Here's a bewildering statistic – General Motors sold over 347,000 GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Equinox crossovers in 2014, making the Theta platform twins the best selling vehicles in their segment. GM sold more Equinox/Terrain crossovers than Honda did CR-Vs, Ford did Escapes, and Toyota did RAV4s. After a week behind the wheel of the 2016 Terrain Denali, we can't fathom why GMC's entry, which accounts for nearly a full third of GM's annual small CUV sales, has been so popular. An inefficient engine, cheap interior plastics, uncomfortable seats, a shortage of technology, and a high price left us questioning why anyone would order this Denali over a Titanium-trim Ford Escape, a Jeep Cherokee Limited, or a Hyundai Santa Fe Sport with the Unlimited Package. Driving Notes While looks are subjective, we'd posit that GMC didn't go far enough with its 2016 mid-cycle refresh. New accents on the front bumper, a tweaked grille surround, and LED running lights round out the changes up front, while the rear gets a slightly different bumper. GMC claims there's a new hood, although we challenge you to pick out the differences – here are the official galleries for the 2013 and 2016, if you'd like to try. GMC missed a tremendous opportunity here. New headlights, some restyled taillights, and tweaked mirrors would have given the impression of a more significant refresh. As it stands, these changes don't add up to much. GMC also claims it made changes in the cabin, adding a "revised instrument panel center stack." Aside from the missing CD slot, which has been replaced with an oddly shaped and not terribly useful shelf, it's hard to spot much of a difference. The Terrain Denali's cabin materials feel cheap. You'll be spending at least $35,000 to park one of these in your driveway, but aside from the leather-and-faux-wood steering wheel, no material feels worthy of that price tag inside. The lower dash plastics are hard and scratchy, the center stack feels hollow and creaks when pressed on, and the too-small shade over the seven-inch display feels flimsy. The upper dash is covered in a cheap-feeling, leather-like material that looks unchanged from when the Terrain Denali debuted back in model year 2013. These materials don't make sense in a vehicle that, as tested, exceeded $41,000. The most egregious thing about the refreshed Terrain is the lack of content. Sure, you can now get blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, a rear-view camera, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning. All of these are nice, but a lot of the things that we've come to take for granted in the Terrain Denali's competitors simply aren't available. Where are the heated steering wheel, bi-xenon headlights, vented seats, LED taillights, panoramic sunroof, or push-button start!? If GMC wants to charge premium prices for its Denali trim, it needs to start offering more than just some extra chrome and faux wood. We wouldn't be so hard on the Terrain's poor materials, indifferent styling, and short equipment list if it …
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|MPG||22 City / 32 Hwy|
|Transmission||6-spd auto w/OD|
|Power||182 @ 6700 rpm|
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