2016 GMC Terrain SUV gets a facelift, adds safety gear

Updates to an aging, uncompetitive model go just skin deep

Published: March 31, 2015 10:00 AM

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Stretching out a long model run, the GMC Terrain is freshened for 2016 with a smattering of cosmetic updates and additional advanced safety features.

The Terrain’s exterior evolution brings more bling, with abundant chrome accents, plus a new grille and hood. Higher trim levels boast LED daytime running lights.

Cabin changes are limited to upholstery, trim bits, revised graphics on the IntelliLink infotainment system, and a new storage shelf below the climate controls that replaces the old CD slot. Again, IntelliLink offers 4G LTE connectivity and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot capability. The top-trim Terrain Denali gains a new two-tone black and tan leather interior with wood inserts on the door panels and steering wheel.

Less obvious, the Terrain gains available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, which join the forward-collision and lane-departure warning systems.

The 182-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder and 301-hp, 3.6-liter V6 engines carry over. When tested, we found that both powertrains feel sluggish and neither is particularly fuel efficient.

The appearance-focused updates don’t address other shortcomings that prevent us from recommending the Terrain, such as tepid acceleration, sluggish transmission, limited side and rear visibility, and wide turning circle.

Like its mechanical sibling, the Chevrolet Equinox, the Terrain is improved for the upcoming model year, but there remain better choices for the size and price.

See our complete 2015 New York auto show coverage.

Eric Evarts

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