Update1 – 2016 GMC Terrain and Terrain Denali Refreshed With LEDs

 2016 GMC Terrain

A midsize crossover so bland that we regularly forget it exists?

Oh, that would be GMC’s second-best-seller: the Terrain.

Paired with the Chevrolet Equinox, the new Terrain and Terrain Denali are right on the pulse of many buyers size, price and style needs even six years since their launch in 2009.

The Terrain and Equinox have actually increased their sales performance fairly dramatically in recent years, which may explain why they are so updated so slightly for 2016.

A new look for the nose comes from a fresh lower fascia design, revised grille detailing and a new hood shape with extra power dome emphasis. The tail is also extra lightly refreshed with new a new chrome shroud for the taillamps and an all-new bumper. This is probably the most stylish piece of the new design, with heavily sculpted corners, silver accents and semi-flush square tailpipes in each lower corner.

The Terrain and Terrain Denali are also updated in the cabin with slightly more NVH material, updated graphics for the MyLink touchscreen navigation, and a few other trim tweaks.

So it is still the same core package, overall. One that emphasizes its huge back seat and respectable balance of economy and all-weather abilities — all at a price that is extremely buyer-friendly.

 2016 GMC Terrain Denali

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GMC Introduces 2016 Terrain

New appearance, features build on success in growing compact SUV segment


NEW YORK – Distinguished by a new, more contemporary front-end appearance, the 2016 GMC Terrain and Terrain Denali were introduced today, ahead of their public debut at the New York International Auto Show.


The 2016 Terrain lineup features new front and rear fascias, new grille designs, a power dome hood, light-emitting diode (LED) daytime running lamps and additional updates. Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are offered on SLE and SLT models for the first time.


“Terrain is a popular choice in the growing compact SUV segment, introducing drivers to GMC’s professional grade design and features,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC Sales and Marketing. “The changes for 2016 provide consumers with even more reasons to consider Terrain as it continues to be a smart choice for customers seeking versatility, style and technology.”


The compact SUV market leapt 17.4 percent in 2014 to account for 15.7 percent of the total U.S. market, overtaking midsize cars for the first time as the auto industry’s largest vehicle segment.


Terrain had its best year ever in 2014 with 105,016 sales. The momentum continues this year, as Terrain enjoyed its best-ever January and February sales.


The New York region is the national leader for compact SUV sales, with more than 200,000 retail units sold last year. It is also second-highest selling region for Terrain, behind Detroit.

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The complete list of revisions for the 2016 Terrain lineup includes:

  • New front and rear fascias with C-shaped lower chrome trim that accentuates the Terrain’s wide stance

  • New, chrome-accented grille designs for SLE, SLT and Denali – including specific tri-segment grille texture on Denali

  • New power dome hood design

  • New LED daytime running lamps on uplevel models

  • New 18-inch aluminum wheel design offered on non-Denali models

  • New 19-inch aluminum wheel design offered on Denali

  • Revised instrument panel “center stack” with new storage shelf and updated control graphics

  • Revised model lineup: SL, SLE (SLE-1 and SLE-2), SLT and Denali

  • Premium cloth seat fabric now standard on SL and SLE models

  • New Saddle Up leather interior available on SLT

  • New Light Titanium/Jet Black interior combination offered on Denali

  • Front passenger eight-way power-adjustable seat offered on SLT (previously available only on Denali)

  • New, chrome-trimmed transmission shifter

  • Available Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features on SLE and SLT (previous available only on Denali).

  • New White Frost Tricoat and Crimson Red Tintcoat premium exterior colors.


Bold design tops many customers’ reasons for purchasing the GMC Terrain and the updated 2016 models retain the distinctive proportion that attracts first-time buyers to the brand with a greater focus on precision and attention to detail.


“The updates for the 2016 Terrain make one of the strongest designs in the compact SUV market even more compelling,” said Helen Emsley, executive director, Global GMC Design. “They create a more contemporized appearance rooted in GMC’s professional grade precision.”


Terrain at a glance

The 2016 Terrain seats five, with all-wheel drive offered on SLE, SLT and Denali models. Its interior – with the GM-exclusive MultiFlex sliding rear seat – offers 31.6 cubic feet (894 liters) of cargo space behind the rear seat and 63.9 cubic feet (1,809 liters) with the rear seat folded. 


The standard Ecotec 2.4L direct-injected engine delivers an EPA-estimated 32 mpg on the highway (FWD models). A direct-injected 3.6L V-6 is available and delivers best-in-class 301 horsepower (225 kW) and 272 lb-ft of torque (369 Nm). The V-6 engine also enables a trailering capacity of up to 3,500 pounds (1,588 kg).


Available GMC IntelliLink offers OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. It provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot is on whenever the car is on and comes with a three-month/3GB data trial (whichever comes first).


Terrain also offers a programmable power liftgate (standard on Denali, available on SLT), with a memory function that stops the liftgate at a chosen height to help shorter drivers or accommodate low garage heights.


In addition to available Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features, Terrain offers Rear Park Assist, Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning as part of comprehensive safety packages.


Terrain Denali

The Terrain Denali offers unique exterior and interior appointments, exclusive wheels and design cues to set it apart from competitors. Dual-flow dampers are exclusive to the Terrain Denali’s suspension system, providing a smoother ride and improved handling by controlling suspension dampening across a broader range of driving conditions.


The 2016 Terrain goes on sale this fall. Pricing will be announced later.



  • Terrain was introduced as a 2010 model in 2009

  • Terrain is GMC’s second-best selling vehicle, after Sierra

  • Terrain sales increased 5.5 percent in 2014 to 105,016 – its best year ever

  • In 2015, Terrain had its best January and February sales ever

  • Terrain currently holds 5 percent of the U.S. compact SUV market

  • Terrain is GMC’s conquest leader, at nearly 50 percent

  • Terrain has GMC’s highest percentage of female buyers: 44 percent

  • Terrain’s exterior styling is the No. 1 reason for purchase among female buyers


GMC has manufactured trucks since 1902, with innovation and engineering excellence built into all GMC vehicles. The brand is evolving to offer more fuel-efficient trucks and crossovers, including the Terrain small SUV and Acadia crossover. GMC’s highest-volume vehicle, the Sierra pickup, is the most powerful light-duty pickup on the market, and the first full-size pickup to receive the highest-possible five-star Overall Vehicle Score for safety since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration changed its New Car Assessment Program for the 2011 model year. Details on all GMC models are available at http://www.gmc.com/, on Twitter at @thisisgmc or at http://www.facebook.com/gmc.

 2016 GMC Terrain

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About The Author

Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly expanding automotive news magazine. He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank. Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.