The GMC Terrain gets appearance and safety updates for 2019 and has already earned high marks from the government when it comes to safety. The Terrain takes home five stars in every crash-tested category except rollovers, where it gets four stars. The insurance industry gives the Terrain top safety scores as well.
The new Terrain is offered in SL, SLE, SLT and Denali models. Each trim gets better, all the way up to the super upscale Denali, which was my test vehicle for the week.
GMC buyers have a choice of engines in the new Terrain: a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder, a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder or a 1.6-liter diesel. The gasoline engines get a smooth 9-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission while the diesel gets a 6-speed automatic. AWD is available with all three engines.
The 1.5-liter engine is rated at 170 horsepower and 203 lb.-ft. of torque, while the 2.0-liter turbo-4 ups that ante to 252 horses and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. The diesel engine kicks out 137 horsepower and 240 lb.-ft. of torque. My test Terrain had the turbo-4 and jumped off the line when I matted the pedal. The Terrain can tow up to 3,500 pounds.
Of the three engines, the 1.5-liter gets the best mileage at 26 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.
The Terrain is a good-looking vehicle, not quite as boxy as it once was. There’s also a section of black trim behind the second row doors, giving the impression that the roof “floats” on the body of the vehicle. It’s a neat effect and adds drama to the Terrain’s style.
Inside the cabin, my Terrain Denali test vehicle was posh and refined with contrast stitching and soft materials in all the right places. It was decked out with automatic dual-zone air, Bose sound and very comfortable seats that adjusted eight ways. The seats were heated not just in the front, but Row 2 seats were heated as well. All Terrains have Bluetooth connectivity and a rearview camera.
The Terrain cabin is roomy and comfortable with front seat headroom of 40 inches. Row 2 had excellent headroom as well with 38.5 inches. Legroom in back is 39.7 inches, helping to make even Row 2 spacious enough for three adults. Cargo space in the new Terrain is a generous 29.6 cubic feet behind the second row. Fold down Row 2 and you’ve got 63.3 cubic feet. The front passenger seat also folds down, making total cargo space of 81 cubic feet.
Surprisingly, all of that interior room is available inside a car with only a 107.3-inch wheelbase and an overall length of 182.3 inches. The Terrain is 72.4 inches wide.
Connectivity in the Terrain includes 7- or 8-inch GMC infotainments systems designed to support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The car is also a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.
The dash layout even in my upscale Denali trim was simple and intuitive, using just the right combination of buttons and touchscreen commands. Included are five buttons that operate the automatic transmission: Park, Drive, Neutral, Reverse and Low. A USB port and data port are at the bottom of the center stack below the transmission buttons, and two more USBs are located inside the lighted center console. The cabin is also filled with cubbies and storage nooks front to back.
When it comes to safety, the Terrain earns nearly perfect scores from the government and high marks from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The only ding given by the IIHS was for its headlights. The Terrain has lots of sophisticated safety technology, much of it available at additional cost. The Driver Alert package ($745), for example, includes adaptive cruise control, low speed forward automatic braking, forward collision alert, lane keep assist, intelligent automatic high beams and front pedestrian braking.
2019 GMC Terrain AWD Denali
Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder
Horsepower/Torque: 252/260 lb.-ft. Transmission: 9-speed automatic
Price: $39,500 ($43,550 w/options & freight)
EPA Mileage Estimates: 21 mpg city/26 mpg highway/23 mpg combined
Estimated Highway Range: 406 miles