At first glance, the numbers game may not add up particularly well for the 2018 GMC Terrain: It's about $1,000 more than last year's model to start, it's down 12 horsepower, and it's about five inches shorter from head-to-toe.
But don't let those figures get you down. This sophisticated all-new model replaces a 2017 that was well past its sell-by date. At $25,970, including a $975, the entry-level Terrain SL will pair a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine rated at 170 hp and 203 pound-feet of torque to a high-tech 9-speed automatic gearbox. The Terrain SL is basically a bargain-basement model and is only offered with front-wheel drive and is aimed more at fleet buyers than retail consumers.
Most buyers will find the SLE, SLT, and Denali models. The SLE and SLT come standard with the 1.5-liter engine but they offer a 1.6-liter turbodiesel engine that could deliver as much as 40 mpg on the highway (that's the figure parent company General Motors has suggested for the nearly identical Chevrolet Equinox). A 2.0-liter 4-cylinder rated at 252 hp is standard on the Denali and optional on the SLE and SLT, too.
Opt for the Terrain SLE and you'll have the option of all-wheel drive and/or a turbodiesel 4-cylinder engine. The base Terrain SLE front-wheel drive runs $28,975, while the all-wheel drive variant stickers for $30,545. The turbodiesel engine adds $3,770 on top of that, although it includes a few additional bits and pieces.
The Terrain SLT builds on the SLE with an 8.0-inch infotainment screen (in place of a 7.0-inch unit), heated (front) and leather-upholstered seats, and remote start. It runs $32,295 with the 1.5-liter engine and front-wheel drive all the way up to $36,890 for a diesel-fueled, all-wheel drive model.
If the SLT isn't enough, the Terrain Denali adds 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps, a heated steering wheel, a hands-free, power tailgate, and Bose audio Denali front-wheel drive models are $39,495, while the all-wheel drive model is $40,245.
Curiously, low-speed automatic emergency braking is optional only on the SLT and Denali—a feature that's rapidly becoming standard on rivals.