We've had plenty of time in the all-new Chevrolet Equinox, testing it with all three of its available turbocharged four-cylinders: the 1.5-liter, the 2.0-liter performance upgrade and the diesel fuel economy upgrade. Finally, however, we get a turn behind the wheel of its brother from a different corporate mother: the 2018 GMC Terrain. This duo is certainly one of the most disparate pairings in GM's long badge-engineering past, with virtually no visual similarities inside and out. They're even less similar than the last Equinox-Terrain, which themselves were a far-cry from the Blazer-Jimmy days. They're largely the same under the skin, however, including their selection of engines. For the 2018 Terrain, we sampled the 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel good for 137 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque. It's an unusual powertrain to be sure, as no other compact crossover SUV in this country offers one (though Mazda has been threatening to do so for years now), but boasts an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 28 mpg city, 39 mpg highway and 32 mpg combined with front-wheel drive. It's basically the same with all-wheel drive. The as-tested price of the SLT Diesel was a rather hefty $39,605. It did, however, have most options, including the Infotainment Package II and Driver Alert Package II that together include all the extra entertainment and safety gadgets. Contributing Editor James Riswick: Let's be honest, the main difference between the 2018 GMC Terrain and its Equinox sibling is the way they look. As such, I can definitively say I prefer the Terrain. It's far more cohesive and better proportioned than the rather dumpy Equinox. It also avoids the garish over-adornment of the last Terrain even if the floating roofline D pillar has passed its expiry date. I think the interior looks better too. As for the way it drives, the 2018 Terrain demonstrates great improvements from one generation to the next. The steering in particular is greatly superior in its feel and feedback. Body motions are also kept nicely in check. Is it a Mazda CX-5 or Ford Escape beater? No, but it's far more confidence inspiring now. So that's the good. Now, the extremely bad. This diesel engine vibrates so much I can't imagine anyone taking one for a test drive and choosing it over the 1.5-liter gasoline turbo. You feel it through the wheel, the pedals and the seat of your pants constantly. It's particularly bad when stopped and even present when just cruising on the highway. Making matter worse, it has that omnipresent truck-like diesel noise other brands manage to suppress quite capably. Plus, it's really not going to save you much money given the negligible difference in fuel economy to the 1.5, the higher average price of diesel and its price premium. Ah, but at least you can get a different engine. There's no avoiding the Terrain's truly ridiculous shifter, but my fingers are getting tired from typing, so let's go to the video. Associate Editor Reese Counts: The first-gen Terrain was completely forgettable. …
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|MPG||26 City / 30 Hwy|
|Transmission||9-spd auto w/OD|
|Power||170 @ 5600 rpm|
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