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GMC's 2018 Terrain gains brick-like styling, diesel engine option

The current-generation GMC Terrain has been a sales success for General Motors’ truck-focused brand. But the current model also dates back to 2009, making it very old by car-industry standards. So GMC is giving it an overhaul.

Debuting at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, the 2018 GMC Terrain adopts the styling of the larger GMC Acadia crossover, along with a new lineup of turbocharged gasoline and diesel engines, and some new tech features. Will those updates help the Terrain succeed in the white-hot and very competitive SUV sector?

The Terrain may be a car-based crossover, but GMC tried very hard to make it look like a traditional truck-based SUV. The boxy wheel wells, slab-like sides, and virtually flat grille give the Terrain an imposing presence, and make it look a bit like a shrunken version of the Acadia. The unusually-shaped headlights might not work for everyone, though. Despite its brick-like shape, GMC says aerodynamic efficiency was emphasized in the design.

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Underneath the new sheet metal, the Terrain downsizes with a lineup of turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The options include 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter gasoline engines and a 1.6-liter diesel, the first engine of its kind offered in the Terrain. The gasoline engines will get nine-speed automatic transmissions and, as before, the Terrain will be sold with standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive.

GMC will continue to offer a high-end Denali trim level, which adds some special exterior styling bits, fancier interior trim, and features like navigation, a heated steering wheel, and Bose 7-speaker audio system. Features available across the model lineup will include 7.0-inch and 8.0-inch touchscreens, a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. New safety features include low-speed forward automatic braking, forward collision alert, and lane-keep assist with lane-departure warning.

The 2018 GMC Terrain goes on sale this summer. Pricing will be announced closer to the launch date.