First Look: 2018 GMC Terrain

The art of the launch

DETROIT — A collection of GMC-inspired modern art adorned the space and walls of the Museum of Contemporary Art. Working headlights, grilles, colored fabric, and other materials hung haphazardly throughout the raw gallery spaces with white and black walls and cement floors.

Fortunately the temporary works were not part of the museum's permanent collection; instead they were merely set dressing for the launch of the all-new 2018 GMC Terrain compact crossover SUV. Unlike the temporary works, the all-new Terrain was a big hit with the contemporary critics present.

GMC's second-generation Terrain gains three turbocharged engine options, including a diesel. The new 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter engines are mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission and produce 170 horsepower and 252 hp, while the 1.6-liter diesel gets a 6-speed automatic and delivers 137 hp. The engines offer 203 lb-ft, 260 lb-ft, and 137 lb-ft, of torque, respectively.

GMC says the new Terrain shed over 400 pounds from the previous model in its redesign and it is now available in four flavors: SL, SLE, SLT, and Denali.

"The all-new Terrain builds on that success, leveraging GMC's proven premium SUV experience to shake up the largest vehicle segment, with a strong blend of design, functionality and engineering excellence," Duncan Aldred, GMC sales and marketing veep, told the eager crowd.

If you want to stand apart from the pack, the Terrain Denali gets plenty of chrome, including a shiny chrome grille, roof rails, door handles, side mirror caps, and body-side molding. Plus, it also gets a set of 19-inch ultra-bright machined aluminum wheels. All other models receive signature LED lights up front and around back and smaller 17- and 18-inch tires.

Inside, the Terrain gets lots of shiny new bits including aluminum trim, soft-touch materials on the instrument panel and doors, and standard active noise cancellation.

Additional standard features include a heated steering wheel, navigation, Bose premium 7-speaker sound system, and a hands-free power lift gate. There's also a new fold-flat front passenger seat and flat-folding rear ones for more storage space.

"It is a striking design with functional beauty," said Helen Emsley, GMC executive design director. "There's confidence and optimism in its stance, with exceptional attention to detail that speaks to GMC's rise as a premium brand."

Considering the artistic alternatives we spotted inside the museum, the Terrain looks like a true masterpiece of marketing for GMC.

No other details were announced at the launch, but the new models are expected to go on sale in the summer.

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