Review: New generation of GMC's Terrain arrives with a diesel engine option

G. Chambers Williams III, The News-Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Ind.) on

Published in Business News

GMC's Terrain compact crossover has moved into its second generation for 2018, with a roomier interior, lots of new technology and its first diesel engine, which was under the hood of our test vehicle.

Prices of the 2018 Terrain start at $24,995 (plus $995 freight) for the base SL front-drive model with a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, and range as high as $39,695 for the Denali all-wheel-drive version with a turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline four-cylinder.

In between are the front-drive 1.5-liter SLE ($28,295); all-wheel drive 1.5-liter SLE ($31,345); front-drive SLE Diesel ($31,995); all-wheel-drive SLE Diesel ($33,795); front-drive 1.5-liter SLT ($31,795); all-wheel-drive 1.5-liter SLT ($33,495); front-drive SLT Diesel ($34,595); and all-wheel-drive SLT Diesel ($36,395, our test vehicle for the week; and the front-drive 2.0-liter Denali ($37,995).

All three of the available engines are turbocharged: the 1.5- and 2.0-liter gasoline four-cylinders, and the 1.6-liter diesel four-cylinder.

Base is the 1.5-liter gasoline engine, with 170 horsepower and 203 foot-pounds of torque. The 2.0-liter gasoline engine has 252 horsepower and 260 foot-pounds of torque; while the 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder diesel cranks out 137 horsepower and 240 foot-pounds of torque. The diesel is also offered in the Chevrolet Equinox, a sister vehicle to the Terrain, and in the Chevrolet Cruze sedan.

Standard with the gasoline engines is a nine-speed automatic transmission, while our diesel engine came with a six-speed automatic.

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EPA fuel-economy ratings are impressive for the diesel, at 28 mpg city/39 highway with front-wheel drive, and 28/38 with all-wheel drive. During our week in the SLT Diesel all-wheel drive, we averaged 33.7 mpg, with about two-thirds highway driving.

Ratings for the 1.5-liter engine are 26 city/30 highway with front drove, and 24/28 with all-wheel drive. For the 2.0-liter engine, they are 22/28 and 21/26.

To shift the transmission, the Terrain has funky pull-push buttons in the lower center of the dash for "Park," "Drive," "Reverse," and "Neutral." GMC says this arrangement was intended to provide more storage room in the center console by replacing the conventional transmission shifter with these electronically controlled "intuitive pushbuttons and pull triggers."

GMC calls it Electronic Precision Shift, and my first time in the new Terrain it took me a while to figure out where the gearshift was. I was looking for a traditional column- or center-console-mounted shifter.


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