2013 GMC Terrain Denali Review

Terrain Denali

Looking for a Used Terrain Denali in your area?

CarGurus has 3,426 nationwide Terrain Denali listings starting at $14,995.


2013 GMC Terrain Denali Overview

GMC has announced yet another vehicle upon which to bestow its high-end Denali label. The 2013 GMC Terrain Denali is slated to go on sale this coming fall, placing this slightly oversize compact 5-passenger crossover SUV in the heady company of its Sierra, Acadia and Yukon kinfolk. In addition to heaps of chrome, leather and genuine wood exterior and interior trim accents, this uber-Terrain flaunts GM’s thoroughly tweaked 3.6-liter, 301-hp V6 powerplant in place of the 3.0-liter V6 that endows the lesser Terrain trims. Though a few early reviews theorize that the 182-hp inline 4-cylinder engine (I4) will remain the standard engine for the Denali version of the Terrain, such is not in keeping with GM’s usual practice of loading its more muscular engine offerings into its top-shelf trims. In any case, cargo capacity in this luxury-oriented small ute is expected to be 63.9 cubic feet, and it will doubtless be available in either the standard front-wheel drive (FWD) or the available all-wheel-drive (AWD) configurations.

For its debut, the 2013 Terrain Denali’s exterior differs from its siblings in boasting a mesh front grille, chrome trim accents, chrome exhaust tips and marginally revamped headlights and taillights. Opinion regarding Jimmy’s latest Denali is somewhat mixed among reviewers, with some suggesting that GM doesn’t need another overpriced luxury SUV and others predicting a winning combination of posh, performance and practicality. In any case, look for this upscale Terrain to be on the pricy side, though rivals such as Ford’s highly touted Edge, Honda’s attractive and practical CR-V, Subaru’s roomy Forester and Toyota’s heady RAV4 will undoubtedly match up, price-wise, in their top-shelf trims.

The engine of choice for the 2013 Terrain Denali is touted to be a reworked 3.6-liter V6. Matched with what’s expected to remain the standard 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission, look for 301 hp and 272 lb-ft of torque from this over-achieving six-banger, with towing capacity, when properly equipped, considerably better than the maximum 3,500 pounds claimed with the 3.0-liter V6. Mileage numbers, meanwhile, won’t be available until this high-end ute sees some serious road time. The AWD system, of course, will remain under the management of a mechanical, center-mounted limited-slip differential, while the brake hill-holder feature will be retained as well.

Bells and whistles in the luxury-oriented Terrain Denali are expected to be a notch or two beyond what used to be the flagship SLT-2's. Look for 19-inch alloy wheels, a power sunroof, power-opening rear liftgate, reverse-tilting heated power-adjustable mirrors and a roof rack to be standard on the outside, with leather upholstery, genuine wood and alloy accents, lighted sill plates and a leather-wrapped, multifunction steering wheel adorning the cabin. Front seats should be heated and power-adjustable, with the reclining, split-folding rear seats featuring a pass-through center armrest with storage. Cruise control, meanwhile, as well as telescoping tilt-wheel steering, Sun Sensor climate control and memory for driver's settings ought to complement power windows, remote power door locks and keyless ignition, with OnStar Directions and Connections, a universal remote garage door opener, rear-view camera and rear parking sensors also delivered as standard equipment.

Expect GM’s recently introduced Intellilink/Bluetooth communications and entertainment interface system to be standard aboard the new Terrain Denali, while further standard entertainment features are slated to be premium Pioneer audio components starring a single-CD player, 8 speakers, satellite radio and a USB connection. Finally, look for such options as touch-screen navigation and rear-seat entertainment to be offered with Jimmy’s newest high-end crossover ute.

A few added safety doodads are expected to grace the 2013 Terrain Denali, including a forward collision alert, as well as lane departure and blind spot warning systems. Such extras will complement the traditional 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front and rear head airbags and front side-mounted airbags, not to mention daytime running lights and front fog/driving lights. OnStar emergency services, airbag deployment notification and stolen vehicle tracking should be standard once again, as should a post-collision safety system and remote antitheft alarm.


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.

What's your take on the 2013 GMC Terrain Denali?

2013 GMC Terrain Denali Top Comparisons

Users ranked 2013 GMC Terrain Denali against other cars which they drove/owned. Each ranking was based on 9 categories. Here is the summary of top rankings.

2013 GMC Terrain Denali vs:

    Have you driven a 2013 GMC Terrain Denali?  
    Rank This Car

    Cars compared to 2013 GMC Terrain DenaliPeople researching a 2013 GMC Terrain Denali contacted a dealer about

    Terrain Denali

    Looking for a Used Terrain Denali in your area?

    CarGurus has 3,426 nationwide Terrain Denali listings starting at $14,995.

    Have questions?   Ask a question

    GMC Terrain Denali Questions


    Will You Buy My Used 2013 Gmc Denali Terrain

    3 views with no answers yet

    Can I Get Interior Wood Grain Inserts Customizing For The Terrain Denali ?

    Console, doors, steering wheel, etc.

    135 views with 4 answers (last answer 3 years ago)