2015 GMC Terrain Denali Review

Terrain Denali

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2015 GMC Terrain Denali Overview

Need a downsized yet still plush family-oriented crossover ute? You might want to check out GMC’s 2015 Terrain Denali, scheduled to debut in the late summer of 2014. Rumored to be delivered riding on GM’s universally recognized Delta2 (D2) platform this year, the latest iteration of the 5-seat Terrain Denali ought no longer to inhabit that netherworld between midsize and compact and should instead proudly bear the compact label. Of course, said D2 chassis is alleged to be a tad lighter than the present Theta platform, thus mileage numbers should noticeably improve. What will be interesting to see, though, is how this presently ephemeral shrinkage in both length and width will affect the already less-than-commodious 63.9 cubic feet of total cargo area in current Terrain Denali iterations, not to mention a rear seat that currently offers a fairly comfy if often snug fit for adult passengers.

In any case, the flagship Terrain Denali is not expected to downsize the posh factor. This single trim will doubtless still come in the standard front-wheel-drive (FWD) format, while retaining its eligibility to be delivered with weather-taming full-time all-wheel drive (AWD). Furthermore, rumors swirl that in addition to the platform switch, such upgrades as a new-look grille boasting some added chrome, 21st-century LED running lights, significantly redesigned front and rear fascias, and new headlights and taillights are also in the works. Additionally, hints of enhancements to the already high-end cabin appointments, like upgraded leather in additional color choices as well as tweaks to cabin accents and inserts, not to mention updates to comfort and convenience features, are also whispered.

One thing that has been confirmed by the folks at Jimmy for the debuting 2015 Terrain Denali is the highly touted addition of a 4G LTE Wi-Fi interface, thus allowing this already posh crossover to offer mobile hotspot capabilities.

There is no word, however, whether Jimmy will fiddle with the new Terrain Denali's powerplant choices. Thus the underwhelming 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder (I4) engine is slated to remain delivered as the standard mill, with the 301-hp, 3.6-liter V6 once again offered as an option.

Look for 182 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque from the I4, and 272 lb-ft of torque from the 6-banger, with each engine scheduled to return bearing a 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission. Mileage numbers, as mentioned, are expected to be somewhat improved over the present and not too shabby 22 mpg city/32 highway (FWD) and 20/29 (AWD) out of the I4, and the less impressive 17/24 (FWD) and 16/23 (AWD) that burdens the V6. Oh, and towing should remain maxed out at 1,500 pounds with the 4-banger and 3,500 in V6-equipped versions when each is equipped with the optional trailer hitch and wiring.

Barring major improvements and additions to standard exterior features, expect the 2015 Terrain Denali to again tote 18-inch alloy wheels, a roof rack, a power sunroof and a power liftgate. Inside, meantime, look for this high-end, now-compact crossover to return flaunting leather upholstery, heated power-adjustable front seats, reclining rear captain’s chairs, cruise control and a tilting and telescoping steering wheel.

Of course, full power accessories ought to once again grace this jubilant Jimmy, as should remote engine start, rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera and a remote garage door opener, not to mention OnStar Directions and Connections technology that’s integrated with the newly added 4G LTE interface, as well as the ubiquitous Bluetooth hands-free technology. Front and rear climate control are also expected to return along with memory for driver's settings, while the standard 250-watt premium Pioneer audio system should again drive a single-CD player, 8 speakers and satellite radio. Again for 2015, all the audio components, as well as the optional hard-drive-based navigation system should once again be interfaced with a 7-inch touchscreen display that allows upgraded Intellilink smartphone apps and limited WiFi capability.

Until official word comes out regarding additions and upgrades, further options as of the present include rear-seat DVD entertainment and upgraded 19-inch alloy wheels.

Finally, Jimmy’s anticipated cropped crossover should return sporting 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, and front and rear head airbags. Those rumored LED daytime running lights once again should be complemented by front fog/driving lights, and GM’s touted OnStar system ought to remain toting emergency communications and stolen-vehicle tracking. Additionally, a post-collision safety system and remote antitheft alarm, as well as the standard lane-departure warning system and forward-collision alert technology also remain slated to adorn the 2015 Terrain Denali.


Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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