Updated GMC Terrain Gains New AT4, Refreshed Elevation, and Refined Denali Lines

A midcycle refresh for the GMC Terrain compact SUV.

The compact crossover utility vehicle segment is too hot for manufacturers to ignore. GMC is heavily invested in the segment, with its Terrain SUV battling it out with the competition. The Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Ford Escape, and Hyundai Tucson are just a few of the more than one dozen models vying for shopper attention.

Now in its second generation, the GMC Terrain gains a refresh for 2022. We’ll dissect these changes before concluding with our final thoughts.

Overhauled Trims

The big news for the 2022 Terrain has the trim line overhauled. The updated model now has SLE, SLT, AT4, and Denali trims. The first three roll out this summer, while the Denali appears this fall.

The AT4 is the newest trim, a design meant to enhance this vehicle’s off-road credentials. This model comes with off-road trim, including Goodyear Sport Terrain tires and a front steel skid plate. That said, the Terrain won’t match the Jeep Compass in off-road prowess, but it should handle well-worn trails and gravel roads with ease.

As for the Denali, it features the usual chrome embellishments and follows the other trims with a modernized interior. This trim also gets an updated heads-up display.

Other changes include an updated front fascia and grille, redesigned LED headlamps and LED taillamps, and new 18- and 19-inch wheel designs. Four newly available color choices offer further customization.

One Powertrain Choice

We’re not sure what GMC was thinking when it freshened the 2022 Terrain, but it certainly did not involve bolstering this model’s engine line. As recently as two years ago the Terrain had three engine offerings. Now it’s down to one.

Following on the heels of the demise of the turbo-diesel engine, the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine has also been discontinued. All that’s left is a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque. A 9-speed automatic transmission routes power to the front or all four wheels.

We’re surprised that the 250 horsepower option is gone as that engine supplied the Terrain with an edge in its segment. Not having an up-level engine available could hurt sales. Otherwise, shop for a 2021 model and larger discounts and better engine choices follow.

Standard Driver-Assist Equipment

For 2022, the GMC Terrain comes with six standard driver assistance tech features. Automatic high beams, following distance indicator, front pedestrian braking, forward collision alert, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking are found on every trim.

Move up through the trim range and a surround-view camera system and adaptive cruise control become available. The Terrain should repeat its 5-star safety rating with the NHTSA. As for the IIHS, a Top Safety Pick score is possible with reworked headlights. We’ll have more information later this year.

Refreshed Tech Offerings

We’re seeing wireless smartphone integration gradually make a spread across the industry. It wasn’t too long ago where having Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility were novel offerings on most vehicles. Today, the “lose the cord” movement is spreading and the 2022 Terrain caught it.

As for other tech changes, an 8-inch digital driver information center is standard. Other features include Amazon Alexa capabilities, GMC’s noteworthy interface, Bluetooth, USB ports, and your choice of audio systems.

Looking Ahead

We think the one powertrain choice will cost GMC some customers. At the same time, with rising fuel prices, the remaining engine and its 25/30/27 mpg city/highway/combined fuel economy may supply what customers want best. If so, we may need to rethink our stance on this Terrain’s powertrain offering.

See AlsoMassive and Powerful: One Week With the 2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD

Photo copyright GM Corp.

Matthew Keegan
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