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Top Features of Base Model
- Recently redesigned last year (model year 2018)
- Upgraded technology package with better rear-view camera and touchscreen interface
- Pleasing interior redesign
- Optional engine both powerful and fuel efficient
- Able to tow greater loads than most in the segment
GMC Terrain: Everything You Need to Know
About the GMC Terrain
The 2019 GMC Terrain is a five-seat crossover SUV offered in four trims with higher and higher levels of standard equipment. The Terrain comes in the base SL, the SLE, the SLT and finally, the Denali.
The Terrain comes with front-wheel drive standard. Optional all-wheel drive is selectable from a console-mounted dial. There are three engine choices including two gasoline engines and one diesel engine. The diesel is available only in SLE and SLT versions.
The 2019 Terrain is a lot smaller than the previous generation, last sold as a 2017. The redesign saw a 5.2-inch cut in the wheelbase, a 3.0-inch cut in overall length, and about 400 pounds off its weight.
As the entry Terrain trim, the SL is sparsely equipped and comes with no active safety features not already mandated by the government. Several competitors like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 offer many safety features as standard.
The top Denali model is loaded with otherwise optional features and is a more pleasing car to drive but, at $40,695 – some $14,500 more than the base Terrain – it should be.
What's New in the 2019 GMC Terrain?
The 2019 GMC Terrain was redesigned in 2018 and so does not offer a long list of updates since then. The 2019 version has a better rear-view camera when optioned with the larger, navigation-equipped eight-inch touchscreen.
A Black Edition package adds 19-inch gloss black aluminum wheels, darkened grille inserts and black surround, plus other black trim. This is only available on SLE and SLT models. Similarly, a Chrome Package covers these same trim items in bright chrome.
What Does the GMC Terrain Compete With?
As a compact SUV, the GMC Terrain competes in a crowded field with the following models:
- Buick Envision
- Chevrolet Equinox
- Ford Escape
- Honda CR-V
- Hyundai Santa Fe
- Jeep Cherokee
- Kia Sportage
- Mazda CX-5
- Subaru Forrester
- Toyota RAV4
- Volkswagen Tiguan
The 2019 GMC Terrain is a decent choice for those who prefer American brands. Unlike its rivals, it has extra towing capacity and a diesel engine option.
Exterior Design of the GMC Terrain
The redesigned GMC Terrain looks more upscale and far more pleasing than before. It ha softer corners and lines than other GMC trucks. The prior generation Terrain had highly squared-off wheel openings.
Now, those openings are softened and smoothed. This look makes more sense for the compact crossover SUV market in which the Terrain plays. It also wears C-shaped front and rear lights, a growing GMC theme.
The most distinctive exterior feature is the pinched and blacked-out cargo space window. This is a popular look in compact SUVs and many Asian sedans. It actually works better here on the Terrain than on a sedan.
Interior Style in the GMC Terrain
The Terrain's interior is attractive and offers a good amount of space for five passengers. However, several controls are not well-placed or designed. Leading that list is the unfamiliar transmission selector.
It sits on the lower dashboard, ahead of the cup holders and below the climate controls. This is a totally illogical placement. It's operated by either pushing or pulling the buttons which mimic window switches. This is a completely alien way to control a transmission. It's far away from the driver and further than any other item the driver might need to reach, save the glove box.
Less bad, but not great is the headlight switch, placed low on the dashboard's left, close to the left knee. It's hard to locate, though the lighting's automatic mode lessens the need to touch the dial.
Getting in and out of the Terrain is easy, thanks to a low seat height for an SUV. Driver's seating position is good. It provides a wide range of motion to get the best position for a variety of body sizes and types. The bolsters and seat backs are a little shy on support, especially for taller and wider folks. The Terrain feels roomy, with decent headroom and elbow room both up front and in the rear. Road noise on poor surfaces and on the highway is quite low.
What Technology Comes in the 2019 GMC Terrain?
The 2019 GMC Terrain offers as standard equipment:
- Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
- 4G Wi-Fi hotspot (long-term subscription fee after vehicle purchase)
- Rear-seat safety-alert system preventing kids, pets, valuables from being left behind
- Keyless unlocking
GMC's IntelliLink infotainment system is standard in the Terrain with a 7-inch display. A larger 8-inch display is standard when navigation is optioned. Bluetooth hands-free calling and music streaming is standard. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration are also standard. Several subscription services are offered free for a limited period through OnStar services, including a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. Wireless device charging is an option.
What Safety Features are Included in the 2019 GMC Terrain?
The 2019 GMC Terrain comes standard with the following active safety features:
- Rear seat reminder system. This feature chimes as you leave the car to check for children, pets or other important things in the rear seat.
Most of the Terrain’s active safety systems are optional, even on the top Denali trim. The Denali does make blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert standard. Forward collision warning, low-speed automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping alert and lane departure warning are optional. Many others in the segment have started making some of these standard. The following features are options on the GMC Terrain:
- Forward collision warning. This system can detect another car, pedestrian, or bicyclist in your path. It uses radar and a camera to recognize stationary or far slower-moving objects. It alerts you with both an audio alarm and a visual warning if the car might run into the object in front. If you do not brake in time to avoid impact, the car will hit the brakes for you, though this is not a guarantee that the impact will be avoided.
- Lane departure warning. An audio and visual signal will alert you when you come too close to the edge of your lane.
- Lane-keeping assist. If you come too too close to the edge of your lane, it will gently steer the car back into the center of the lane.
- Blind-spot monitoring (standard on Denali trim). This system alerts you to vehicles in an obscured field of vision to the rear sides of your car.
- Rear park assist (standard on Denali trim). Alerts the driver when approaching obstacles close to the rear at slow speeds when parking
What is the 2019 GMC Terrain Like to Drive?
GMC builds the Terrain with three different turbocharged engines. There’s a base 1.5-liter, 170-horsepower gasoline engine. An optional 2.0-liter, 252-horsepower gas engine (standard on Denali)is also offered. Finally, a 1.6-liter turbocharged diesel, making 137 horsepower and a healthy 240 pounds-feet of torque is available only on SLE and SLT trim levels.
The base engine is relatively weak, though the optional gas engine is very powerful. The diesel offers great economy but at a fairly stiff minimum price of $32,995 for the front-wheel drive version (all prices include destination charge).
An all-wheel-drive system is an option, though it defaults to front-drive mode, so you must select all-wheel drive mode when you want the extra traction.
We went on a long, interstate-only drive in a Terrain diesel when it was first launched in 2018. Over a total distance of 900 miles, we logged an average of 38.3 mpg. This is higher than the Terrain diesel's official highway rating of 38 mpg (28 mpg officially in the city). This is also outstanding in real-world terms.
The other engines are rated at 26/30 mpg city/highway for the standard 1.5-liter and 22/28 mpg city/highway for the larger, more powerful 2.0-liter.
General Motors has been improving its suspensions and the Terrain shows it. Out on the open road, the Terrain diesel we drove ate up the miles in very good comfort. It also cornered and handled well. Its straight-line tracking on the highway (on our route between California and Arizona) was even better than some luxury cars.
Should I buy a 2019 GMC Terrain?
The GMC Terrain is a comfortable compact SUV in a class of very comfortable compact SUVs. The Terrain offers the only diesel option in the segment. If maximum fuel economy is important to you, the Terrain is a good choice.
Despite the option of a diesel, however, the Terrain is up against killer competition. The diesel is costly, starting at $32,995 for the front-wheel drive SLE model. This is right in the price zone of a loaded Hyundai Santa Fe, Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4. These vehicles all have standard automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist.
Should I buy a used GMC Terrain?
The current GMC Terrain has been on the market since 2018, so you will find only a few of them as used cars, but you will certainly save some money by doing so. By the end of 2019, there will be more Terrains coming off of two-year new car leases, so that is an option.
Older Terrains look and feel very different, so be sure to shop by model year.
How much does the 2019 GMC Terrain cost?
The Terrain starts at $26,195 for the SL with the standard 1.5-liter engine. The top Denali with the 2.0-liter engine starts at $40,695. But that does not include active safety systems like forward collision alert, lane keeping alert or assistance, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, parking assistance or a surround-view camera (which would all add $1,490).
Pros and Cons of the 2020 GMC Terrain
- Touchscreen interface is easy to learn and use
- Upgraded rearview camera for cars with 8-inch touchscreen
- High fuel economy with optional diesel engine
- Comfortable, spacious-feeling interior
- High prices when optioned with systems and features found standard on competition
- Advanced safety features limited to top Denali trim
- Disappointing power and refinement from base engine
History of the GMC Terrain: 9 Years of the Terrain
GMC introduced the Terrain in 2010 as a smaller, five-passenger brother to the Acadia. It was received as a practical compact SUV with a modest price. A twin to the Chevrolet Equinox, the GMC Terrain had a higher-end appearance.
From the beginning, the Terrain came in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The second-generation Terrain debuted in model year 2018 with all-new bodywork, a redesigned interior and new engines.
Specs & Key Features of the 2020 GMC Terrain
- Body Style
- Sport Utility
- 1.5L Turbo DOHC 4-cylinder
- 170 - 252 hp
- 9-speed automatic 9T45
- Passenger Doors
- Passenger Seating
- Front Wheel Drive
- City MPG
- Hwy MPG
- Air Conditioning
- Android Auto
- Apple CarPlay
- Cruise Control
- Lane Departure Alert
- Lane Departure Warning
- Leather Steering Wheel
- Remote Keyless Entry
- Tinted Glass
- GMC Pro Safety includes (UHY) Automatic Emergency Braking, (UEU) Forward Collision Alert, (UHX) Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, (UE4) Following Distance Indicator, (UKJ) Front Pedestrian Braking and (TQ5) IntelliBeam headlamps
- Engine, 1.5L Turbo DOHC 4-cylinder, SIDI, VVT (170 hp [127.0 kW] @ 5600 rpm, 203 lb-ft of torque [275.0 N-m] @ 2000 - 4000 rpm)
- Transmission, 9-speed automatic 9T45, electronically-controlled with overdrive
- Axle, 3.47 final drive ratio
- Engine control, stop-start system
- Driver Shift Controls
- Electronic Precision Shift, button and trigger based transmission interface
- Fuel, gasoline, E15
- Front wheel drive
- Suspension, front MacPherson strut
- Suspension, rear 4-link, non-isolated
- Brakes, 4-wheel antilock, 4-wheel disc, 11.8" front and 11.3" rear
- Brake, electronic parking
- Brake lining, high-performance, Duralife
- Trailering provisions, 1500 lbs. (680 kg)
- Capless fuel fill
- Exhaust, single outlet
- Tire inflation kit
- Wheels, 17" x 7" (43.2 cm x 17.8 cm) Silver painted aluminum
- Tires, P225/65R17 all-season blackwall
- Spare wheel delete
- Spare tire delete
- Trim, Black lower body
- Headlamps, high intensity discharge with C-shaped lighting
- Headlamps, automatic delay
- Headlamp control, automatic on and off
- Tail lamps, LED signature
- Glass, acoustic, laminated windshield
- Glass, deep-tinted, rear
- Mirrors, outside heated power-adjustable, manual-folding
- Mirror caps, Black
- Door handles, body-color
- Liftgate, rear manual
- Active Noise Cancellation, noise control system
- Audio system, 7" diagonal GMC Infotainment System includes multi-touch display, AM/FM stereo, includes Bluetooth streaming audio for music and most phones; featuring Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability for compatible phones
- Audio system feature, 6-speaker system
- SiriusXM Radio, delete
- Bluetooth for phone, personal cell phone connectivity to vehicle audio system
- 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot capable (Terms and limitations apply. See onstar.com or dealer for details.)
- Antenna, roof-mounted shark fin
- Seats, front bucket
- Seat trim, premium cloth
- Seating, 5-passenger
- Seat, driver 4-way manual, fore/aft, up/down with recline
- Seat, front passenger 4-way manual, fore/aft, up/down with recline
- Seatback, passenger side, flat-folding
- Head restraints, 2-way adjustable (up/down), front
- Seat, rear 60/40 split-folding with center armrest
- Rear Seat Reminder
- Floor mats, carpeted front
- Steering wheel, leather-wrapped 4-spoke
- Steering wheel controls, mounted audio and phone interface
- Speedometer, miles/kilometers
- Driver Information Center monitors 26 various systems including, Vehicle Information Menu (oil life, tire pressure, standard/metric units) and Trip Information Menu (trip 1, trip 2, fuel range, average fuel economy, instant fuel economy, average vehicle speed) and compass display (Compass not included.)
- Display, 3.5" monochromatic driver information screen
- Window, power with driver Express-Up/Down
- Windows, power with front passenger Express-Down
- Windows, power with rear Express-Down
- Door locks, power programmable with lockout protection
- Keyless Open, includes extended range Remote Keyless Entry
- Remote panic alarm
- Keyless Start, push-button
- Cruise control, electronic with set and resume speed
- Theft-deterrent system, unauthorized entry
- Power outlet, front auxiliary, 12-volt
- Power outlet, cargo area auxiliary, 12-volt
- USB data ports, 2, one type-A and one type-C includes auxiliary input jack, located in front center storage bin
- USB charging-only ports, 2, located on the rear of the center console
- Air conditioning, single-zone manual
- Air vents, 2nd row
- Sensor, cabin humidity
- Sunglass storage, overhead
- Map pocket, driver seatback
- Map pocket, front passenger seatback
- Mirror, inside rearview manual day/night
- Assist handle, driver
- Assist handle, front passenger
- Assist handles, rear outboard
- GMC Connected Access capable (Subject to terms. See onstar.com or dealer for details.)
- Headlamp control, IntelliBeam auto high beam
- Automatic Emergency Braking
- StabiliTrak, stability control system with Traction Control
- Hill Descent Control
- Front Pedestrian Braking
- Daytime Running Lamps, LED signature
- Airbags, dual-stage frontal, and thorax side-impact driver and front passenger, and roof-rail side-impact, front and rear outboard seating positions (Always use seat belts and the correct child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner's Manual for more information.)
- Passenger Sensing System sensor indicator inflatable restraint, front passenger/child/presence detector (Always use seat belts and the correct child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner's Manual for more information.)
- Rear Vision Camera, integrated into audio system display
- OnStar and GMC connected services capable (Terms and limitations apply. See onstar.com or dealer for details.)
- Forward Collision Alert
- Following Distance Indicator
- Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning
- Teen Driver a configurable feature that lets you activate customizable vehicle settings associated with a key fob, to help encourage safe driving behavior. It can limit certain available vehicle features, and it prevents certain safety systems from being turned off. An in-vehicle report card gives you information on driving habits and helps you to continue to coach your new driver
- Tire Pressure Monitor manual learn with Tire Fill Alert
- Horn, dual-note