GMC Terrain Model Years: Expert Opinions on the Best and Worst Versions to Buy

2010 GMC Terrain

It is not a model with a long history like some other GMC vehicles. The company now added the Hummer as one of its flagship vehicles. Still, the GMC terrain is one of the most important nameplates in the family, since it takes the spot in the most popular segment.

The vehicle was introduced in 2010 as a replacement for the Pontiac Torrent. The vehicle had an instant success and it drew a lot of attention. It also had something to do with the usage of the proven architecture of Chevy Equinox. The Theta platform provided reliability and safety. The first edition was out with a 2.4-liter unit that produced 182 horsepower.

2010 gmc terrain first generation
GMC Terrain debuted in 2010

2013 GMC Terrain: The First Revisit

In the first three seasons, the GMC Terrain had good sales, reaching nearly 100k sold units in 2012. But, the company wanted more and the 2013 facelift brought the first dose of changes on the compact crossover. A V6 engine is added. A 3.6-liter displacement is still available on some bigger vehicles. More important, the Denali package became the flagship package. In the next couple of seasons, the carmaker didn’t bring any significant changes.

2016 GMC Terrain: The Second Update

Like its closest sibling, Chevy Equinox, the crossover was updated in 2016. Both interior and exterior were revisited and the new look didn’t bring so much success – sales dropped under 90,000 units per annum. Anyway, it seems that the 2016-2018 year models were not so successful, which lead to the new generation.

2016 GMC Terrain
After the 2016 YM facelift

Second Generation (2018)

A new series of the GMC Terrain was launched in 2018. The second-gen crossover had an instant success. The fresh look drew the attention, while there are three engine choices under the hood. A 1.5-liter turbo-four creates 170 hp and 203 lb-ft, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-banger delivers 252 hp and 260 lb-ft, and a turbodiesel was part of the lineup as well. It was the most fuel-efficient model in the lineup, with 33 mpg.

The company paid attention to safety for the 2019 YM. The GMC Terrain introduced adaptive cruise control, HD 360-degree camera, and pedestrian detection. In 2020, an oil burner was dropped. Also, the Premium package was added as the optional upgrade for the Denali trim. Once again, safety is getting a boost. In 2021, due to the COVID-19 outburst, the company had to delay the mid-cycle refresh. So, the 2021 GMC Terrain only dropped a 2.0 engine and replaced the alert package with the GMC Pro Safety Plus bundle.

2018 GMC Terrain
The second generation arrived in 2018

2022 GMC Terrain: Delayed Mid-Cycle Refresh

Like every update, this one brought big upgrades. First of all, the crossover introduces a new look. Also, the grades were revisited. SLE, SLT and Denali are already familiar, but the new model is the AT4, specialized for off-road driving. Unfortunately, there is no Ultimate upgrade for the premium Denali version. But, the company offers a unique Black Diamond Edition for the 2023 YM. Besides that, the engine produces extra power – 5 ponies is not a stunning upgrade, but for the small crossover, it is worth of mentioning. The carmaker also added a few new paintjobs.

2023 GMC Terrain at4
This is how the latest Terrain looks in the AT4 trim level


Sales of the Terrain are still under 100,000 units per year. The brand is not a priority for the parent company. More efforts are put on the development of Chevrolet vehicles. So, Equinox, a mechanical brother that uses the same platform, achieves much better results on the market.

Plus, GM is not offering hybrid engines, which is a big downside. There won’t be such a configuration for the Terrain. On the other hand, we might see an all-electric crossover soon. It is just one of many big projects General Motors is planning.

The current version of the GMC Terrain will be available for a couple of years more. Then, after 2025, we can expect the third generation and the EV.

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