018 GMC Terrain. Gone are the days when the Terrain was accused of having underpowered and thirsty engines. The turbocharged engines provide the power that the Terrain deserves. The standard base engine is a 1.5 liter turbocharged I-4 (170 hp and 203 lb.-ft. torque). All trims except for SL can be upgraded to a 2 liter turbocharged I-4 that generates 252 hp and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, which is highly recommended to get the best out of your Terrain. The 2-liter engine is standard on Denali.

The SLE and SLT trims can be upgraded to a 1.6-liter turbo-diesel engine generating 136 hp and 236 lb.-ft. of torque. The gas engines are paired to a 9-speed automatic transmission, while the diesel engine mates to a 6 speed automatic.

Models GMC Terrain Honda CR-V Chevrolet Equinox Buick Envision
MSRP $24,995 $24,150 $24,575 $33,995
Engine 1.5 L turbo Inline 4 2.4 L Inline 4 1.5 L  turbo Inline 4 2.5L DOHC Inline 4
Transmission 9-speed automatic CVT 6-speed automatic 6-speed automatic
Power 170hp @ 5600 rpm 184hp @ 6400 rpm 170hp @ 5600 rpm 197 hp @ 6300 rpm
Torque 203 lb.-ft. @ 4000 rpm 180 lb.-ft. @ 3900 rpm 203 lb.-ft. @ 4000 rpm 192 lb.-ft. @ 4400 rpm

The base engine of the 2018 GMC Terrain is sluggish and a bit underpowered for its size. It does well on its own, but loading the car with cargo and/or passengers causes the engine to struggle. Terrain’s stepbrother, the Chevy Equinox, also has a 1.5-liter base engine that matches Terrain’s power numbers. Competitors like Honda CR-V and Buick Envision generate more power but don’t match Terrain’s exceptional torque numbers.

Acceleration

The base engine of the 2018 GMC Terrain isn’t particularly impressive, especially at highway speeds. The 2-liter version of the gas engine is more responsive and provides noticeably better acceleration. But the best engine in terms of acceleration is obviously the 1.6-liter turbo diesel in the SLE and SLT trim. Its 240 lb.-ft. of torque delivers energetic acceleration, if not overall power.

Models GMC Terrain Honda CR-V Chevrolet Equinox Buick Envision
0-60 MPH 8.5 sec 7.5 sec 8.5 sec 7.0 sec
Quarter mile 16.5 @ 85 mph 15.8 @ 89 mph 16.9 @ 91.2 mph 15.4 @ 88.5 mph
Emission

 

Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year

6.3 6.3 6.3 7.0

The 8.5 seconds time put up by 2018 GMC Terrain’s base engine is amongst the slowest in the class, matched only by the Equinox. At the quarter mile mark, the Terrain somehow manages to pull ahead by 0.4 seconds.

Handling and Steering

The Terrain delivers a smooth and comfortable ride. The suspensions do a good job in absorbing bumps and imperfections on the road. A Front Wheel Drive is standard in the 2018 GMC Terrain, while all trims except for the base trim can be upgraded to AWD.

The Terrain may not be the most energetic SUV in the market, it still provides a good steering response and fluid agility. The steering feel makes Terrain seem small and maneuverable in tight spaces. But still, it doesn’t quite match the likes of Mazda CX-5, which offers quick turns and a confidence instilling ride.

Braking

The engineers at General Motors paid a lot of attention to the 2018 GMC Terrain’s brakes. The firm and reassuring brake pedal is a result of brake-pedal force calibration rather than travel to regulate the clamping effort. The first 13% of pedal travel moves a lot of fluid to position the pads up against the rotors, and then the mechanical leverage kicks in for panic situations.

Model GMC Terrain Honda CR-V Chevrolet Equinox Buick Envision
Brake pads-front(in) 11.8 11.1 11.8
Brake pads Rear(in) 11.3 10.2 11.3
Curb weight(lbs) 3449 3307 3274 3755
60-0 MPH (ft.) 117 ft. 116 ft. 119 ft. 127 ft.

The Terrain puts up the class average numbers in the panic stop test. Being heavier than the likes of CR-V and Equinox, it does well to stop in just a foot more than the rivals. The Envision is the heaviest in the lot and hence takes a considerably larger distance to come to a halt.

Fuel Economy

7.9/10

The Terrain’s available all-wheel-drive system is a part-time unit. It must be switched into all-wheel drive by rotating a knob on the console through different traction modes. It’s an even more fuel-efficient way to deliver better traction, though it’s not immediately engaged when wheels slip, as is more common” – Car Connection

The Terrain gets good fuel economy, regardless of the engine or drivetrain choice. As expected of a diesel engine, the 1.6 turbo-diesel with FWD gives an amazing rating of 28/39 mpg in city/highway.

Model GMC Terrain Honda CR-V Chevrolet Equinox Buick Envision
MPG City 26 26 26 21
MPG Highway 30 32 32 29
MPG Combined 28 29 29 25

The base engine of GMC Terrain matches the economies of CR-V’s and Equinox’s base engines. The Buick Envision is left a mile behind in the economy field, as it is not one of its strong suits. But none can match the efficiency of Terrain’s turbo-diesel.

Interior

5.4/10

The previous Terrain had a sliding and reclining backseat, but the redesigned model trades that for a fixed bench seat with a 60/40-split reclining backrest. The backseat is roomy for adults but not as spacious as the enormous backseat in the 2018 Tiguan. The seat is mostly comfortable, but the upper portion of the backrest pressed oddly against the back. It was more pronounced in models with cloth seats” – Cars.com

Just like the outside, the interiors of the 2018 GMC Terrain look nothing like the Terrains of the old. The interiors are now much more reminiscent of Acadia’s, not just in looks, but in the use of materials as well. The cabin is much more modern and upscale. The armrests get leather, while the top of the dash is all soft-touch plastic, along with some rather unconvincing faux wood trim here and there.

The steering wheel is electric power and has manual tilt and telescopic action. The center bin is large and deep and has two USB ports. There is also a lot of space in front of the center bin. This is due to the addition of electric power shifter, which eliminates the lever shifter.

Seating and Comfort

The Terrain can accommodate 5 people. The design and materials for the interior of 2018 GMC Terrain have been refreshed to look more modern. The base SL and SLE trims get cloth, while SLT and Denali get leather upholstery. Two person memory seat comes standard in Denali, but can be added to SLT with the equipment package. The top two trims also get an 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat, which is 4 way manual in the base trims.

Model GMC Terrain Honda CR-V Chevrolet Equinox Buick Envision
Passenger capacity 5 5 5 5
Passenger Volume(ft cube) 103.2 105.9 103.2 100.6
Front (Head/Hip/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 40/54.4/57.2/40.9 40.1/55.1/57.9/41.3 40/54.2/57.2/40.9 40/54.4/57/40.9
Rear (Head/Hip/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 38.5/51.8/55.6/39.7 39.2/49.5/55.6/40.6 38.5/51.7/55.5/39.7 38.5/53.1/55.8/37.5

The Terrain is spacious in both rows of seats. The front seats, though provide comfort, have a limited forward and rear visibility. The rear seats can easily fit two adults, even when the front seats are pulled all the way back. One of Terrain’s features that sets it apart from rivals is the availability of heated rear seats. For your tiny companions, two full set of LATCH connectors are present, which are easy to use.

Interior Features

Standard features in the 2018 GMC Terrain include:

  • Rearview camera
  • Teen Driver Alert

Available features include:

  • Sunroof
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control

Available driver assistance features include:

  • Safety alert seat
  • Surround-view camera
  • Automatic park assist
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Low-speed forward automatic braking
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Lane change alert, lane keep assist, and lane departure warning
  • Forward collision alert

Features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, or the Wi-Fi hotspot are standard in Terrain. This is a huge advantage as most competitors in this segment only have them as optional, if at all available. The wireless charging is another rare feature in compact SUV segment.

Infotainment

The standard infotainment system of the 2018 GMC Terrain includes:

  • 4 USB ports
  • IntelliLink infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen
  • Bluetooth
  • Voice recognition
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • OnStar 4G LTE with a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot

The new IntelliLink is not just new in the Terrain, but its new to GMC as well. It provides with user-friendly navigation and control, so much so that some people prefer using its interface over Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

The optional features include:

  • 110-volt power outlet
  • Two additional USB ports
  • Wireless device charging
  • HD Radio and satellite radio
  • Seven-speaker Bose audio system
  • Upgraded infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen and navigation

Cargo Capacity

The 2018 GMC Terrain does not provide class-topping cargo space, it doesn’t even match the average numbers for the class. A 29.6 cubic feet of space behind the second row and 63.3 cubic feet after folding is not much. But Terrain has a trick up its sleeve. The front passenger seat also folds, which not only increases the space to 81 cubic feet but also allows 8 feet of continuous space from the trunk.

Model GMC Terrain Honda CR-V Chevrolet Equinox Buick Envision
Behind 2ndRow(ft.cube) 29.6 39.2 29.9 26.9
With 2nd row folded (ft.cube) 63.3 75.8 63.5 57.3

Almost all rivals do well in the cargo department. The Equinox, as expected, goes toe to toe with Terrain, but does marginally better. The cabin storage is good for small items, with a deep center console and free space in front of it, thanks to the electronic shifter.

Exterior

8.0/10

The diesel engines are known for the terrific torque that they generate, and as a result, the higher weights that they can tow. This, however, is not the case with the 2018 GMC Terrain. The 1.6-liter turbo diesel is rated the same as the 1.5-liter gas engine to tow up to 1,500 pounds. The 2-liter engine can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

Model GMC Terrain Honda CR-V Chevrolet Equinox Buick Envision
Tow Capacity (lbs.) 3500 1500 3500 1500
Engine 1.5 L turbo Inline 4 2.4 L Inline 4 1.5 L  turbo Inline 4 2.5L DOHC Inline 4
Drivetrain FWD FWD FWD FWD

As you would expect, the Equinox matches Terrain’s abilities. The CR-V is not made to pull heavy weights and lags behind the competition along with Buick Envision with a rating of 1,500 pounds.

2018 GMC Terrain Exterior

The first thing that impresses you even before you have made it to the 2018 GMC Terrain is the addition of smart entry as a standard feature, which was not even available in the previous Denali. Even after looking at the 2018 Terrain for a while, it is hard to admit that this lean yet strong SUV evolved from the boxy Terrain of the past.

Model GMC Terrain Honda CR-V Chevrolet Equinox Buick Envision
curb weight(lbs.) 3449 3307 3274 3755
Length (in) 182.3 180.6 183.1 183.7
Width (in) 72.4 73.0 72.6 72.4
Height (in) 65.4 66.1 65.4 66.8
Ground clearance (in) 6.9 8.2 6.9 NA
Wheelbase (in) 107.3 104.7 107.3 108.3
Track width (in) F/R 62.2/62.2 63.0/63.7 62.2/62.2 62/62

 The first thing that steals the eye is the new trapezoidal grille, like the Acadia’s. The SL and SLE trim have an entirely black grille, SLT gets three chrome bars to highlight it further, and of course, the Denali has its signature chrome mesh.

The 2018 GMC Terrain is about 3 inches shorter than the earlier Terrains, and about 350 pounds lighter. This gives it a leaner and modern feel. This feel is continued in the back as well. The tail lights mirror the headlight’s brackety look. The 2-liter models get a square exhaust, which is hidden behind the bumper in other trims. For those who like roof rails, the SLT and Denali get them standard, while SLE has an optional black one.

Exterior Features

The standard features in 2018 GMC Terrain include:

  • HID headlights on all trims except for Denali, which gets LEDs
  • Fog lamps in the SLT and Denali
  • LED tail lights
  • Daytime Running Lights
  • 19 inch machined alloy wheels for 2-liter SLT, the other two get 18 inchers
  • 17-inch alloys in SL and SLE
  • 19-inch alloys in Denali with a different design
  • Heated and power adjusting side mirrors
  • Auto-dimming mirrors in SLT and up, along with blind zone alert

Safety

The 2018 GMC Terrain has not yet been tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awards it 4 out of 5 stars overall and 5 stars in frontal crash.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Safety Ratings
Overall 4 out of 5
Frontal Crash 5 out of 5
Side Crash 4 out of 5
Rollover 4 out of 5

Standard safety features in 2018 GMC Terrain include a rearview camera and Teen Driver (which lets you set speed and volume limits for other drivers).

Available active safety features include:

  • Safety alert seat
  • Surround-view camera
  • Automatic park assist
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Lane keep assist
  • Low-speed forward automatic braking
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Lane change alert
  • Forward collision alert
  • Lane departure warning

Competition

2018 GMC Terrain vs. Honda CR-V

When it comes to comfort, the driver and the front passenger would enjoy a little more headroom and legroom in the 2018 GMC Terrain. In the backseat, the Terrain is spacious but not as spacious as the Honda CR-V. In terms of mileage, both cars display similar numbers, except for Terrain’s diesel engine, which is much more efficient. Another advantage the Terrain has over CR-V is comfort and luxury. But it does come at a cost. The sales seem to favor the CR-V simply because it delivers tremendous value and economy at a much more affordable price.

2018 GMC Terrain vs. Chevrolet Equinox

The Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain, both are GM’s offspring. Not only do they share the heritage, they are also based on the same platform. They both go toe-to-toe in almost every department, from cargo space to fuel economy to the list of available features. Both used to share looks, too, but both are completely redesigned for 2018 and look nothing alike anymore.

The Equinox has a slight advantage in the efficiency department, but not so much that you’d put it over the Terrain. In the end, to choose between these un-identical twins is a matter of personal preference based on how they look now. Also, Terrain is priced a little higher than the Equinox but also provides a more luxurious interior.

2018 GMC Terrain vs. Buick Envision

Just like Chevy, Buick is also GM’s child. So it is not a surprise that both provide quality interior and features. The cabin is roomy and comfortable for both. But the Terrain takes the lead in fuel efficiency and cargo space.

It is also worth noting that Envision costs thousands of dollars more than the Terrain. The Envision doesn’t really thwart the Terrain in any field, so keeping the cost and fuel efficiency in mind, the 2018 GMC Terrain is clearly the better amongst the two.

Final Verdict

The all-new redesigned 2018 GMC Terrain is ranked near the top of the compact SUV class. The Terrain has already cemented its image of a strong and dependable SUV, and now it takes it a step further. The Terrain is a well-rounded SUV with only a few drawbacks. It does, however, provide its strengths at a cost. It is valued at a higher price than the class average, which sometimes puts it beyond most people’s budget.

2018 GMC Terrain has seen a massive increase in sales ever since its refreshed version has come out. The demand is expected to stay strong as cold weather arrives. But a late debut has resulted in one of the lowest year-to-date sales numbers for compact SUV class. Don’t let the stats fool you, the Terrain is here to stay.

Save for the safety features, the Terrain offers a lot to the buyer, but at a higher cost. Those who want a more affordable compact SUV, or one with more standard safety features, may want to consider the Honda CR-V. Honda pays more attention to safety and is available at a much cheaper price. Amongst the sibling rivalry, the Terrain gets the upper hand over Buick Envision or the Chevy Equinox.

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