2019 GMC Terrain Reviews

2019 Terrain New Car Test Drive


The 2019 GMC Terrain offers car shoppers a time-honored truck badge applied to a mid-size crossover SUV. 

The second-generation Terrain emerged for the 2018 model year. For 2019, GMC offers black- and chrome-trimmed special editions. The new Black Edition option package for SLE and SLT trim levels includes 18-inch black aluminum wheels, a darkened grille, and black mirror caps and roof rails. A new Chrome package for SLT includes 18-inch machined aluminum wheels with gray accents, a unique grille, and bright side rails.

A surround-view camera system is available for Denali versions. Adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking have been added to the optional Driver Alert Package II.

SL, SLE, SLT, and posh Denali trim levels are available. GMC offers a trio of turbocharged engines (except in base and Denali models).

Specifically, the Terrain may hold either a 1.5-liter or a 2.0-liter gasoline turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, or a 1.6-liter turbodiesel. Gasoline engines mate with a 9-speed automatic transmission, but the turbodiesel gets a 6-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive available.

The base engine is a 1.5-liter turbo-4 that makes 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque. The 2.0-liter turbo-4 develops 252 horsepower, while the more expensive 1.6-liter turbodiesel is rated at 137 horsepower and 240 pound-feet.

Most active-safety features still cost extra, even on top trim levels, trailing competitors that make such items standard. Parking sensors and blind-spot monitors, for instance, are required in order to get forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and upgraded headlights.

All Terrains are equipped with a rearview camera. A teen-driver feature lets parents set limits for youngsters behind the wheel.

Crash-test ratings are largely admirable. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2019 Terrain a five-star overall rating, including five stars for both frontal and side impacts. The four-star score for rollover prevention, a calculated figure, is common among SUVs.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2019 Terrain top 'Good'? scores in all tests, including the passenger-side small overlap test. Frontal crash prevention ranked “Superior” (with optional equipment). Headlights were rated 'Poor.'?


Prices do not include the $1,195 destination charge.

SL ($25,000), the base model, comes only with front-drive and the 1.5-liter engine. Included are 17-inch wheels, a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and active noise cancellation. Cloth upholstery, keyless entry, and pushbutton start also are standard.

SLE ($28,100 with front-wheel drive, $29,800 with all-wheel drive) adds a 4.2-inch driver information screen and cargo-area seat-release levers.

SLE Diesel ($31,800 with FWD, $33,600 with AWD) substitutes the 1.6-liter turbodiesel engine, with 6-speed automatic, plus heated front seats, a power passenger seat, and power liftgate.

SLT ($30,900 with FWD, $32,600 with AWD) gets the 1.5-liter gas engine and such luxury features as leather-appointed seating, dual-zone automatic climate control, 18-inch wheels, 8.0-inch touchscreen, and heated front seats.

SLT Diesel ($33,700 with FWD, $35,500 with AWD) substitutes the 1.6-liter turbodiesel engine.

Denali ($37,800 with FWD, $39,500 with AWD) upgrades to the 2.0-liter engine, with distinct exterior accents, leather upholstery, 19-inch wheels, a hands-free power liftgate, LED headlights, blind-spot monitors, heated steering wheel, and navigation. Forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking are optional.

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