It is not often that we get a crossover which blows our expectations. One that seats 5 adults, has excellent cargo space, offer Apple Carplay and Android Auto and plenty of USB ports to keep the cell phones charged while powered by a 252Hp 2.0L turbocharged inline 4 that is mated to an excellent 9 speed auto. This ladies and gentlemen is the all-new 2018 GMC Terrain Denali AWD.
2018 GMC Terrain Denali AWD Review
The new Terrain Denali is strikingly different from its predecessor, it’s beautiful and has plenty of curves that is a feast for the eyes. Quite a remarkable change from its boxy predecessor and does deserve a standing ovation to the design team of the Terrain. When it came to crossovers, we loved what Acadia and what it delivered. The Terrain does that with a smaller engine but it does not take any bit of the fun in driving. The 2.0L turbocharged inline 4 is a peach, it is utterly brilliant and has found a perfect match with the 9 speed auto. The phrase “Fits like a glove” is best experienced when you drive the new Terrain and its awesome powertrain.
Just how good is the 2.0L turbocharged engine in the new GMC Terrain. Well for now it can also be found in the new Malibu Sport and produces similar horsepower and torque as the Mercedes-Benz E300 and the all new Honda Accord 2.0T. What’s equally important is that one can switch off the “AWD” mode and run it in “2WD” – basically FWD to save on extra mechanical wear and lower fuel consumption. What we did not like was the Automatic Engine Switch off which aids in fuel savings but its feels too enthusiastic to cut off the engine each time the vehicles comes to a complete stop, even though that stop might be for a second.
But that’s the only complaint I can think off, to what is probably one of my favorite vehicle in the last few months of testing cars. This crossover feels like it wears many different roles. Not only does it sprint fast and handle great, it’s also very comfortable, quiet and has cabin space that matches that of the Acadia, though it falls at a category below. Being able to comfortably seat 5 adults and have enough cargo room at the back, followed by AWD system and enough charging ports to keep everyone’s mobile devices charged up while having Apple Carplay and Android Auto is a complete package. But that’s not all, the Terrain also gets a USB-C connection as well as the regular USB connections.
It takes focus and nerves of steel to integrate all these into a vehicle while retaining its affordability. At AED 159,700 with all the trims in the Denali variant and 5 years of free service package, this is a deal that is too good to be passed.
GMC has nailed pretty much the segment of SUV’s and its crossover variants. Each model, running down from the Yukon to the Acadia and now to the Terrain, they have understood the needs of a family mover. One of the most important part of the Terrain is the steering wheel, which it borrows from the Acadia. This is probably one of the best weighted steering wheel out there in terms of its tactile feel. It has the right chunkiness in it and smooth leather.
Something that you would touch all the time while driving. The push button gears does feel a bit awkward but then again this week I got to drive an Aston Martin DB11 and guess what, it too has push button gears.
But what makes sense at the end is the comfort and practicality you get. The time with your friends and family and the open road. Though the Terrain does not comes with rear screens to play movies on, I think that generally distracts a family from bonding. In an age when you are spoilt for choice, the GMC Terrain Denali shines probably a bit brighter amongst them.
Price and Specs: 2018 GMC Terrain Denali AWD Review
|2018 GMC Terrain Denali AWD|
|Displacement||2.0L, inline 4, turbocharged|
|Gearbox||9 Speed Automatic|
|Rated Output||252 Hp @ 5,500 rpm|
|Rated Torque||353 Nm between 2500 – 4500 rpm|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h||6.8 seconds claimed|
|Fuel Consumption||9.2L/100KMS Combined as tested|
|Price (AED)||AED 159,700**|
** As of March 14, 2018; GMC dealership in the UAE is including the following with the price of their products
5% VAT will be covered by GMC
5 YEARS or 100,000kms free maintenance, whichever comes first
Extended warranty up to 5 years or 100,000kms, whichever comes first
Free road-side assistance for up to 5 years