As reveals go, this was one of the quieter ones we expect to cover at this year’s New York International Auto Show. That has more to do with the degree of change than the significance of the vehicle itself: the 2016 GMC Terrain.

With the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox update recently revealed in Toronto and Chicago, you knew the GMC Terrain wouldn’t be far behind, and indeed here it is. The GMC brand has shown great strength in North America of late and the Terrain in particular – last year in the US, combined Equinox and Terrain sales topped even the segment-leading Honda CR-V and combined for over 30,000 sales in Canada (which would rank it as one of the top five compact SUVs in the hottest sales segment in Canada).

As much as the Equinox and Terrain share a platform and powertrains, this update is largely cosmetic and these two compact utes do have fairly distinct designs and GM tries to keep the brands as distinct as possible, so these launches were staggered and separated. However, the updates for the Terrain share the same degree of subtlety as the Equinox, amounting to a cosmetic refresh and some technology and trim upgrades. The exterior features some tweaks in the grille and rear quarters, as well as some subtle new satin metallic trim that nicely finishes the Denali. Inside, new leather colours are available, which look appealing and feel convincing and durable, and GM’s Intellilink brings an impressive array of technology, including the OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. However, some of GM’s finish and materials in the cabin do not measure up to class leaders or even standard fare in the segment.

The Terrain has been on the market in essentially this form since 2009, and a more thorough redesign would have been welcome to stay competitive with new products from, well, everyone, as the Terrain is left to capitalize on its rugged good looks and a powerhouse V6.

Press Release:

NEW YORK (Tuesday, March 31, 2015) – Distinguished by a new, more contemporary front-end appearance, the 2016 GMC Terrain and Terrain Denali were introduced today, ahead of their public debut at the New York International Auto Show.

The 2016 Terrain lineup features new front and rear fascias, new grille designs, a power dome hood, light-emitting diode (LED) daytime running lamps and additional updates. Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are offered on SLE and SLT models for the first time.

“Terrain offers Canadians GMC’s professional grade design and technology, and is a popular choice in a growing compact SUV segment,” said Mike Speranzini, brand director – Buick GMC Canada. “For 2016, we are providing changes and improvements that will resonate with consumers and provide even more reasons to consider Terrain for those seeking versatility, style and leading edge technology.”

The compact SUV market leapt 18.3 percent in 2014 to account for 18.7 percent of the total Canadian market, overtaking large pickup trucks the auto industry’s second largest vehicle segment.

The complete list of revisions for the 2016 Terrain lineup includes:

New front and rear fascias with C-shaped lower chrome trim that accentuates the Terrain’s wide stance
New, chrome-accented grille designs – including specific tri-segment grille texture on Denali
New power dome hood design
New LED daytime running lamps on uplevel models
New 18-inch aluminum wheel design offered on non-Denali models
New 19-inch aluminum wheel design offered on Denali
Revised instrument panel “centre stack” with new storage shelf and updated control graphics
Premium cloth seat fabric now standard on and SLE models
New Saddle Up leather interior available on SLT
New Light Titanium/Jet Black interior combination offered on Denali
Front passenger eight-way power-adjustable seat offered on SLT (previously available only on Denali)
New, chrome-trimmed transmission shifter
Available Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features on SLE and SLT (previous available only on Denali).
New White Frost Tricoat and Crimson Red Tintcoat premium exterior colours.

Bold design tops many customers’ reasons for purchasing the GMC Terrain and the updated 2016 models retain the distinctive proportion that attracts first-time buyers to the brand with a greater focus on precision and attention to detail.

“The updates for the 2016 Terrain make one of the strongest designs in the compact SUV market even more compelling,” said Helen Emsley, executive director, Global GMC Design. “They create a more contemporized appearance rooted in GMC’s professional grade precision.”

Terrain at a glance

The 2016 Terrain seats five, with all-wheel drive offered on SLE, SLT and Denali models. Its interior – with the GM-exclusive MultiFlex sliding rear seat – offers 894 litres (31.6 cubic feet) of cargo space behind the rear seat and 1,809 litres (63.9 cubic feet) with the rear seat folded.

The standard Ecotec 2.4L direct-injected engine delivers is expected to deliver fuel consumption estimate of 7.3 L/100 km highway (FWD models). A direct-injected 3.6L V-6 is available and delivers best-in-class 301 horsepower (225 kW) and 272 lb-ft of torque (369 Nm). The V-6 engine also enables a trailering capacity of up to 1,588 kilograms (3,500 pounds).

Available GMC IntelliLink offers OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. It provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot is on whenever the car is on and comes with a three-month/3GB data trial (whichever comes first).

Terrain also offers a programmable power liftgate (standard on Denali, available on SLT), with a memory function that stops the liftgate at a chosen height to help shorter drivers or accommodate low garage heights.

In addition to available Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features, Terrain offers Rear Park Assist, Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning as part of comprehensive safety packages.

Terrain Denali

The Terrain Denali offers unique exterior and interior appointments, exclusive wheels and design cues to set it apart from competitors. Dual-flow dampers are exclusive to the Terrain Denali’s suspension system, providing a smoother ride and improved handling by controlling suspension dampening across a broader range of driving conditions.

The 2016 Terrain goes on sale this fall. Pricing will be announced later.


Terrain was introduced as a 2010 model in 2009
Terrain has sold over 60,000 units since 2009.
Terrain is GMC’s second-best selling vehicle, after Sierra
Terrain has GMC’s highest percentage of female buyers: 43 percent
Terrain’s exterior styling is the No. 1 reason for purchase among female buyers

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