GMC Terrain Denali, 2013: Makeover shines in and out for crossover

James Raia

Text/Images By Megan Green

The 2013 GMC Terrain Denali, introduced recently in New York (its biggest market), is the smallest of the GMC crossovers and features an updated grille, new headlight and tail lamp configurations and additional interior comforts associated with the Denali trim level.

2013 GMC Terrain Denali NYC Debut © Megan Green

Powertrain Options

Two direct injection cast aluminum engines are available — the standard Ecotec 2.4 liter dual overhead cam inline 4-cylinder engine and a new comparatively lighter 3.6 liter V6 with a composite intake and an integrated cylinder head/exhaust manifold. Front wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available with either engine choice.

The 3.6-liter V6 engine boasts 272 lb.-ft. torque and 301 horsepower. The integrated engine design is key to keeping the estimated fuel economy of 17 city/ 24 highway for front wheel drive, 16 / 23 all-wheel drive close to that of the outgoing 3.0 liter V-6 engine. Expect an estimated at 22/32 mpg (FWD) and 20/29 mpg (AWD) fuel economy with the 2.4-liter I4 engine.

The V6 engine has 19-inch wheel, while the two-wheel drive model has 18-inch wheels. Chrome is everywhere, the grille to the wheels to the exhaust outlets, with satin chrome — a muted effect similar to but smoother than brushed metal — molding.

2013 GMC Terrain Denali NYC Debut © Megan Green

Safety Was Not an Afterthought

The Denali also boasts worthy standard safety features such as lane departure warning and forward collision alert. A single-camera crash avoidance system warns drivers when the vehicle wanders over a lane marker or comes close to crashing. Radar is used for rear cross traffic alerts and to monitor side blind zones. Six free months of OnStar complete the safety concerns, including Automatic Crash response, remote door unlock, emergency services and navigation features.


Designers gave the Terrain an upgrade in comfort and aesthetics with red-stitched, soft black leather seats, dash detail and wrapping the steering wheel. Mahogany accents the steering wheel and door panels, and Denali badging decorates seat backs and illuminated sill plates. Five adults can sit comfortably. A button-activated power liftgate accesses the 63.9-cubic-foot cargo space, and can be programmed at different heights.

The 2013 GMC Terrain Denali will be availale in the third quarter of 2012, with pricing and market availabiity pending.


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Article Last Updated: March 16, 2012.

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