Twin to Chevrolet’s Equinox, the all-new GMC Terrain is redesigned from last year’s model. Scroll below to learn about the 2018 Terrain’s specs and defining feature:

This Terrain redesign comes with a sleeker exterior and 400 less pounds than its predecessor. Competing in the small crossover SUV segment, the 2018 Terrain offers a fair mix of safety features and luxury accoutrements.

Performance Specifications

The 2018 GMC Terrain comes in three engine options: a 1.5L turbo, a 2.0L turbo, and a 1.6L turbodiesel. The 1.5L engine sports 170 horsepower and 203 lb-ft of torque. The 2.0L roars in with 252 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, and the 1.6L holds its own at 137 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. Each engine is paired to either a six-speed or nine-speed automatic.

The 2018 GMC Terrain can be purchased in the following exterior colors:

  • Quicksilver Metallic
  • Ebony Twilight Metallic
  • Red Quartz Tintcoat
  • Summit White
  • Graphite Gray Metallic
  • Blue Steel Metallic
  • Satin Steel Metallic
  • Coppertino Metallic

Interior colors include jet black on jet black, jet black on medium ash gray, and jet black on brandy.

Fuel Efficiency

Kelley Blue Book ranks the 2018 GMC Terrain six out of 24 in fuel economy. With numbers in the high 20s for city and peaking in the high 30s for highway, it’s easy to see why it comes out near the top.

Front wheel drive models equipped with the 1.5L turbo engine achieve a 26 city, 30 highway EPA-estimated mpg, while those equipped with 4WD achieve 24 and 28 mpg respectively. Numbers for the 2.0L turbo engine fall a bit, coming in at 22 city and 28 highway for FWD models and 21 city and 26 highway EPA-estimated mpg for 4WD models.

Diesel models are where the Terrain really rises to the top. With 28 city and 39 highway for front-wheel drive models, and 28 and 38 city and highway EPA-estimated mpg for 4WD models, the Terrain almost tops competitors.

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Entertainment and Safety Features

The 2018 Terrain can be had in both a respectable base model and a high-end luxury Denali option. Excluding the SL model, which only comes in FWD, all models are available in either 4WD or FWD

Base SL models start at $25,990 and come standard with keyless open and start, fold-flat front passenger seats, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 3.5-inch monochromatic driver information screen. Equipped with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a seven-inch infotainment system, the 2018 Terrain SL model is powered by the 1.5L turbo engine paired to the nine-speed automatic. Other options also include a six-speaker system, OnStar and SiriusXM, 17-inch wheels, HID headlamps, LED daytime running lights, and a StabiliTrak electronic stability control system. Teen Driver, Hill Descent Control, Passenger Sensing System, and a Rear Vision Camera come standard as well.

SLE models have the same engine and transmission as the SL models but come in front and four-wheel drive. With 17-inch wheels, HID headlamps, and LED taillamps, the SLE model comes with all safety features standard on the SL.

SLT models keep the 1.5L turbo engine and nine-speed automatic but ride on 18-inch wheels. With leather seating, heated front seats, and remote start, the SLT model also sports an eight-inch infotainment screen and a 4.2-inch driver information screen.

The SLE Diesel model sports the 1.6L turbodiesel engine paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. Heated front seats, remote start, and dual-zone automatic climate control are standard on this model. The SLT Diesel is also powered by the 1.6L turbodiesel engine, but rides on 18-inch wheels, a heated steering wheel, and an eight-inch infotainment screen. The best feature of the SLT Diesel model is the programmable hands-free lift-gate.

Top-of-the-line Denali models are the only ones to have the 2.0L engine paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission. With 19-inch wheels, LED headlamps, a Bose seven-speaker system, and navigation, the Denali model starts at $40,295. Equipped with a slew of safety features, the Denali model includes Rear Park Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Side-Blind Zone Alert with Lane Change Alert, and Safety Alert Seat.

Other optional packages include the driver convenience package, the infotainment package, the driver alert package, the interior protection package, the cargo package, and the black accent package.

How the GMC Terrain Compares to the Competition

Along with the Chevy Equinox, the 2018 GMC Terrain competes with the Volvo XC60, the Audi Q3 and Q5, the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Compass, and the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. Infiniti’s QX30 and QX50, Mazda’s CX-5, and the Acura RDX are all competitors in the small crossover SUV segment as well. Compare the GMC Terrain to the Subaru Forester, the Toyota RAV4, Lincoln’s MKC, Lexus’ NX, the Volkswagen Tiguan, Ford’s Escape, the Hyundai Tucson, the Honda CR-V, the Kia Sportage, and the Nissan Rogue. Top-level options include the Mercedes-Benz GLA, the Jaguar F-Pace, and the all-new Alfa Romeo Stelvio.

Edmunds praises the 2018 GMC Terrain as having “one of the best infotainment interfaces in the class.” Experts at Edmunds recommend the SEL model with the driver alert package because you’ll get the advanced safety features but tons of power when you choose the 2.0L. “Rear visibility over your shoulder is obstructed by thick roof pillars,” and the Edmunds team also notes the safety features in the mid-range pale in comparison to those offered on the competition.

Consumer Reports also has praises for the 2.0L, noting “strong acceleration” and “impressive braking performance.” Complaints include the loud cabin and the stiff ride, and they recommend the SLT model.

Kelley Blue Book reviewers don’t like the hard-interior plastics or the fact that there is no active cruise control on any Terrain model. J.D. Power notes “the 2018 Terrain boasts an expanded list of available driver assistance and collision avoidance technologies,” which is a plus for this small crossover SUV, especially in such a competitive segment.

Overall, the 2018 GMC Terrain offers a lot to customers with a variety of needs and budgets. Entry models come standard with plenty of safety and entertainment features, without breaking the bank. Sure, Denali models will be hard-pressed to compete with the standard of luxury other brand names are able to bring to the table, but for $40,000, you’re not likely to find such good value and features packaged so nicely.

Like most big competitors, GMC caters to the majority, losing to some while winning against others in a battle where the customer can truly choose based on individual priorities. It’s any man’s — or manufacturer’s — guess as to what that special combination is to attract the most buyers.


  • Range of engine options
  • Tons of available safety features
  • Upscale interior


  • Higher price than most in its class
  • Small cargo space
  • Sluggish base 1.5L engine

The 2018 GMC Terrain is a strong competitor in a segment that favors a variety of options with the availability of luxury features. A step above most entry-level models, the 2018 Terrain will fit many buyer’s needs, from power and capability, to safety features, to top-level trims fit for high-class clients. Consider the 2018 GMC Terrain the next time you’re looking for a small, smart, and sexy crossover SUV.

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Rebecca Henderson has a Master's in German and a Bachelor's in Creative Writing. She alternates her time between writing and working on a variety of motorized projects. Most recently, she and her boyfriend have been building a custom drift trike. Rebecca believes that language, love, and a life worth living are only the first ingredients to happiness.