There are currently lots of fresh players in the white-hot compact-crossover segment.
The GMC Terrain, however, is not one of them, having changed little since its debut in 2009 as the smallest of the truck brand’s “Professional Grade” vehicles.
While we expect a more compact and efficient redesign to appear within the next year or so, the current Terrain—and its Chevrolet Equinox platform-mate—soldiers into its seventh year of production well past its sell-by date.
The range stretched for 2013 when the top-end Denali model was added to the lineup, and an optional 301-hp 3.6-liter V-6 ($1500) was added at the same time.
Front-wheel drive and a wheezy 182-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder remain standard, and you can opt for all-wheel drive for an additional $1750.
But newer competitors—such as the latest Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, and Mazda CX-5—all easily surpass the GMC in terms of refinement, execution, and drivability.
To update its appearance, GMC has given the latest Terrain a taller, contoured grille with even more chrome, as well as LED daytime running lights, a bulging “power dome” hood, and revised front and rear bumpers with additional shiny bits.
And the pixilated, red-hued information screen in the instrument cluster looks like something out of an old Coleco video game.
Despite the Denali’s premium price point, it’s missing some expected amenities—such as keyless ignition, auto-up windows, and dual-zone climate control—found in newer entry-level compacts.At least the Denali does come standard with remote start, a premium Pioneer audio system, and a multitude of driver aids (forward-collision, lane-departure, blind-spot, and rear cross-traffic alerts).Our test vehicle’s performance at the track was respectable but not enjoyable.The look is still overtly chunky, but with a softer, less industrial mien.Buyers of the premium model like our V-6 AWD test vehicle can revel in its glitzy façade, the plethora of Denali badges, and unique “smoked mahogany” wood trim.The interior also receives a few updates, as well as some new optional equipment that was previously Denali-specific.