GMC has just announced a host of enhancements for its popular midsize crossover ahead of the 2015 New York Auto Show. This mid-life refresh of the GMC Terrain consists of visual updates, both inside and out, that will hopefully breath new life into its sales. Not that its sales are slacking – GMC says the crossover had its best year ever in 2014, selling 105,016 units in total.

These visual updates span across the Terrain’s trim levels, including the popular Denali model. The model lineup now consists of the SL, SLE, SLT, and of course the Denali. The SLE grade further breaks down into SLE-1 and SLE-2 trim levels, giving customers more choices when it comes to grouping options together.

GMC is leaving well enough alone in regards to the Terrain’s powertrain. Two engine options and two drive-wheel options offer the span between a four-cylinder with FWD to a V-6 with AWD. Fuel economy is also expected to stay put, with the highest rating listed at 23 mpg city and 32 mpg highway.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 GMC Terrain.

  • 2016 GMC Terrain
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Transmission:
    six-speed automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • Displacement:
    2.4 L
  • 0-60 time:
    8.5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • Layout:
    Front Engine; FWD, AWD
  • Price:
    24500 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:


2016 GMC Terrain Wallpaper quality
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2016 GMC Terrain
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2016 GMC Terrain
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The new front and rear ends help brighten the Terrain’s appearance while giving it a more upscale look

Much of the changes for 2016 consist of exterior visual updates. The new front and rear ends help brighten the Terrain’s appearance while giving it a more upscale look. The front of non-Denali models get a three-bar chrome grille with the familiar black honeycomb backing. A new C-shaped chrome ring wraps around the new LED daytime running lights and connects in the center of the bumper. This brings more visual weight downward, making the crossover look more planted.

That same C-shaped design makes its way rearward and surrounds red reflectors on the rear bumper. Chrome accents dress up the taillight area as well. Terrain Denalis come with the same front fascia as non-Denali models, but get the standard Denali treatment of a much flasher chrome grille.

A new pair of 18- and 19-inch wheels finish off the updates, with the larger wheels belonging to the Denali. Lastly, two new color options are available: White Frost Tricoat and Crimson Red Tintcoat.


2016 GMC Terrain
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2016 GMC Terrain
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2016 GMC Terrain
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Beyond looks, the Terrain gets upgrades with its safety systems

Like the outside, much of the interior is refreshed. The casual observer might not recognize the changes, but the updates consist mostly of changes to the center stack. Revised hard buttons for the infotainment system are more intuitive than before. The door lock button is now moved from the dash to each door panel as well. Gone is the CD/DVD slot under the HVAC controls, replaced by a small shelf for storage. Down below, a revised shifter looks more upscale and include the manual shift buttons on its top rather than hanging off its side.

Coverings for the seats are also new. Coming standard on SL and SLE trims is a new premium cloth fabric while upper trims get the option of a new “Saddle Up” leather color. Denali models get the option of a new Light Titanium and Jet Black color combination.

Beyond looks, the Terrain gets upgrades with its safety systems. GMC now offers Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert on SLE and SLT models where it was only available on the Denali before. Also available with OnStar is GM’s popular 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot for mobile streaming.


2016 GMC Terrain High Resolution Drivetrain
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Regardless of engine choice, customers can opt for either the standard FWD or optional AWD

Things under the hood remain unchanged for 2016. That leaves customers the option of the standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder or the optional 3.6-liter V-6. Both engines offer direct fuel injection and variable valve timing for added efficiency and power production. The 2.4-liter produces 182 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque while the V-6 offers a respectable 301 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque. Both engines come mated to the six-speed automatic transmission.

Regardless of engine choice, customers can opt for either the standard FWD or optional AWD. Terrains with AWD send power to the front wheels the majority of the time unless traction becomes an issue. At that time, power is diverted rearward for added grip.

Those choosing the Denali trim are treated to a more plush suspension thanks to unique dual-flow dampers. GMC says the dampers give a smoother ride while “improving handling by controlling suspension dampening across a broader range of driving conditions.”

2.4L DOHC I-4 DI 3.6L DOHC V-6 DI
Displacement (cu in / cc): 145 / 2384 217 / 3564
Bore & stroke (in / mm): 3.46 x 3.85 / 88 x 98 3.70 x 3.37 / 94 x 85.6
Block material: cast aluminum cast aluminum
Cylinder head material: cast aluminum cast aluminum
Valvetrain: DOHC, four valves per cylinder; continuously variable valve timing DOHC, four valves per cylinder; continuously variable valve timing
Fuel delivery: direct sequential fuel injection with electronic throttle control direct sequential fuel injection with electronic throttle control
Compression ratio: 11.2:1 11.5:1
Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm): 182 / 136 @ 6700 (SAE certified) 301 / 224 @ 6500 (SAE certified)
Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm): 172 / 232 @ 4900 (SAE certified) 272 / 367 @ 4800 (SAE certified)
Recommended fuel: regular unleaded or E85 ethanol with federal emissions regular unleaded or E85 ethanol with federal emissions
Emissions controls: close-coupled catalytic converters; Quick-Sync 24x ignition system; returnless fuel rail; fast-response O2 sensor close-coupled catalytic converters; Quick-Sync 58x ignition system; returnless fuel rail; fast-response O2 sensor
EPA-estimated fuel economy (city / hwy): 22 / 32 (FWD)
20 / 29 (AWD)
17 / 24 (FWD)
16 / 23 (AWD)


2016 GMC Terrain
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GMC has yet to announce pricing for the 2016 Terrain, but count its MSRP to stick around its current listing. For 2015, prices start at $24,995 and range northward to $38,186 for an AWD Denali.


Honda CR-V

2015 - 2016 Honda CR-V Exterior
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The CR-V is one year into its own mid-cycle refresh, having been reworked in 2015, so its looks are still very fresh. The Honda isn’t quite the luxury offering the Denali is, but it matches up well with the Terrain’s lower trim options. A spacious cabin offers fantastic fit and finish while two rows of seating offer roughly the same room as the GMC.

Unlike the Terrain, the CR-V only offers one engine choice – a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 185 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque, though AWD is available. If you’re looking for a hot rod, you’d better stick with the GMC. Conversely, the CR-V’s prices start at $23,320 and rise into the low $30,000 range. Perhaps 185 horsepower doesn’t sound so bad after all.
Read our full review here

Ford Edge

2015 Ford Edge High Resolution Exterior
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2015 is also a critical year for the Ford Edge as it’s completely new from the ground up. Sportier, more daring looks cover all sides of the Edge, with chiseled corners and angular accents. Things inside are also very modern with two-tone leather seats and an infotainment system by Microsoft.

Where GMC and Honda rely on naturally aspirated engines, Ford takes the turbocharged route, offering both the 2.0-liter EcoBoost I-4 and the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6. The base engine, however, is still the naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6. Prices are more in line with the GMC, starting at $28,100 and rising into the upper $30,000 range.
Read our full review here


2016 GMC Terrain
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This mid-cycle refresh for the GMC Terrain helps broaden its appeal by adding more upscale looks and interior color options. The slight revisions on the dashboard are noticeable, but only to those familiar with the current design. Still the updates are welcomed.

Though no changes are made with its powertrain, the Terrain offers two solid engine options and two drive-wheel options. For those folks looking for a entry-level luxury sedan substitute, the GMC Terrain Denali offers a decent choice. Seating for five, room for stuff with the rear seats folded, two-tone leather upholstery, an intuitive infotainment system, and chrome galore help bring the Escalade’s style to a less expensive (and smaller) GM vehicle.

  • Leave it
    • No upgrades to the powertrain
    • Starts getting expensive with Denali trim
Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read full bio
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Press Release

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.

2016 GMC Terrain
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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 is a popular choice in the growing compact SUV segment, introducing drivers to GMC’s professional grade design and features,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC Sales and Marketing. “The changes for 2016 provide consumers with even more reasons to consider Terrain as it continues to be a smart choice for customers seeking versatility, style and technology.”

The compact SUV market leapt 17.4 percent in 2014 to account for 15.7 percent of the total U.S. market, overtaking midsize cars for the first time as the auto industry’s largest vehicle segment.

Terrain had its best year ever in 2014 with 105,016 sales. The momentum continues this year, as Terrain enjoyed its best-ever January and February sales.

The New York region is the national leader for compact SUV sales, with more than 200,000 retail units sold last year. It is also second-highest selling region for Terrain, behind Detroit.

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 for SLE, SLT and Denali – 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 “center stack” with new storage shelf and updated control graphics
  • Revised model lineup: SL, SLE (SLE-1 and SLE-2), SLT and Denali
  • Premium cloth seat fabric now standard on SL 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 colors.

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.”

2016 GMC Terrain
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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 31.6 cubic feet (894 liters) of cargo space behind the rear seat and 63.9 cubic feet (1,809 liters) with the rear seat folded.

The standard Ecotec 2.4L direct-injected engine delivers an EPA-estimated 32 mpg on the 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 3,500 pounds (1,588 kg).

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.

2016 GMC Terrain
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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.

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