2018 GMC Terrain vs 2016-2017: 2nd vs 1st generation differences

The GMC Terrain has shifted to a new platform, and a new look. See all the changes between the first and second generations in this side-by-side comparison.

Like the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox, the new GMC Terrain moves from the old Theta platform to the D2XX platform. Both cars are considerably smaller than their outgoing counterparts, and significantly lighter too.

2018 GMC Terrain Denali - front2nd gen
2016 GMC Terrain SLT 3/4 front1st gen F/L
With square blistered wheel arches, the first-generation GMC Terrain always seemed like it was trying too hard to imitate the look of the GMC Sierra pickup truck.
2018 GMC Terrain Denali - rear2nd gen
2016 GMC Terrain SLT 3/4 rear1st gen F/L
With the second-generation Terrain, GMC has toned down the Sierra overtones, with less prominent arches, rounder shape, and softer details. It's better, but not entirely successful, with the C-shaped headlights and tail-lights looking rather forced.
2018 GMC Terrain Denali - interior, dashboard, tan leather2nd gen
2016 GMC Terrain SLT jet black interior1st gen F/L
By the end of the first-generation Terrain's run, the dashboard and interior were looking rather dated. The new one pushes the tough, I'm related to the Sierra and Canyon angle, but the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox's interior is much more appealing to us. At least the infotainment system is up-to-date.
2018 GMC Terrain Denali - grille2nd gen
2016 GMC Terrain Denali full front1st gen F/L
Go for the top-of-the-range Denali trim, and there's a lot of chrome, especially on the grille. Under the bonnet, the Terrain has 1.5- and 2-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engines, and 1.6-litre turbo-diesel. The last two options make the Terrain really stand out against its sibling, the Chevrolet Equinox, which only has the 1.5-litre engine.


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Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Editor-at-large — Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]