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General Motors has officially revealed the highly anticipated 2013 GMC Terrain Denali ahead of its public debut at the 2012 New York Auto Show. Not only does the Terrain finally get the Denali trim as an option for the 2013 model, but it also gets a bigger, more powerful engine. The current 264 HP 3.0L V6 option gets replaced with a new 301 HP 3.6L direct injected V6. Those who want to stick with the standard Ecotec 2.4L four-cylinder will get the best of both worlds; best in class fuel economy and, thanks to the Denali trim, the most luxurious SUV in its segment.

The Denali trim has been very successful for GMC vehicles, and the Terrain has been eagerly waiting to wear the Denali emblem ever since the very first one rolled off the assembly line in late 2009. The Terrain is already GMC’s hottest seller with the 2012 model’s sales up 37 percent from 2011, and adding the Denali trim will only boost sales further. Last year, over half of all GMC Yukons and Yukon XLs sold included Denali trim. GM global marketing chief Joel Ewanick calls Denali, which accounts for 15 percent of total GMC sales, "a brand within a brand."

The first Denali offering was revealed at the 1997 Detroit Auto Show with the 1999 Yukon Denali. It was GMC’s goal to set the Yukon apart from its Chevrolet counterpart. Over a decade later, GMC is still setting itself apart even though all of GMC vehicles are built on platforms shared with Chevrolet.

Updated 06/12/2012: Chevrolet announced today prices for the new 2013 Terrain Denali that will go on sale in the third quarter of this year. Prices will start from $35,350, including an $825 destination charge. Options like all-wheel drive can rise the base price to $37,100, while a V-6 can be paired with either drivetrain for an additional $1,500.

Hit the jump for more details on the 2013 GMC Terrain Denali.

  • 2013 GMC Terrain Denali
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    301 @ 6500
  • MPG(Cty):
  • MPG(Hwy):
  • Torque @ RPM:
    272 @ 4800
  • Displacement:
    3.6 L
  • body style:


2013 GMC Terrain Denali High Resolution Exterior
- image 443494

The 2013 Terrain Denali gets several upgrades on the outside, which, of course, include the signature Denali chrome grille, chrome accents, and Denali emblems on the front doors. Models with the 2.4L engine feature 18-inch chrome wheels wrapped in P235/55R18 all-season tires, while models with the new V6 engine get 19-inch chrome wheels wrapped in P235/55R19 all-season tires. The Terrain Denali also receives new headlamp and taillamp designs, body color front and rear fascias, and chrome exhaust tips. The resulting look is a much more refined and luxurious Terrain.


2013 GMC Terrain Denali High Resolution Interior
- image 443498

As you open the door on the five-passenger 2013 GMC Terrain Denali, the first thing you see is the word "Denali" illuminated in the sill plate. Interior updates are highlighted by Jet Black leather lining the door inserts and Denali embossed, eight-way power front seats. Smoked mahogany wood trim lines the dash, doors, and leather-wrapped steering wheel. Red contrast stitching and red accent lighting give the interior a high-end feel. In the back, you’ll find 63.9 cubic feet of cargo space (with second row folded down).

Standard Features

2013 GMC Terrain Denali Interior
- image 443499

The Terrain Denali comes standard with many of GMC’s class-leading features, including a customizable color touch infotainment system that features IntelliLink, intuitive voice commands, Bluetooth smartphone integration, streaming internet radio apps like Pandora and Stitcher, and iPod controls. A programmable power liftgate comes standard. A memory function stops the liftgate at a chosen height to accommodate lower garage heights

The standard safety features include forward collision, side blind zone, and lane departure warnings. These visual and audible alerts add a new level of security to driving the Terrain. The Terrain Denali, like every new GMC, comes with six free months of OnStar’s Directions and Connections plan, which includes Automatic Crash Response, Turn-by-Turn Navigation, roadside assistance, emergency services link, stolen vehicle assistance, and remote door unlock.

There are only two options available on the Terrain Denali, which include color touch navigation and a rear-seat entertainment system.


2013 GMC Terrain Denali High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 443503

The old 264 HP 3.0L V6 has been scrapped in favor of a new 3.6L V6 engine with direct injection and continuously variable valve timing that has 301 HP and 272 lb-ft of torque. The new V6 matches the fuel economy of its predecessor, getting 17-city/24-highway mpg with the 2WD model and 16-city/23-highway with AWD. Those customers who want all the luxury of a Denali and best in class fuel economy can go with the 2WD Terrain Denali with the 182 HP Ecotec 2.4L I-4 and get an amazing 32 highway mpg. Towing capacity on the new Terrain Denali is 3,500 lbs.


2013 GMC Terrain Denali High Resolution Exterior
- image 443494

Pricing and availability of the 2013 Terrain Denali will be announced closer to the release date, which will be in the third quarter of 2012.


2013 GMC Terrain Denali Exterior
- image 443835

The Terrain Denali’s key competitors are the Ford Edge, Mazda CX-7, Nissan Murano, and Hyundai Santa Fe. The Terrain has more horsepower and torque than all four of these small crossovers; the closest competitor being the Hyundai, which has a 3.5 Liter DOHC Lambda II V6 engine making 276 HP and 248 lb-ft of torque. There is really no comparison in the looks department either, with the Terrain having a more rugged, truck-like appearance compared to all the curvy, rounded small crossovers. Another plus for the Terrain Denali is the fact that not one of these vehicles can top the Terrain Denali’s 32 mpg, accomplished with the Ecotec I-4. The Terrain has been a little pricey compared to these vehicles in the past, but the standard features on the Terrain have always blown away the competition.

My Thoughts

2013 GMC Terrain Denali High Resolution Exterior
- image 443490

The 2013 GMC Terrain Denali is a vehicle that was just waiting to happen. In my opinion, the Denali trim should have been the only option for the GMC Terrain since day one. The improvements totally change the vehicle from a small SUV to a small luxury SUV. The safety features alone make this vehicle worth buying, not to mention all the standard equipment. This is a great small SUV that is will lead the segment and set the bar for years to come.

2013 GMC Terrain Denali Exterior
- image 443496
  • Leave it
    • No rear-wheel drive option
Timmy Calloway
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments


  (291) posted on 08.28.2012

I really love the cars of GMC. They really put dedications in making a good trucks. I love them!

  (692) posted on 08.27.2012

GMC is known for making monster cars like this one. However, I think they are still not working to minimize the fuel consumption of their vehicles.

  (372) posted on 06.5.2012

It’s really great to use it on any terrain!

  (242) posted on 06.4.2012

It is impressive, but it is one which is not easily liked upon first glimpse.

  (676) posted on 05.24.2012

The technical upgrades, appearance enhancements and interior changes provide a more luxurious and sporty look on this Denali. The standard features or safety features amazed me. 

  (619) posted on 04.19.2012

It’s surprising how its design is quite stylish for its original purpose. I’m loving how roomy and innovative its interior is.

  (399) posted on 03.27.2012

First of all, the style of this type of vehicle is often neglected so I’m impressed that they gave this an elegant appearance. Then, the abundant space on the inside is massively appealing to me as it seems very comfortable. Onto the feature that amazed me the most, I love how it’s equipped with a high-tech material.

  (415) posted on 03.26.2012

This big guy here is very powerful, and the features are interesting to at! I can’t wait to see this in the New York Auto Show.

  (302) posted on 03.26.2012

It’s not particularly my type, but I am impressed with it. It’s luxurious in style and technology. Additionally, the engine proves that it is high-performing.

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