2013 GMC Terrain Denali AWD Review

2013 GMC Terrain Denali AWD Review
2013 GMC Terrain Denali AWD: Big wheels keep on turning
By Tim Miller, Toronto Star
General Motors has entered the upscale SUV market with the GMC Terrain Denali, a posh new version of its mid-size all-wheel-drive vehicle.
Using the same platform as its Chevy counterpart, the Equinox, the Denali is also assembled at GM’s CAMI facility in Ingersoll, Ont.
Although the basic shape of the boxy four-door Terrain has changed little since its introduction in 2009, the latest version is well-proportioned, with slab siding and angular lines enhanced by chrome accents and badging along its flanks, semi-bright grillwork, and reworked head- and tail-lamp sections.
With prominent Denali nameplates and large 19-inch wheels, GMC has provided a bold visual quality to the top-of-the-line Terrain.
The bold look continues inside the vehicle, with red stitching on the black interior surfaces, leather on the steering wheel and door panels, and mahogany accents on the dashboard. Heated leather seats with eight-way power adjustment are standard. And with the script of Denali embossed in the front seat backs and on the door sills (which light up at night), you won’t forget what you’re driving.
The rear adjustable seating area is spacious for two, adequate for three on the leather seat with a large armrest-cup holder in the centre. The rear cargo area, which provides 894 litres of space, would be suitable for luggage for four, but carrying around building supplies or old engine parts could prove awkward. That’s okay; the Denali is not designed as a freight hauler.
A rear-vision camera and lane-departure or forward-collision alert systems are standard. When backing up, the outside mirrors lower automatically to improve the driver’s view.
The 3.6 L, 301 hp, V6 engine moves the heavy Denali (it tips the scales at 2,400 kg) with authority and power. When pressed, the engine comes to life and accelerates quickly. The base engine is the 182 hp, 2.4 L four-cylinder, which would be taxed somewhat in the Denali package but offers a minimal fuel advantage at 10.5 L/100 km combined versus 11 for the V6.
Both engines come with a six-speed automatic transmission. Interestingly, the 2.4 comes with electric-controlled power steering, while the V6 uses a hydraulic unit.
The Denali is comfortable and very stable, thanks in part to the dual-flow dampers that automatically soften or lessen the ride depending on road conditions. It does have some vagueness in hard turning, although there is minimal body roll as those big wheels and tires help keep it planted on the road.
Options and features range from a standard Pioneer sound system and steering wheel controls to a power tailgate, which offers several height adjustments when opening and closing.
Base price for the four-cylinder Denali is $41,885. As tested with the 1SE option package, the total price is $47,265, which includes the V6 engine, a navigation and media system, 19-inch aluminum rims and a 3,500-pound trailer towing package.
One minor nitpick is the Denali’s lack of a lockable compartment. Even the glove box cannot be secured.
2013 GMC Terrain Denali AWD Review
BASE PRICE: $41,885 base, $47,265 as tested
POWER/TORQUE: 301 hp/272 lb.-ft.
FUEL ECONOMY L/100 km: 13.2 city, 8.4 highway
COMPETITION: Ford Flex Limited, Dodge Durango Citadel, Honda Pilot Touring
WHAT’S BEST: bold visual design, solid comfortable ride, quality fit and finish.
WHAT’S WORST: lack of lockable compartment, vast array of controls to be learned, city fuel consumption
WHAT’S INTERESTING: It’s assembled at GM’s plant in Ingersoll, Ont.
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