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What’s New for 2018?
The 2018 GMC Terrain is the first year of the new generation of the Terrain, which had remained mostly the same since its 2010 debut. The 2018 Terrain rides on a new platform, has updated interior and exterior styling, a new set of engines and a new transmission, with only one model using a carryover from the previous generation. It also has a much more extensive set of both standard and optional features as well.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 GMC Terrain – The Pros
1. Exciting New Styling
The exterior look was one of the weak points of the old Terrain generation, but the redesign has turned it into one of its greatest strengths. The big bulky blocks of last year’s Terrain have been trimmed down and sculpted into something both unique and contemporary. The striking and distinctive look of the new model’s exterior finally does justice to the car’s excellent interior.
2. Nicely Appointed Interior
The interior of the 2018 Terrain is also one of the car’s definite highlights. It carries a very upscale ambiance across the entire trim ladder, thanks to nice woodgrain and brushed metal accents. The build quality is also noticeably high, with little in the way of cheap plastic molding or loosely matched planes.
3. Spacious Seating
Both the front and second-row seating on the 2018 GMC Terrain offers a lot of space for passengers. Long-legged backseat passengers will find it easy to stretch, and there is plenty of headroom in both rows as well. For buyers who find themselves chauffeuring anyone other than kids in their back seats, this is one of the few compact crossovers that makes it easy to accommodate.
4. Luxurious Denali Model
GMC’s own luxury branding Denali adds a layer of luxury appointments and features to the select cars in the GMC line, and the 2018 GMC Terrain is one of them. The Terrain Denali makes for the car’s highest trim line, and is filled to the brim with contrast-stitched leather, soft-touch contact materials and a plethora of luxury add-ons, including Bose audio and heated rear seats.
5. Good Fuel Economy
General Motors chose to go with a selection of turbocharged four-cylinder engines for the 2018 GMC Terrain, which results in some excellent fuel economy without compromising the car’s power. The base engine earns up to 26 miles per gallon city, 30 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined, with only a small penalty for either all-wheel drive or the upgraded 2.0-liter engine. However, the most efficient of all the options is the turbodiesel engine.
6. Highly Efficient Diesel
The turbodiesel offered in the 2018 GMC Terrain easily puts it near the top of the fuel economy ladder in the class, beating out even some of the hybrid vehicles there. At 28 mpg city, 39 mpg highway and 32 mpg combined in front-wheel drive, and only one mpg highway less with all-wheel drive, it easily exceeds most competitors when it comes to efficiency.
7. Responsive Transmission
Almost all of the models of the new GMC Terrain get a new, highly responsive nine-speed automatic transmission. It is quick and effective, eagerly switching down during acceleration and finding a good cruising point without trouble. It makes the Terrain very fun to drive, and comes with manual shift options for more hands-on control. Only the turbodiesel has to make do with an older six-speed for now, though that is expected to change in the future.
8. Good Handling
The strong engines and the responsive transmission on the GMC Terrain provide for quick and smooth acceleration, and the steering and suspension translate that into an excellent driving experience. The suspension offers good grip while still absorbing the road well, and the steering has been upgraded to a more precise electric assist setup in this year’s upgrade. The driving dynamics of the Terrain are not sports-car exciting, but are a notch above most other entries in its class.
9. Smooth Ride
The suspension on the 2018 GMC Terrain, when combined with its nicely cushioned seats, provides for a very composed driving experience for the car’s passengers. Outside of extreme maneuvers, the inside of the Terrain feels very little of the road, and there is only slight body roll during turns - not enough to spill a water bottle or wake up a baby.
10. Easy Infotainment
General Motors has, over the last few years, developed a knack for making good infotainment systems, and the IntelliLink system used on the 2018 GMC Terrain is among the best in class. It has a large colorful screen and a good mixture of manual and touchscreen controls. The large icons, simple menus and easy phone connectivity options make it among the easiest systems to use.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 GMC Terrain – The Cons
The 2018 GMC Terrain has a starting price slightly above average compared to its competition, and its higher trim lines command even more of a premium. While it tends to be nicer and better-equipped for the money, the price tag may turn off more price-conscious buyers.
2. Small Cargo Area
The cargo area on the Terrain falls slightly below many of the competing vehicles. Given that cargo and utility space tend to be important for SUV and crossover buyers, that could be a big negative for some.
3. Subpar Noise Insulation
At lower speeds, the noise insulation the cabin is wonderful, and very little outside noise can be heard. However, at higher speeds, it is noisier than some competitors. Given the upscale ambiance the rest of the car’s features give off, this seems like a major oversight.
How It Stacks up to the Competition
The GMC Terrain faces off against other compact SUVs in its class, including best-selling vehicles like the Honda CR-V and the Mazda CX-5. The CR-V falls around the same price point as the Terrain, while offering more cargo space, but it is not feel nearly as nice to either sit inside or drive. The Mazda is cheaper than both, and offers a much more engaged driving experience. It’s lack of upscale amenities, however, is its weakness against the GMC Terrain.
If comfort and a good feature selection are your priorities when looking at a compact SUV, then the 2018 GMC Terrain will fulfil your requirements with aplomb. The nice styling options and powerful and efficient engines add a little extra to the equation, making the Terrain a very appealing vehicle to most compact crossover shoppers.
• Why buy a 2017 GMC Terrain? w/ pros vs cons