2017 GMC Granite
Thanks to a trademark filing earlier this month, there has been a lot of new talk about a production version of the 2010 GMC Granite Concept that originally debuted at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. At the time, the Granite was seen as more of a hatchback competing against the likes of the Kia Soul and Honda Fit, but in the last year, the market for small crossovers has boomed, making such a model a perfect addition in the truck-heavy GMC lineup. General Motors has yet to actually confirm if the Granite will make it into production, but based on the latest trademark news and the amount of action in the subcompact crossover segment lately, there’s a pretty good bet that GMC is preparing to add its littlest model ever.
With that in mind, we imagined what a production version of the Granite Concept would look like, although there’s no telling if GMC would actually use the styling of that concept or just the name. Considering how popular the Chevrolet Trax and Buick Encore crossovers have been for GM since they went on sale, there’s a really good chance that the GMC Granite will ride on the same Gamma II platform as the Chevy and Buick.
Continue reading to learn more about the GMC Granite.
2017 GMC Granite
0-60 time:10 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:125 mph (Est.)
For this rendering, we just imagined what the concept would look like with more realistic headlights, wheels, grille and front fascia. As you see it here, the Granite would definitely stand out in this segment that is generally filled with cutesy little crossovers, especially when it comes to the bold front-end styling and the squared-off rear end. There’s always the chance, though, that the GM would tone down the Granite’s styling to bring it closer to what is currently found on the Trax and Encore. As we’ve seen from GM’s full-size trucks and SUVs, it is fully capable of creating unique designs on the same platform (which wasn’t always the case), but it’s also hard to see the Granite being this much of a departure. Our fingers are crossed, though.
Note: GMC Granite Concept interior shown.
As attractive as the interior of the GMC Granite Concept is, the 2+2 seating and conceptual design won’t make it to a production design. This is probably where the heaviest amount of component sharing will take place, resulting an instrument panel and five-passenger seating arrangement similar to the other Gamma II crossovers.
Although the concept has a longer wheelbase than the Trax and is about 10 inches wider, its powertrain provided the biggest clue that the Granite would be based on the subcompact platform. Like the Encore, the Granite Concept was powered by the 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, and it produced 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. This engine was paired to the six-speed automatic transmission, and a production model would almost certainly come in base form with front-wheel-drive and offering an upgrade to all-wheel drive as an option.
If the GMC Granite manages to go into production, it would likely be priced higher than the $20,120 Chevrolet Trax but obviously less than the $24,070 2016 GMC Terrain, which is currently the smallest and lowest-priced crossover/SUV in the GMC lineup.
If any automaker had a bigger challenge when entering the subcompact crossover segment, it is Jeep, but the 2015 Jeep Renegade seems to be up to the challenge. Sales have been strong as Jeep looks to target the smaller vehicle markets, but the Renegade still provides the same level of styling and off-road-worthiness (with the Trailhawk model) for which the Jeep brand is known.
Read our full review of the 2015 Jeep Renegade here.
If the production GMC Granite ends up looking anything like the concept, then are definitely comparisons to be made between it and the Kia Soul. The boxy Soul hatchback is just an all-wheel-drive system away from being considered a small crossover, and with that likely coming soon (as suggested by the 2009 Soul’ster Concept), this would be a perfect rival to the GMC Granite.
Read our full review of the Kia Soul. here
So far this year (through May), GM has sold about 25,000 Encores and close to 19,000 Trax crossovers. With numbers that good and the subcompact CUV segment growing quickly, it would be hard to imagine GMC passing on the chance to sell the Granite in its showrooms. It will be interesting to see if GMC stays close to the concept’s design, but even if it doesn’t, the Granite will probably still be one of the bolder looking crossovers on the market.