The Terrain, and its cousin, the Chevy Equinox, have been huge hits for GM since their inception in 2010. The midsize CUV segment is growing and it is logical that an upscale brand like GMC would tend to sell higher end vehicles. The Denali is GMC’s top trim level and a new trim level for the Terrain. With a base price of $34,525, THE Terrain Denali is priced right with the competition and I think it offers more “bang for the buck.”
One thing I like about the Terrain is that, unlike the competition, GM isn’t trying to make an SUV/ CUV look like a car. The Terrain’s styling is boxy and masculine like a truck and utility vehicle should look. However, the Denali trim level includes a lot more “bling” than the standard model.
The Terrain is a mid sized CUV with seating for five. Inside, the cargo area is generous, and the 60/40 split rear seats fold down to increase the room to carry even more. The front seats are some of the best in its class and the rear seat room is good for any adults. Overall, the interior is very upscale with tasteful use of leather and satin chrome trim.
Of course, the Denali trim level includes just about every option you could want. Great power leather heated front seats, leather wrapped wood accented steering wheel, multiple power outlets, a great audio system with iPod, USB, and Bluetooth connectivity, an excellent audio system, NAV with 7” color display, power programmable liftgate, rear backup camera, dual zone climate control, and much more.
Safety wise, not only is the Terrain is a 2012 IIHS Top Safety Pick, it has more electronic features than most in its class. Features like: OnStar, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Alert, Airbags everywhere, Anti Lock Brakes, Stabilitrak w/ Traction Control, and Tire Pressure Monitors. In other words, GM wants you to be safe even if you drive like an automotive journalist.
My test Terrain Denali was upgraded to GM’s 3.6 liter V6 mated to a six speed automatic transmission. Power was great for any use, but the standard 2.4 liter DOHC 4 cylinder is a good engine too. I just like the V6 a little more. EPA fuel numbers for the V6 are 17/24. The 4 cyl model is rated 22/32. If MPG numbers are important, the 2.4 may be better for you.
The Terrain handles good for a CUV and is fun to drive. What more do you need? Fun to drive, great fuel economy, quiet ride, comfortable interior, and a ton of features make the 2013 Terrain Denali a must see when shopping for Luxury Mid Size CUVs.
I give the GMC Terrain Denali a 4.5 out of 5 star rating.
Jim is an automotive and outdoor lifestyle journalist living in the Texas Hill Country. A journalist by education, he took the long way around though retail operations, business management, manufacturing and supply chain operations that kept him in touch with his automotive interests.
Jim achieves his journalist goals by creating and contributing product reviews, industry news and feature content for electronic and print publications. Jim’s personal ride is a 2008 Inferno Red Chrysler Crossfire Roadster with just 22,000 miles on it.