The GMC division of General Motors used the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit to introduce the all-new 2018 GMC Terrain. GM’s introduction of this compact SUV follows the debut of the similar Chevrolet Equinox in late 2016.

Like the new Equinox, the Terrain has lost five inches of overall length in comparison with the model it is replacing. However, other dimensions, such as width and height, remain similar.

The new Terrain will be powered by a selection of all-new turbocharged four-cylinder engines, like those offered in the new Equinox. Base models will use a 170-hp, 1.5-liter engine, with a 252-hp, 2.0-liter in uplevel models. GMC’s new SUV will also be available with a 136-hp, 1.6-liter turbocharged diesel that promises an estimated 40 mpg on the highway.

GMC says the gasoline engines will be mated to new, unique nine-speed automatic transmissions; there is no information on the gearbox for the diesel. This is different than in the Equinox, which will use a six-speed automatic on the 1.5- and 1.6-liter engines. A new Electronic Precision Shift system will select gears via the use of “push buttons and pull triggers.”

Front- and all-wheel-drive versions will be available, with the AWD versions featuring a selectable front-drive mode. This disconnects the rear drive to optimize fuel economy. In our tests of the larger, three-row GMC Acadia, we found that disconnecting the system resulted in a savings of approximately 1 mpg on the highway.

2018 GMC Terrain interior

On the safety front, there is a long roster of available equipment, akin to what is offered on other all-new GM models. For active safety, forward-collision warning and low-speed automatic braking, lane-keep assist with lane-departure warning, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic warning will be offered, using camera and radar to assess road hazards. There is no word on which features will be standard.

Other safety aids include a surround-view display and rear seat reminder, which we’ve seen on the GMC Acadia can issue a warning when the car predicts that someone, such as a child or pet, may be left in a parked vehicle. Plus, a teen driver feature will be offered, allowing parents to set certain restrictions and review a report card to monitor driving behavior.

GMC promises the new Terrain’s interior will be more refined than the one in the model it replaces, featuring aluminum trim, more soft-touch materials throughout, and standard active noise-cancellation technology. Functionality is enhanced by a fold-flat front passenger seat and flat-folding rear seat.

The premium Denali trim level versions feature special trim colors, seating materials, and standard features such as a heated steering wheel, hands-free power tailgate, and Bose sound system.

Seven- and eight-inch infotainment screens will be used, depending on trim level, and feature Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.

The 2018 Terrain goes on sale this summer in SL, SLE, SLT and Denali models. 

2018 GMC Terrain rear